Treats on the Calendar

Oh where, oh where has the Symi sun gone? Readers who regularly log onto the webcam must be asking themselves the same question as those of us who live on the island in the winter. The sunny intervals have been like English summers lately – blink and you’ve missed it. At least it does look as though it is going to be clear, if cold, for the Carnival festivities on Sunday and the traditional picnics and kite flying on Clean Monday. The shops are already packing out the traditional Clean Monday picnic foods – pickled vegetables, taramasalata, halvah, shell fish and octopus. On Monday the bakers also bake a special sesame-seeded flat bread, lagana, which is only made on this day of the year. One of the nice things about living in Greece is that seasonal specialities still are just that – things to look forward to in celebration of special occasions, rather than everyday items which quickly lose their novelty. With hot cross buns, mince pies and chocolate Easter eggs available in the English-speaking world virtually all year round, who has even the faintest glimmer of anticipation for these treats on the calendar?
The hawkers have arrived on Symi in time for the holiday long weekend and trucks are trundling around the island selling everything from sensible pyjamas and village cheeses to live poultry and huge pale green cabbages. Webcam visitors may also have noticed that these trucks often park outside Pachos, enabling traders to sell their wares from the cosy environs of the cafeneion while the rain streams past the windows. .
One of the secrets of survival in a small and isolated community is an ability to create ones own entertainment and this is particularly important in the winter. Those with no interests quickly abandon island life and head for the big cities as boredom sets in. Writers, painters, photographers and poets have no such worries. What can seem like a prison to some is an inspiration to others. This poster, designed by Symi Art, is for the up-coming series of one night exhibitions by artist in residence, Ian Haycox. For more details log onto

Have a good weekend.


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Anonymous –   – (Sunday, March 01, 2009)  

When I was on Symi in October I enjoyed the Autumn flowers which were out much earlier than usual because of the September rains. I'm coming back to Symi in about three weeks time and, in view of your bad weather I'm hopeful that I'll be lucky again, seeing early Spring flowers that are usuually over by mid-March. Every cloud has a silver lining: particularly if you manage to escape the rain that falls from it and just catch the silver!!

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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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