Wood Smoke, Hot Soup and Vanilla Cookies

The view from Symi Visitor Accommodation this morning. The Blue Star was quite late today and there was a lot of traffic b both ways. Solidarity Symi also sent 25 big boxes of humanitarian relief down to Kastellorizo which all had to be loaded on board.

One of the many beautifully carved old doors on Symi. The bright yellow sticker is a reminder from the electricity company that whoever owns the house needs to read the meter, which is concealed inside the building, and send the meter reading through to the power company  so that they can issue an accurate bill rather than a provisional one.  Buildings that have been electrified in the last 30 years or so have their meters inside at the request of the Archaelogia, but this is not very practical from the point of view of the power company.

Those wonderful red leaves keep on falling.

Very little sunlight reaches the Kali Strata at this time of the year as  it is on the south side of the harbour, facing north, with steep hills behind that block the sun.  Welcome shade in the summer becomes gloomy damp in the winter months and it is not surprising that this area has few year round residents.

In the summer this is where we go to buy foreign newspapers and magazines in Yialos.  In the winter they do get the local Greek papers and magazines but with the absence of daily ferries, these are often old news by the time they arrive here.  Thank goodness for the internet!

It is a hazy chilly day on Symi.  High pressure continues to dominate the area, bringing heavy dew fall and misty mornings.  Temperatures are now between 11 and 18 degrees centigrade and the houses are getting colder inside.  The air smells vaguely  of wood smoke, hot soup and vanilla cookies. The bakers have put up their decorations but have not yet started the traditional Christmas biscuits - those treats are yet to come. Advent is actually a fasting time on the Orthodox calendar - not as extreme as Lent but none the less a time of restraint before the celebrations of Christmas, New Year (St Basil) and the Epiphany on 6 January.

The Blue Star was very full today as lots of people left the island to do their Christmas shopping.  There is no point  in going on a Wednesday as there isn't enough time to get everything done so everyone goes on Friday, even though it means coming  back very late as the boat goes to Kastellorizon.  There is only one more Friday shopping day between now and Christmas.

The locals are becoming concerned as we have not had the usual seasonal rain to get the crops growing and as the days become shorter and darker time is running out.  Although we had heavy rain early this year, that was months ago now and November and December have been drier than usual.

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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