Settling Back into Symi Life

It is a grey drizzly day on Symi with occasional patches of bright sunshine catching the fishing boats tied up in the harbour. So far Symi has had an exceptionally mild winter and I was amazed on my return from South Africa on Friday to find that the aubergines, chillis and peppers in my vegetable garden, usually long gone by now, are still covered in leaves, flowers and ripening fruit. The almond trees are also behind schedule, wearing last year’s leaves instead of bedecked with this year’s blossom so there is unlikely to be a nut crop this year. The citrus trees, on the other hand, are absolutely bowed down with lemons and oranges and the snails are tucking into the salad greens with gusto.

While I am settling back into Symi life, Wendy is still snow-bound in Suffolk. She recently had one of those ‘what a small world’ experiences while shopping for a new dining table at Mark Elliot (for our non-British readers, he is a master craftsman and maker of bespoke wooden furniture). Having chosen the table of her heart’s desire, she asked to have it shipped to a small Greek island of which she was sure no one had heard – only to discover from Mr Elliot’s rapturous response that he knows Symi well and has been holidaying here happily for years. As a sailor he likes to keep an eye on sea and weather conditions in our part of the world and is a regular visitor to the Symi Visitor Accommodation webcam.

Speaking of webcams, with the demise of Olympic Airways long haul flights, I had to fly with Emirates via Dubai and they have webcams mounted on their planes so that passengers can see what is going on beneath and ahead of the plane. While at 30 000 feet this is, of course, mainly clouds, but during clear spells and take off and landing it is quite fun to see the landscape rolling along below. Flying long haul is so high tech these days, Emirates even offer facilities for making mobile phone calls and sending emails and SMSs from seats in standard economy class. No, they are not selling off bargain bits of Palm Island at Dubai airport but the Emirates terminal ranks high in the world of duty free shopping emporiums. As a hub for long haul visitors to Greece it is a more comfortable option than Cairo or Addis Ababa.

Meanwhile, back on Symi there is that brief lull between the Christmas and Easter festivities. With Easter falling early, on 4 April, Lent starts in mid February this year so Carnival is only a few weeks away and the island’s mothers are already planning fancy dress costumes and hunting for tulle and sequins.

Many thanks to all of you who emailed and sent messages to me when I left for South Africa in December. Despite six weeks in hospital, four of them in Intensive Care, my father has pulled through and is preparing to fight the next round in his battle against cancer. Thanks also to the staff and doctors at St Augustine’s Hospital, Durban, without whose dedicated efforts Musa Nkuna and many other South African singers would now be looking for a new coach.

Have a good week and for those of you who are up to your ears in snow, keep warm and remember that the days are getting longer again so spring can't be far away.



Kojak –   – (Tuesday, January 12, 2010)  

Good to have you back, Adriana and to have good news about your father. It's amazing what medical treatment can do these days. A friend of mine has made a good recovery from a very advanced colon cancer and is now back at work! My good wishes for the speedy recovery of your father

Richard  – (Tuesday, January 12, 2010)  

Indeed, it's good to have you back again, Adriana. Best wishes to your father.

tove  – (Wednesday, January 13, 2010)  

Welcome back, Adriana, its good to hear the news of your father, best wishes for the future. We all missed you on the site. And Happy New Year too, to you and Wendy

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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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