The shops are starting to unpack their Christmas stock

The day started off heavily overcast - so overcast that a friend who is helping us with some painting around the farm turned up at 7.30 am, determined to get another coat of paint on in the guest room before the clouds hanging over the Vigla dropped their load. Fortunately the clouds stooged off elsewhere and are probably raining over Orhaniye by now. There is feverish activity involving paint pots, jack hammers and cement mixers going on around my place. The reason for all this is that we have a friend coming to stay from South Africa for a month and there is nothing like the threat of an inspection from the outside world to get things moving, particularly as in winter we actually have to spend time indoors and can't fudge it by setting up bowers amongst the trees etc. The boulders that have been an awkward feature of our kitchen/salon floor are currently being reduced to dust and I have been promised a 'proper' floor. The mice won't recognise the place when it's finished.

Meanwhile, down in the harbour, the crew of the Symi continue to whang away at the rust. Steel may be practical but there isn't much romance in its maintenance.

In Chorio the shops are starting to unpack their Christmas stock. Yes, I know the rest of the developed world has been Christmassed to the gills since the summer solstice but in Greece everything is enjoyed at its appropriate season, whether it be the first sweet Kos lettuces of the winter rains or the glitter of Christmas tinsel. For some strange reason it is more fun this way. Perhaps it is because there is always something to look forward to and there are still treats to be had. After a summer of sweet tomatoes and fragrant basil from the garden, I am happy to contemplate the things I will do with the fresh dill and parsley, lettuces and other greens that are now flourishing in their place and the roses are making the most of the 'second spring' that happens before the real winter kicks in.

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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