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

Anti-inflammables

Anti-inflammables

The island falls quieter still as visitors leave and only a few arrive for the end of the season, but the weather is holding. Today’s photos come from a trip to Yialos on Wednesday for the usual things, post office, bank, collect a courier delivery, pharmacy… Actually, I was very impressed with the pharmacy – as I always am with both of them. I was after some anti-inflammatories for a shoulder injury, or ‘anti-inflammables’ as Neil calls them, but the pharmacist told me that I shouldn’t take them because I also take something to slow my heart rate and the anti-inflams can cause high blood pressure. The thing is, I didn’t need to offer the BP tablet info, she already knew I take them. I know I always buy them from there but only once per month and with all the other customers they have… I wish my memory was that good.

Oct 11 15

Meanwhile, back in the village yesterday… After work I went for a walk, it was around 7.30, up to the monastery and back again, took a few photos and came home just in time to meet our landlord and the electrician who needed to check our fuses as there was a problem with the power downstairs. I knew this; I’d turned it off ages ago. There’s no-one living down there (luckily, as they’d have a noisy time with us walking about overhead, the TV and so on – it’s not that we’re noisy, but it’s very thin floor/ceiling), but after an air con unit was put in and it rained, our electrics kept blowing. The only thing that stopped it was flicking a switch on the fuse box that didn’t work any of our lights or sockets. It must have operated downstairs. So, that was sorted out, or not as it’s going to be fixed ‘avrio’, but as it makes no never mind to us up here, I’m not worried.

Oct 11 12

And that’s my chat/news for today.

Oct 11 2

A few random shots

A few random shots

Wednesday: up early as usual, a cup of tea on the balcony (it’s still just about warm enough at that time of day), watching the Blue Star come and go in the dark, some work, taking water into the sterna to top up, heading to Yialos later to collect a delivery, check the post, get some money and then a walk back up the road, sweep the courtyard, do the shopping. After that, the rest of the working day will be spent at the desk.

I was going through my folder of photos from the past year or so, trying to decide what else to tell you about today, and, as I couldn’t think of anything much to talk about, I thought I’d put up some older photos instead, May to July. Recently, my images have been mainly from my walks in the afternoon, or sometimes the morning so these might make a change.

A neighbour

A neighbour

Summer

Summer

Dusk

Dusk

April

April

Spring

Spring

Symi Shrimp Story

Symi Shrimp Story

Lights across the harbour reflecting in the water, the clank of wires against masts, the background chatter of content diners and a very pleasant meal out at Pantelis restaurant – that was Monday night. Not being much of one for fish and definitely not for shellfish, I opted for pork medallions in Roquefort cheese. Perfect. We were even able to hail Konstantinos and his taxi to take us back to the village afterwards.

oct 8 2_1

The shellfish thing is a bit of a story, but before I tell it, I should point out that the taverna in question is no longer in existence, and I shan’t mention its name either. In 1996, I came to Symi for two weeks thanks to an overpaid mortgage insurance and a bargain with some now-defunct holiday company I can’t remember the same of. I stayed up at Lavinia, and all the details are in one of my books, but I can’t remember which one right now. One evening, I went for dinner at X Taverna and decided I ought to try the Symi shrimps. When I was little, and we lived by the sea at Littlestone, we’d go out with shrimp nets, catch shrimps and take them home for mother to deal with. We also had cockle and whelk sellers with trays and stalls along the seafront. I had no trouble with seafood back then. (Littlestone was clinging on to its former glory as an Edwardian seaside resort, but its fingers were slipping from the edge of the cliff. It’s the setting for Middlestone in my novel, ‘Remotely’.)

oct 8 1

Dinner done, back to my apartment and later, off to bed – not late and without being wobbly on my legs, I should add. I woke up around three in the morning feeling a little unwell, and by the time I reached the bathroom, I was very unwell. I didn’t even have time to turn the light on so, when I finally crawled out, I was unnerved to find great red welts all over me, and I was sweating. Rehydrate was my first thought and I drank two litres of water and two Fanta lemons I happened to have in the fridge. Heading back to bed, I told myself I’d visit a doctor in the morning if the problem persisted, there was nothing I could do right then.

oct 8 3_1

I woke up at half-seven to find myself free of blemishes, quite settled down below and feeling on top of the world, as if I’d been purged, which I reckon I had. All the same, I now can’t stand even the smell of shrimps which is why I tend to avoid the Symi shrimp festival. Thanks to an unfortunate incident with two oysters in Selfridges and a Dublin Bay prawn in Dublin, I now avoid anything in shells and don’t like the sea-taste of most fish. There you are, now you know. But… Everything coming out of Pantelis’ restaurant looked superb, and it’s highly recommended for seafood, and I can vouch for the meat dishes.

oct 8 1_1