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

Friday morning

Friday morning

Friday morning to-do list: Admin and emails, turn on mains water to fill tank, do some work, sort out laundry room, shopping, washing, have a shower, tidy study, turn off water, make lunch, get some book written. Saturday and Sunday are pretty much the same, but without all the annoying necessities, so the list just reads, ‘get a book written’, and around it all it says, ‘stay warm and dry.’

Photo from the roof yesterday before the second storm

Photo from the roof yesterday before the second storm

We’ve had our fair share of rain over the last couple of days as two storm fronts passed over. At least it warms the air slightly, but when the cloud goes, we’re back down to nine degrees (in the bathroom), with clear air so you can see across the tops of the Turkish mountains which are, apparently, many miles away – not sure how far exactly, but it’s a good distance, and usually around this time of year you can see snow on the peaks.

Jan 3rd_2

All this activity, as described above, means not much time or weather for being out and about. The weather is still thwarting my attempts to get back into a walk routine. I’ll go now… Or as soon as this deluge stops (it doesn’t), well, maybe I’ll try again tomorrow. Tomorrow dawns clear and cold, a bit chilly, I’ll go later, oh look, we’ve not yet finished the red Quality Street, better do that first. Strawberry centres must be the least popular of all, along with the orange ones, but we have to get through them all before Epiphany.

And Yialos on a sunnier day last week

And Yialos on a sunnier day last week

I do have one other thing to do today. Order the damn piano. I has one set up and ordered for a reasonable price form a British company with European branches, who offered free delivery. I found a decent Yamaha for a price I could afford, especially with free delivery, only to later be told that as it was over a certain weight, they would have to use a heavy haulage firm and the cost of delivery would be €400 or more, so that was that out of the window. I’ve found another (a Roland this time) from a company that has a store in Rhodes. They say that delivery to Symi is included, apart from a €25.00 fee C.O.D. to get the piano from the boat to the house, so I shall go with that. When I asked this shop last year, the said I would have to get it from the boat to the village on my own (simply not possible) so I shall wait and see what happens and put in an extra request on the order form to be kept informed. Don’t want a call at 5.30 one morning asking why I am not at the boat and taking off an upright digital piano which, unless I am there in ten minutes, will be on its way to another island. Watch this space.

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?