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 Photos from Neil

Friday Photos from Neil

We have some of Neil’s photos to round off the week. He was over on Rhodes on Wednesday, making sure he was fit to dive (he is) as he’s planning to take a dive training day with Blue Lagoon as soon as he can organise it. I was at home and looking after the bar for a while — a much more mundane day.

The news from Greece now is that we no longer have to wear masks in public, but we do inside shops and crowded places, busses, I guess and other places where it’s sensible to do so. Other restrictions have been eased too. It’s easy to get over to Greece now regarding tests and so on, but the problem seems to be for people getting back and having to quarantine, especially if you live in the UK. I think it’s a scheme to get you to put your money into the post-Brexit debt-pit, but that’s my own little conspiracy theory. If you can come, though, you’re spoiled for choice with ferry crossings, and you can now get your pre-going home tests done on the island. If you do, please do the version where you pay and don’t sponge off our free medical service. Thanks. Have a good weekend, and now some photos.

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Medicon Man, a new breed of superhero

Medicon Man, a new breed of superhero

Typically Village

Typically Village

I’ve had a few typically village days this week, by which I mean I’ve seen things which are what I’d call typical of the village. These are sights such as a donkey carrying shopping across the village square and a stray goat wandering the lanes in the middle of the village nowhere near the rural boundary. You get used to these kinds of sights as you smile at them and carry on with your day. I’ve had some typically village-style afternoons at the kafenion too, where Manolis told his story of being in Rhodes and ordering a pizza from a large pizza delivery firm only to still be waiting two hours later. Eventually, he rang the number on the flyer and spoke to someone only to find out they couldn’t find his address and his pizza was still in Athens. In Athens, malaka? A mix up of some sort and a humorous story that took a long time to tell and longer to laugh about.

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Another couple of typically village incidents happened on Tuesday. The first is just something you have to get used to; people stopping to chat outside your window when you’re trying to have a siesta. This was compounded by an accompanying screaming child. Later, Sotiris wandered by the bar with his usually cheery wave, but unusually, he wasn’t delivering from his supermarket. He wandered off up the lane and returned a while later, carrying something in the front of his t-shirt. After stopping for a chat with the neighbours, he wandered back past us, and we had to ask what he was carrying. Turned out to be a clutch of chicks someone had reported abandoned on the lane. There was no sign of the mother (or it had been run over or something), so he was asked to rescue them. I imagine they are now being brought up by a broody hen up at his farm, and in time, he’ll sell their eggs in his free-range bucket in his shop.

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All typically village, which is still rather quiet in the afternoons, and where everyone is wondering when the Brits we usually see at this time of year will be let out for good behaviour and be able to travel without being locked up on their return. Hopefully, by September, and although I doubt that will rescue many from the quiet season, it will certainly help see a few families through the winter. Meanwhile, temperatures are climbing towards 40 and above, the air is still, and the humidity is rising. We’ll soon have to open all windows and switch on all fans, and the men will be wearing vests beneath their shirts, tucked into their jeans, but, in summer, that’s typically village too.

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The Children of the Night

The Children of the Night

‘Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make.’ Dracula was talking about the wolves beyond his castle walls. My children of the night yesterday was actually only one, so a child of the night, or rather, early morning. Picture it:

I’m sitting there on the sofa with a cup of tea at 3.30 when I hear what sounds like a moth caught in a paper lampshade. Except the only light that was on was the one bulb in the sitting room ‘chandelier’, and there was no moth buffeting anything up there. The sound stopped, and I carried on reading the newspaper… and the sound started again. It then became a light buzzing noise, and a dark smudge weaved across the middle distance. It was a smudge because I have to take my glasses off to read, and without them, anything beyond a foot away might as well be a painting by Turner. Glasses on, and smudge becomes a cockroach flying about the room without so much as a by your leave. Well, we don’t want him moving in, and he’s quite big enough to carry his own luggage, so when he landed on the arm of the sofa, I approached, intending to give him a Subbuteo flick straight out through the open balcony doors, from whence he must have come as they’d been open all night. He must have sensed me coming because he took off on a journey to another part of the room, leaving me no choice but euthanasia. I do love the smell of Teza in the morning. Later, I shrouded him in kitchen paper and sent him to recycling.

Dawn happened not that long after and brought with it the pleasanter sounds of the children of the dawn. Not a horror film title as it might sound, but the blackbirds, sparrows and Tweety. That’s the name we’ve given to our personal swallow, who sits two feet away from the balcony on the telegraph cable. She pops back regularly to keep us up to date with neighbourhood news, someone of which is so far-fetched it’s hard to swallow. Get it?

Never mind. Here are some random photos, none of which feature roaches or, sadly, Tweety.

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