I took a walk through the early part of the A section of my 1775 dictionary the other day and it all seemed rather apt, considering I had only recently taken a walk up through a particularly thorny path only recently.
According to my new found old words, some of which you may be familiar with, what I actually did on my walking day was:
It started when I found myself with an allubescency (willingness) towards an amble as I was feeling a little adipous that day (fat). I strode out towards ‘To Vrisi’ where the path was, and remains to this day, acclivous (rising). Heading into the hills I was able to observe the acervose (full of heaps)fields with their boulders and herbs and some very aculeate (prickly) plants. Overhead various aliferous (winged) things swirled about and a pleasant walk it was too, thus I decided to make this stroll an actitation (action quick and frequent) in the future.
That is enough of that altiloquence (pompous language) for now, lets’ get back to more regular words where I don’t have to check my spelling of them with the book.
News? The dance show starts at 18:30 on Saturday at The Opera House and everyone is invited and welcome. We are planning to hold a wine night on Monday but it looks like we’re in the post-Easter, pre-package lull and so there may not actually be anyone around to buy anything and as the idea of providing the wine is to liquefy folk into purchasing a card or too, we’ll have to see if we will be there. Neil will be there anyway as that’s his job, so I expect he’ll get a bottle in to share with anyone who is passing.
Getting back into the swing of thing slowly after the winter: shop ready (some stock still on its way), daily routine up to speed, blog getting done, photos being taken…
What I am doing these days is getting the blog ready the day before it is put online. I am doing this as I have changed my morning routine. Instead of starting with a stumble around the keyboard my days now start with a stroll to Pedi, or up the road to Periotisa, or sometimes down to Yialos and back, just to get the body woken up before hitting the keyboard. I now aim to be at work by 7.30 every morning, but with the blog written the day before. But I have probably told you all of that; it’s my way of saying ‘no news.’
Well, it’s not exactly news but I was shown how to put a game on my smart phone so now when I have nothing better to do I can sit and play something like Scrabble with my Android (how very sci-Fi). And I have got a new keyboard on its way as I type. Not a musical keyboard, though that would be nice, but a new typing one to attach to the laptop. This old one has a shift key that’s been mashed to death, some of the letters are missing and the t-key only works every now and then, meaning I type a lot of his not this and here not there and its not… well, you get the message.
And while all this thrilling madness and mayhem is going on with my keyboard, Neil is busy photographing away and has sent me loads of shots taken on our walks and at other times, which I can now use bit by bit on the blog. He is also taking photos on Saturday at the dance show, though not when he is in the tap routines, he’s got someone else lined up to cover those, and so there should be a wealth of Symi photos coming your way ‘ere long.
You might have picked up on the fact that Neil and I have been making an effort to get up a bit earlier and go for a quick walk before breakfast. We’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now to get some sunrise photos. We are soon going to have to start getting up even earlier as the sun rises earlier each day, but hopefully that should not be a problem. It does mean I am usually asleep by ten at night though.
Catching up on Symi news, kind of: I can tell you that the Symi Dream wine nights are due to start again this coming Monday, 28th April, and will carry on until the end of the season, barring any unforeseen circumstances. This year while you sip your complementary glass of wine you should be able to browse a new exhibition from Ged, and more new photos from Neil with some great new limited editions in the shop.
There will also be some new handmade cards, just waiting for some stock to arrive and they will be made up, and there is the new calendar. As usual we only get a few in at a time at the start of the season as we need to sell some in order to have the cash flow to buy more, and this winter was a bit of a dark one for the till. On that (possibly sad) note there should be a post about the future of the shop in a few days’ time – ‘Time that is a changing’ as someone nearly sang in a song once.
And meanwhile, there is the new Village View book to check out and get a copy of – same rules apply in that there will only be a limited stock to start with but if it sells then we can afford to get more, and eventually there will be the Judas Inheritance book to buy as well. That’s on top of the photo walks and usual photo services that Neil provides from the shop.
And all that comes after this mad week of dancing, more so for Neil than me. Like yesterday, Tuesday: early morning walk to Pedi and back, took about 35 minutes as there was rain in the air and we went at a bit of a pace; he then went to Yialos and back to collect a package, on foot, then later had an hour long Zumba class with Claire and then, after his two shifts at the shop, we did 90 minutes tap practice on our own in readiness for Saturday. All this is to be repeated on Thursday, and possibly Friday too. No wonder I am asleep so early.
