October Postcards from Symi The sunbeds and umbrellas have been packed away at St Nicholas beach in Pedi. They won’t need them to celebrate the Feast of St Nicholas at the tiny chapel on 6 December. The salt-laden sea air is nibbling away at the terrace of this neglected Art Deco waterfront property in Pedi. Invisible bird. Butterfly and bougainvillea. Camo cats. This elegant Canadian beauty was anchored in Pedi for several days last week. The squill flowers have faded away, replaced by ghostly drifts of pale autumn crocuses and other tiny plants. Another classic, this one with a Maltese flag. There has to a story behind this carefully placed ceiling fan blade, resting among the herb bushes in the Pedi valley. Look at how green the sage bushes are after just a little rain. Apostoli is switching from beach mode to boatyard mode. The sledges and skids are being positioned to start hauling out boats. The fishing season has started. This small trawler will be away for days at a time, if not weeks. That fragment of shadow is cast by the meander-pattern railing of the Art Deco house you saw earlier. This dilapidated colonnade was once the Kamares taverna in Pedi. Mimosa A misty morning in the valley. The yellow nets on the left are to protect vegetable seed beds from birds and cats. We have only had two rainy days so far but they were enough to wash the dust from the trees and set the grass growing again. This method of hauling boats up the beaches for the winter dates back to Homeric times. In Greece there is a strong sense of continuity. Why change something if it still works? The underwater profiles of the boats haven’t changed much over the centuries either and they are still built the old-fashioned way at the Haskas boatyard in Pedi, wielding an adze to shape the wood into ribs and frames. The last guests have left the Pedi Beach Hotel and the staff are systematically packing everything away for the winter. If you look about you, there are a lot of reed beds down in Pedi, despite recent developments in the area. Unfortunately on an island that is more vertical than horizontal, level building ground is in short supply and Symi’s precious wet lands are under threat. That’s the road to Panormitis zigzagging up the hill in the distance. By Symi standards, this counts as ‘has convenient road access’. Mind the step! Sage, oregano and thyme – the Symi trinity that scents the island’s hillsides every summer. Solar power.