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

Wind, chillies, books

Wind, chillies, books

Sunday was less blowy in the morning than it has been around here of late. We had quite strong winds over us at the end of last week, but the boats still ran, and people still went to the beach. Everyone carried on as normal.

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Clothes and crafts in Horio, open daily

I overheard some pleasant things as I went about my usual weekend routine. There was the story of someone who went into the greengrocers shop in Horio, the ‘Fruit Boutique’ and asked if they had any chillies. Apparently, they didn’t have any in the shop, but the owner had some growing at home, so off he popped on his moped to go and collect them, bringing some back a few minutes later. Service with a smile. That reminded me of the time I asked for sage, at a different shop, and was told that they didn’t have any. The owner then phoned up her husband who was out at the farm and told him I was after some. He picked a whole bag load up in the hills, and it was delivered the next day. I must find out who owns the bank…

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Colourful Symi

Those are the kinds of things that go on around here all the time, you just have to keep your eye out for them, or else have them happen to you. Like our washing machine delivery. ‘Can you give me a hand to take this machine up to the house?’ ‘Yes, I’ll just put it on my back and carry it.’ ‘Oh my! I must pay you.’ ‘Don’t be silly.’ Another favourite of mine is, ‘We’re leaving tomorrow, we have some things to pass on.’ And then follows a bag full of olive oil and wine, and shampoo and other things that will be useful to someone.

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Boutique shopping on the Kali Strata

I also met several people who are reading ‘The Saddling’, and others who have downloaded a copy and have it ready to go when they have finished the book they are on. I mention this because the book has only been available for a few weeks and already it had eight reviews (all five star) at Amazon. So, I couldn’t help but show off the latest review, and here it is… Oh, I just went to copy it and found there are now nine reviews (still all five star), so that’s even better news. Anyway, if you will let me show off and perhaps tempt you towards a copy, here are the latest ones.

“His best yet.
After the brilliantly funny Remotely, James returns to the dark side of his wonderful imagination, previously shared in The Judas Inheritance & Lonely House, and this time takes the reader to a time and place that clearly he has a great personal affinity with. His superbly descriptive prose and local dialect transports us to the Romney Marshes and a community untouched by the modern world but plagued with its historic pagan ways. Along the way we meet good folk, bad folk & a “falser” villain that chills the blood. Underlying the mysteries thrown up by a genealogical search there is the gentle flowering of feelings within the hero that is treated with superb sensitivity.”


“A real page turner. From start to finish a great read. Right up to the last page the ending couldn’t have been predicted.”

Yes, very important not to give away that twist at the end! (You can see all reviews here.)

The Saddling

Saddling five star times three

And I’ve started work on the second in the series, but it could take a while. This one is to be called ‘The Witchling’ and I am going to get on with some planning and plotting right now, so, I’ll be back tomorrow.