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 bit personal

A bit personal

I wanted to share a couple of pieces of personal news with you today (and some photos from Rhodes last week). I am now officially retired – which makes me feel very old, although I am not. I had a private, company pension running when I was 100 years younger and now that I am over a certain age, I am able to do things with it. That’s what I’ve done, and yesterday, they started to pay me. It’s not a lot, but it does mean I can relax a little and spend more time on my books – sorry about that, but there will be more novels from me over the next few years, I hope.

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On which note… ‘The Eastling’ has started off well and has received a glowing review. (Thank you, Joan.)

“Brilliant. A great read from start to finish. I wanted to know how it ended but didn’t want to finish it. This is not my usual genre of books I read but like the other two in the series couldn’t have enjoyed it more. Congratulations James on another superb book. Thank you.

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No, thank you! And thanks also to anyone who has bought or downloaded a copy, or read it through Kindle Unlimited where it is available for ‘free’ – i.e. included in your KU package at no extra cost. The more reviews the better, as I am always saying, and here’s the link to the book if you want more details. The Eastling – James Collins.

eastling full blog

From there you can find my author page for Symi books and the rest, with links to each publication. I advise that you read ‘The Saddling’ first, and then ‘The Witchling’ if this, my only series, is new to you. That’s my news and begging letter (more reviews, more sales please). Oh, the other personal news is that thanks to the five long walks per week (only three miles but when half is uphill it feels longer), I’ve dropped nearly ten pounds and am aiming to get rid of another six by Christmas, so I can put it back on again during the festivities.

October Rhodes 03

Warm, Quiet, Calm

Warm, Quiet, Calm

We’re still enjoying warm weather over here. I was at the Rainbow Bar on Sunday night, outside watching the world go by – as you can see, it was very quiet. Actually, there were quite a few guys in the bar behind me watching the football and basketball, and more people inside next door. The taverna is open and stays open all through the winter, and it’s a good place for when you can’t be bothered to cook. Mind you, it’s also the only place in the village to eat out at this time of year, everywhere else is shut apart from the bars in the square, The Sunrise, Secret Garden and Ringo’s. We’re a five-bar village.

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I took my usual walk yesterday, up to the monastery and back while trying not to sing along with the soundtrack of Hair. This walking lark is much easier with music playing. I never thought I’d get into that plugged-in state while out and about, but I like it now. I imagine how I would stage the concert version of what I’m listening to or the stage version, and before I know it, I’ve reached my destination, I’m not out of breath, nothing hurts and I’ve been walking in time to the music, varying my pace. I don’t have it on very loud so that I can hear if any cars are coming, so don’t be worried.

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Finally, as you can see, the chilli plant isn’t doing so well. No chillies this year and it’s been in the same state for the last three months. It’s been fed and watered and is in the same place as last year, so maybe it’s just having a holiday.

nov 41

Hello Monday

Hello Monday

After a weekend that saw baptisms, sunshine and calm seas, what lies in store this week? Well, the festival of Panormitis takes place, and already there are visitors on the island, with many staying at pre-booked cells at the monastery, others staying with families and no doubt, more at some hotels. Some people will walk the length of the island to attend on certain days, as we did a few years ago. Others will arrive by boat from Rhodes and approach the chapel on their knees as pilgrims bringing new brooms to sweep away the old. Votive offerings will be made, services held, there will be a market and stalls, including some run by teenagers who use this time to raise money for their schools.

One way of travelling to Panormitis.

One way of travelling to Panormitis.

The Dodekanisos boats are going to and from Panormitis rather than Yialos for the next several days, which means if you need to travel, apart from a few crossings, your journey has to start from the other end of the island. As for me, I will be taking the Blue Star on Friday morning, going to Rhodes for the weekend and coming back on Monday. More shopping? Maybe. More writing? Definitely. Well, more planning and plotting and a couple of appointments and yes, perhaps some more shopping.

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As you might have seen on our Facebook page, a submarine paid a visit the other day. Apparently, it’s always out there on patrol and only surfaces occasionally at Symi. Nothing to be alarmed about.

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