Closing the Symi Dream shop at the end of the season

Today is the 12th year anniversary of us leaving England to come and live in Greece, and today Neil takes over the blog to make his formal announcement about his shop. I know he wanted to let his landlady know before he posted this, but she has not been around and is away at the moment (he's going to try and get a message to her instead). Neil writes: [caption id="attachment_12864" align="alignleft" width="300"]symi may 19 09 009 2009 'Sign and wine'[/caption] Digital photography really is amazing, and fun. It gave me a new lease of life, and I grabbed it with both hands and steered myself all over the place full of fresh and new ideas, brimming with enthusiasm. I watched, I listened, I took everything in that I was being taught. It was the start of a fantastic career and shop, which in Symi has lasted 10 years. We have had the opportunity to meet some amazing, and lovely people in this time, and my photos have been in newspapers, and are in people’s houses, around the world. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us throughout this time, it’s been a great time in our lives. The problem with digital photography is that lots of people nowadays are more than happy with taking a quick snapshot to then instantly put up on Facebook and other sites. Mine, and many other photographers’ jobs have been affected badly because of this, through no fault of our own, I have to add. It has had such an impact that I can no longer afford to keep the shop, ‘Symi Dream’ going. The shop will stay open only until the end of the season. [caption id="attachment_12865" align="alignright" width="198"]Symi Dream open until the end of October Symi Dream open until the end of October[/caption] But there’s still time for wine nights and walks and bargains. I’ll be celebrating my birthday on the 8th September wine night with the start of an end of shop sale; cards and some photos will be reduced in price. The last wine night will be on October 13th and everyone will be welcome as always. Meanwhile, the shop and exhibition is open every day (apart from Sundays) and walks are still on, Wednesday and Sunday mornings. [caption id="attachment_12866" align="alignleft" width="300"]Symi Greece photos Yesterday morning on the road to Roukoniotis at dawn.[/caption] Please let everyone on the island know that if they need small photos for Driving license, taftotita, work papers, health books etc. they should come before the end of October. Just to let you know, we will still be staying, and living on Symi, so still look forward to seeing you around. What happens next? Who knows? A new chapter will start in our lives. Life is full of exciting and new adventures… {By the way; whether you want it or not, the blog will go on, though the site will have to have some slight changes made of course.]
Friday, August 29th, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

Scott of the Antarctic on Symi (kind of), books and rambles

Part of a conversation yesterday: ‘It is cooler today I think. It was only 34 degrees in the shade, the day before it was 37.’ Well, a little cooler perhaps, but still people are reporting 30 degrees at night. But then again, it is August in the south Aegean, so what did you expect? Antarctic blizzards? [caption id="attachment_12854" align="alignleft" width="163"]vintage scott ‘The last expedition’ a Vintage Classic[/caption] [caption id="attachment_12855" align="alignright" width="177"]‘Captain Scott’, by Ranulph Fiennes. ‘Captain Scott’, by Ranulph Fiennes.[/caption] Which is a neat little link into talking about a book I have just finished reading, for the second or third time. ‘The last expedition’ a Vintage Classic.  This is the diary of Captain R.F. Scott on his last expedition to Antarctica and the south pole. There are a few things about this book that capture me: one is the story itself of course, the adventure, then there is the way it is written, Scott is very eloquent and very readable, and then there is the mix of scientific fact and human observation. What you can’t get away from of course is that you know the way things are going to end before the writer does, and that makes it eminently tragic. Well worth a read if you have not already done so. I now want to reread my other book on the subject, the, to my mind, definitive biography, ‘Captain Scott’, by Ranulph Fiennes.  Trouble is, I must have lent my copy to someone and now can't remember who. Might have to go and buy another. [caption id="attachment_12856" align="alignright" width="300"]Symi Greece photos Back to Symi; the work on the new quay continues[/caption] Meanwhile, we have a couple of weeks ahead with a few social and other engagements in the diary, or rather written on the Symi Dream calendar in the kitchen: Singing lesson this afternoon, anniversary dinner at The Windmill on Friday (17 years, and also 12 years since leaving England to live in Greece), then I have a wedding to go to in Nimobrio on Saturday afternoon, then we are being taken out for dinner on Sunday for Neil’s birthday (advance party). The following week is slightly quieter, at the moment, but leads up to a 70th birthday invite to Mythos, Neil’s actual birthday and wine night combined (and anniversary of arriving on Symi to live), and a photo job for Neil on the boat on 11th, and then another boat party invite later in the month and another wedding to attend... It’s non-stop! What with that and walks, work and writing, I'm kind of looking forward to the end of November when we are planning to have two weeks off. [caption id="attachment_12858" align="alignleft" width="200"]Symi Greece photos And Symi cats continue to chill out[/caption] Not sure where we will be going yet. We had thought about going to Crete for some walking but that might be too far away, it will depend on money. So instead we may get on the Blue Star and head ‘up the chain’ if you like (book title?) and get off at Kalymnos or Kos, maybe Patmos and do some winter island hopping for a few days. The thoume, as they say in Greek, we will see. But enough rambling, I am sure there is something I should be getting on with, but I can't think what. I have suddenly found myself in a position of having a kind of week off (apart from going to work!) with no thoughts for writing, though I know I should be writing. So what I might do is spend some time today sketching out some ideas for a new story. I have this idea for something set in a theatre, with three stories running in three time periods at the same time, and all having a bearing on each other. Well now, there’s a start so let’s get started. Have a fab Thursday and if you are not sure what you want to do, go and buy a book. You could start with this one about living on Symi: Village View, by me. (Or use our new Amazon online store for Symi books and other related items.)
Thursday, August 28th, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

