Not getting ahead of myself today, the blog this morning is being written ‘live’ at 07.27 thanks to an early morning alarm call from…
No, not the Alarm Cat, from (I suspect) a mobile phone company phoning the landline well before seven. On the second call back I got up to answer it only to have the phone put down on me, so it could have been a wrong number. Either way, we were up early and the juice was made well before either cat or alarm.
Monday’s wine night was well attended, many people came for a browse, a ‘glass’ and a chat on the steps and we noticed many of our guests later in the taverna as we passed. The fans have gone back up at the Rainbow Bar and yesterday Yiannis next door was putting up his (see photo); the temperature has risen again and the reports are showing figures in the 30’s for the coming week. The round the island boat trips have started with the Poseidon going out and some of, if not all, the taxi boats are up and running again. Today, Olympic Holidays have something like 63 new guests arriving for their holidays; things are starting to get into the summer season swing.
And the season’s first gallery exhibition is due to start on Friday with ‘Scary Monster Art’ from the children who took part in the Symi Women’s Association organised art classes through the winter. Τερατο-δημιουργίες των παιδιών της Σύμης. Έναρξη 18.30, Παρασκευή 24 Μαΐου
This will be at the Symi Gallery which is on the Kali Strata a few steps down from the old Kali Strata Bar corner. Basically walk up, or down, the main route of the Kali Strata and you can’t miss it.
And on Sunday at the Gallery, at 19.00 there is a poetry reading called ‘Scary Stories’ which will be an evening of poetry to reflect the art produced for the exhibition. This, like the exhibition, is free and open to all to attend.
We are in Nimborio on Sunday after Neil’s photo walk and are not sure what time we will be returning, but the exhibition will be on for a couple of weeks. We have to, meanwhile, start getting our own gallery organised, a job possibly for this Saturday, or next week. I think Neil might be planning an opening wine night with live music at some point in the future, I’ll let you know.
Trying to get ahead of myself again today (Monday). I am working on the wedding video and putting the final touches to it, adding some music and some extra Symi Videos of ours that the wedding party requested. And then turning it into a DVD. The making of the DVD takes time and I can’t have very much else running while it does it, so I thought I would use the time and get today’s blog done today which is yesterday. I’ve been doing a lot of this recently.
There’s an image up today that Neil took on his walk on Sunday and which he has also shared on Facebook, so this question may have already been answered: But does anyone know what kind of spider this is? It’s about the size of your little fingernail and its back looks like a nasty face; a kind of Death’s Head Spider? It was in the Pedi Valley. He and his walkers would be interested to know.
While he was out doing that I was working on the film script and the Kickstarter pitch script; much more about this to come in due course no doubt. And I was also getting the house ready for visitors who came up on Sunday evening. We had a lovely time on the terrace chatting, and the Romanian chicken dish I made seemed to go down well. So did the attention the Alarm Cat received from some of his fans.
Monday morning I was back at the desk working on the video, and noticed that my day to day ‘This Day in History’ diary that Jenine gave me had not been attended to for a few days, so I flicked through to see what I had missed. Tearing off the pages since 13th May to 20th I found out I had missed: Pope John Paul II being shot (1981), the departure of the ‘Lewis and Clark’ expedition (1804), the start of the seven years’ war (1756), the first Academy awards ceremony (1929, it’s a very USA based desk diary), Washington criticising “taxation without representation” which sounds kind of apt for anyone paying a Greek electricity bill these days (1769), Randy Johnson throwing a ‘perfect game at 40’ which meant absolutely nothing to me (2004), and Pete Townshend writing ‘My Generation’ in 1965. So quite a lot goes on when you’re not looking at your calendar.
Which could be a bit of a local-news-TV style segue into the Symi Dream calendar 2014 which is now for sale in the shop and on line. (It’s never too early to be thinking about Christmas presents.) If you look at its Lulu page you will be able to see a full preview of the great photos inside.
2014 Symi calendars. Beautiful images of Symi from Neil Gosling. Order online now
Just a couple of news items this Monday morning to keep you up to date with what I’ve found out. Thanks to the wonder of modern science I can now sit on the steps outside the shop of an evening and connect to the internet while watching a view that, apart from the odd telegraph pole, has not changed for hundreds of years.
And while doing that I can check in to the darker reaches of sites like Facebook and discover what’s going on just around the corner. Or, failing that, I can overhear gossip and pass it along the line. One thing I did hear recently was that The Symi Gallery will soon be opening after the winter with a couple of exhibitions lined up. One will be showing the artwork created by the children and students of the art classes organised by the Symi Women’s Association and led by Ian Haycox, the Gallery proprietor. The other exhibition I heard about was to be of work from a Cuban artist, but more details will follow.
