A Cold and Blustery Day on Symi

It is a cold and blustery day on Symi.  Gale force winds are lashing the whole country and pounding against my balcony door.  The fire brigade has been called out to rescue people trapped by flood waters in Athens and to pump out flooded basements. The Blue Star Diagoras is stuck in Patmos, waiting for the wind to abate, so the hawkers selling black polyester garments will have to hang about Symi for another day.  Heavy rain is expected to reach us as the wind starts to drop.  We will all be glad when February has finally passed and we can really start looking forward to spring.

Meanwhile the first tentative attempts at getting the island ready for the season have commenced.  The municipality is digging a trench around the harbour, from the bus stop to the taxi rank.  Rumours abound regarding what new businesses may be coming this summer. The one arousing a lot of interest is the possibility of a pet shop in Yialos.  It sounds as though it may not be the sort that sells goldfish and hamsters but rather a stockist of pet products and accessories.  Does this portend a glamorous future for the dogs and cats of Symi?  A new traditional-style kafeneion has opened up next to the chandlery in the lane below our office, with its entrance in the next lane.  There is a lot of renovation activity in the old spice and herb shop at the corner by the Vapori Bar and the greengrocer in the alley has had to move his display stand so that the side door can be accessed.  Whenever there is a gap in the weather the chipping of plaster and clatter of jack hammers can be heard, echoing round the harbour.

Meanwhile, in the Pedi valley the wild lupins are flowering and the sheep are enjoying whatever patches of sunshine they can find.  The island is now so waterlogged that little springs and rivulets are dribbling out of the rocks and seeping through the terrace walls. Snails, slugs and earthworms are in evidence everywhere.  A far cry from the baked earth of summer.  I sometimes wonder how far down the earthworms in my garden have to go to find somewhere to survive the summer drought when nothing short of a pick can penetrate the surface. 

Have a good weekend.  Looking at the long range forecast, I think I will be spending most of mine either indoors or in the greenhouse!


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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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