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

Sun and spiders

Sun and spiders

The predicted heatwave arrived with a vengeance, and over the weekend we had out hottest May day for the last 50 years or something. It coincided with the reopening of beaches (under very strict rules), allowing some people to go to the beach for the first time in years. I’m not talking about me, me and lying on a beach or floundering in the sea don’t go together, but I was talking to a friend of ours who would usually be working by now. He was, he said, for the first time in five years able to spend a summer day on the beach, and making the most of having no work to go to, he and some friends spent a whole weekend at St Emilianos, something they’ve not been able to do for many years, not in good weather at least. So, although he’s got no income, he like many others is making the most of the weather while he can.

May 13th_13

Bars and cafes are, apparently, reopening soon, again under strict conditions, and Neil’s been asked if he will go back to his afternoon shift when the Rainbow starts up again. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword as a) the job pays his health insurance, but b) he will eventually come into contact with people from off the island, and who knows what they might bring with them? But then measures have been announced regarding travelling by ferry which include a medical self-declaration, a screening before you board, masks, limited numbers of passengers, distancing and so on, but as we know, nothing is foolproof. I think a lot of the islands, and other places, although welcoming visitors back, will be wary of anyone who has not been isolated on the same island, at least to start with.

May 13th_10

The hot weather has also brought out the spiders. There we were watching the box on Thursday night when a quick movement to the left caught my eye. Then it stopped, and I assumed it was a shadow, but then it started again and ran under where I had my feet up. A few expletives from me, even Neil jumped when he saw it coming for him, and it hid under the sofa. Neil, bless him, is unfazed by these things and fetched a plastic carton to trap it in (101 uses of the plastics Sotiris puts your ham and cheese in). Ten minutes of searching under sofas and moving furniture ensued. For Neil, that is, not for me, I was standing on the other sofa with my skirts hitched shouting ‘Thomas! Thomas!’ like the maid from Tom and Jerry. Eventually, it was decreed that the thing had vanished, and TV watching continued. All was going well until I noticed Neil silently reaching for his plastic box and surreptitiously leaning towards the balcony doors with intent. I didn’t need to ask and hoped I wouldn’t be dragged in, but the thing went behind the cabinet that’s heavy with folders so I had to help move that – in my bare feet, I might add (such a hero). Finally, Neil caught the beast in a tea towel and put it outside, as if there was nothing wrong with having a three-inch-long spider in your hand, and we settled down to watch the rest of ‘Hard Rain’ or whatever the other thriller of the night was.

May 13th_18

There was a sequel, but I’ll tell you about that tomorrow, and I’m not talking about the film.

Friday Photos

Friday Photos

Did you notice I resisted the temptation to write Friday Fotos? As I’ve gone from six to five-day working weeks, I’m putting up on a Friday what I used to put up on a Saturday, i.e. around 10 random photos. These ones were taken during this week. Have a good weekend wherever you are, stay home when you can, stay safe and don’t read the UK’s Daily Express. Rumours they put out about Greece opening its tourist season to UK visitors by the end of this month were completely wide of the mark and caused friends’ hopes to be raised and dashed.

May 7th_11 May 13th_17 May 13th_14 May 13th_09 May 13th_02 May 11th_27 May 11th_24 May 11th_20 May 11th_18 May 11th_06

Symi Views

Symi Views

One of the nice things about having a balcony overlooking Symi harbour and the sea is that you always have something to watch. Even these days when there are no day boats, small yachts or cruise ships coming in and out, there are still others to view. The coastguard and patrols, small fishing boats, the ferries from three companies that continue to bring us supplies and offer a link to the medical centres in Rhodes, and the cargo boats that come into the new harbour to deliver… whatever it is they deliver. Then there’s also the changing sea and sky, the mist and the coast of Turkey.

May 12th_07

Meanwhile, also in the view, we currently find swallows and martens (I think) and swallows with long thin tails – are they swifts? I can never remember. Wide-winged seagulls follow the fishing boats or sit and bob on the sea, the collared doves coo from the telegraph pole, and we’ve even got a kestrel family nearby. Recently, we had a hooded crow causing a territorial fuss with the collared doves in the tree next door but one, and I think the doves won the battle as I’ve not seen the crow for a while. Ravens wheel about over the windmills where you can occasionally see eagles and the pigeons rise up in swaths to circle the harbour and land on the clocktower, reminding me of the car from Whacky Races. (That was the Gruesome Twosome, and it was bats that flapped around the tower, but… whatever.) Talking of bats, we sometimes catch a glimpse of them in the early light, as we do the owls.

May 12th_09

So, I may be spending more time than usual gazing from the balcony, and times are quiet right now, but there’s still plenty to see.

April 26th_03

Even very early in the morning there's somethig  going on out there.

Even very early in the morning, there’s something going on out there.