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

Office news

Office news

I would have put up a photo of the office view today, but as it’s nothing but grey, there’s not much point. Instead, there are a couple of photos from sunnier days earlier in the year. It’s raining, Nimos has vanished into the drizzle and downpours, and I can hear our sterna filling up with water that’s only going to leak off into the ground, or the tree roots or whatever has caused the leak, but the good news is, there is no water in the bathroom. I mean, no water coming through the roof – there’s none in the hot taps either, but that’s another story.

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Now then, as you spend so much time with me in my office where I write the blog, I thought I’d copy you into the proposed redevelopment plans. As long-term staff will know, I have been writing this blog on an old (repro) desk of my father’s while sitting on a very old piano stool. Not great for the posture, back and shoulders but it works. However, the time has come to change things around a little. This won’t make much sense unless you know the office well, but I intend to:

Athens november 77

Return the borrowed spare bed that’s in Neil’s room, and put the office sofa bed in there making space to put the desk against the wall. The wobbly table in the corner is going (most of it has already gone) to be replaced by Brusali, a cabinet. The LV trunk can move to what will be the desk wall or will go in the sitting room to make room for a piano I’ve not yet ordered, and the bookshelf may have to turn to the other wall. All this will leave space in the corner for a Micke, a corner computer table which will have a co-worker called Unjtejke, or something gloriously Ikea. Hopefully, all that will mean better sitting. It will also give me a modern corner and an older-looking, classic study part of the room. I’ve ordered a banker’s lamp for the desk in brass and green glass and, when it’s finished, intend to refer to the office as my study with all the pretentiousness I can muster.

Oct 11 8

I’ve also ordered a carpet to cover just about the entire floor, and that will make things a bit warmer in the winter. There will be an orientation session when the change is complete, but I will let you get back to your workload now. Appraisals in two weeks, and I want that report on my desk (either one) by midday.

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One of those Monday mornings

One of those Monday mornings

Reasons for a very quick blog today:

Late night caused by cats using a bed as a WC, leading to transferring houses after midnight and leaving Neil to sleep on the godboys’ sofa while I came home as no other sleeping place available up there.

Up at 5.30 to find the boiler making a very odd noise it’s not made before. Something to do with the new tank I suspect. Worried the boiler might not be filling. Help arriving tomorrow but turned hot water off just in case.

Computer fired up, and Word crashed taking the whole machine with it. One hour delay while reboot and deal with.

Thomas A Basket (the stray cat who lives in the laundry basket) covered the washing machine with a nosebleed. Washing machine reacting by also making an odd, new noise. Am keeping an eye on it.

Workmen now drilling right outside the house which, actually, I don’t mind, but I am not sure if I will be able to get out to do the shopping after writing this, not without leaping across the chasm.

So, a few photos and I think I’ll go back to bed and start again.

Sept 13th 47 October Rhodes 35 Oct 17 5 Sept 24th 08

Plaza Hotel offer and other news

Plaza Hotel offer and other news

There are notices up around Yialos at the moment advertising an offer from the Plaza Hotel, Rhodes. From now until the end of March, double rooms are only €40.00 per night, including breakfast, and if you stay for the weekend, Friday to Monday morning, there’s a deal per person for room, breakfast and a meal for only €90.00 for the three nights. I thought you might like to know in case there’s anyone travelling this way over the next three months. I think we’ll use it when we go to get our annual health MOTs done in March – looks good but check with the hotel in case I have misremembered those details. Here’s the website for The Plaza Hotel, Rhodes. I’d advise ringing them and saying you’re going to/from Symi and ask about the offer.

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What have we been up to over here since we last spoke? Well, Neil went off to Rhodes on Friday to do some shopping and have his phone put onto a contract. When I took up my contract a couple of months ago, I popped into the shop, chose the €13.50 per month bundle, called back an hour later, and it was all set up and running. I have 3.5 Gbs of data, 500 SMS and 1,000 minutes of talk time (within Greece) per month. That’s more time than I spend talking to anyone in person let alone on the phone, but I can connect to the internet anywhere. Neil’s phone still isn’t doing what it should be doing, and he needs to call the helpline to sort it out. Panormitis at the phone shop on Symi has had a look, and one sim card is working fine as it always did, but he’s locked out of the new one and… well, I don’t understand it, but it’s nearly sorted.

View from the dining table, Saturday

View from the dining table, Saturday

I met Neil and Ms DJ at Rainbow on their way back from their expedition, ladened down with Jumbo bags and news of their day. We went through the shopping on Saturday, so there are now loads of small, useful, plasticy things around the house and some things we did need. After popping to the phone shop for advice, and collecting a parcel from the bookshop, ordering a new carpet from Crystalo at the back of the town square, helping ourselves to a beer at Pacho’s (Yiannis was out and about somewhere and it’s a common practice) and chatting to Hugo, we went for a giros. You could call it the annual Symi Dream, Christmas lunch; two chicken pittas and a bowl of perfect chips.

Later

Later

Thanasis was around to taxi us up to Horio with the bags and boxes, and then it was an afternoon at home before popping out to do more shopping at the ‘American’ supermarket. We don’t often go that way as Sotiris is nearer and we’re lazy, so it’s a treat to take a good look around the recently re-vamped shop, or partly revamped. It has expanded over the years, been rearranged and now has three main sections. When you pass by you might think it’s only the downstairs that’s available, what you can see from the street, but go through and up, and it’s an Aladdin’s cave of a store. I found some Brasso – not for a Christmas Day tipple but for polishing the brass on my desk and trunk as I am also revamping in the New Year (my office, but more about that another day), and then home again to plan Sunday.

December 15th 2

Which is where I am now, with the sun coming up behind rain clouds. If you have been following the water business at our house, you might have picked up that we need a pump in our new tank, so we get more than a spit of hot water in the showers and sinks. I phoned Symi Property Services (you can find them on Facebook), and we’ve arranged to have our old pump removed from the sterna, checked (as it suddenly stopped working at the same time as we switched tanks) and, hopefully, have it put into the new tank, on Tuesday. All being well, we will be back to normal after that. Today, Sunday, I am sorting out the new Jumbo store (our house) and preparing it for Christmas, and then we’re up with the godboys and sporting out theirs, so I better go and get tinsled-up. More tomorrow.

Packed up for the winter

Packed up for the winter