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



I’m having one of those days where I slept so well I woke up tired if that makes sense. Mind you, I’m not planning to do much as it’s blowing a gale outside and the forecast is for high winds and heavy rain all day. This is Wednesday, and currently, there’s a lull, but the sky is still very dark. I can’t post any photos of the view because the shutters are closed, but below are a couple of shots taken on Tuesday when it wasn’t so cloudy. After preparing this post, I have some editing to do and then, I think, the sofa will beckon for an afternoon of laziness and TV watching. Another afternoon, I should say, it’s became something of a habit, but when the weather is cold and wet, and the roof is rattling, it just feels like the right thing to do. In my defence, I do get up at 4.30 and work through until midday, so anything after that feels like evening.

January 26th_2

There is some good news for us at least. We now have appointments booked to take our paperwork and proof to the office in Rhodes to exchange our residency cards for the new biometric ones. (Thanks to Jenine for organising us.) We have to wait until the end of April to go, not because of restrictions, but because that was the nearest appointment time. I’m still not sure how we get permission to go if the current lockdown is still in progress, but apparently, we can. If you are still wondering how to change your card, beige or blue, my advice is to phone the Rhodes office and ask them. The number is 22410 27612, and you can call between 13.00 and 14.00, Monday to Friday. English is spoken.

January 26th_1

In other good news, for us, I see that one business UK per day has been calling an agent in the Netherlands seeking storage or distribution locations. The idea is to avoid these new charges, VAT and other things when delivering to the EU. These UK companies are setting up EU based locations to distribute from, so we, the customers, don’t have to pay extra charged the oven-ready Brexit deal has landed on us. That will save us the hassle of worrying about extra charges when receiving gifts (over a certain value, I think) or ordering things online we can only get from the UK. Shame that it will take jobs and business away from the sovereignty-restored UK, but there you go.

January 16th_06

And on with my day. Neil has just invaded my office with the vacuum cleaner (not complaining), so I must get up and move around for a while.

New Grocer’s, Models and Drips

New Grocer’s, Models and Drips

A bit of a mashup today. A couple of photos from the top of the village taken on a walk the other morning when it was sunny, a shot of the models I have been making over the winter so far, and a photo of what was, for many years, the Jean & Tonic bar. It’s now a greengrocer (well, a pantopoleio, an ‘everything shop’ or village store.)

January 25th_7

We called in the other day on the way back from buying a cap for the unused washing machine water-feed tap, thing that’s dripping in the bathroom. (A great adventure in the DOI shop that came to nothing because I bought the wrong size.) Zouroudi’s is situated along the main village lane where the J&T used to be. It has vegetables and fruit in the outside and courtyard area, and a selection of other groceries inside, with some new (to me) and unusual sauces and other products. We’ve only been once so far as it’s not long been able to open, but we intend to return, and the produce we found was fresh and plentiful. It’s good to have another shop in the village, more choice of where to go for certain things, and it is keeping to the regulations about distancing, masks and hand-wash etc.

January 25th_8

As for the modelling, that’s two I have completed this winter so far, and I have a Wolfman on the kitchen table ready to go when I am next in the mood. I am still waiting for another Phantom from the USA. I ordered this in November, and it left Miami on December 22nd and is currently on the way… somewhere. I usually expect to wait up to three months for deliveries from America, so I am not worried. However, I ordered a sweatshirt as a Christmas present from a company that I believe is based in Europe – Belgium, I think – and this has still not arrived despite being ordered in the first couple of days of December. I wrote to ask them what postal service they used, so I could ask around in case it’s here but with part of the label missing or something, and the company wrote back ready to fall on their own sword. They sent a very sweet email apologising for the delay, but not actually answering the question, and have refunded the payment. Not what I asked for, and now I hope it doesn’t turn up as I shall feel guilty, but it’s been nearly nine weeks now, and I can only assume it has got lost en route. Ah well.

January 25th_6

And to finish the bathroom water-feed/tap thing story… I purchased a very robust, brass ‘cap’ that I thought was the right size to seal the thing and stop the drip, took it home and found it was too small. So, on Monday, after my walk, I called into the DIY shop again and bought two more ‘caps’ of varying sizes only to discover a) one was the same size as the first, and the other was too large, and b) the threads on these caps were on the outside, not the inside, so they wouldn’t work even if they were the right size. I tell you, me and DIY don’t mix. Back to the gaffer tape while I think of what else I can use to stop the drip without replacing the tap. Can you imagine if I tried to do that! I am thinking a hosepipe might do it. A bit drastic, but all I have to hand. I will keep you informed of critical developments.

January 25th_2

Meanwhile, this time last year…

Meanwhile, this time last year…

Well, almost this time last year. I was wondering what to blather about today, and I thought I’d have a look at my old folder of photos taken in 2020.

In order, between December 2019 and June 2020, these are a few shots from Symi through that year. They include:

A night at Rainbow (not been able to do that since last November), and heavy hail in the early months that scarred the plants. Cold clear days in January and February, but still time and suitable weather for the occasional afternoon glass of wine outside in the afternoon.

There were flowers in March and will be again soon, we had 18 degrees in April (we have already had this in January), the weather was warm in May, and the plants flowered right through to June where the following collection runs out. For now. I will no doubt do this again when I can’t think of anything else to talk, moan, mumble about in days to come.

Christmas 2019_19

A night at Rainbow

Neil gosling Symi_05

Heavy hail in the early months Neil gosling Symi_14

Cold clear days in January and February Feb 11th_24

Still time and suitable weather…Feb 11th_34 April 10_06

Flowers in March April 9th_3

18 degrees in April May 1st_38

The plants flowered right through to June June 14th_4