|A 19th century riveted door on an old shopfront on the Kali Strata. The plastic sheeting at the bottom is to keep driving rain out during the winter, while the owner is away.|
|There isn't much topsoil left on the hills and slopes of Symi but a fine green bloom of scrubby herb bushes and tough bulbous plants is visible at this time of the year.|
|The view from my office window today. There is a brisk and somewhat chilly north wind blowing and the locals are in the cafes rather than out fishing or working on their boats.|
|As Christmas approaches those businesses that are still open are starting to put up decorations.|
|A Christmas star on the fish market roof, near the bridge in Yialos.|
|It is typical of the times, alas, that while we have a Christmas star on this lamp post in the town square, the streetlight itself lacks a globe and has done for some time.|
|The Dodecanese Seaways catamaran calls in on Mondays, en route to Kos, bringing in fresh produce from Rhodes. We won't see anymore until Wednesday afternoon's Blue Star from Rhodes.|
|A designer polar bear in a designer boutique.|
|The window of the cake shop next door.|
|A patch of sunshine finds a rogue bougainvillea and a couple of pithoi on a rocky outcrop between the Kali Strata and Yialos.|
|What we are eating on Symi at the moment. Those huge loose-leafed cabbages on the left are often used to make dolmades at this time of the year - an economical alternative to vine leaves.|
Christmas decorations are appearing around the town although there won't be much in the way of festive food in the shops until a few days before Christmas. There is no pressure here to listen to interminable carols and eat turkey dinners from September to Christmas. Treats really are things to look forward to in the old fashioned sense of the word and there is a sense of anticipation in the days before Christmas as the ferry brings students returning for the holidays as well as festive goodies. As the island's young people have to go to Athens and Thessalonika to further their studies and travelling is expensive and time-consuming, there will be many happy reunions with children that have not been seen since term began in September.
There is going to be another shipping strike this week which will probably affected Friday's Blue Star. We are waiting for further information on this.
Have a good week.