News & Stuff

Booking your room • June 16th 2017
I've just added details of a really nice and modestly sized hotel in Stegna, just over the hill from Arhangelos, on the "Stay" page. Scroll all the way to the bottom to read about the lovely Konstantinos Hotel.

As I wrote in the notes on that page, if I didn't already live here, I'd be very happy to have a holiday at the Konstantinos, which is, of course, why I added it to my "stay" list.


How Long is a Piece of String? • June 11th 2017
Writer and podcast-blogger Rob Johnson is soon to release a book based on the podcast series "A Kilo of String" in paperback and I presume Kindle format. based on the podcasts that I've listened to, it's going to be a riot. Here's his publicity info about the forthcoming book:

A KILO OF STRING
Everything you never realised you wanted to know about Greece or didn’t dare to ask.

After living in Greece for thirteen years, writer and reluctant olive farmer Rob Johnson has got used to most of the things that he and his partner Penny found so bizarre at the beginning. Most, but not all.

A Kilo of String is the story-so-far of this not-particularly-plucky couple’s often bewildering experiences among the descendants of Sophocles, Plato and Nana Mouskouri with occasional digressions into total irrelevances.

This is a book which is almost guaranteed not to change your life, but what it will do is answer many of the fundamental questions about life in Greece, such as:

How do you avoid ordering a double tomato for your pine marten when booking a hotel room?

Should olive harvesting be registered with the Dangerous Sports Association?

Why are chicken livers useful (other than to the chickens themselves)?

Why is it a good idea to wear your underwear inside-out?

Why is playing the bassoon bad for your health?

Oh yes, and there are some serious bits too about how life in Greece has changed since the beginning of the economic crisis.

A Kilo of String is loosely based on Rob Johnson’s podcast series of the same name, which is free to listen to and download right here.


Fancy Meeting You Here • June 9th 2017
Last Tuesday on my Rhodes excursion, one of my guests was James McGee, successful writer of historical thrillers. Check out his web site here.

Although his work isn't about anything Greek, having recently read a couple of excellent books by C. J. Sansom in his "Shardlake" series, I was intrigued and my appetite well whetted for reading some of James' work, since it seems to be in a similar vein. 

James McGee is actually his pseudonym but I am, of course, sworn to secrecy. He was, as it turned out, a very articulate and personable man and I count it a privilege to have run into him. He's a keen world traveller and although not perhaps a dedicated Grecophile, he did confess to having been taken by what Rhodes has to offer.

As an independent author myself, I can only hope that he has a gander at some of my work. Who knows, maybe I may yet become a household name!! 

OK, so don't hold your breath.


Turning pages • June 2nd 2017
The new book "A Jay in the Jacaranda Tree" is now available to order as a paperback. Here are a couple of links:



Free books about Greece!! • May 31st 2017
I'm delighted to let you know that my fellow author Effrosyni Moschoudi, has featured one of my books in her latest "Summer" Giveaway. People joining up to receive her newsletter become eligible to win a bunch of ebooks and one paperback for free, one of which this time is my novel Eve of Deconstruction.

There are thirteen books featured all together (12 ebooks, one paperback), a must for all who love to read books on a Greek theme. Click here to get all the gen and for your chance to win some free ebooks!!

Also, if you'd like to read my recent interview with Effrosyni, it's here.

Jungle drums • May 22nd 2017


I've just added details of the Jungle Tour with the absolutely crazy Nikos (pictured above with one of his guests) on the attractions page. Links to the web site, where you can check out the full details and book your place are to be found there.


Judging from the reports I get, it's a not-to-be-missed experience!



Fait accompli • May 19th 2017




Regarding the competition held on the Facebook page "We're Mad About Greece and the Greek Language" from back in March, to find a photo that best sums up the spirit of all that's Greek. I was able to present winner Amanda Settle with her signed and dedicated copy of my first "ramblings" book, "Feta Compli!" this morning, in the rain!


The entries were truly inspiring, and Rose (who runs WMAGATGL) and I had quite a task picking the winner. But it was great fun and, once again, thanks to all who entered.




Somebody Loves Me • May 14th 2017
A web site called ExPat Focus has just listed ten blogs about Greece that it really rates. they're not in merit order, which I'm pleased about because mine is No. 10 in the list. Even so, I'm well chuffed to be included. This is what they say about "RFR":


"Full of beautifully written tales and, well, ramblings that are uploaded as the muse takes the author, Ramblings from Rhodes is an intriguing insight into the bureaucracy, beauty and turquoise waters of a beleaguered island. With an honesty and clarity that can't be beaten, John is simply living Grecian life to the full."

Here's the link: "Greece - Recommended Blogs"



15 Questions • May 12th 2017
Hopefully you've enjoyed the interviews that I've been posting with other Greek-themed authors. It's occurred to me though that, although I quite like the system of posing the exact same 15 questions to the interviewees, someone out there may have a question they'd like to see included. I'm not averse to tweaking my list of 15 if anyone can come up with a different question that my be good to put into the mix.


If you have a suggestion for a question to use in the interview, perhaps you'd like to send it to me. Either click on "View my complete profile" way down in the left-hand column of this blog, which looks like this...



...or go to the contact page on my official web site, HERE.

Look forward to hearing from you. I may not use your suggestion, so please don't be too disappointed if you see no results from your message. On the other hand, your suggestion may be just what I'm looking for!



Back in Business • May 8th 2017
This was how the new-look canopy at Il Porto was looking last night as they were playing hosts to some early season customers...







Suitcases Stowed Away • April 23rd 2017
Back home on Rhodes again, so you may just see a half-decent post about life here just as soon as something actually happens!



Competition Time • March 15th 2017
There's a competition running on the Facebook group 'We're Mad About Greece and the Greek Language' to win a personally signed copy of my first book 'Feta Compli!'.


