I am typing this with my gloves on!

Greetings from a chill grey island. It doesn't often rain from the north but when it does it means that it is either snowing or sleeting in the rest of the country - which it is currently doing in generous measure. I am typing this with my gloves on! Although it is calm enough here on Symi the Port Authority has closed all the ports in Greece for the time being as there is a northerly force 9 thrashing the Aegean at the moment and the only reason it is so quiet here is because we are neatly tucked into the armpit of Asia Minor.

Speaking of Asia Minor, the new outbreak of Avian flu has precipitated some measures winter travellers in these parts might like to bear in mind. Traffic between Turkey and Greece is being very closely monitored at the moment with a view to restricting the spread of the disease. Athens airport is screening passengers on the flights to and from Istanbul and those islands which have winter ferry links with Turkey such as Rhodes are checking passengers, confiscating potentially contaminated items and disinfecting vehicles. Now is not a good time to be travelling with a heavy cold and a suitcase full of foie gras! We all hope that the disease will not spread in this direction and that the situation will improve by the beginning of the season. If, in the meantime, you are put through anything undignified or inconvenient in transit, do remember that this is a potentially fatal disease, that right now poultry farmers in affected areas are having flocks culled en masse which is considerably more traumatic for all parties concerned than a brief delay at border control, and that any sacrifices we might be called upon to make are minor ones when one looks at the alternatives.

On that cheerful note I see that Lakis the bus driver is back so I can speed up the hill to check on my chickens. Have a peaceful 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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