Nocturnal Nibblers

Symi has sweltered through another heatwave with day time temperatures hitting 44 degrees centigrade and the island soaking up the heat like a giant storage heater. The rocks are too hot touch. The water that comes from the taps is scalding from the black plastic pipes that snake along the lanes and paths, supplying water to the households of Symi. The cats lie around, panting in hot heaps wherever they can find a puddle of shade and the nights are filled with tinkling of sheep bells as my woolly neighbours have become nocturnal nibblers.

In my Symi vegetable garden the first tomatoes are starting to ripen. As they are shaded by the olive grove for much of the day and we are watering them morning and evening they are looking quite good despite the heat. The roses and citrus trees are not so lucky and all the soft new growth has been singed off as if by blow torch. The only flowers flourishing with extraordinary eccentricity are the sweet-scented foulis. The waxy blooms turn brown within a day but are at least unfurling, whereas many flowering shrubs and climbers are just shedding their buds, unopened.

Symi is very quiet during the day as everyone who can is on the beach. The island’s labourers have been starting work at 6 a.m to avoid the heat of the day and it is only the foolhardy who sally forth hatless between 10 a.m and late afternoon.

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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