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

Symi Books for Christmas

Symi Books for Christmas

It’s nearly that time of year again, less than three weeks, but there’s still time to order paperbacks for Christmas presents. Today is an unashamedly brash reminder of some of my titles that you can pick up on Kindle for yourself (and allow a certain amount of sharing), or on Kindle Unlimited for free (if you have that function) and in paperback. The full list of tiles is to the right as usual, but you may want to consider gifts for friends who you may make into Symi converts with some of these Symi books.

If you’ve not read them (and I am sure you have, but other may not have) then the best order to read them in is:

Symi 85600 book review

Symi 85600

Symi 85600

A collection of diary entries, emails and other bits and pieces that start a few days before we arrived to live on Symi and take us through the first five years of living here. 2002 to about 2007. It was also one of the first eBooks to be published under the, then, new self-publishing system.

Carry On Up The Kali Strata

A collection of articles I wrote for the much-missed The Symi Visitor newspaper. There are also a couple of short stories invented around Symi. This book kind of covers 2008 to 2012. Includes photos.

 Village View

This is one full year on Symi, 2013, and in made up of blog posts with photos from Neil.

Sumi Stuf & Nonsense _ebook - smallerSymi, Stuff & Nonsense

The latest book that covers living on Symi, other travel adventures of my youth and later years, from 1979 to 2017, plus other bits and pieces from this blog.

Proceeds from all of these books are still going to the Symi high school to help buy books and things needed following our recent flood.

Also for your Christmas shopping list, you might like to consider:

Jason and the Sargonauts

A comedy romp/treasure hunt that takes in some (real) Symi history (sponge diving and WWII) and some invented characters on an over-60s holiday set in the present day. ‘Dan Brown meets Whitehall farce,’ as one commentator described it.

2018 calendarSymi Dream Calendar 2018

This is another stunning calendar from Neil with 12 shots of Symi to keep that Greek sunshine in your house or office through the winter and beyond.

All books can be found via my Amazon author page here, and all reviews are more than welcome.

There. I’ll leave you now to read this and say ‘Yes, we know, we’ve already got these books, what else is going on over there on Symi?’ Well, the temperature has dropped overnight and is floundering around the seven degrees mark in a cold wind – it was 18 degrees yesterday (Tuesday), so it’s a bit of a shock, even though its expected at this time of year. Off to put on my thermals now. Happy Christmas Symi shopping!

IF

Symi, Stuff & Nonsense

Symi, Stuff & Nonsense

The week starts here, and the advertising starts here. Over the weekend I saw the proofs of the first few chapters of my latest book about living on Symi, travel tales and other bits and pieces. I have to say, it’s looking good. Where ‘Symi 85600’ is made up of emails, letters and written thoughts with a few sketches as illustrations, ‘Carry on up the Kalie Strata’ has photos and is mainly articles about Symi written for a newspaper. ‘Village View’ has a year’s worth of blog posts and some photos, and ‘Symi, Stuff & Nonsense’ is a collection of diary entries, some developed blog posts from the past, and pieces about travel written specifically for the book. It also has illustrations by cartoonist Clive Wakfer. I can’t show you any yet, and I have not had the cover designed, so the photos today are from my library.

Symi, Stuff & Nonsense

At the rate we are going, the book will be ready in the next couple of weeks, depending on how long the cover takes to create. My designer is usually pretty quick, but I can’t contact him until next week, so there is no release date as yet. It will definitely be in time for your Christmas shopping, however and will be in print and Kindle format.

Symi, Stuff & Nonsense

Regarding Symi, there are several pieces in the book that cover moving here in 2002, the refugee situation in 2015, some observations about Symi life, some of my blog posts, and it finishes with some events from this year, 2017. The other sections take us to Wales, Scotland, Egypt, Serbia, and parts of Europe. The nonsense sections will give you insights into collective nouns, the oldest words in the English language, how to behave on planes, and even how to access some free drainpipes. It’s a mixed bag, but I think you will enjoy it.

Symi, Stuff & Nonsense

As we head off into the week, you might like to make sure you’re up to date with the reading material (and I know many of you are) and perhaps share the following links with anyone you might intend buying this new book for – give them a ‘heads-up’ and get them to do the background reading before their surprise present arrives for Christmas; a first edition copy of ‘Symi, Stuff & Nonsense’, coming soon.

Ps. You can buy all three of these books together for £30.39 at the moment.

Symi 85600

Carry on up the Kali Strata

Village View

 

Not Friday the 13th

Not Friday the 13th

It feels like a Friday today. I know it is now, but when I was writing this yesterday, it felt like a Friday. This is/was because I’m heading down to Yialos later this morning to do the jobs we usually do on a Friday; post office, bank, etc. We’ll probably stop for lunch somewhere while we still can, like we often do on a Friday. After that, a wander back up the hill, or a taxi if there is post or shopping to carry, or the bus if we get the timing right and then… We shall see.

Symi Greece Simi

I am well into editing ‘Symi, Stuff & Nonsense’ and am on target to finish that today (Friday) so that I can start on my next project on Saturday and give it all my attention for the next two months up to deadline. It’s a film script, and that brings me onto ‘The 13th‘. That film, filmed on Symi as I am sure you know, was shown again last weekend to a goodly amount of audience. Many of the comments we’ve had back about the film, from the last to showings on Symi, are justly made and can be addressed here. The sound mixing was not balanced and the music was too loud. This was, apparently an issue with the copy sent for this screening and an issue which needs to be sorted out by QC. That’s quality control, and that’s a process which the company have not yet been able to afford to do. If/when they find a distributor (after the round of festivals has finished) then money will also need to be found to fix this, and other quality standard issues that may arise. It’s expensive and they don’t want to do it until they are sure of a distribution deal.

Symi Greece Simi

The second issue (sorry to sound American but ‘complaint’ is too strong a word for the feedback we’ve received) concerns some dark scenes. Again, this is a QC thing, but the version of the film is meant for larger screens with brighter projectors, or something. Watching it on a café wall is going to give you some lighting issues when the file is meant for a larger space. And then there is the thing about not understanding the story. All I can say to this is: Due to time limits there was not enough time to film some scenes, and the director then had to make the best of what they had, using some voice-overs to fill in a few gaps. I also say, ‘Yes, I agree with you,’ because it’s not actually my original story and the ninth draft of the film (the shooting script) had input from several other people, was affected by location and time and therefore, parts were improvised on the hoof, as they say.

Symi Greece Simi

But I will say, if having seen the film, you want to check out the original story, then you need to get a copy of ‘The Judas Inheritance,’ and you can do that in a moment.

The 13th filmAs usual, there is more in a novel than there is in a film (that’s to do with time and structure etc.) and there’s a fair amount of Symi history used in the book, tying in actual events and places on the island with the mystery and thrill of the story. Kindle and print copies can be found here.