July Postcards from Symi

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Today you have a slideshow to enjoy. Random photos taken in recent days to give you a flavour of what Symi is like in late June and early July.

June stayed stormy to the last gasp.  Thundershowers and lightning displays more commonly associated with April lingered on past the solstice and some parts of Greece, including nearby Rhodes, experienced flash floods and heavy downpours.

Since 1 July the thermometer has moved relentlessly upwards and the last couple of days have been firmly over 40 degrees centigrade.  Strong hot dry winds have precipitated leaf fall as the trees have gone into shock.  I wonder how that patch of cabbages I photographed near the football field earlier this week is fairing in the rising temperatures.  My own endeavours in the cabbage department were never very successful as they need a long steady growing period and they were invariably discovered by the caterpillars or bolted long before they hearted up.

The extreme temperatures are causing havoc with electronic devices.  Laptops, tablets and smartphones are not happy in temperatures at the high end of the operating scale and either shut down completely or behave erratically.  As good an excuse as any to leave the devices at home and enjoy the holiday!

There are more yachts coming through, including some big expensive ones.  We may not see many live-aboard cruising boats these days but Symi is still on the oligarch trail.  The anchorage in Pedi is fairly quiet and there is lots of space in the harbour too.  The days when one could count 40 or more yachts swinging at anchor in Pedi seem to be a distant memory. The days when our ship’s cat, Steerforth, could actually go visiting on other boats as they swung close enough for him to jump across.

World Cup Fever is evident even on sun-baked sleepy Symi.  Huge TV screens have appeared in bars, cafes and restaurants and the streets become very quiet during match times. Wimbledon does not have the same crowd appeal. Tennis fans have to make alternative arrangements involving wifi and devices.

Have a good weekend and I will try to blog more frequently in the future.

Adriana

 

 

 

Season of Mists

This morning I woke up to an island shrouded in mist, a rose gold dawn of cockerels and damp.  Autumn beckons and the weather is changing.  I notice these things, not least because I sleep out of doors from June until the first rains come, sometime in October.  It is too hot to sleep inside, under the tin roof with no fans to stir the stagnant air.  I prefer to take my chances with the mosquitoes and wake with the sun.  As we edge towards the equinox sunrise is ever later but the dawn chorus in the valley still starts long before first light, an accompaniment of crows, brays, twitters and bleats that gradually draws me to wakefulness by 6 a.m.  If I should dare to sleep on, the cats come to find me and knead me into the world, demanding breakfast.

Time to head up the terraces into the house and put the percolator on the stove for the first coffee pot of the day. Coffee and the BBC news.  Living off the grid is not synonymous with living in ignorance.  We have a satellite dish and a basic decoder that allows us to pick up the BBC and other free-to-air stations.  We watch the news every morning.  The ripples of world events wash our shores and Symi has been effected by everything from global economic problems to the war in Syria and attempted coup in Turkey.  We cannot pretend that because we live on a tiny island that we are safe from the vagaries of world events.  The effects of climate change face me every morning as I look at dead or dying trees in my groves and orchards. Since we bought our farm in 1995 we have seen thriving almonds, apricots, peaches and pears die off due to extreme summers and dry winters.  Last year our olive trees also started to die off.  It is not just us.  All over the island deciduous fruit and nut trees have died.  Endemic conifers are also showing strain and even as far north as the island of Leros we saw dead and dying indigenous trees.