Friday, 31 May 2013

Very Different Flowers to Symi

It was so cold yesterday that we got the stove going, and kept it in overnight. This morning started off overcast.
Later on, the skies cleared a bit and it started to warm up.
Today was the day that I advertised the van for sale in AutoTrader, and I spent a few hours cleaning it to show it at its best. Now that it is in excellent mechanical condition, it should make someone very happy. Maybe you?!!
Took Bella out for her walk after my efforts, and (enhanced by the sunny afternoon) enjoyed the many changes in the vegetation since we left at the end of April. Su will show the changes taking place in our garden on her next blog posting - today I looked at other people's gardens and the fields. The aroma of this white lilac poking through a hedgerow was quite heady.
What was just a cut through at the back of a terrace when we went to Greece has turned into a country lane.
Bluebells abounded in this front garden, but they are the Spanish ones which are more pale and hybridise with the wild ones .  Hope to catch some wild bluebells soon as they are very late this year and still flowering - this Spring has been the coldest in the UK since 1962.
Ragged robin doing very well.
Fulsome border.
 The old Triumph on display in the sunshine.
Cows in this field after an absence of a few years - apparently there is a bull as well (for which Bella and I did not go looking).
Solsbury Hill under blue skies with fluffy clouds. At last some warm sunshine in the UK - no need for a jumper.
 The large umbellifers are starting to emerge…
Giant thistles looking threatening.
Down by the stream a plethora of mare's tail thriving in the boggy ground.
Lots of buttercups and red clover higher up the field..
On the other side of the stream, a profusion of wild garlic made its presence clear through its pungent aroma.
In a front garden, a large rosemary bush in flower attracted lots of bees.
Peonies in a front garden - wonder if this means gales are on the way? We grew peonies in our last house and whenever they flowered the wind would come up and blow all their petals off.
Valerian and poppies in this front garden.
I watched this garage being converted into one that it was possible to drive a car into without losing the exhaust at the bottom of the steep ramp - it was only a small sports car! I presume that the neighbouring garages are used (like most, it seems) to store "stuff".
Aqua legia of various hues have appeared during our sojourn in Symi
This was once a host of golden dandelions (and will be again!).
This day a year ago, we had left Symi and were in Rhodes awaiting our return to the UK. Enjoyed the turkish cemetery near the end of Mandraki harbour.
Su's news story of the day (BBC website - click on the title for the full story):

April Jones: The challenge to catch online child abusers

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Definitely Not Symi!

The first thing we saw when we looked out of our back window this morning was our garden shed that had blown over the day before. It's days were numbered anyway, but are even fewer now!
This morning we looked over a different valley to the Pedi view we have been used to for the last month - much greener, and cooler…
Went out for breakfast (not much in the house), passing the old dispensary building. Reminded me of the Symi pharmacy a little. 
Then it was off through the incredibly lush and leafy countryside. The plants really like the damp and cool weather, as Su's blog of today shows 
Took Bella for a walk at Chew Valley Lake - found bluebells out in the woods there. 
Loads of cow parseley lining the paths. 
Down by the water, saw this duck with two ducklings. We also spotted a pair of crested grebes, and coots with young as well as lots of ducks and a swan. 
Bella was very happy persuading me to throw a log to chase and then chewing it. 
Found the first discarded item of clothing since our return. Someone will be chilly later on! 
This day a year ago was our last day on Symi before heading off to Rhodes. Took this last shot of the clocktower on our way down the Kalistrata to catch the boat.
Su's news story of the day (BBC website - click on the title for the full story):

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Farewell to Symi - Until the Autumn

Up at 5.30 AM Symi time to our last view of the Pedi valley for a few months.
Down in Yialos with grey skies, unlike those we've become used to over the last four weeks.
The Panagia Skiadeni waiting to take us to Rhodes.
Justine showing off her court shoes.
We had a little time in Rhodes so enjoyed watching the Symi sailing off to Symi for the day.
Smooth transfer to Rhodes airport.
Last view of Rhodes.
An uneventful flight, and a cloudy 12° rainy welcome back to the UK. Aaaargh!
"This day a year ago" and "Su's news story of the day" will return tomorrow. Currently at Gatwick airport waiting to catch our train to Bath and writing this on my iPhone...

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Our Last Full Day on Symi - This Trip

Lovely light over the Pedi Valley hillside yesterday evening.
A little later on, the glow was more pronounced. 
Went to the Sunrise Cafe for a farewell session with George and Terri, which went on for 3 hours and even saw some dancing from Ian and Lynn. Afterwards, I was graced for a little while with the presence of the magnificent Noww.
A late night, and awake early enough to see the sun coming up at the end of the valley before getting a few more hours of sleep.
I went down to Yialos to get last euros out of the bank, to buy a spinach pie for lunch for Su & me, and to bid our goodbyes to Clare for this trip. 
A view of Yialos from the Kalistrata 
Looking up at a fairly well restored section of the Kalistrata. 
The only excursion boat in today was the Symi
Caught the bus to Pedi, where I rendezvoused with Su on a sunbed. It was already starting to cloud over, as forecast.
The bay had only a couple of yachts in. 
By the end of the afternoon, the skies were positively murky. 
The waters had calmed down from earlier. This was a low key day for our last full day on Symi this trip  - tomorrow will see us enduring much lower temperatures and rain by the end of the day.
This day a year ago, our time in Symi was drawing to and end for that trip, the weather was muggy and cloudy and I played at the Sunrise with George one last time that visit - plus ça change!
Su's news story of the day (BBC website - click on the title for the full story): 
In pictures: Global flight paths