From Bombay to Symi via a small village on Romney Marsh

Well, that was a sweet thing to listen to. The radio I mean. But not local radio here on Symi, local radio over there in Kent. [caption id="attachment_13178" align="alignleft" width="300"]TALES FROM THE GRAND BAZAAR by Bombay Dub Orchestra TALES FROM THE GRAND BAZAAR by Bombay Dub Orchestra[/caption] I discovered that an old school friend of mine was interviewing another old school friend of mine on his radio show the other night. I missed it, but then found out I could listen to it again for one week. So that’s what I did as I was pottering around at home yesterday, and I am still listening to it now as I write this up. Actually I am listening to one of the pieces from the latest CD that OSF (old school friend) has released. The music is by the Bombay Dub Orchestra and that is made up of Andrew T Mackay (osf) and Gary Hughes. “Bombay Dub Orchestra makes use of a full-fledged, Bollywood-style symphony, thereby offering some of the most lush and compelling string arrangements this side of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” -Music journalist Douglas Heselgrave. [caption id="attachment_13179" align="alignright" width="198"]One of Neil's photos from inside Roukouniotis, Symi One of Neil's photos from inside Roukouniotis, Symi[/caption] I discover, after further research that, “Dub is a genre of music which grew out of reggae music in the 1960s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae. Music in this genre consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, and emphasizing the drum and bass parts (this stripped-down track is sometimes referred to as a 'riddim'). Other techniques include dynamically adding extensive echo, reverb, panoramic delay, and occasional dubbing of vocal or instrumental snippets from the original version or other works.” Well, all I know is that I heard a couple of their tracks on the radio show and wondered why on earth I’d not got any in my collection at home. So, I've now ordered ‘Tales from the grand bazaar’ (some of which I believe was recorded in Istanbul, some in Macedonia) and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. [caption id="attachment_13180" align="alignleft" width="300"]And another And another[/caption] But the sweet thing? Well, I was mentioned as ‘an inspiration’, by Andrew in his interview. We were great friends though our musical tastes didn’t quite match up. He was what you might call band music (rock, and stuff) whereas I was theatre music, but we got along and I photographed his band, Another Language, for their publicity. In the interview he also mentioned our old music teachers, David Purvis and Rodney Rickets, who were a great inspiration to me as well, so that was nice to hear. Anyway, if you want to hear the show, the interview is about 20 minutes in with some of the Bombay Dub Orchestra being played and you can find the play button under ‘The Craig Avery Show’ on this page: http://www.channelradio.co.uk/listen-again-tuesday/
Friday, October 24th, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

October Symi skies

Well, actually, one October Symi sky. Yesterday morning’s sky to be exact at around dawn, which was itself around 6.45 when we left the house to go for a quick jog around the village. [caption id="attachment_13171" align="alignleft" width="300"]Symi Greece photos Clouds at dawn[/caption] Rather, up the steps to the top road, and then keep on running all the way up the hill (apart from two steep corners) to the Kantina where, around 07.00, I felt slightly less round but rather out of breath. So, we ran back down again and around the corners back to the top road where we didn’t hang around but headed home for a round of toast. No actually, it was eggs on spinach, prepared by Neil, but on a round plate. And that’s enough of the around usage for one paragraph. [caption id="attachment_13172" align="alignright" width="300"]Symi Greece photos Commuting to work, Symi style[/caption] There are fewer and fewer people around each day now (stop it!) as folk leave for the winter. Some long-stayers have left, some remain for a few more days and then it will be back to the locals and winter visitors only. The weather is cooling down with strong winds in the offing. We are hoping that Sunday stays bad-weather-free as we’re planning to walk up to Agios Dimitrios on the slopes below the ancient castro in the area called Karro. [caption id="attachment_13173" align="alignleft" width="300"]Symi Greece photos A little later, looking down to Pedi[/caption] I think this is the church that Neil and I found one summer holiday when completely lost. We were heading to St Emilianos using a guide book and somehow took the wrong turning out of Roukouniotis. We eventually ran out of road and so made our own way up to the top of the hill to see where we were. We could see our destination so simply headed for it. This did involve scrambling down a few cliff faces, which is not the kind of thing we’d advise, and we ended up in the bay at Ghaidhouromadra, as marked on the new Symi map I have, where it also shows a tower (must investigate one day). From there we ran around the coast, somehow, to make it to the boats on time and climbed aboard the Diagoras just as it was about to leave. The full story can be found in one of my books somewhere… [caption id="attachment_13174" align="alignright" width="300"]You can see that other boats rushed to assist. You can see that other boats rushed to assist.[/caption] Anyway, there’s a morning’s ramble for you. Other news? Well, there was a fire on a boat out at sea the other day and Neil got some photos and someone was rescued but not badly hurt, and no one, even the news channels, seems to know the exact story, so no point in speculating. The Rainbow Bar is closed on Sunday for the name day, at least during the day; will probably be open in the evening. And Neil has started bringing things back form the shop, starting to clear it out. Only another week or so to go.
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

