Thanks for the comments as always folks. We’re trying the first non-essential outing today, down the lanes to Jenine’s house… Neil’s planning a come back by being at the re-opening of the Jean & Tonic on April 11th though probably without bar dancing; no doubt there will be enough legless people there to understudy for him.
And Tove, good luck with your op next week – we will be thinking of you. We’ll keep an eye on the Symi Viz chat page for updates.
Happy birthday to:
Glenda Jackson. She wrote me a very nice letter once after I asked her for advice about setting up a theatre company that would produce musicals: "I’ve never acted in one dear, nor set up my own company so your experience is already greater than mine. But remember to invite me to opening night!" (We did.)
This day in:
1959. Barbie, the doll, debuted – over 800 million have been sold. (Symi link: Barbie the dog met us at Zoi’s on the way home last Friday and escorted us to the house to make sure we got there safely.)
1995: President Konstantine Karamanlis of Greece resigned.
Nikiforos, Markelos & Pagratios.
The metalwork that is, not the whole leg. Thanks for and further to Jenine’s update:
The hospital trip went well and he didn’t need to stay in overnight. Having seen the doctor on Wednesday evening he went back on Thursday morning as instructed and we hung around the ward waiting for orders. I met up with the chatty Greek lady who had been there with her mother (right hip broken in a fall) back in January and it was a bit like going back to a club, seeing familiar faces. Sadly this lady’s mother had had another fall and was back in again with her left hip in need of repair. Oh boy.
Anyway; I left Neil to it as I had my own appointment to keep elsewhere and, when I got back two hours later, the deed was done. It took three doctors and some heavy duty cutters to clip through the 14 spokes and then some big ‘pliers’ to pull them out… I won’t go into detail and we’re lucky that he didn’t have his camera with him at the time but the good thing is that it didn’t hurt, apparently. The frame came off in one piece and now all he has is a bandage. Mind you, the pain has started since. But that’s enough about legs.
The trip back on Friday: the Dodecanesos Pride was busy, it being March 7th and there were many people heading back to Symi and the other islands. The wind was up but the sea didn’t get rough until we neared Symi and the journey, apart from a trip on the way in and a near fall on the way out of the boat, passed without incident. If you’re wondering what’s special about March 7th: Parades and services are held to mark the day in history (1947) when the Dodecanese officially became part of Greece again – following the 2nd World War and previous occupations by the Italians (1912 – 1944 ish), Ottoman Empire (1522 to 1912), Knights of St. John (1309 to 1522), the Nicaean Empire (1261 ish), ‘Caesar’ Leon Gavalos (1204), the Karavians (697) and so on back in to history. So you could say that the islands had not been ‘Greek’ for around 800 years or so until March 7th 1947 – though I’m pretty sure the inhabitants would have always considered themselves Greek, Symiot, Kalymnian (?) etc. during that time.
We missed the parade due to carting Hopalong back home and sorting him out and I’ll probably miss the carnival on Sunday too as I’ve been invited to a family ‘do’ instead. But it’s Clean Monday on Monday (Lent starts) and we’re hoping to get out to the beach for the day. So I will remember the camera and get you some shots, all being well with the weather.
Just received a text message, "the metal comes off avrio!"
Will keep you up to date with the progress. Can’t hang around now as we have stolen their golf game whilst they are away. My putter calls……….
Two trips to the harbour in two days. One was to collect something from the courier who rang over the weekend to say I had a package waiting – it wasn’t the eagerly awaited Xbox game but a mis-posted packet of publicity from Lulu.com for another author with the same name as me. The strange thing is that Neil’s mother has found a book called ‘Beginners’ Greek’, also by James Collins – definitely not me, or the other guy as far as I know. (Actually, I just looked it up and it’s a novel.) So there are at least three of us out there. The other reason for the harbour visit was to collect something from the Town Hall that I had been waiting for. I knew this was present and correct because the lady who deals with it chased me down the village lane on Saturday to tell me it was waiting for me. Such service! My neighbour then called up to me on Monday as I was planting something in our flower boxes on the terrace to ask if I had collected it. News travels and all that.
