The diaspora Symiots are heading for home

The bustle of bright August has mellowed into the more sedate tones of September. The last of the French and Italians are departing this weekend and their place on the beaches and in the tavernas has been taken by Scandanavians, Germans, Austrians, British, South Africans, Australians, mostly of mature age and sans children. There are fewer Greek holidaymakers around and the diaspora Symiots are heading for home. In the case of more than a few, to survey the damage Hurricane Katerina has wrought as there are substantial clans of Symiots in Florida, Ohio and Alabama.

The days may be shortening but they are still hot and life is very much outdoors rather than in. There were some mysterious grumbles of distant thunder from a cloudless sky in the early hours of the morning but it is unlikely that the rainy front that has passed over southern Italy recently will have any impact here. Gardens are looking parched and frazzled and many of the terebinth and olive trees in the Pedi valley are showing signs of branches dying back. Last winter and spring were dry and the locals are all hoping for decent rainfall this year to make up for it. Symi's water supply is dependent on the springs and acquifers of Rhodes so if Rhodes has a dry winter there is less for us too. We are busy cleaning out our various cisterns and making sure that they are ready to receive the first rains. As the first rains are muddy and wash the summer's dust off the roof, we store them in a separate cistern for garden use so as to avoid wasting what can be quite substantial downpours. The reasonably clean stuff goes into a big cistern for general household use from which it is pumped into a weekly cistern to supply the house and finally the purest of the cleanest water goes into sealed vats for drinking and cooking water for the summer. Not everyone on Symi, however, has such complicated arrangements - most just fill their cisterns from the town supply and buy their drinking water in bottles!

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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