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

Sunrise shots

Sunrise shots

And off we go a-wandering… Yesterday, before down, up the hill to the first bridge over the old riverbed just beyond the top cantina. The sun came up as I was coming down, and I saw the usual succession of cars and motorbikes with army officers on their way to work. I passed the goatherd and his dog, three other men walking their large dogs up or down, and was serenaded by the summer cicadas as they deafened from the trees. It was a pleasant, sultry morning, and I returned home dripping but invigorated ready to get on with the day’s work, which unfortunately began with having to pay my health insurance bill for the year. That was okay, I was expecting it, and it’s all part of the master plan. Actually, considering what it offers, the price isn’t bad, but if you are thinking of taking private health insurance, all I can say is, get in early, before you get any older because the older you are when you start, the more costly it is to get started if you see what I mean.

August 3rd_07

If you’re living in Greece and have independent means (private pension, savings, etc.), then you need private insurance. If you’re working for a company, your IKA should be paid for you, that’s your national insurance, and if you are self-employed, then you have a government scheme you can pay into. If you were thinking of emigrating here from the UK, then you need to do that and be registered to live here before the last day of this year, and there are various things you will need. I’d suggest asking the consulate or your embassy to be sure as I read conflicting information on Fakebook and only trust the groups that are run by the embassy staff.

August 3rd_12

Anyway, that’s not what I mean to talk about. In fact, I don’t know what I mean to talk about. I think I only intended to show you yet more sunrise shots from myself or from Neil who, yesterday, walked to Pedi for a swim and then headed off to Nos and back as his morning walk, arriving home just as the Blue Star One arrived on its new Monday sailing. No doubt, even more sunrise shots will be added to the album and stuck up here in the days to come.

August 3rd_17

Bits and pieces

Bits and pieces

We are well and truly warming up into August now, with temperatures in the high thirties even at night, and the courtyard plants are gasping for a drink, which they will get this morning. (Our hosepipe is connected to the mains, and so we only get water in it three days a week, so on the Friday to Monday stretch, the plants come last in the pecking order.) I’ve had a quiet weekend at home working, as per usual, though I did pop out yesterday for some fresh air, and sat in a more or less empty square with a glass of soda watching the world go by, or not, as no-one was going anywhere because everyone had gone to the beach, I hope. Either that or they’ve been transported to the colonies, and no-one’s told us. All very quiet. But also very pretty as Neil’s photos today attest…

August 2nd_09

One of the things I have been busy with is getting a new book out there. This is one of the Clearwater ongoing mystery stories, but this one can be read as a standalone (and it’s not got any nookie in it like some of the others, though there are references). Obviously, when you’re on book seven of a series, it will be more gratifying to have read the others, but with this one, there’s no need (not really). You’ll get an idea that there’s a history behind the story, but you don’t need to know it in detail. It’s mainly about one young man coming to work in service below stairs in London in 1889, and finding his new house is nothing like the regimented, authoritarian and backwards household he has been used to. There is a mystery involved, and it is based on real people and events from the late 19th century, much of which is actually true. It’s quite a sweet story, is called Home From Nowhere, and it’s available on all Amazon platform. Anyway… Enough rambling, on with the week.

Smaller Home from nowhere

Something for the weekend

Something for the weekend

To see us off into the weekend, here are a few photos Neil has taken during his 100-mile walk this month. He’s done brilliantly, getting up early and going for long, regular walks, sometimes being out for three hours or more. Me? Well, I’ve written 90,000 words this month, and am about to release another book (100,000 words), so my brain and fingers have had some exercise at least. Have a good weekend.

July 25th_36 July 25th_34 July 25th_32 July 25th_25 July 25th_16 July 25th_15 July 6th_03 Pedi June 29th_37 Pedi June 29th_13 Pedi June 29th_02