The Twelve Days of Christmas

It is a cold grey day on Symi and the clouds have been rallying since dawn. It is becoming darker as the day progresses and rain is expected later this afternoon. One can already smell it on the air. Fortunately it is quite calm so the hydrofoil was able to run this morning, packed with potential Christmas shoppers and those going away for the holidays. It is very quiet in the harbour today with so many people off the island.

It is a day for hunkering down by the fire with a book, giving simmering pots of fragrant lemon chutney an occasional stir. My fingers are still black with the juice of the olives I have been pickling in coarse salt and neat little jars of bright green coriander and basil pastes are lined up in the pantry, ready to add a zing of summer to the cold days of February.

Workmen have started to put up the shuttering for the concrete foundations of the new sports centre in Chorio so we can expect the rumble of concrete mixers soon after the holidays. The sheep that used to nibble on the verges of the old football pitch now graze on the edge of the excavations and look on with that bemused expression that only masticating sheep can achieve.

As the schools close for the holidays posters and fliers are appearing on public noticeboards and lamp posts, advertising end of term parties, fund raisers, cinema nights and other forms of entertainment. At this time of the year the kiosks sell triangles, the traditional accompaniment to the kalanda, the Christmas songs that are sung door to door throughout the twelve days of Christmas.

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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