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

Wellbeing (not) and doctors

Wellbeing (not) and doctors
Well, my ‘wellbeing’ kneeling chair has brought me anything but wellbeing. If I were able to get into where I bought it from (I bought it via someone else’s eBay account, long story) I would write the following note to potential buyers:

Wellbeing (not) and doctors

We know you’re there

“Don’t do it! This chair had brought me nothing but aches and pains in the four hours it has taken me to put it together, minus the two pieces that don’t actually fit the holes they were meant to and which won’t do up, no matter how hard I try. First of all, the instructions are badly drawn, so badly drawn that they don’t show you clearly which way round the cross pieces are meant to go. They also come delightfully free of any written instructions, and they are needed. For example: ‘This piece goes in through the cross part, but you need to put the bolt into the cross part first.’ Simple things like that. One of those bolts didn’t work, which didn’t help. And then the wheels which I put on yesterday. There is only one way they can go, and although it’s fine on the back bit, where they point down towards the floor as you would expect, they point forward on the front part, and so serve no useful purpose there at all. They don’t; wheel, they scratch, and they are also lower than the back part, so the chair tips you too far forward.” And so on.

Wellbeing (not) and doctors

The morning after the carnival before

Anyway, enough of that, but I do think the thing might end up sitting redundantly in one cover for the rest of its un-useful life. Meanwhile, I am getting on with some sunny days (a little rain overnight on Tuesday), and getting on with the day-to-day jobs at the house. Outside, the Blue Star came and went, there is an altered timetable for the Clean Monday weekend that’s coming up, and Symi Tours and the websites have the details. We are starting to take a more than a healthy interest in the boats now that we are planning our medical holiday to Rhodes.

Wellbeing (not) and doctors

Symi shopping

This is something that happens every year and has done for a few years now. Around March/April time we set up a series of tests with consultants and spend a couple of days going from cardiologist to Urologist, to whatever ‘ists’ lung doctors are, having X-rays and giving blood and being wired up. It’s all part of the ‘prevention is better than knowing who did it’ mentality I have towards my rather vague healthcare. Now that I have private insurance my wonderful lady from Rhodes organises it all for me. Neil has the same package, though at a lower price as he is younger, and she also organises his; he’s also in the Ika system, but although you can see Ika doctors for free, he pays something like €100.00 per year for his tests. (No waiting involved.) They would cost the same if we did it privately, but Zambika arranges everything and takes the pain out of making the arrangements. Last year she even met us in Rhodes and drove us around; a free taxi service courtesy of AXA.

Wellbeing (not) and doctors

Symi road improvemements

And that means I need to make contact with her and set the wheels in motion. Not the wheels on the new sit-up chair as they are beyond help, medical or otherwise, but soon we will take a few days off and stay in Rhodes, see the doctors, visit some bars and restaurants and combine our probing and prodding with some eating and walking, sightseeing and general holiday fun. And, of course, we need to know the boat schedules to make sure we can get there and back while staying only a few nights. Looks like Wednesday to Friday might be the way, but we wanted to go on my birthday which falls inconveniently on a Sunday this year. We could go on the Saturday, but then wouldn’t be able to see doctors until Monday and there would be no boat until the Wednesday, so that would be four nights away rather than two. Anyway, enough of this nonsense, I am off to make kindling out of my chair.

A brilliant piece of design work. Add yes, all the pieces are in the correct and only place they can go.

A brilliant piece of design work. Add yes, all the pieces are in the correct and only place they can go.

And off to Pedi

And off to Pedi
Straight after lunch on Monday, before I had a chance to get comfortable in the ass-groove on the sofa, we set off for another short walk. This one was down the Pedi road, turning off behind what used to be Blooms, near the Aletheni, and following that easy path to the back of Pedi. You come out by the football pitch, turn right and then left next to the new church, and follow the path through what I call the cyclamen meadow. Not all of them are out yet, but other flowers are appearing and some cyclamen, and there’s also blossom on the trees.

And off to Pedi

Chaffinch, apparently

I managed to get a blurred photo of a chaffinch on the path ahead – I was walking towards it on zoom, and he was walking away, so it was a bit hit and miss. While being watched by sheep and their lambs, we also saw a blackbird. There were a few other varieties of feathered things about, but all too fast and secretive for me to catch any more on camera. Apart from the chickens that were penned in with some oranges.

