Sunny Days

It is a clear sunny autumn day on Symi. The slightest of breezes is ruffling the water in the harbour and the fishing boats are rocking gently on their moorings. Yialos is very quiet at this time of the year. Apart from a couple of late cruising yachts and small local fishing boats the harbour is empty. The excursion boats have been pulled out for their annual maintenance and inspection, as have most of the water taxis. Interestingly the Poseidon excursion boat is on the hard at the boatyard in Rhodes this year instead of in Harani. The part of Akandia where the Proteus docks is just next to Rhodes boatyard and one has a good view from the top deck of all the boats and yachts while waiting for the ferry to pull out for Symi.

Up in Chorio the balconies are laden with washing as local housewives take advantage of the sunshine. Although these days most families have automatic washing machines tumble driers are a rarity and on sunny days every balcony is festooned with washing. When I first came to Symi ‘proper’ washing machines were very rare. Instead the lucky ones had a stainless steel drum with an agitator at the bottom, a bit like half of a very basic twin tub. The base housing the motor was a cheerful orange and there was a big daisy sticker on the shiny drum to brighten wash days. One filled the drum with water from the tap, added the clothes and plugged it in. The agitator then stirred everything round and round in a sort of tangle. The deluxe model had a timer so one could set it to churn for anything up to an hour but this could take the pile off towels and wear out jeans so was not advised. The washing then had to be drained and rinsed by hand. On water days these gadgets were deployed out in the street so that the water could be drained away easily. The one advantage of this interim technology is that with a little careful planning the same washing water could be used several times, unlike with a modern automatic washing machine. I am sure none of us misses the back breaking lifting of sodden clothes and the hours of heavy work this method of doing the dhobi required.

Have a good weekend.



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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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