I have some great photos from Neil taken over the Easter weekend, which I will post up here bit by bit over the next few days.
Our Easter Sunday was wonderful: a photo walk for Neil, some writing for me and then a hot cross bun at the Olive Tree. A glass of something light on the terrace with the neighbours opposite having their barbeque and waving, and the neighbours next door in their garden having theirs, the smell of roasting and cooking everywhere and the occasional fireworks exploding.
We went around to the Harry Hose for our lunch and had or own barbeque on the terrace. That was followed by a visit from the Easter Bunya and an egg hunt. Friends called in, Neil entertained, and we listened to hits from the 1980s and tried to remember who sang what.
Later we went up to the Castro to watch the fireworks and the dancing and the burning of Judas, from a distance, though we could still see what was going on. And then a relatively early night, considering, and a good sleep.
Still didn’t feel like long enough though when the alarm went off at six thirty and we were out on the main road doing our morning walk. It was a quiet Monday, with some work going on for both of us, and the busy part of the week starts today with rehearsals for the dance show on Saturday.
It’s Easter Sunday morning as I am writing this, I’m getting ahead of myself so I have time for an early walk tomorrow, and it is very quiet outside. Last night, as is tradition on the island, there were dynamite and fireworks after the midnight mass which we attended at Agios Athanasios.
This is a popular church on Easter Saturday night and several visitors and many local residents attended, lit their candles and then gathered outside for the end of the service in front of the church, while the fireworks wet off and the hills came alive with the sound of heavy explosives. Neil will have all the photos available to me soon so I’ll post some of them during the week. I only had my phone with me, and that leads me to explain today’s pics.
I am having a clear out of the recent photos from the phone and they are a bit of a mixed bag. You may have seen a couple of them already if you follow Symi Dream on Facebook where I sometimes post extra images. Others are from our early morning walks, so a few sunrises, a couple of the Alarm Cat watching TV, an afternoon stroll towards ‘To Vrisi’ on the south side of the Pedi Valley, the crumbling Lazy Days in the boat yard, a horse and his boy and Pedi itself. (A little photo for you Lin.)
Neil is currently out doing his first photo walk of the season with a lovey morning to be doing it. The sun is back after a couple of unsettled days, and though it has been colder of late, things should now be warming up again. I start my summer job tomorrow (mustn’t forget), so I will have mornings to write and do ‘things’ and then afternoon work, and then will be around to help at the shop, or do more ‘things’ at home – like try and write a new book, keep the house tidy and maybe even see what’s living in the garden.
Before things really get going though, we’ve got the dance show next Saturday. At The Opera House Hotel, everyone welcome, it’s free and stars around 6.30 I think – I will check that one. Neil and I are appearing in two tap dance numbers in the adult class, Neil will also be taking photos, when not doing his shuffle ball chance tap step heel, and there are, I think, about 18 dances in total with jazz, ballet and tap all involved. So, rehearsals for that this week and they come after today’s Sunday lunch.
We will be going to the Harry house as usual, Sotiris has donated half a lamb to the family, Yiannis at Lefteris’ Kafeneion generously donated Neil and I wine box the other day, er, a, um, ten litre box of red wine, which is very generous and will be handy for wine nights for a good couple of months I’d say. We’ve done the fasting bit (kind of) and we’ve had the red (blue) eggs and the bread and so today we can look forward to Symi lamb with Titanic Mint sauce.
I made the mint sauce from a book given to me for my birthdays: recipes from the Titanic. So on Good Friday evening we also had Titanic pea soup (Pottage Saint-Germain) which involved the use of a lettuce, I couldn’t find the exact type needed (Romaine) so I had ti use an iceberg, and only realised half way through making it what I was using. Anyway, enough rambling. Will let you get on with your Monday and remember this was written Sunday morning. Hoping you had a peaceful Easter, and should be back with you tomorrow.
A gallery of images for you today on Great Friday. I aim to be blogging over the weekend, but I might take a couple of days off, so if I ‘go dark’ you will know there is nothing to worry about. Wishing you a peaceful and celebratory Easter if you celebrate it, else, just wishing you a good weekend.
Easter weekend is fast approaching us, houses are being cleaned and painted up outside, the shops are busy with people buying in all that’s needed for the end of Lent, and the churches have been busy with the services that take place throughout this week. I am just catching up on the end of our walk last Sunday with a few shots that I took, like this one of a field full of yellow flowers seen on the way home.
