The rustling gold of dry barley fields

Looking out of the window at the calm blue sea lapping gently against the quay and the yachts and gulets rocking quietly on their moorings, it is hard to believe just how much turbulence there is in the world not so very far from these tranquil shores. Having been under fire more than once myself I am always grateful for the privilege of being able to live in such a beautiful and peaceful spot. Peace, like freedom, is not something one should ever take for granted. Even this small haven has seen its share of violence over the centuries but right now it is a beautiful still summer's day, about to be shattered by the sounds of the Symi docking with several hundred happy holiday-makers on board.

The leaves are falling fast in the valley as the summer heat takes its toll. The bright blue tails of the small Balkan lizards flash like jewels as they dart through the rustling gold of dry barley fields. The drowsy cats are too lazy to be bothered to chase them anymore so the only fatalities are when the lizards fall into the cistern while hunting for mosquitoes between the old roof tiles. We leave pieces of wood in the irrigation cisterns to form ladders for snakes and lizards to climb out if they tumble in but occasionally one is not quick enough. Being cold blooded they quickly lose their strength when they fall into the cool water. I keep a net on a stick handy for rescue purposes.

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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