And off to Pedi

Chicken in orange sauce?

It’s a nice, rural walk, though not a long one, which was lucky as I’d still not recovered from the longer walk on Sunday. The old leg muscles were aching a bit as I am out of walking condition, thanks to winter weather and dedicated laziness on my part. The sun was out, though – I didn’t need to take my coat which Neil kindly carried for me as I was still saying ‘Ow’ and ‘Ooh’ thanks to my dodgy back and aching legs. Pedi itself was quiet and nearly deserted, but the taverna was working on its preparations for Summer, and the kiosk was open, as usual. Back up the road via the corner shop and home and it took us about 80 minutes.

And off to Pedi

It’s like being back on the Romney Marshes

I have to leave the walk there (which is what I did anyway, the ass-groove was calling) because Neil had just had the results from his Ancestry DNA test-cum-Christmas present. Turns out he is 32% Irish, the biggest slice of his pie chart, followed by the to-be-expected areas of West Europe and the yUK (Anglo-Saxon), Scandinavia (Vikings) and North East Russia (not sure, Vikings too?). But he also has elements of the Middle East, Caucus, South Asia (still not sure where that is exactly, though on the sites I looked at, it was more Middle East than anything else), and the Iberian Peninsula. Looks like, somewhere in the distant past, some of his ancestors were traders from the Middle East or possibly even refugees from Syria, or whatever it was called there. (I am speculating here; his map does look like a trade route, though.) He also has 5% Greek in him and don’t read anything into that. So, he’s excited and now has a better, though not accurate, idea of why he is often mistaken for being Mediterranean due to his swarthy looks. I also have to go now as we’ve just had a power cut. It looks like I will have to load his up later when the internet comes back on. Oh, it just did as I was spell checking the above.

And off to Pedi

Pedi valley in February

Walk to Nimborio

Walk to Nimborio

I finally dragged myself out of the house on Sunday, and we went for a walk. It was a bright, sunny day, though the cloud built up later and it was cold in the shade. Mind you, after trekking down the Kataraktis, at the back of Horio, through the back of the harbour, up to slope to St George and Nimborio, down to Nimborio itself, back along the road and into Yialos, I was soon rather warm.

Walk to Nimborio

Heading down the path

We had arranged to see some friends off, the first of the year’s regular visitors come early for a birthday surprise. A couple of bears at Roloi café is the perfect way to wait for a boat. Unless you don’t like beer, in which case it’s probably not, though they have all sorts of other things there for you, including very friendly service. It’s interesting to be there early, about two hours before the boat in this case, and watch the café start to fill up as people wander down from where they have been and start to wait. It was quite a busy boat as I believe, there was a sports match on, and a visiting team was heading back to Rhodes.

Walk to Nimborio

New railings (well, new to me)

There was also a fundraiser for the organisation that is raising funds to send one of our football teams to a European competition later in the year. That was held at the new sports centre in the evening, by which time I was home and moving around very slowly making noises along the lines of ‘Ow,’ and ‘Ooh,’ every time I lifted a leg. I’d not been over to Nimborio for some time, and it was good to see the improvements in the road, with new paving down in several places. There are new handrails by some of the longer drops off the road to the rocks as well; handy and more secure. The old boat wreck is still against the shore at ‘Red Rock’, and the walk and views are just as stunning as they always are.

Walk to Nimborio

The wreck at Red Rock

Monday morning was spent tackling the German layout keyboard and seeing how I got on with the kneeling chair. Sadly, neither of them have worked out very well. The chair hurts my shins after an hour or so and is not quite the right height, and the keyboard drove me mad with its symbols all in the wrong places. So, I ditched that, went back to good old faithful and clunky keyboard and I am now back on the piano stool. I might try adjusting to the chair bit by bit as the week goes on.

Walk to Nimborio

Waving godbye

One final thought: you might remember I mentioned the ‘The 13th‘ (the film made on Symi in 2013) has been put forward to the London Greek Film Festival for later this year. You can check the trailer out here and give it a view and a like. The more it gets, the more interest there will be. You can also share that link around on your Facebook and Twitter accounts and other such things if you want to help. There will be more news on the festival in the months to come including a Kickstart backers update when there is more specific news.