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

Still not quite winter

Still not quite winter

I know some parts of Northern Europe are already experiencing snow, but here, we’re still hovering around 20 degrees by day. I’m still having my morning cup of tea on the balcony before sun up, the weather’s calm and there hasn’t been any rain for a while now. If you want to know what the village square looks like at this time of year, then today’s photos were taken on Saturday late afternoon when we popped down to the kafenion for an hour or two.

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As you will see, Rainbow is now closed for a couple of weeks as Yiannis is away on family business. When he’s back, we’ll probably be in there on a weekend evening watching the TV and hanging out, just to take a break from doing the same at home. That is, when not beavering away on winter projects – mainly, a couple of stories to write. We’ve started preparing for the winter though, with a duvet now aired and in use, the curtains are ready to go up (those are the ones that divide the open-plan house in an attempt to keep out the cold wind), and the wardrobes have been swapped.

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I don’t know if everyone does it, but for us, we keep winter clothes packed away during the summer and summer clothes packed away during the winter as we don’t have room for everything in the wardrobe. I mean, I barely have room for my one pair of trousers and two hoodies, what with all the top hats, waistcoats and other paraphernalia the Mr keeps in there, but we manage. Other things also happen for the winter. For example, we open the bedroom window every morning to try and keep back the damp, ditto the bathroom window which doesn’t actually shut anyway, and there’s a stack of old towels ready to use for draft excluder or for mopping up if the rain comes in under the door. Neil has painted the flat bathroom roof with the special paint to stop the leaks coming through, and I’ve remembered where I put my thick socks. So, we’re ready for the cold weather while currently enjoying the last of the autumn warmth.

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New lodger

New lodger

We seem to have a new lodger. You might remember Thomas A Basket who stayed with us last winter, mainly in the laundry basket, well, now it seems, we have another ‘help-yourselfer’ taking advantage, this time of the courtyard table. As you can see, there’s still enough sun around for sunbathing, as long as you are wearing a fur coat, and tabletops are the place to be seen.

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This does mean, however, that we will have to shut the doors when we are not in one or other part of the house, to prevent bin inspections and ad-hoc use of the furniture or bathroom arrangements, you understand.

And the plants are still thriving.

And the plants are still thriving.

It is still warm enough to sit with the balcony doors open in a north-facing house, as long as there is no wind, and I can still have my tea out there when I get up, listen to the first birdsong of dawn, the sea lapping at the quay in the harbour, and the last of any party-goers going somewhere else, though that is less frequent these days now that some bars are closing or have closed for the winter and there are fewer boats in. Yes, there are still some sailing boats about. A mid-sized cruiser was in the other day with a party of Americans, and there have been some yachts with sails doing real sailing around the bay and mooring overnight in Yialos. It’s generally quiet though, as, at the moment, much of the island’s activity is centred on Panormitis where the three-day festival begins today.

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