The olives are plumping on the trees

It's a great day for sailing. Flat water and a brisk breeze don't often happen in combination around here as the Mediterranean whips up into short steep seas quite quickly. Several of the yachts pulling out of Yialos this morning did so under sail and there is a reliable sprinkling of small white triangles on the horizon over towards Orhaniye. Now that fuel is so expensive, the old Med cruising tactic of motoring like mad first thing in the morning when the sea is calm and making sure that one is in a safe anchorage by lunchtime is losing favour and people are actually spending their days furling and reefing. They still set off early but they come in late, wringing the spray out of their hair after a day's brisk tacking to windward.

Still on a maritime theme, Captain Yanni's collection of little hire boats is about to hit the water over by the clock tower. The red launch that they use to put down the moorings is bobbing brightly in the afternoon sun and the first buoys are already in place.

The breeze has also perceptibly lowered the temperature and everyone is feeling much more energetic. Just as well really as we are already very busy and the season is well under way. Lots of regular Danish visitors arrived this morning - the changes to the Scandanavian flight schedules mean that many Danish visitors arrive too late to get across to Symi and have to spend their first night in Rhodes.

In the Pedi valley the olives are plumping on the trees and the grass has all but vanished. One of my neighbours is building himself a small shed, about 3 metres square, to accommodate bits and pieces from his fishing boat. He has been hard at work, doing everything himself, for several months now, and started putting on the tiled roof this weekend. To give you an idea of how long he has been working on this project, when he first started he was using the great pool of rainwater in the middle of the dirt track to mix his cement! In a corner of his plot he has set up a big old Stella Artois sunshade and a director's chair and there he sits, between mixing batches of cement by hand, admiring his handiwork. Various other old boys come along and offer comments and encouragement and every day he does a bit more. In another time and place he would probably be plonked in front of a television set, waiting for his number to come up in God's waiting room, but Symiots do not subscribe readily to the concept of retirement.

Have a good week.


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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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