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

Postcards and Springs

Postcards and Springs

Let’s get this week off to cheery start (and keep it that way). The season is calming, the temperature is cooling, but the weather remains calm for now. Some businesses are starting to wind down, and I must remember to buy a beach towel for a Christmas present before the more touristy shops close; a job for this week.

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Meanwhile, I received a postcard from Patmos last week. Not only was it from Patmos, but it was from a reader of this blog who had just finished and enjoyed Jason and the Sargonauts, a comedy adventure set on Symi, and one of my earlier novels. So, thank you for the card, Anschi! It’s lovely to receive feedback and even better to receive good wishes. Makes it all worthwhile, and I hope you enjoyed Patmos. We were last there in 2000, and I wonder if it has changed much.

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This week I will be mainly doing the same thing as I do every other week, but now with the added diversion of a three-mile walk for at least five days out of seven. On Saturday, I unchained myself from the typewriter and took myself off up to To Vrisi, which, by the road from the village square, is a neat three-mile round trip, the first half all uphill. This time I thought to take two empty water bottles and filled them up from the spring, carried them home and I am drinking one right now. Yannis at Rainbow later asked me if the water was running which made me wonder if it ever wasn’t. There was then a discussion about how underground springs work on an island with little rainfall in the summer. I assumed there was a big cave full of water somewhere under the rocks higher up and this was permanently emptying via the only escape route it could find, but I realised I had no idea how it all happens. I’ll have to look it up.

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There are other underground springs on the island, and I’ve seen and drunk from the one at Ag Konstantinos, below the Vigla on the way to Panormitis. I have also used the one on Tilos at the monastery of Agios Panteleimonas which was, at that time, gushing out of the hillside like a small waterfall. The owner of the hotel where I was staying drove me other there, taking a mass of empty bottles with him which he filled up while I enjoyed the grounds.

Here we go into another week, and I hope it’s going to be a good one for you, for all of us actually. Keep reading!

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Symi Saturday Photos – mixed

Symi Saturday Photos – mixed

I mentioned the other day that I’d found some old photos on my camera, well, not that old, but not yesterday. I thought I’d put up a random collection for you for the weekend. A weekend during which I intend to do nothing but write and walk (and the usual stuff, eating, watching TV of an evening, reading, that kind of thing). It’s cooling down over here but not dramatically so. It’s that time of year when the inside of the house is warmer than outside, the opposite of spring when it’s warmer outside than it is in. We’ll soon be at the stage when it’s equally as cold no matter where you are, in our house at least. Must sort the winter/summer wardrobes, find the duvet and dig out the blankets we use while watching television. Have a good weekend.

Sept 10 07 Sept 26th 4 Sept 25th 12 Sept 25th 07 sept 24th 04_1 Sept 24th 03 Sept 24th 10 Sept 24th 13 Sept 13th 40 Sept and nimborio 18

Thursday Morning

Thursday Morning

I went wandering up the road yesterday, the road out of the village on my aiming-to-be-regular walk. Because of the early morning getting-up that I have become use to, I was out at a different time of day than I have been. Recently it was an afternoon walk, but yesterday it was around 8.30, mid-morning, for me at least. That gave me different lighting for a change, hence the photo below of the sun coming through the trees beside the road and the silhouetted goats. I have to say, it did remind me of something out of a horror film. I reckon they were waiting for their goatherd to come along and deliver their order-in feed.

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I was listening to music, the soundtrack from 1492 by Vangelis; very hard not to sing along to the rather Russian sounding central theme. Mind you, I only passed one person on the road to To Vrisi, and I am sure she wouldn’t have minded, the goats didn’t.

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Back at home, I set about finalising the blurb for ‘The Eastling’ the third in the Saddling series of mystery novels that I am working on. As I’ve mentioned it, here it is, including another a quote from another author who writes fiction based on Romney Marsh. Emma’s novels are historical fiction, and you can find her author page on Amazon. Here’s the .uk link to Emma Batten in case you are interested. The nice thing about this is that Emma’s mother was my piano teacher for a while, a long time ago and far, far away…

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Here’s the blurb. I am aiming to have the book published in early November, in time for Christmas shopping.

The Eastling

At harvest tide no place to hide as Eastling passes through

The spectre of revenge stalks Saddling, and the Eastling is hungry for a victim. At some time on autumn equinox night, someone in the village will die.

Tom Carey fights to hold a divided village together while racing to unlock the riddle of a boy long dead. But pages of the Lore are mysteriously missing, and all he has to work with are a looker’s spoketale and a blind woman’s poem. As solstice approaches and the vengeful grey-hang thickens, Tom realises who the victim could be. Him.

The Eastling is the third in the Saddling series, following The Saddling and The Witchling.

“Believable characters, gripping atmosphere and tension, all skilfully woven into an absorbing mystery set in the eerie landscape of Romney Marsh.”

(Emma Batten, author of Romney Marsh historical fiction)

Praise for the Saddling series.
“Gripping from the start.”
“A real page turner right to the end.”
“Just keeps on twisting.”
“A compelling tale from the first page.”

James Collins author at Amazon
where you can find The Saddling and The Witchling.

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