Did I tell you that the new book is out at Amazon in Kindle format? Here’s the link to Village View: A year on Symi. I notice that the page breaks don’t show up in the Amazon ‘look inside’ example of the book; they do in the real thing.
Yesterday we were up early again for a morning walk before starting the day and, as we needed to use the ATM machine, we headed down the Kali Strata to the bank and then someone had the bright idea of heading back up the kataractis. That was a joy at 7.00 in the morning, a shower was needed afterwards and a doze off after lunch to recover. But at least we did it, and Neil got a very nice shot of the early morning harbour.
On Tuesday night four of us spent an hour and a half going through our tap routines for Saturday 26th and trying to drill some of the finer points into our heads. I still sound like a carthorse, but that can’t be helped. We will have a few run-throughs next week and hopefully another session like Tuesday night and be ready and on top form for the show which will be held at the Opera House.
Before then there is a town hall and Women’s Association sponsored dance and celebration in Yialos on Sunday evening (at 19.45) when the traditional burning of Judas is to take place. That will follow on from Great Friday, the solemn day of fasting, Easter Saturday and the traditional midnight mass, followed by fireworks, dynamite and feasting, and an Easter Sunday with the family. More photos to come no doubt, but for now an image to mark the end of our winter walking season and the start of our summer.
Full gallery of the walk to the ancient Castro tomorrow.
Symi Dream handy tip alert: In case you missed your free copy last year, here is the Olive Tree guide to Paska on Symi. This is a PDF file which you should be able to download and save, print, or open and read online. Click here for your Guide to Symi Easter.
I am employing the use of tachygraphy today as we carry on across the hillside. Yesterday we got as far as Ag Nikitas and the church there. If you are following this walk and making notes then so far we have: left the village on the donkey path which leads to Ag Paraskevi, passed the friendly dog by the road who likes to have his back scratched, headed across the main road and off onto the track towards Panagia Mirtariosita, taking the lower path to slip past it underneath on its south side, and then heading up the track towards St George Kotikon, but heading off the left hand slipway and up the hill rather than along, and so to St Nikitas and then heading to the left of the church, through a small patch of trees and out onto the open hillside.
Phew, that was a march and a half and mainly up hill, but worth the clamber for the views now awaiting us and a good place to sit and do some bird watching:
From up here there is a view down towards St Emilianos, and across to Turkey, and a little further along the side of the hill, towards the sea and other Dodecanese islands. From this place I was able to see Symi (of course!), Rhodes, Halki, a faint edge of Karpathos way beyond it, Tilos, Nissiros, Kos, and at one point on the walk, Bodrum as well as Datca in Turkey. Not bad on one day. Through binoculars I could even see the houses in Tilos’ main harbour. This photo is actually of the quarry on Kos.
It is also possible to see down towards and over the bay of St Vasilis, which is on the other side of the hill you’re on, so you can’t see it without going over the top, and across that bay towards Lapathos and Apiana bays. Those who have read and studied Jason and the Sargonauts will know that this is the bay Jason and his tourist guests should have landed at (Apiana) when they were marooned by the duplicitous boat captain. If you have not read it then a) that won’t mean anything and b) shame on you, you skilt! Taintwivy thee to Amazon.com (kindle version here, if you buy the paperback you can get the Kindle version for £1.99 or something ridiculous).
And finally we make it to the ancient fortification of Castro, which is recognisable from the huge pile of old fallen down stones around the base of some very sturdy walls. I am calling it Castro as that’s what it says on the map.
While here we found the two halves of a pottery handle; Lyndon found one half and I found the other a few paces away, and they fitted together perfectly. There was also part of a rim of a large jug or amphora. I have no idea of the age of the piece though, could be 100 years could be 2,000 or could be ten I guess.
So, after having a look at all views from the old Castro and after a rest, having found ourselves to be a little flabile, we headed back through the woods and towards home. There are still photos to come, which will be up tomorrow, and still some sites to see even on the homeward march, but that will have to wait until another day.
Tachygraphy: (Johnson) n.s. The art of practice of quick writing.
Taintwivy: at full speed
Skily: (Johnson) n.s. [A word used by Cleaveland, of which I know not either etymology or meaning.] Well, how very helpful Mr J.
Flabile: (Johnson) blown about by the wind