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

A day and a thank you

A day and a thank you

A walk up the donkey path, fun at the bar and a concert in the square, those were the highlights of yesterday, though I didn’t attend the concert as it started after I’d gone to bed. Today, up at four, work on the book, another stroll this afternoon and then who knows. The air is noticeably cooler this morning, and we are expecting bad weather later in the week. The forecast keeps changing, and it varies from site to site depending on which one you use. I reckon, and I may be wrong, that the forecasts for Symi are never 100% accurate because, as far as I know, we don’t have a weather station here and the forecast comes from either Rhodes airport or somewhere closer in Turkey.

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What was also very special about yesterday was having one of my readers (of this blog and my books) sit and chat with me. It’s not just the compliments, but the fact that people take the time and trouble to stop and chat and tell me that the blog is appreciated and the books are good to read. Makes it all worthwhile. It’s not the first time it’s happened, and you know who you are so a big thank you to everyone who has commented on the blog, in person and virtually – it reminds me why I post something almost every day.

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Walking

Walking

Good morning (afternoon/evening) and welcome to the last week of September. Already? Aye, that’s how time goes. And the time is 5.00 on Sunday morning as I’m up early as usual. I seem to have fallen into a pattern of early mornings since… June I think. I much prefer this time of day. I like to make an early start and have my jobs done by mid-morning, leaving me the rest of the day to myself. Recently, that rest of the day has involved a walk in the afternoon, though I took Saturday off and am not yet sure if I will go for a stroll later today.

Early morning up here, late night down there. (Photo taken on my phone.)

Early morning up here, late night down there. (Photo taken on my phone.)

A few years ago, we were in the habit of rising early and going straight out for a walk which, after a month or so, developed into a jog/walk and then into a run. I’m not sure my knees will cope with running up and down hills these days, but I might give it a go in a few weeks and see how I get on – at least my knees are insured now. (My private health insurance didn’t cover knees for the first three years of my policy but now I am in year four, everything is covered.) One of my favourite walks is up to ‘To Vrisi’ (Lit., ‘the tap’) the monastery of Zoodohou Pigis Vrisi where there is a natural spring from which you can fill up your water bottle. From our house off the village square and back, depending on the route, this is roughly three miles, half uphill and half down. I have to admit, the uphill part can be a bit of a slog, but once your calf muscles stop burning, it’s pleasant. Running back down is like being twelve again – banking on the camber of the corners, jumping over goat poo, feeling the wind rush past, and you’re hardly making an effort as gravity does most of the work for you. Just watch out for the knees.

Up in the hills.

Up in the hills.

Last week I put some music on my phone and plugged myself in. I’ve not done this before, not even when I was in my early 30s and used to run from Hackney to Islington and back before work, along the side of the canal. (I sound very sporty today. I’m not.) I loaded up a selection of music that I happened to have in Mp3 format on my laptop, put it on shuffle and off I went – not too loud so that I could still hear approaching cars, bikes, mules, goats etc. One moment I was wandering the top road on the way back from Roukouniotis listening to The Bombay Dub Orchestra, sublime, ethereal, Indian and composed by my best mate from school, and the next we had The Weather Girls and ‘It’s Raining Men’, left over from last year’s wedding. A bit of a jolt. What I did find, though, was that the music took my mind off the calf muscles as I trudged uphill trying to keep in time.

Sunrise from the roof.

Sunrise from the roof.

Anyway… That was a bit of an early morning ramble in more than one sense, and now I must get on with the rest of the day. I’ve had a cup of tea on the balcony listening to the party going on down in the harbour, and there’s a second draft of ‘The Eastling’ waiting for me to tidy it up, so, it’s back to the book and on with the week.

Meanwhile in Yialos

Meanwhile in Yialos

My holiday day earlier this month.

My holiday day earlier this month.

Symi Saturday Photos

Symi Saturday Photos

It’s been a week of walking for me, well, an hour a day in the afternoon, up into the hills or up the road. Some of today’s Symi Saturday Photos are from those walks. The island looks very barren at this time of year, but soon, when the rain starts again, there will be more green to see. There are, however, still some interesting sights to be enjoyed if you look around, such as…

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Someone order a fridge-freezer?

Someone order a fridge-freezer?

Neighbours in the hood

Neighbours in the hood

One of our more detailed road signs

One of our more detailed road signs

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Opening hours for the butcher in Horio.

Opening hours for the butcher in Horio.

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