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

Sounds of Symi

Sounds of Symi

Some of you know, I like to get up early and spend half an hour or so on the balcony with a cup of tea before setting off on the great commute from one side of the house to the other. It’s often quiet out there at that time of day. Sometimes I can hear the sea lapping at the harbour walls, other times, like Monday morning, I can hear the remnants of a party. This one was still going on when I came back from my walk at 6.30, so it must have been a good night. Perhaps people celebrating the change in government, or commiserating about it.

New live music cafe is coming along (was Mandeio)

New live music cafe is coming along (was Mandeio)

I often hear scratching and clicking noises in the ruined garden next door. Rats, I assume. I’ve seen inquisitive cats creep in there under the streetlamp light and soon come hot tailing it out again. I’ve seen a couple of the beasts (rats) around the neighbourhood, and we even had one come in and use our spare WC one summer. Honestly, apart from dropping its business everywhere else in the laundry, it managed to get some in the toilet. Chickens are another thing. Not as in, using the facilities, but as in being heard in the early hours, usually just before sunrise. There was one squawking so loudly the other morning that I thought it had been surprised roughly from behind; quite outraged she was. The cockerels too add some background outrage and alarm calling, and very occasionally I can hear seagulls, though that’s later on in the morning.

The bridge to To Vrisi, only passable with care and on foot at the moment.

The bridge to To Vrisi, only passable with care and on foot at the moment.

Owls are another more or less constant background sound effect. The beep or screech depending on what owl it is can be heard from a long way off, and I sometimes catch the flash of an underwing as the streetlight catches it swooping over. Cats supply the rest of the cacophony of the small hours, and not the musical. The cats around here don’t have a knocking-off or clocking-on time, they seem to knock each other off whenever they feel like it, and very noisily too. The human neighbours are quiet though. Sometimes the guy next door comes home in the early hours, either from a night out or a long shift at the army base, but even then, all I hear is a shower running, and that’s pretty quiet. Boats clank anchor chains, fishing boats engines chug out across the bay, the rumble and vibration of the Blue Star happen before dawn on some days, and the heavy clunk and grate of the cargo and water boats add their own SFX from time to time. And all that is without the zzz of mosquitoes which, in damper and cooler times, investigate my ears.

July 8th_03

By the way, coming down from the mountain at 6.15 yesterday morning, I was passed by three funsters on a moped. I didn’t recognise them, tourists I assumed and ex-party goers. The guy driving had dayglo face paint in stripes and a rather glazed expression, though he did wave and smile (or he was about to be sick, it was hard to tell). On the back, a muscled and topless torso-lad clung on, I guess hoping not to fall off backwards and rip off his sunburnt skin, and between them was crushed a young lady, also dayglo-ed and glowing. I assume these were some of the folk raving it up until at least six in the morning. I was glad that a) I was not among their company and b) I wasn’t living nearby.

July 8th_09