|Just add water to old dry stone walls and nature's magical winter gardens reappear.|
|The old oak in Lieni is very confused at the moment. The old leaves and acorns are almost all gone now but the mild temperatures have triggered the premature production of new leaves as though it is spring.|
|Most of the old mansions on the Kali Strata have been restored in the last 20 years but this one lingers on, quiet and mysterious behind its old wrought iron fence.|
|A lone yacht heads north, past the entrance to Pedi bay.|
|Song birds enjoying some winter sunshine in an unfinished building at Kampos in Chorio.|
|Hermes, the messenger god, on a neo-classical house on the Pedi road. The same motif decorates the facade of the dentist's surgery at the bottom of the Kateraktis in the harbour.|
|At last the earth is soft enough to plough. This field is near the bottom of the Pedi valley, where the slopes become gentler and the terraces shallower. This will probably be planted with barley or mixed grasses for grazing.|
|Pallas Athena in full make up, showing off her best profile to the world.|
|Oranges ripening beneath a wintry sky in an orchard behind St George's church in Pedi.|
|New lambs and fat cats in Pedi.|
The on-going shipping strike has turned the islands into a Christmas-free zone at the moment as we can't make shopping trips to Rhodes spend-spend-spend and there is no post or anything much else arriving on the islands either apart from a few crates of fresh produce on the Dodecanese Seaways catamaran. There's little danger of going madly over budget in the shops on Symi these days. Most of those selling non-essentials have closed for the winter and those that are open don't have much stock beyond the usual necessities. I won't mention names but I did see someone climbing out of an inflatable boat with shopping bags and a bumper pack of toilet rolls in Yialos this morning. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
Have a good weekend.