Everything is in place for Neil’s trip to Rhodes tomorrow though I am informed the wind is due to rise again, let’s hope we can get back. Here’s the Vigla view as of this morning:
And closer in:
I phoned my mother in Australia where she is visiting my brother and this reminded me we should have been at Mardi Gras this weekend (Sydney). But the festivities in Symi are just as attractive.
Today is also the anniversary of the death of Howard Carter and it’s Peasants’ day in Burma – or what was Burma.
We’re counting down to ‘metal removing day’ which we hope will be Thursday, though the weather has turned again today… We’ll be away for a few days so once again these pages may fall quiet for a while.
I’ve just put up a gallery of some photos from last night – check the 2008 Album page.
Remember that I’m not the photographer around here! I was trying to capture the colour and movement of the scene while grappling with a camera that eats batteries and has a mind of its own, avoiding the foam (and failing) and trying not to slip.
It was good to see Miss Windmill out and about, staying safe at the kafenion. Neil stayed home, sensibly, not wanting to risk a mishap this close to having his metal frame removed. Many people turned out for the evening, which was a warm one. You’ll see the children and some grown ups in costume. What was really good to see was the mix of nationalities: Symiots of course, us English, Albanian and Russian families, the Danes were represented as were the French, Germans and Bulgarians. (Plus many more I am sure.)
The souvlakies and wine were handed round while the music thumped out and the children competed to see who could empty their cans of silly string and foam the fastest. Towards the end of the evening some of the boys were spraying the incline outside Michaelis’ shop and using it as a slide… until someone went A over T and the game was brought to a halt.
Inside the kafenion was just as busy with card games going on as usual and other people chatting while some of the children danced. And so on into the night – actually things came to a halt at around 10.30.
I’ve also added the collection of Bliary images from February to the 2008 Albums page, these are smaller pics that were used on the main page, the carnival ones are slightly bigger. We hope you enjoy them.
I just had to share this new shower curtain with you.
Remind you of anyone?
After a quick search I discovered that on this day in 1987 ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ aired an episode called ‘Anniversary Gift’, A cheating wife buys her husband a deadly snake. Remember ladies, tomorrow is the day when you are allowed to propose…
I’ve just uploaded the Village View for March- check the Village View page.
If you want more sensible writing and news from Symi, Adriana has just updated her diary at Symi Visitor: click here.
The σ at the end of Καταρρακτισ (waterfall – the name for the ‘back stairs’ from Chorio to Yialos and the original path joining the businesses of the harbour to the village on Symi) should be a ‘final sigma’ similar to an ‘s’ but for some reason it didn’t come out that way!
Moving on. This is what it looks like from the top:
Somewhere down there is a new, solar powered streetlight – at least it was new last year. The path was slippery his morning with dew still in the shadows so most of the view you see on the way down consists of your feet. But if you look up you can also See the back of Yialos getting closer.
And before you set off (or after you arrive sweating at the top depending on which way you are walking) you will see some fine examples of Symi old houses and ruins.
And, once in the harbour, your typical February scene greets you:
And you will probably bump into friends.
Or be escorted home later whether you want to be or not:
Meanwhile, back in the village (actually yesterday afternoon) a quick stroll around will reveal local churches,
And handy directions to the museum (at last!)
There, that should keep you stocked with pics for a while (and some washing if you look closely at one of them).
We are getting near to the start of Lent with ‘sooty’ or ‘burnt’ Thursday tomorrow – meat eating before Lent and usually a carnival in the village square. www.gogreece.com has this page about the festivals for this time of year, and last and next year too. CLICK HERE.
The main carnival weekend is March 7th to 9th and we’ll do our best to get pictures from both events, though Neil probably won’t be going. These things tend to be crowded and a little mad and he doesn’t want to risk having his foot banged, crushed of covered in silly string at the moment. Clean Monday is on March 10th so wherever you are you can clean out your larders and fly your kites.