Turbulent January Draws to a Close

 No, it isn't snow.  It is the aftermath of a heavy hailstorm in the early hours of Wednesday morning.  This photograph was taken at 8 a.m., about 5 hours after the storm and after several hours of heavy rain had already washed away a lot of it, hence the large puddle on the far right.

The Blue Star Diagoras in the rain on Wednesday morning.

I took this and the subsequent photographs in a brief sunny interval today, Friday 30 January 2015.  The cat seemed to be weighing up his chances of jumping aboard the fishing boat and then thought better of it.

My apologies for the slight fuzziness.  It was pouring with rain when I left home this morning so I brought my little Nikon compact rather than my 'proper' camera with me and its focus is a bit wobbly.

While the detail in the distance is not very sharp, you can still get an idea of the blinding brightness of the scene as the sun broke through the clouds.  Yes, it is that cat again, inspecting nets on the right.

Fast-moving clouds as the wind is picking up.  It is likely to be quite gusty tonight and there is already an element of uncertainty as to whether the Blue Star will be able to dock on her return leg this evening.

Symi's taxi drivers, discussing the fishing and killing time. There isn't much trade at this time of the year as very few people are working and people don't usually come down from Chorio unless they need to go to the bank or pharmacy or to pay bills.  The last few times I have caught the bus I have been one of two or three passengers.

I think that cat is stalking me.  That is the Mavrovouni area of Yialos in the background.  It is the sunny side of the harbour and a good place to live at this time of the year.
After an exceptionally wet week we seem to be having slightly better luck with the 'sunny intervals' today, although there is still a lot of rain around.  Wednesday's 3 a.m. hailstorm was something we hope not to see again this winter as it shredded many gardens.  In many areas the drifts of hailstones lingered on into the afternoon.  Temperatures are between 10 and 16 degrees centigrade but feel colder as everything is totally saturated.  The forecast remains unsettled with Force 6-8 southerly winds in the Aegean for the next few days.

During the lulls between thunderstorms one hears various bangs and thumps around the island - the sound of people wrestling with rain-swollen doors and shutters.  After they have been kicked open it can be very difficult to get them shut again, but if they are not shut then the rain comes in, so in the end one winds up living in gloom and artificial light.  If you look at the houses in the photographs, you won't see any open shutters.  Of course in certain parts of Chorio there are people with the illegal plastic or aluminium windows and shutters but the Ministry of Culture actually dictates that Symi houses should have traditional woodwork, in keeping with the island's protected architectural status. This is why Symi has so many highly-skilled carpenters.

We are often asked what the impact of the election has been on Symi. Well, so far it has been an increase in the number of accommodation bookings from outside the Eurozone as the exchange rate is now very favourable for anyone paying in pounds, dollars, kroner and the like.  So if you are thinking of coming to Symi this summer, don't delay as we are filling up very quickly!

Have a warm, dry 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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