Symi Disaster Area
I’m posting this on Tuesday, now that the power is back on, so it is here today, and I will leave it for Wednesday too. (Photos below the text.)
There was a storm on Monday afternoon/night which has caused a lot of damage to the island, particularly Yialos and the businesses there, but also, at least one house in Horio and several walls and ruins have been badly damaged. Below is what I have put on our Facebook page, but I’ll repeat it here for anyone who doesn’t use Facebook:
Thank you everyone for your messages. As far as I know, there have been no fatalities, but there is a lot of damage to be cleared up. We’ve not been to Yialos, but we did go up to the Stavros area of Horio earlier. As you can see, some of the paths have been washed away, others are deep with mud and silt, trash from the ravine was washed down, including washing machines, and the side of one house was taken off. Luckily the 80-year-old lady who lives there was taken to another property before she lost her sterna and bedroom.
I have also heard that: cars are piled in a heap in Yialos (there’s an image in the press), some were washed into the sea along with some motorbikes, there’s a car in the pizzeria and a train in the bakery, one café’s fridges are in a café 50 yards away, many businesses have suffered hideous damage, mud in the downstairs, knee deep in water in other places, the town square outer road is a pile of rocks from the mountain (it’s at the foot of another ravine), some of the main water-feed pipes are severed in Horio, trees down in Pedi and the Power Station was under water.
The power (and internet) was out from 17:30 yesterday until, in our part of Horio, around 10.00 this morning. It’s amazing they got it fixed at all – can’t sing their praises enough. Ditto the coastguards, police, authorities, army, the council and whoever is dealing with getting the island back up and running within such a short space of time.
It was a pretty big storm, to understate completely, that lasted from early Monday afternoon through until the evening, and then came back overnight. It was gone by 5.30 Tuesday.
Keep an eye on the local (Greek) news and the blogs, Symi Dream and Adriana’s, to see how the clean-up goes.
Tacit and a Symi Wedding
Sunday turned out to be a day of both good and bad. I sat down to warm up my arpeggios in the morning, about an hour before we were due to move the piano down to Yialos for the private concert… And the piano failed to work. It hissed and cracked and made very unhappy noises, so I turned it off. And on again. And off again. And on… It was turned on and off more times than a shore-leave sailor in a dubious brothel, but nothing would coax it into life. It eventually settled into what musicians call ‘Tacit.’ “A musical term to indicate that an instrument or voice does not sound. In vocal polyphony and in orchestral scores, it usually indicates a long period of time, typically an entire movement.” Well, my piano’s tacit is on a looped repeat, possibly to never sound again.
Steve came to collect it and spend half an hour trying to fix it but in the end, the concert was not to be. And neither is the piano. I’ll have to save for a new one. I’ve only been without a piano for about two years out of the last 50 so it will be a bit of a wrench to throw the old carcass away. (It’s old and would cost more to send for repair than it would to buy a new or second hand one.) Never mind, we still had a wedding to go to…
There will be more photos of the event once Neil has worked on them as he took most of the images. I’ve stolen a couple before he gets to them so you can get a flavour of Sunday afternoon’s happy times. We were guests of the groom whose family house (astute readers will know) is next door. We arrived, were welcomed and given a drink – whisky for the men, Lord knows what in tiny glasses for the ladies – and waited in the courtyard with some other guests. The cast list included Yiannis Rainbow in a suit and Manolis and Alexis in their finest. Everyone was in their finest actually, and my Crombie had an outing too. (It only gets one or two per year; it’s too hot for summer and not warm enough for winter, but yesterday was just right.)
The couple met in the square, and we joined the procession to the church. Previously at weddings, we’ve been working, taking the video and photos, so it was wonderful to be part of the party, walking with neighbours, complimenting them on their children’s outfits and discussing the weather and wedding. We processed through the lanes to the church of St George overlooking the Castro and parts of Yialos, and about 200 people gathered in the courtyard and church.
Afterwards, we sat in the square at Lefteris’ kafenion where passing guests invited us to the follow-on. We’d not been invited there by the father of the groom, only to the house and church, so we politely declined even though we would have been made very welcome. Instead, we hung out with a couple of friends until the need to feed drew us home. As I say, more images to come in the next couple of days.