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This web page is dedicated in memory of the late Kyriakos and Vasilea Fotara at the International Restaurant, Symi.


Two videos marking my return to Symi after first encountering the island in June 1983 and last leaving it in June 1987.

Arriving in Yialos on Wednesday 18th October 2017 at approximately 16.30

Descending the Kali Strata on Saturday 21st October 2017 at approximately 09.00


The Sea, The Sea

Rooms with a View

On an Island

NB The title 'The Sea, The Sea' was prompted by the title of Iris Murdoch's 1978 Booker-winning novel which I read on another Greek island. According to Wikipedia, "Iris Murdoch's biographer Peter J. Conradi gives Xenophon as the ultimate source of the title. According to Xenophon's Anabasis, "The Sea! The Sea!" (Thalatta! Thalatta!) was the shout of exultation given by the roaming 10,000 Greeks when, in 401 BC, they caught sight of the Black Sea from Mount Theches in Trebizond and realised they were saved from death." An alternative title I toyed with was 'Behold the Sea Itself' from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass which was used by Ralph Vaughan Williams in his First Symphony.


'Ten Times Empty' - Life on Symi 1975 (Digitally Restored)

The full-length version of this delightful but also historically important film was, until recently, hosted on YouTube. However, the uploaded copy had several technical problems. First, the soundtrack was only available on the right-hand channel. Secondly, the sound quality was somewhat compressed and limited. Thirdly, the colour saturation of the print was excessive. Unless the original footage is made public, this digitally restored version is probably the best available. A review of 'Ten Times Empty' can be found in the
American Anthropologist (1982). Many thanks to Alex Celler for alerting me to the film's existence. If anyone on Symi knows anything about the documentary (why and how it was made) please get in touch with me (see Contact).

Traditional Music of Symi

1987 - The Lovers by the Clock Tower (poem)

Symi - not so much an island,
more a state of mind