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

Thursday Morning

Thursday Morning

I went wandering up the road yesterday, the road out of the village on my aiming-to-be-regular walk. Because of the early morning getting-up that I have become use to, I was out at a different time of day than I have been. Recently it was an afternoon walk, but yesterday it was around 8.30, mid-morning, for me at least. That gave me different lighting for a change, hence the photo below of the sun coming through the trees beside the road and the silhouetted goats. I have to say, it did remind me of something out of a horror film. I reckon they were waiting for their goatherd to come along and deliver their order-in feed.

Oct 3rd 1

I was listening to music, the soundtrack from 1492 by Vangelis; very hard not to sing along to the rather Russian sounding central theme. Mind you, I only passed one person on the road to To Vrisi, and I am sure she wouldn’t have minded, the goats didn’t.

Oct 3rd 7

Back at home, I set about finalising the blurb for ‘The Eastling’ the third in the Saddling series of mystery novels that I am working on. As I’ve mentioned it, here it is, including another a quote from another author who writes fiction based on Romney Marsh. Emma’s novels are historical fiction, and you can find her author page on Amazon. Here’s the .uk link to Emma Batten in case you are interested. The nice thing about this is that Emma’s mother was my piano teacher for a while, a long time ago and far, far away…

Oct 3rd 5

Here’s the blurb. I am aiming to have the book published in early November, in time for Christmas shopping.

The Eastling

At harvest tide no place to hide as Eastling passes through

The spectre of revenge stalks Saddling, and the Eastling is hungry for a victim. At some time on autumn equinox night, someone in the village will die.

Tom Carey fights to hold a divided village together while racing to unlock the riddle of a boy long dead. But pages of the Lore are mysteriously missing, and all he has to work with are a looker’s spoketale and a blind woman’s poem. As solstice approaches and the vengeful grey-hang thickens, Tom realises who the victim could be. Him.

The Eastling is the third in the Saddling series, following The Saddling and The Witchling.

“Believable characters, gripping atmosphere and tension, all skilfully woven into an absorbing mystery set in the eerie landscape of Romney Marsh.”

(Emma Batten, author of Romney Marsh historical fiction)

Praise for the Saddling series.
“Gripping from the start.”
“A real page turner right to the end.”
“Just keeps on twisting.”
“A compelling tale from the first page.”

James Collins author at Amazon
where you can find The Saddling and The Witchling.

Oct 3rd 6


A Wednesday Update

A Wednesday Update

I found some old photos on my real camera yesterday, and I don’t think I’ve put them up before, so I thought I should start using them. They’re not that old, September mainly, but they will be coming your way.

Yesterday morning

Yesterday morning


Yesterday we were up in time to see the Blue Star come and go before dawn. It was sad, knowing that there were a lot of visitors leaving on it, and more on the Sebeco later in the morning. It’s starting to feel like the end of the season, some shops are closing at the end of the week, others are slowly winding down, and Neil only has a couple of weeks left at the bar. I had to wear a hoody out on the balcony at 4.30 in the morning (unsurprisingly as it’s October) and even for some time at the desk.

Sept and nimborio 24

My visit to the bank on Tuesday went well thanks to the very helpful and fluent in English Kyriaki who helped me with my paperwork. The account was in need of updating, and I was able to furnish the bank with all the info needed. The shock came when I was asked what my occupation was and I had to say ‘retired’ because I almost am. My transaction to extract my private pension from the yUK company holding it and the European company I am transferring it to is still on-going, but I think the only hurdle we have left is for the yUK company to release the funds, which they are obliged to do now I have received the full report on my options and know the risks (and benefits which, in my opinion, outweigh the risks). So, still working, and being a writer I always will be, at least until my eyesight goes (in which case, there’s speech recognition now) or I lose my fingers or my reason. Mind you, losing your reason is no reason to stop writing, I’ve read many texts by folk who appear to have no mind.

Last week

Last week

So, that’s my news for today. The season still runs on a while yet, and the weather is sunny, warm, though cooling towards winter, and the sea is calm.

Sept and nimborio 22

Tuesday morning

Tuesday morning

Still some clouds around, and once again, mosquitoes. I’m constantly slapping my legs under the desk and grumbling, occasionally reaching for the spray to take my revenge and then not being able to find the little blighters. Still, they’re not too aggressive, just noisy in the ear.

Sept 16th 12

I have little news for you today as I spent all of yesterday at home. I intended to go for a walk, but my leg vetoed that idea when I stood up from the desk, put my weight on it and found it wasn’t there. At least, that’s how it felt as I lurched sideways, reaching for something to hold on to. One of those trapped nerves that gives a twinge and momentarily anaesthetizes your limb. It’s a little better today, which is good because I have to pop down to the bank to drop off some paperwork; all part of the ‘getting ahead of Brexit disaster’ game and having my records right up to date before it happens. I’m doing this as my own idea, by the way. No-one’s released any advice on what us non-Europeans should be prepared for as no-one knows, but I reckon it’s a good idea for anyone with a yUK passport to make sure they are registered with the authorities, on the electoral register, have your banking profile up to date, your tax information and records ready, and be prepared for some horrible scenario which will probably never happen.

Sept 24th 18

But I’m not going to get started on the ugly state of British politics and the destruction of the country by… No! I’m not going to get started. Instead, I am going to stop now before I use ‘get’ and ‘going’ for a third… fourth time in one paragraph, and see to my paperwork.

Ps, random old photos today.

Sept 13th 41