Symi links: Sondheim, Wells, RCM, George Kallis, Andrew T Mackay, Cinderella

The wine nights this summer should be renamed the wind nights, you can tell it’s a Monday evening, the wind gets up. Mind you it was cooling us down and, by the way (David S. take note) I am referring to the Meltemi wind not the Mytummy – and I didn’t write ‘bonking,com’ yesterday (sadly) I wrote ‘’ though I did go back and change it to just to be sure; and thank you for noting it. [caption id="attachment_12847" align="alignleft" width="300"]Symi Greece photos The sun'll come up, in a moment...[/caption] Seriously: I am very privileged to be in contact recently with the composer George Kallis. He sent me his latest newsletter, including: “I had a great summer composing orchestral and electronic film scores - most recently I composed the music for Bereave starring Malcolm McDowell (Clockwork Orange, Entourage) and Jane Seymour (Wedding Crashers).” And if you follow that link you can hear a sneak preview of some of that score. [caption id="attachment_12848" align="alignright" width="300"]Symi Greece photos A propeller. enclosed, at Xisos (must translate the writing one day)[/caption] I also checked out his website and found some background; a small part is given here, abridged: “George Kallis is a prolific film & TV composer whose trademarks are lyrical melodies and lush, full-bodied scores. George grew up studying piano, violin and saxophone, while also playing bass in heavy-metal bands. He was awarded a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Soon after, he was accepted to study with acclaimed British composer Joseph Horowitz at the Royal College of Music in London where he graduated with a Masters of Music in Composition. [caption id="attachment_12849" align="alignleft" width="211"]first in space 'First in space' - click to find a copy -[/caption] George latest score was for GAGARIN: FIRST IN SPACE (Kremlin Films), the $10mil biopic of the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, which he recorded with the 100-piece Russian State Symphony Orchestra and Choir.” I’m, heading over to Amazon to get a copy of that one right now, and if you follow the link by clicking the box cover, you can get one too. This is all rather timely as only the other night (Monday, at wine night) I was chatting to some very talented folk who came along. Photographer Jon Ryan, who is here at the moment, took a photo for one of the papers he works for in England, and it turned out that that paper is the local paper for some of the folk who were there. That’s going to get Symi in the news back in the UK, all being well. And then it turns out that several of us had theatre and music in common, what with musicians, pit band players for ‘Into the Woods’, choreographers who had choreographed the same show, others who had been in it, little old me who had directed ‘Assassins’, by the same composer, and some of ‘Into The Woods’, and who, funnily enough, had also sung some of one of the parts that had also been sung, in full, by one of the folk there; Cinderella. (It was a revue and I was not dressed in the part!) [caption id="attachment_12850" align="alignright" width="300"]Symi Greece photos And a picture of a Symi wall, for no reason[/caption] So, lots of lovely musical coincidences there and followed the next day by the email from George. Now then, I wonder how possible it is to introduce George to my other (London College of Music) composer friend, from school, Andrew T. Mackay. And there’s another coincidence. Andrew has a film he scored appearing at the Toronto Film Festival this year. The film I wrote, The Judas Curse, is meant to be at the same festival, what are the chances of two boys from Romney Marsh both turning up there, 36 years after leaving school. (Mind you, I don’t think TJC is going to be ready in time, they are still editing away like mad apparently.) Never mind. Anyway; there, that’s my culture connections from Symi for today.
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

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