I also found a link to a news item at Travel Agent Central about Louis Cruises, with Symi now on its list of ports to call into (next year). Here’s the opening of the article.
Louis Cruises unveiled new cruise programs for the 2014 season. Having launched a new cruise product in 2013 reflective of its Hellenic roots, the company is nearly doubling the number of ports it calls at for 2014 with the introduction of nine new destinations including: Samos, Milos, Syros, Kos, Ios, Symi, Chios, Cesme and Bodrum. Louis Cruises’ 2014 itineraries will sail to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Heraklion (Crete) , Santorini, Istanbul, and Kusadasi, and also to the lesser-known ports. [continue reading]
And a quick, free, advert for a local radio station: “Radio Symi – Symi Radio plays quality Greek music, nonstop and commercial free.”
Ο διαδυκτιακός ραδιοφωνικός σταθμός Σύμης που παίζει 24 ώρες τις καλύτερα ελληνικά τραγούδια. Στις μουσικές επιλογές ο Κωνσταντίνος Παπαθεοδοσίου .
I like that because they are ‘commercial free’ and Symi Dream (with Symi Best) give free commercials. I don’t know how many folk they reach per day but we reach around 1,000 readers per day, all I assume with an interest in Symi; so if you’re a business, or know of one, and want free advertising to a wide audience, just drop us a line, or you can contact www.symibest.gr where you find only the best of Symi.
If you do use Facebook, make sure you follow the Symi Women’s Association page to catch up on all their news, photos and videos of cultural events on Symi. (Photo from the May 8th parade.)
And this photo is from Sevasti, from The Symi Women’s Association: Ο νέος εφημέριος της Παναγιάς, ο ιερέας Δημήτριος Γεωργιάδης. Καλορίζικος !! (The new priest at the Church of the Virgin of the Castle, Dimitris Georgiadis.) Thank you for letting us share it!
It was busy in the harbour yesterday with day-trippers from Rhodes coming over. That was good to see, many of the tavernas were doing good business, as were some of the bars.
We were down there around lunchtime to visit the accountant, check the post office for Neil’s new sandals, which had arrived, and to do a couple of other business things; all successfully taken care of I am pleased to say.
The wind was up and café advertising boards were being blown over, the sea was whipping up and the walk back up the hill felt easy enough as it wasn’t too hot. There’s still a cool breeze around this morning and the day still has a bit of a grey feel to it, but it’s supposed to be brightening up later.
I am just starting to day with a beetroot, apple, lemon, orange and ginger concoction from the juicer and have very few plans for the day other than writing some text for a promo video for the island. Neil has his walk on tomorrow and we have friends coming up for something to eat on the terrace in the late afternoon, so some shopping event needs to happen today. Other than that, and a Eurovision Song Contest party at Astrid’s bar later (we have already sent our apologies), it looks like it’s going to be a standard kind of weekend.
I had a 6.30 alarm call from the Alarm Cat this morning which I wasn’t very impressed with. Mind you I needed an early start as there are thing to be done today.
I have been asked to work on the text for a speech for a promotional video about Symi, this is to go along with the fund-raising appeal that the production company will be putting out to try and get funds in to make “The Judas Curse” on the island. If you have not already seen the trailer/teaser, please remember to take a look; it’s had over 1,000 views in the last week alone; it would be good to get that to 2,000 by the end of May. The more views, the greater the chance of raising the money, filming the story, releasing the film, publicising the island, and so on.
You can see more, and view the trailer, by clicking to this page.
Meanwhile, back on the island. The weather is trying to settle down, a bit breezy this morning, warm again yesterday after an unsettled week and a storm or two, but the week ahead is forecast to improve until it becomes, and I quote: “Beautiful with plenty of sun.”
Neil has been busy in the shop, I have almost finished the wedding DVD, there is a photo walk on this Sunday, wine night to look forward to, more visitors arrived on Wednesday, and yesterday morning, we may have to re-visit the accountant today, take care of some business in Yialos and I must remember to water the garden. It’s that time of year again.
The photos today were taken at a wedding last Sunday. Petros from one of the village supermarkets and his bride met, in the traditional way for the village, at the corner of the village square. Her party came up and his came down, they met, with the priest and the guests, led my musicians, before heading off up to the very top of the village and the church of Agia Triada for the ceremony. Traditionally the church bells ring from the moment the bride leaves home to the moment she arrives at church; they rang for a long time last Sunday.
We’ve been sent the latest update from Symi Animal Welfare, which I have reproduced here, along with a couple of photos of ours.
