>> Monday, April 28, 2014 – flowers, life on Symi in April, life on Symi in the spring, May Day holiday, Poseidon excursion boat, Symi ferries
|It has been trying to rain properly for days but all we get are passing mud sprinkles and the island is very dry.|
|Despite the clouds the view from my office window is becoming more summery, with the Panagia Skiadeni and the Symi facing off across the harbour and an increasing number of yachts.|
|The excursion boat Poseidon, freshly painted and ready to start the season. She is going out on her shake down cruise on 1 May, weather permitting.|
|Yachts and yes, that is a Turkish gulet over there by the clock tower.|
|The hanging baskets all still look bright and perky.|
|As do the window boxes.|
|Composition in grey and terracotta.|
|Cheery pelargoniums at the back of the town square in Yialos.|
The first of May is traditionally a bank and political holiday in Greece, celebrated by going out into the countryside and gathering flowers which are then hung as posies or garlands on the entrance to ones home. There are also likely to be strikes and demonstrations in Athens, but that is a long way from our little island. As it has been such a dry spring there are few suitable wild flowers left to gather on Symi but most householders have flowering plants around their homes at the moment, even though gardens in the conventional sense are very rare on Symi. With the houses so densely packed together and the terrain so steeply inhospitable, the forefathers of Symi expended little effort in hewing gardens out of the rocky hillsides on which they built their houses. Until recently there was little or no water to spare for frivolous flower gardens as everyone was entirely dependent on harvesting the winter rains in cisterns to survive the summer and there was no prospect of water from any other source. These days we have a small desalination plant on the Pedi road, augmented by water ships coming over from Rhodes, but Symi is still a famously dry island and we all have to do our best to make what water we have last as long as possible.
Have a good week.