The dew is slowly drying off the flag stones

The November edition of the Symi Visitor is finally at the printers in Rhodes and we are already putting our minds to the next as that will be our 100th issue as well as being Christmas.

It is a still calm day with no perceptible wind. A hazy horizon seems to drift on the gently shimmering opalescent sea and departing yachts and fishing boats appear suspended in space. It is about 18 degrees centigrade and the dew is slowly drying off the flag stones. .

The Symi has just docked below our window and disgorged a boat-load of day trippers. It may not be beach weather but it's great for exploring and many seem armed with those walking sticks that look like ski poles, not to mention cameras of all sizes. The cafeneions do well at this time of the year and several have adjusted their chalk boards to the changing season, replacing images of frosted beer mugs and ice creams with steaming coffee cups and invitations to enjoy warming measures of Metaxa.

Ice cream fridges are being packed away for the winter and displays of cooler boxes and beach toys have been replaced with heaters and quilts. The hawkers are becoming quite competitive with their wares and there are periods when the Kampos corner in Chorio looks like something from the Casbah with carpets arranged on both sides of the road by rival sellers, not to mention bedding, cooking pots, children's clothes and sensible shoes. In the midst of all this there is a local chap selling fresh fish from an upturned crate. The kiosk at the bottom of the ramp has finally opened and does a brisk trade in chocolate bars and crisps to the gypsies as they wait for the next crop of potential shoppers to hop off the bus.

As no one is too sure how long the fine weather will last the builders are working at full speed to finish plastering and roofing jobs before the rains come.

Friday is Ochi Day, a big public holiday in Greece, and the children have been practising their marching to the increasingly demented whistling of schoolmasters for several days. While traditional Greek dancing requires incredibly fiddly footwork and a fine sense of rhythm, the mundane one-two of a basic march does not seem to capture the imagination of the local children, much to the despair of those trying to drill them. On the other hand, the spirit is there and the costumes are usually magnificent!

Have a good week.


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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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