Symi Dream

Living on a Greek island

A Greek island blog from Symi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece. "James’s great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties..." Anne Zouroudi.

Symi Dream - Living on a Greek island



(It’s Sunday morning…) It’s been a fairly typical weekend so far. Husband’s birthday, anniversary, dinner with the godboys and their dad, wrote a chapter, edited a chapter, didn’t save the edits, rewrote chapter and chased a snake out of the courtyard… You know how it is.

september 7th_5

It’s colder this morning, suddenly down to 26 degrees after a couple of months of over 30 or over 36 on some occasions, so it’s back to wearing t-shirts. It was plenty warm enough on Saturday night when we went downtown to have dinner. After a drink at Alegrito we toddled off to Meraklis to find it full so doubled back to Trata and enjoyed a mezethe meal and a good chat. After, we waited a couple of minutes for a taxi, and when Yiannis pulled in, we asked another couple who had arrived after us where they were going in case we could share. I could have sworn they said ‘Lindos’, which was perhaps somewhat ambition of them. We told Yiannis this when we got in the car, and he jumped out to check. Turns out they were heading to Nuatilos, so were able to share, which was good news all round.

september 7th_4

The village square is busying up again as more northern European visitors come to stay. Friends old and new arriving at the Rainbow to meet up in the later afternoon is always nice, but far too tempting to stay and chat and have ‘just one more for the steps.’ I will rein it in after today so I can debloat in time for Athens on Saturday. Well, the journey starts on Friday with the evening boat up to Piraeus. I booked the cabin months ago and just as well, they have sold out now apart from one or two ‘luxury double beds’ (which I assume come with cabins). Looking forward to that, but it will mean no blog for a few days after next weekend. There, advanced warning. And here’s another one; we are back in Yialos tonight, Sunday, for our anniversary meal… Oh, by the time you read this it would have happened, so that was a retrospective warning. Anyway, enough chatter. That was my weekend, so far.

september 7th_8

Jobbernowl, Johnson and Tory

Jobbernowl, Johnson and Tory

I thought you would find this interesting and hopefully fun. (Read to the end, and you’ll find some unrelated images.)
Up early as usual, sitting on the balcony with a cup of tea reading the online newspaper with the usual mix of outrage, hope and despair, and I started to wonder what my old friend Samuel Johnson has to say about his namesake. I only have a shortened version of his famous dictionary, and the word ‘Johnson’ doesn’t appear in it, but the nearest words to where it would be if it included are there, as is the word ‘Tory.’

Jobbernowl. (n) Loggerhead; blockhead.

Jogger (n) One who moves heavily and dully. (From Dryden: They, with their fellow joggers of the plough.)

Jotlhead (n) A dolt; a blockhead

I also looked in my copy of ‘The Vulgar Tongue’, a dictionary of old slang, but sadly, no Johnson. There was, however, a definition of ‘Tory’ which accords with Samuel Johnson’s:

Tory: (n) [A cant term, derived, I suppose, from an Irish word signifying a savage.] One who adheres to the ancient constitution of the state, and the apostolical hierarchy of the church of England, opposed to a whig.

That word comes between Torvous (aj) Sour of aspect, and Touchy (adj) Peevish; irritable; irascible. A low word.

At least Mr S Johnson knew what he was talking about and what he was doing. By the way, ‘The Vulgar Tongue’ has a slightly different take on the word ‘Tory’, describing it as meaning a vagabond, robber or rapparee.

In that dictionary, the word ‘Tory’ falls between:

Tormentor of catgut – a fiddler, and

Toss Off – manual pollution.

[Page 291 of the 2004 edition of ‘The Vulgar Tongue, Buckish Slang and Pickpocket Elegance’ if you don’t believe me.]

As a Ps: My name, Collins, can also be a noun. To write a ‘Collins’ was to write a thank you letter, but there’s no need for that.

august 28_03 august 28_10 August 2nd_1 November 4th_5 November 4th_6