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

Spam-it, Janet!

Spam-it, Janet!

What day are we on now? Oh yes. I’m still in that odd time zone of not being exactly sure what day of the week it is. Sometimes I don’t even know what time of day it is because the shutters are shut to keep in the warmth. I’ll get up early, as usual, make a cup of tea, switch on the computers and heaters, drink the cup of tea in the sitting room and wake up for half an hour. Then I’ll commute across the porch to the study and check the emails before getting on with whatever work the day has in store. A couple of hours later, I will emerge to find it light outside and either raining, as it was yesterday, or not. But I think today, as I write, is Thursday. In fact, I am sure of it now because I just checked a date on an email…

Winter in the village photos today

Winter in the village photos today

I love spam. Well, I don’t, it’s a pain in the Mailwasher, but it sometimes gives me a laugh. His morning, for example, I opened the Mailwasher programme and, as usual, ticked everything for delete. I then go through and un-check the emails I actually want; the rest get thrown off the server before they reach my computer. The programme also lets you bounce emails back, report spam and flag up dodgy messages. I love bouncing back spam emails, not that it seems to make much difference to the overall number. Today I have eight from ‘Janet’ or someone offering to touch me up, or to touch up my photos, simply because we have photos on our blog. Jane is an auto-bot or something, but she’s not as bad as Marci or Angela or anyone else who starts an email with ‘My Dearest,’ or ‘Darling’, or ‘Beloved’ as if we were characters from a Catherin Cookson meeting on a moor near Tyneside, or whatever she wrote.

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I ignore those of course and bounce them back when in the mood – that way, hopefully, the auto-bots thinks my email doesn’t exist, and it is deleted from their lists. Worse, are the ones that tell you they have your password, and they seem to have found one of them, and threaten you with exposure if you don’t pay up. Bounce! I never bother with those, but if I am worried, I change my password for the site they have flagged up – usually Facebook. I am never worried because the password they seem to have found is invariably an old one from years ago and besides, they can plaster my browser history if they want, I don’t think anyone would be surprised by it, and I’d certainly not be bothered. Anyway, this morning I had an interesting message from someone who apparently knew me intimately, and not just me; you too. It was addressed to Symi Dream and began:

Thank you, first off, for your work in serving the senior community!

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Worth ignoring for the unnecessary exclamation mark alone. Well there you go, seniors, I’m off to do something youthful and more useful than filtering spam.

More bits and pieces

More bits and pieces

We had a successful trip to Yialos on Tuesday in that we made a list of things to do, forgot to take it, but still remembered what was on it. Bank for money, pharmacy for some bits and pieces, Crystalo to order some carpet for Neil’s office (only taken four years to get around to that), supermarket for a few things you can only find down town, collect two parcels from two different couriers, post office, a beer at Pacho’s and a taxi back up – no walk on account of the bags and boxes we had to carry. Back home to put on heaters, keep the sofa warm and fight off a cold.

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That was about it. Wednesday, so far, is clear and cold, eight degrees in the porch and now the bedroom as I’ve opened the windows to blast away some of the damp, but fresh air and clear views across to Tukey and the mountains where you can sometimes see snow on the peaks. Other than that, not much update news, except high winds and rain are forecast again for Thursday and onwards. I’m hoping my new desk arrives this week so I can complete the study ‘renovations.’ I collected the banker’s lamp yesterday and had a look around online for a chair. I was tempted to order a Chesterfield Captain’s Chair (I know, extravagant) but the delivery cost the same as the chair itself. I think I will inquire of friends in Rhodes to see if any shops there sell similar things; repro is fine, as long as I can carry it onto the boat.

The Olive Tree in winter mode.

The Olive Tree in winter mode.

I’m also in the process of changing my driving license to a Greek one, and I’ll update you on that as I go along. So far, I have a list of what’s needed from the KEP office, and Dawn has also clarified something for me there, and I have someone translating my yUK driving license for me, front (and back!), which I will need before I can progress. Anyway, that’s all for another day. And now, back to the writing.

Cats always find the sunny spot even on a cold day

Cats always find the sunny spot even on a cold day

Thomas a Basket

Thomas a Basket

Just updating cat lover readers on the cat we don’t own, want or know the lineage of, Thomas a Basket. I call him that because he found his safe place in our laundry basket one day and had been returning to it every night. Unfortunately, he came with a cold, or some such bug and sneezed a lot of gunk over everything. He also dribbles and once or twice has done that on the clean laundry when it’s been hanging inside to dry. We keep this lean-to open, though it has a door, because the wires for the router hang through it and, like the rest of the house, it’s not much warmer with the door shut. This means Thomas has unlimited access to the laundry but not the study which leads off it. We keep that door closed.

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He is usually there each morning, either in the basket or somewhere else to his liking but goes out during the day to do whatever tom cats do – and we all know what that means. He’s probably sprayed over everything, so if you meet in the street and my clothes smell ‘Tommy’, or call at the house and inspect the lean-to, that’ll be the excuse.

Yesterday's weather

Yesterday’s weather

While Thomas is revelling snottily in his B&B (Bed & Basket, we don’t feed him), his colleagues up the road are scratching around for a dry, warm place for the night that’s not too far away from their dining room, the bins. Symi Animal Welfare has provided us and others with a big bag of biscuits which we dole out to the needy every couple of days. We also keep any scraps that would be of use, like bones and such, and leave them for the strays. Otherwise, our house is cat free, and that’s the way we like it. Of course, as soon as Thomas a B starts bringing his bit on the side or family to stay, we might have to think again about our hospitality. I’ve told him this, and I think he understands. He watches me warily when I pass, ready to scarper if I show any signs of disapproval, but as long as doesn’t drip anything nasty on the clean laundry again, he can stay, either in the basket where I have donated an old throw, or on a pillow that was destined for the bin. Any other misdemeanours and I’d have to consider de-cat-itating him; get it? (I know, wrong Thomas, but you get my… Oh, never mind.)

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