Citrus and Cyclamens - Monday Postcards from Symi

Ripe lemons in my garden.  Only one of the half a dozen lemon trees has given us any fruit this year.  

Orange blossom.

The tangerines on this tree are usually very bitter but after so much rain this winter perhaps this year they will be sweeter.

Some of the cyclamens survived the big storm in November. The main areas where cyclamens grow in my garden are buried under tons of rubble so they will have to bide their time.

It has been wet with relatively mild temperatures so the almond trees are very confused.  The ones that didn't die of drought are muddling along with a mixture of leaves and flowers all at once. Yes, people, climate change is definitely a thing on Symi.

Dainty surprises among the muddy litter in the verges.

Proud mother and her new lamb

The View from Symi Visitor Accommodation this wet Monday

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Happy New Year!

A glimpse of distant snow-capped mountain peaks in Turkey.  When the wind blows from the north in the winter visibility is amazing and one can see literally for miles. At the same time the low angle of the sun and the increased vegetation highlights features on the landscape. Roads and buildings become far more distinct.

I may have been away a month but somethings haven't changed. There are still chickens crossing the road in Lieni.

Municipal workers are still shovelling mud in the town square.  In the week that I have been back the Kataraktis has flowed twice, first on Saturday night with a lot of stones and then yesterday, depositing silt and sand.

Happiness is a warm black roof in the sun.

Well, why wouldn't you buy mattresses at the car hire shop?  On Symi one has to diversify to make a living.

Optimists can plant onions and cabbages and hope that they won't be washed away.

The Blue Star Paros is undergoing maintenance so the Blue Star Delos is currently serving Symi. The stormy weather in the Aegean delayed her departure from Pireus yesterday so she only came through at about half past eleven today instead of seven forty-five.

The crowd at the clock tower, waiting to board the Delos.

Pedi bay during a sunny spell earlier this week.
After three dry winters, Symi has been experiencing an extremely wet one.  By all accounts there have been more rainy days than dry ones in the time that I have been away and the trend certainly continued this week on my return.  Cisterns are overflowing, which is just as well as in some neighbourhoods water pipes destroyed in the flood of 13 November 2017 have yet to be repaired. As I have mentioned many times over the years, Symi houses are difficult to heat, particularly the old stone ones, and damp can be a recurring problem.  Wood fires are a popular source of dry heat and our cast iron stove is not unusual.  Looking around Chorio on a winter's day, little plumes of smoke rise from many chimneys even quite early in the day.

The long term forecast is for heavy rain on Sunday and Monday followed by some cold dry days next week when we can all get our washing dry and our houses aired.  On the rainy days, temperatures range from 16 degrees at midday to around 10 degrees at night, feeling colder due to the damp.  On the clear dry days when the wind blows from the north, temperatures drop into single figures - around 9 degrees in the day and about 5 at night.  It can be warmer if you find a suntrap out of the wind or if you are lucky enough to be on the south-facing side of the harbour.  Location, location as the real estate agents say, is crucial on Symi if you live here all year round.

There are not many people about in the harbour as most businesses are closed for the winter. Apart from a few random building projects there is not much activity on the island at this time of the year.  It has been too wet for agricultural pursuits as the fields and terraces are totally water-logged.  Symi is still in snooze mode.

One bit of ferry news is that Dodecanese Seaways will not be coming through Symi tomorrow, Saturday. They had to cancel their Thursday route to Halki and Tilos due to the rough sea conditions so they will be doing that on Saturday instead of the usual Symi run.  If Symi seems quite at this time of the year, with a permanent population of around 2500, can you imagine how quiet it must be on Halki and Tilos where the population is in the hundreds, even in the summer? 

Have a good weekend.  I will bring you more news and photographs from Symi on Monday.

Regards,
Adriana

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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.


Adriana Shum

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