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.
There are all kinds of things to mention today after a very nice weekend.
On Saturday we had a visit from Carol Dunning who runs The Greece Property Buying Guide. We’ve met Carol before, last year when she came over from Rhodes for the day to conduct and interview with us and see a little more of Symi. This time we had lunch at the Olive Tree overlooking the sea and the view. And she brought us a gift; a copy of the film ‘Pascali’s Island’ which I’d never seen before.
This film will be of interest to everyone who loves Symi and/or Rhodes, as it was shot on location on both islands. Symi appears at the beginning as the port of arrival for Charles Dance, and it is also used for the location of Ben Kingsley’s (Pascali’s) house. The film was released in 1988 and is set in 1908, shortly before the end of Ottoman rule in the area. It’s very hard to get on DVD, or even VHS now, so was a great gift.
Also this weekend the ‘clean up Sesklia’ day took place. The Poseidon boat gave free rides and lunch to around 30 volunteers who went down to Sesklia and collected 30 bags of unwanted jetsam and stuff that had washed up there over the winter, improving the look and appeal of what is already a very appealing place to go. You can take trips on the Poseidon (see the Symi Best ‘things to do on Symi’ page) and some of these include a stop off for lunch at Seskila. When in Yialos, you can see on the board what trip the boat is doing on what day.
The weekend also saw Jean’s birthday party at Mandeio Bar, which followed the live music at the Taverna (George & Maria) which has started again and which will be happening each Friday during the season; book a table early.
Sunday was Neil’s photo walk and he set off for Pedi in the morning, a morning that was sunny and clear when I woke up at six, after an early night and a good sleep. And this morning I am off to town later to collect my new mobile phone and contract. You remember I said they were sending someone to call on me on Friday and I thought that may not happen? Well, it didn’t. But, as expected, the phone and details have been couriered over so I now have to trudge up the hill, half way to Nimborio to collect them from the courier and pay my €5.00, show my passport, hand in a copy, sign some forms and walk back again. I’m not mentioning the name of this mobile provider, but once I have jumped through all of those hoops I shall, I hope, be Free To Go.
And tonight sees our first wine night of the season. Everyone is welcome to stop by for a ‘glass’ of wine and a chat on the steps, a browse of the shop (and gallery when ready) between 18:00 and 20:00 – on all and any Monday of the season.
An update on the film news: The Mayor of Symi has responded to 1066 Productions saying: “We welcome your proposal to film on Symi and we are glad you have chosen Symi to make your scenes. If the filming takes place at the village or at any other place on the island, there is no need for any special licence. If your filming takes place in museums or any other archaeological monuments, then it is necessary to ask for the permission of the Archaeology in Rhodes.” Best regards, El.Papakalodoukas, Mayor of Symi.
So that’s great news for the production, and the company office is now in contact with the Archaeologia in Rhodes as they are interested in filming at a couple of local sites too. The shooting is not definite yet of course, that is going to depend on finance and there will be a fund raising campaign starting up shortly. I will keep you informed about that. The company want to employ as much local talent as possible, which will be good for the island and, at the same time, promote Symi in a positive way, bring it some publicity and possibly even boost the visitor numbers. In order to stand a better chance of raising the funds, the You Tube teaser/trailer could do with getting loads of views, and the Facebook page lots of likes. So, if you want to help the production for free, simply run the trailer here.
And if you use Facebook please call into the Judas Curse page and give it a like. Thank You!
There was something else I was going to tell you, now what was it…? Oh yes, a few reminders. (Not a late night or anything last night, in fact the opposite: early night, good sleep, just got a lot to do today.)
Koukoumas was going to be this evening, but I heard yesterday that it has been postponed to next Saturday or the one after, I’m still not sure but will try and find out and let you now as soon as I know.
Neil’s Sunday morning photo walk is on tomorrow morning, either email or phone him (address and number to the right under the shop video) or just arrive at the shop on the Kali Strata at 9.15 when the walk sets off. It looks like it’s going to be a clear and warm day tomorrow so that should make for a pleasant walk for a nice chat, a chance to learn some tips and tricks and to see the Pedi Valley.
If there is a group of three or more and you want to take a different walk, he can also arrange them for other days, again have a chat via email or on the phone, or call in to the shop if you are on the island.
The first wine night of the season is happening on Monday. Come to the shop between six and eight in the evening and have a pre-dinner ‘glass’ of wine with us on the steps while you browse and chat. Over the last couple of years these Monday evenings have attracted over 1,000 people per season and we like to think that they help bring people up to the village and on to other businesses.