Poppies and Peas

Symi is shining in the spring sun. Blue skies, calm seas and busy people cleaning, scrubbing, painting and varnishing. The fishing boats in the harbour are relaying their moorings to make space for visiting yachts and ferries. The road gang is hard at work, widening and grading the road to Nimborio. The whitewashing of the Kali Strata steps is nearly done. With all this activity down in the harbour the bakeries sold out of cheese and spinach pies much earlier than usual today. The gyros bars are switching to their Big Week menus of seafood and taramasalata. Big Week, for those unfamiliar with the term, is the week running up to Easter, when even those who don’t normally observe the Lenten fast often cut out meat and anything containing blood. The butchers in the harbour and Chorio have signs up advising Symiots to place their orders NOW for Easter lambs, kids and other Easter specialities.

Houses are being aired and every Symi balcony boasts its fair share of rugs, carpets, quilts and blankets. A well known harbour hound actually took his first paddle of the year this morning but most of the island’s human inhabitants are leaving swimming until the sea has warmed up a bit more. After months of abnormally high tides and flooded shoreline we now have the opposite and visiting Pedi yesterday some of the boats were actually aground. A high pressure system over the Eastern Mediterranean combined with the equinoctial spring low is responsible for this sudden drop in sea levels. The countryside is lush with spring flowers and the bees are having a wonderful time in the poppies that have opened in my pea fields.

Thursday 25 March is the Feast of the Annunciation and also the commemoration of the start of the Greek War of Independence. It is a public and religious holiday in Greece and even those who are striking may well put their placards down for the day and wave flags instead as parades take place in every town and village in Greece.

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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