What to do when waiting at Rhodes airport

Here’s an idea for your next Symi holiday, or rather for when you return via Rhodes airport from your next Symi holiday. [caption id="attachment_13164" align="alignleft" width="300"]Leaving Symi Leaving Symi[/caption] You know how it can be when you have to catch an early boat because it’s the only one and your flight isn’t until much later? Or maybe when you only have a couple of hours between arriving on Rhodes and checking in, and all that jazz? Well, we often recommend that people head to the Plaza hotel and hang out there, have lunch and so on, if you've got all day. But if you are a bit tight for time though you still want to eat, you can do what we did last Sunday. [caption id="attachment_13165" align="alignright" width="300"]Dodecanese Seaways Crossing with Dodecanese Seaways[/caption] We arrived in Rhodes more or less on time despite the boat leaving two hours late due to the swell at Rhodes harbour; we simply didn’t stop at Panormitis for an hour en route, though we did stop there and collect a cacophony of wedding guests. So, into Rhodes at six and a flight taking off at 22.30 – what to do? You want to go and have a meal but if you find a place in, say, the new town, you’re sitting there watching the clock and wondering how long it will take to get served, then eat, then find a cab and then get to the airport. So, you may not always enjoy yourself. [caption id="attachment_13166" align="alignleft" width="300"]Deipnos Deipnos[/caption] Instead of doing that we, after I’d checked in at the Lydia (and been told off for booking online and not phoning to book where I would have received an even better deal on a room) we went straight to the airport. We checked that the flight was listed as leaving on time and then went across the road to a place called ΔΕΙΡΝΟΣ. (δειπνο-, "dinner") This is a place for ‘handmade souvlaki and gyros’ (I’ve yet to see a machine made one) that has ‘local traditional cuisine’ and that also does deliveries. I also note, reading the cover of the free wet-wipe they give you, that it calls itself, in Latin letters, ‘Deipnos’ so the P of the Greek title is actually a P, but don’t get me started on that one. Anyway, the flight was on time for leaving and we had about three hours to wait. So, mother and I went for dinner near the airport, and that meant there was no worry about getting back to the flight when the time came. Check in had already been done on line so that was also out of the way, and there was only hand luggage so not even any drop off to do. [caption id="attachment_13167" align="alignleft" width="300"]Inside Inside[/caption] You find this restaurant thus: come out of the airport terminal so you've got the cars, taxis and road in front of you and look right; at that end you will see the coach park. Head that way and, carefully, cross the coach park to the far, road, side. There, looking right you will find some old steps and a ramp heading up to a small church, there are also steeper steps further along. Go up, and about ten feet more to your right and opposite is the entrance to the taverna. (There is also a handy kiosk there.) You have to cross the road to get there, so watch out for that. They’ve got inside seating, with lots of TVs showing football, quietly, as well as a terrace and outside seating. There’s no departures board or anything, It's not got anything to do with the airport, and that also means prices are reasonable. [caption id="attachment_13168" align="alignright" width="300"]Outside Rainbow with mother. Outside Rainbow with mother.[/caption] Example: Huge slab of moussaka, plate of (decently cooked) chips, a huge omelette, half a kilo of red and a large water, €25.00 – where as a small glass of wine at the airport QU snack bar costs €5.00 on its own, and where I can only assume Q.U. stands for Quite Undrinkable. Okay, so the taverna is right next to the airport and convenient but it’s also a bit noisy when planes take off, but you can't have everything. By the time we got back and mother went up to go through the security with plenty of time to spare and no need to rush dinner, the airport was pretty quiet. We disturbed the teenager in a uniform who was playing with his hand-held as we approached. He looked up briefly, ‘London?’ he said, ‘yes’ we said, ‘go through’, he said hardly lifting his eyes from his all-important Facebook page, and that was that. Anyway, I hope you find that little tip helpful. I’m not on commission but if you do go, make sure you mention that the Symi Dream blog sent you. [Small print: other tavernas may be available in your area, the price of meals can go up as well as down, and some dishes may contain nuts. There’s a Health and Safety blog post brewing behind these pages. Be warned.]
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

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