It is a hot still morning on Symi

It is a hot still morning on Symi. The pumps on the watership are humming away over by the clock tower and the pastel sea is cross-hatched with the wakes of departing gulets. There is no wind in our little corner of the Aegean and the day is already warming up. Yesterday we had the Cypriot cruise ship to look at instead of the water boat but the island is now on its summer water quota and the watership is in virtually every day.

The news of yesterday's bombing atrocity filtered through quite late here on Symi as the season is well underway and few people have access to the media in the course of a normal working day. Greek state television cancelled a number of scheduled programs in order to provide live coverage and the various press announcements whereas the commercial channels, like commercial channels everywhere, preferred to focus on the gory details. Meanwhile the Greek police have tightened security around British diplomatic missions in Greece as well as British owned businesses and the British Council. The Greek embassy in London has set up special telephone lines for those Greeks who may have friends and family among the dead or injured. Speaking as one who had a few close shaves back in the days of the ANC's bombing campaigns in South Africa (and I mean seriously close), my advice to anyone who has been in this kind of situation is to not just potter on with your life as normal but also use it as a reminder that as we are none of us immortal, if you want to do something in particular in your life, do it NOW - there might not be an opportunity later. Terrorism only succeeds if we allow it to reduce us to a state of fearful apprehension - why give anyone the satisfaction of achieving that? While I am not suggesting that being blown up by terrorists is exactly a life-enhancing experience, it is important to turn the negative into something positive in order to be able to move on - and not to waste the second chance at life that one has been granted. Sorry if this all sounds a bit Pollyanna-ish, but it might help somebody out there.

I started writing this some hours ago but, numerous interruptions later, it is now 11 o'clock and the Symi has just appeared outside my window and peace has departed for 3 hours. Time to close the windows!

Have a peaceful and uneventful 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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