“Hello friends and supporters, we apologise for being so slow in publishing an update re our activities on the island. Time simply rushes away! So, to keep you all in the picture, here is the latest news:-
A couple of weeks into the new holiday season, a number of early visitors have remarked on how healthy overall, the street cats are looking. The extended winter feeding programme could well have played a part in that, volunteers took food 2 or 3 times per week to all main residential areas from November until April. For the 3rd year running, even cats in the Nimborio area received food. Thanks to your donations, it was possible to distribute extra foodstuffs to volunteers responsible for the larger cat communities – in Pedi for example, where 30 or so cats are cared for by 2 residents. We have been unable to let you know the final amount spent on cans, pasta & biscuits because the shop-owners are being tardy for some reason?! Our main supplier however, Sotiris in the Village, has told me only today, that he now has a bill for us! We’ll be letting him have payment later in the week. He, along with Hatzipetros supermarket in Yialos, each donated food towards the programme.
Even though there were quite a lot of boat cancellations due to bad weather during the winter, we managed to take 28 cats over to a vet on Rhodes. This particular vet had agreed back in October, to come over here to hold a much needed surgery, but, for a number of reasons, this never happened unfortunately. She therefore came up with another idea which was that, we send cats over to her, they would be collected from the boat & then returned later in the day after neutering. However, even though the animals would be safe inside cat-boxes, the boat company insists that they are escorted by humans, this is written in their rules & regulations. Several volunteers therefore escorted cats, up to 5 at one time, to the surgery over the winter – 28 in all.
Another initiative, this time by the Mayor and his council, which was enforced a while ago, is that all dogs be registered at the council offices. The residents who went along to register had to provide evidence of regular inoculations & pet-passport, we were each given a printed sheet stating the law re leashes, fouling and cruelty issues….the ‘famous dogs’ ie Delfi, Kookie & Loulou all are now on-record!! Hopefully, this registration will encourage responsibility too?
We would like to say thank you for your continuing support and for donations received during the winter. If you’re on the island over the summer months, we’d love to meet you. Hazel, Suzan, Claudia, Tove & Melanie”
After yesterday’s rather dodgy images taken with my not so smart smart phone I thought I would share a couple of Neil’s professional images from his photo walks.
When on a photo walk with Neil, not only do you get a nice walk, a good chat and the chance to meet some new people, ask Neil what he does on Symi in the winter and buy him a beer afterwards, but you also get to find out how to take photos like these. And you can do them with more or less any camera these days. Macro lenses are used, and someone recently asked why the lens or function was called ‘Macro’, what does it mean?
So, public service being one of my occasional hobbies: I looked up Macro on Wiki-dodgy, or whatever it’s called and got off to a flying start with: “A macro (short for “macroinstruction”, from Greek μακρο- ‘large’) in computer science is a rule or pattern that specifies how a certain input sequence (often a sequence of characters) should be mapped to a replacement input sequence (also often a sequence of characters) according to a defined procedure.”
Clearly I had used the wrong procedure and typed in the wrong search string (also often a sequence of incorrectly inputted characters I assume), so I tried again and found this:
“Macro photography (or photomacrography or macrography, and sometimes macrophotography) is extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size (though macrophotography technically refers to the art of making very large photographs). By some definitions, a macro photograph is one in which the size of the subject on the negative or image sensor is life size or greater. However in other uses it refers to a finished photograph of a subject at greater than life size.”
I just think it mean you get nice close-ups of pretty butterflies and characterful bugs.
For more info on the photo walks see this page. There is one every Sunday morning through the summer, setting off from Symi Dream at 9.15 (so folk from Yialos can get the bus up), but other days can also be arranged and private walks are also possible. You can always email Neil for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org
The first wine night of the season went well last night with around 50 people turning up to meet, browse, mingle and chat.
It came at the end of a busy day: after catching up on some work in the morning we headed off down to Yialos to take care of some business: seeing the accountant who wasn’t there, calling up to the courier conveniently placed half way to Nimborio up the steep slope, paying the shop phone bill after half an hour of queuing, picking up one pair of sandals from an order of two, both dispatched at the same time and one still on its way, and then calming down with a lunch at To Spitiko before heading back up to arrange the wine night wine with Sotiris.
And then, after putting together my new phone (a smart phone apparently, but it’s not that smart, it doesn’t have a keyboard suitable for grownups so my texts yesterday were all in code), and after putting on my new sandals I slipped down the hill to look after the bar for a bit. There was a thunderstorm yesterday, which I was caught out in, and so I arrived to soggy orange chairs and Yianni sweeping rain water away like mad. I got there quicker than I would have liked thanks to the slippery new shoes. ‘Oh, what’s on the Syllogos menu todaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Phew, no one saw me.’
And then the thunder returned during the night, waking the Alarm Cat nice and early so it was a bit of a sleepless one. Not a late night though, even though I did listen to the other new arrival last night, a CD of Rick Wakeman and Tim Rice’s 1984; great to hear that again after all these years.
The photos today were taken on the new smart phone.