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



Here are some photos courtesy of Neil when he was out walking.

As you can see, there’s some cloud about, but we’re still experiencing warm days, shorts weather and calm seas, though there’s a storm predicted for this week.

Wave back.

Wave back.

I’ve just finished the second draft of a new book and am doing my best to leave it alone for a week before returning to it afresh. I usually manage to last a day or two before giving in, but we’ll see how I get on.

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We’re due a power cut today, a planned one, so it’s going to be a morning of reading and perhaps finally putting that washing away… I may take up my model of the Invisible Man again, dust off the pieces and carry on painting, or I may actually venture out for a walk. I get so much more done when I don’t have power and can’t write except for the life of my laptop battery. Oh, I just remembered I’ve got two laptops, so that’s about eight hours. The power cut’s only due to last for six, so I may be okay after all.

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Right, ramble over, I really must go and sort the laundry…




Philoxenia in British English (ˌfɪləˈziːnɪə) noun: an act of hospitableness and welcome. The ancient tradition of hospitality, or ‘philoxenia’.
[Collins dictionary. (No relation.)]

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I can remember the days when there used to be a queue for Georgio’s taverna, and people sat on the steps behind the two bars because all the tables were taken. Obviously, it’s not been like that this year, and it wouldn’t be at this time of year anyway. We’ve had (mainly) wonderful weather for October, I was back in shorts at the weekend, and there’s no sense of the season coming to an end. Mind you, there wasn’t much of a sense of it starting either, but the island’s making do with what custom it has. A few of us, have been going to the George & Maria taverna over the past few months, and one local resident in particular has taken several groups of friends there.

On Friday, Noufris, who has the taverna, invited a group of us to dine because he wanted to say thank you, which was unnecessary, and said there would be music which he would pay for, which was kind. Not only was it a lovely meal, it was also a lovely gesture, made even more touching when we arrived and he told us to have whatever we wanted because it was on him.

The music was provided by the incredibly talented Eleni on the doumbek (or darbuka, a goblet-shaped drum), Pavlos on guitar and Gabriel on wine jugs, glasses and an ashtray. All three sang for the other customers and us, a selection of Greek folk and other songs. I think Neil has put a video on the Symi Dream Facebook page, and my photos aren’t fantastic, but my memory of the evening is.

I just wanted to point up the generosity and kindness islanders show to us immigrants and visitors, kindness which extended to being bought a nightcap at Rainbow afterwards, as if Noufris and his team hadn’t done enough already. Of course, Neil being Neil, dressed for the occasion and his steampunk goggles were something of a smash hit. Here are some photos.

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Friday Photos

Friday Photos

You might be able to tell from some of these photos that the weather is changing. We had rain and thunder on Wednesday night, and it was still rolling around early on Thursday morning, but not directly overhead. It reminded me to paint the flat roof over the bathroom, find the old towels and the drapes to keep the wind from under the balcony doors, and plug in the DVD machine for those time we have to unplug the internet, just in case. We’ve already got the candles handy in case of blackouts. The other photos might remind you of the flipside and how warm and sunny it usually is here on Symi.

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