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

Upper Horio

Upper Horio

I took some shots while walking through the village on New Year’s Day on our way to lunch in upper Horio. I don’t know if that’s its official name, but that’s’ what we tend to call it around here. It’s been a while since I’ve walked through the lanes after the rain, and as it turned out, through them in the rain, late at night, and you get a very different atmosphere up there in the winter than you do in the summer.

January 02 10

The rain leaves the paintwork looking fresher, and the stones smell damper than usual. You do have to watch out for slippery fallen fig leaves at this time of year, and they’ve not slipped off naked statues or anything, simply off the trees, and there are many wild fig trees around. At other times of the year, the paths are blackened and sticky with fallen fruit. At this time of year, it’s a case of being careful where you tread so as not to catch a large leaf on the edge of a step, go arni over titlos and injure yourself. (Arni is lamb, and titlos is title, but you can see what I was trying to do.) Luckily, we didn’t title our lamb and ended up at our destination safely. We managed to reach home without mishap, though I did get stuck in a lane when my umbrella caught on the walls either side; these lanes were not made for umbrellas, and many are narrow because of lack of space to build and also as a security measure, apparently, to make it more difficult for invaders to get from A to C while bashing the B out of people they met along the way.

January 02 7

Advice for exploring the village after dark is always to take a torch and, if you get lost, head downhill as you will eventually come to the sea and know where you are. Okay, so you may go the wrong way and end up in the wrong place, but on the way, you’ll find a landmark or view you recognise. Seriously, it’s fascinating, just walking around the lanes and ruins, houses and squares; just watch out for slippery fig leaves.

January 02 9

Thank you

Thank you

Just to say, thank you for all the Happy New Year and seasonal messages, shares, likes and all that, here and on our Facebook page. I’m dropping in a couple of photos taken over the last couple of days to keeps us going. It’s Wednesday morning, the ferry has just come and gone, it’s still raining a little, but not as cold as it has been, and I am dragging myself back to the desk to do some work. I’ll be more in tune with blogging tomorrow.

Yialos, NYE.

Yialos, NYE.

Carol singing on New Year's Eve where children come to shops and houses singing to raise money for their church or organisation.

Carol singing on New Year’s Eve where children come to shops and houses singing to raise money for their church or organisation.

But blurred but... In the case of the football team, the singing is supplied by a portable cassette player...

But blurred but… In the case of the football team, the singing is supplied by a portable cassette player…

While the older members of the team wait outside.

While the older members of the team wait outside.

Amazon deliver broccoli now?

Amazon deliver broccoli now?

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Hello, and a happy New Year to you. I’m back after my Christmas Week off and looking forward to the year ahead. I’m not one of those blogs that spends an entire two weeks looking back over what happened last year, although I think I did that the other day, so instead, let’s have a catch-up.

December, Symi

December, Symi

I’ve been very quiet over the last week, staying at home, having great times with the godboys and their mum, writing when not sitting on the sofa eating Quality Street or checking out the gifts I was given on Christmas Day. We’ve also been busy revamping our offices. Mine is getting there, I am waiting for the new computer desk and chair, and a cabinet and then, all I need to do if find decent curtains and perhaps a new light fitting and I can reveal it. Neil is also sorting out his room which is currently a bit bare and finding him a proper desk, and perhaps some carpet is next on the agenda. I ordered a tailor-made piece of carpet for my room from Christalo towards the back of the town square, and it arrived a few days later from Athens. Because it’s a bit plush (for me) I feel I can now call my office a study. I just need a slowly ticking clock, a drinks cabinet and some very worthy leather-back books on shelves and the fantasy will be complete.

December 30th_1

I know you want a weather update, but there’s not a lot to update you with. Temperatures have been down to eight degrees inside and out, the little meter wheel is whizzing around when all three heaters are on, and I daren’t look when I also have the oven and kettle going, but we manage to stay warm enough, sometimes under blankets on the sofa. I do find I’m up and at my desk before it gets light and it’s often a surprise to emerge from the ‘study’ to find it’s daylight, sunny and almost warm in the sun. The shutters are closed, you see, to help keep the heat in. Today photos were taken the other morning, the first time I’d been on the balcony since before Christmas.

December 30th_3

And as for the year ahead… Well, no trips are planned apart from our annual health-check MOT in Rhodes in March or April and a visit to Scotland for our son’s wedding in November. If I can, I will go to Tilos or somewhere equally as peaceful for a week to do my writing retreat, and I am spending a couple of days in Athens with mother in September when she is on her way to Symi. (Note: must check out the hotels in the village for prices before long.) We have, though, put down a deposit on a trip for early 2020 when we will be taking a train trip – you know how I am with train journeys. This one will be to Vancouver, via London. The train actually starts in Toronto, but we will fit in a couple of days either side in the yUK (if we are allowed in, being displaced migrants from that country with no rights to vote in it and so on, but let’s not get into all that so early in the year). Which means, plenty to look forward to, including the falling apart of the yUK, and that’s without the friends and family who will be returning for their Symi holidays and trips in the summer.