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

Monday morning

Monday morning

Monday. Neil has just set off to Yialos for a few things, heading out into the drizzle that’s slowly adding to the water in the sterna. The Dodecanese Express has just come in, and Nimos is shaded grey by the gentle rain. It’s very quiet up here, apart from the trickle of water into the sterna, and the distant rattle of a dill that’s digging up a lane towards Ag. Haritomeni.

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The sound is now joined by the washing machine. I discovered a pair of shoes (made from a kind of suede substitute material, I suppose you could call in pseudo suede) that were starting to grow mould, so I thought I should wash them. I should point out that the mould was on the outside, nothing to do with my feet but all to do with the damp conditions we get on the island in the winter. Leaving them in the shower room for three months probably didn’t help.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

So, as the washing machine tap-dances on and I wonder how wet Neil is down there, I turn my attention back to the day-to-day which, today, is about writing. Tomorrow we have another practice for the carols and songs on Friday – 5pm, Lefteris’ kafeneion in Horio square – and a dinner out, so there’s lots to look forward to (for me) as I leave you with these three photos taken yesterday (Monday).

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning

As it’s a bit of a grey day outside today (Sunday), I thought I’d put up random Symi photos with colour. Actually, one of them is from Cyprus, but… Whatever.

It’s Sunday morning, and I’m going Christmas shopping. Online. I have some things to order for people which should arrive in time for next weekend, mainly Symi Dream calendars to be delivered to Australia, England and even Dungeness. Because they are printed locally (i.e. the UK or Ireland rather than America, and actually in Australia) they usually arrive after a couple of days of the order. After that, I am getting back to writing as it’s a Sunday.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Friday evening was fabulous, with the godboys and their mum here for dinner. Neil made as a roast, Harry entertained us with his wit, Sam contributed to discussions with his dry humour and was much more grown up about things than the adults, and he and mum had made the pudding as well. Jenine has a dislocated finger, so the boys are chipping in with housework and chores. We were going to watch a film after dinner but with The Family around the kitchen table chatting and having fun, time just slipped away.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Neil’s been up, and down the Kali Strata and elsewhere collecting deliveries, the Blue Star came in late following a general strike at some point along the way (not just by the boat), the weather has turned slightly cloudy and that harbour, as seen from up here, is a-glitter with festive lights.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

I’m pleased to add that the sales of the new ‘Symi, Stuff & Nonsense’ have been going well and raising some money for the school. I’ll have a proper update after Christmas when the ‘offer’ (buy a Symi book and contribute to the school books fund) expires.

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Symi Saturday Photos

Symi Saturday Photos

I’ve delved into my ‘old’ folder for photos today as I found some from this time last year. They’re not very exciting, as you can see. Symi can be a quiet place in the winter, with people staying indoors out of the weather (which is currently as warm as a British June), or going away to visit family for Christmas, or going away to work a second job. It’s busier at certain times.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

For example, after a music practice yesterday, we sat at Lefteris’ Kafeneion for a beer on the way home, making the most of the sunshine. This was around the time school was finishing for the day, midday, one o’clock, that kind of time. The schoolchildren come past at that time of day, parents pass as they go to collect them, the teenagers hurry past in groups on their way to their Xbox games, homework and private lessons as a lot of children have to take private lessons to secure them through the exams. What’s nice about this time of day is the way you are greeted and said hello to, in a polite and pleasant way. The rush dies down and, apart from the stalwart footballers in the square, things soon quieten down.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Not sure what the point of that was, and it has nothing to do with the photos, which are all bit bland if you ask me, but it might give you a small idea of what December is like over here. And, talking of politeness… We were at home during the week, as we are most of the time, when someone started work on the apartment below us, Some kind of building work was going on that involved a pretty hefty drill going into the walls. I think the landlord was having an aircon unit installed. We were going about our usual business when the doorbell rang, and a man stood there. He greeted Neil, who answered the door, and Neil replied in Greek. The chap then spoke English, saying, ‘Sorry, I didn’t realise anyone lived upstairs. Am I being noisy?’ Neil said, ‘Yes, but it’s okay.’ The workman was very apologetic and said he wouldn’t be long. He’d known we were upstairs because he’d heard our footsteps overhead – our floorboards are also the downstairs ceiling. How he’d heard us walking about over the sound of the drill is anyone’s guess, but still, a very decent thing to do, I thought. Seems like the work has stopped now and we’re left with only the sound of the drill that’s breaking up the stone or path one tier up from us. Not intrusive for us (you get used to hearing building work around the island, there’s always something going on), I’m just glad we don’t live in the house directly next to where the drill is being used, it’s been going on for days.

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Anyway, more ramble than you usually get on a Saturday. I’m off for the weekend now, so you have a good one and remember, it’s not too late for Symi books and calendars to be delivered in time for next weekend. Wink, wink. The links are in the righthand column.

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Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

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