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

Up and Down

Up and Down

That’s up and down the hill yesterday morning, finally. It was a muggy damp start to the day with a cloud over Nimos and humidity high. At least, that’s what it felt like when I was at work at the desk and sweating by 5.00. I was later out and up the hill and down again by eight with the rest of the day to myself.

June 11_3

There’s been some development on the on-going water saga. I mentioned the mysterious barrel up on the roof? Well, on Monday night two workmen came to investigate the pipes and attach a couple of new ones to the tank on the tower, tank #2. This they did, but haven’t yet attached the other ends to anything, so I am still not sure what this tank #2 will be doing. Meanwhile, though, they fiddled with the in-feed from the Dimos, trying to work out how our neighbour was to get water into his sterna. Here’s how the pipes go: the mains comes into the courtyard where the meter is (it should be in the street but it’s not, which is why it’s not been read for two or more years despite asking the landlord to sort it, and that’s why our next water bill will be €260 at least – Michalis at the Dimos worked it out for me). Anyway…

June 11_4

The mains comes in, through the meter and directly into our tank (#1) where there’s a stopcock, so it doesn’t overflow. Between the meter and the tank is a tap which runs our hosepipe so we can use it directly from the mains on water days. There’s another one which goes directly up, over our wall, across the road and into the landlord’s house and it’s anyone’s guess where after. In the old days before the tank, we’d close our water-in valve and open his, and the Dimos supply would take the anti-gravity route across to his sterna. I tried to explain all this in faltering Greek to a faltering Albanian plumber who was convinced our landlord’s supply had something to do with our tank #1 and didn’t seem able to understand two concepts. One, that the valve to the landlord’s sterna wasn’t working and needed replacing, and two, this meant that when the mains isn’t feeding in and we turn on the hosepipe, we’re siphoning off his water for our plants – that gravity route in reverse.

June 11_5

The mastorases, there were two, went away in the end, leaving our gate open, not telling us they were going and, after I’d checked for damage, found they’d left the lid off our fresh water tank (#1). The fun and games will continue as tank #2 now has pipes, and they will have to be attached to something somewhere. But hey! In the middle of all this… Our kitchen hot tap has not been working since before Christmas, so we’ve been boiling kettles or filling the bowl from the bathroom. It would run and then run out as if the pressure was dropping and I suspected muck in the pipes brought up by the pump when the sterna broke. Recently, the tap gave up altogether and nothing was coming out. A couple of days ago, for no reason we can think of, it started working again. Another mystery to add to the list.

June 11_6