Entrants need to place a photo as a comment under the Competition post. It needs to be a photo that the entrant feels best sums up the essence of what makes Greece special. Only one entry is permitted per person. The page administrator Rose Robinson and I will choose a winner when the competition closes on March 28th.

The winner will be contacted by PM on Facebook and we'll then ask for mailing details plus what dedication they'd like me to write in the front of the book.

New entries are now not being accepted, but Rose and I have selected six photos as a shortlist of finalists. The photo with the most likes by the end of the day (Athens time) on Tuesday 28th will win the signed book.




We have the technology • Feb 26th 2017

Good news for fans of Il Porto bar/restaurant on the beach at Kiotari. Following the disastrous direct hit from the mini-tornado on January 26th [see this post], they're now well along with the reconstruction of the canopy over the terrace. I took this photo yesterday afternoon.



Island Music • Feb 25th 2017
In the post "It's a Crime Not to..." which is my interview with Anne Zouroudi, I've now added a link right at the end to a YouTube piece where you can listen to the entire two Parios albums to which I refer in the closing comments, with excellent sound quality. Hook your PC, tablet or phone up to your hi-fi and cop a listen. The music is beautiful. There are few ads interspersed among the tracks, but it's still an excellent way of giving the albums a listen. Plus the ads are very brief. It's only like listening on Spotify after all!





Read On... • Feb 20th 2017
Just to whet your appetite, I have another superb interview already in the can with none other than Anne Zouroudi (creator of Greek detective Hermes Diaktoros, one of crime fiction’s most enigmatic characters) which will be posted shortly. Following my interview with Anne, the next up in a few weeks time will be Richard Clark, whose eloquent travel guides are a must for anyone visiting Greece.



Form an orderly Queue • Feb 13th 2017
An author who's sold shedloads of books on a Greek theme, often in the fantasy/romance genre, is Effrosyni Mouschoudi and she's just done an interview with me and it's now gone live on her website. Click HERE to read it. I'd done one with her recently, which you can find by navigating down the left hand column to the section imaginatively titled "The Interviews".




Addicts Alert • Feb 11th 2017
A nice and growing Facebook group for Grecophiles is "Greece in Heart and Mind". They often share my posts there too, so they must be nice chaps/chappesses.



Ramble On • January 20th 2017
You can tell I'm a Led Zeppelin fan eh? Anyway, I'm up to 30,000 words on the new book now, so still a way to go, but the ideas are flowing thick and fast now, phew! It's liable to be bit edgy and uncompromising in parts, so be warned! After eleven years and counting of living on Rhodes though, it wouldn't be honest if it didn't show both sides of the coin.



"Christian Charity?" • Jan. 11th 2017
Read a piece yesterday that said that the Greek navy was sending warships to Lesbos to provide temporary shelter for refugees living under canvas in heavy snow and icy conditions. Local hoteliers also were reported as having opened their rooms to these poor unfortunates.

Interestingly, it was a Greek web-page which asked the question, what is the Church doing? Look at all those empty churches which according to the Church's own "mission statement" ought to be always open to all for refuge and shelter.


Could it be that they're worried about their gold icons perhaps disappearing? if so, wouldn't it mean that they think more of gold than they do of suffering humans?





Coming Back? • January 7th 2017

This is interesting. Note what it says about Greek nationals returning home being erroneously counted as tourists...
http://greece.greekreporter.com/2017/01/05/elstat-more-than-500000-greeks-left-greece-over-past-5-years/




Flying visit • Jan. 3rd 2017

Take a look at this fab video (shot by drone) of Lindos on December 19th 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_I4NpU25ho&feature=share




Getting to know You... • December 25th 2016

Interesting story I discovered this morning. I won't make any comment, except to share it:


Refugees in Greece work together and build communities





Tell me • November 8th 2016

This blog is riddled with links to help the Rhodo-phile find out as much as they can about visiting Rhodes and what to do while you're here. By its very nature the sheer number of links that are now sprinkled across all of the pages makes it a herculean task to keep up with them all. Links do occasionally go out of date and cease to work. So I'm always extremely appreciative when a reader lets me know if they've clicked a link and found that it doesn't work.

If this happens to you I'd be so grateful if you'd contact me and let me know the defunct link and what page it's on. You can e-mail me through the section down in the left hand column entitled "The Culprit" and then click on "View My Complete Profile". There on the left is a live link to email me directly.


Thanks in advance for your help in this regard.





Fancy Meeting You... • October 22nd 2016

Hope you like the new idea of posting the occasional interview with a fellow "Grecophile" writer. As of today there are already three available, which can be found by scrolling down the left hand column to the section entitled "The Interviews" (I know, pretty creative eh?). There are already at least two more under preparation too.




Deer in the Dark • Sept 21st 2016

We had occasion to be up in Laerma village earlier this evening and so decided to drive back home via the Asklipio lane. Leaving Laerma at dusk was a magical experience, with the village street lights twinkling across the valley, illuminating the higgledy piggledy white streets and making them look almost fairytale-like. 

The road from the top of the village, which passes Thari Monastery not too long after it leaves the village, snakes its way across some wonderfully wild and remote countryside for several miles during which you don't pass a house or see a soul until you enter the village of Asklipio twenty minutes after leaving Laerma.


My wife said, "Ooh, maybe we'll see some deer." See some deer? Why, we saw them at almost every turn. Must have passed twenty animals at least during that drive. 


In 2008, when we had the largest fires on Rhodes for fifteen years, the village of Laerma was almost destroyed, but it escaped by the narrowest of margins. A Greek friend of mine who drives a JCB was up there in the aftermath digging ditches to bury all the dead animals killed by the fires.


For three years we didn't see a deer. Now though, their numbers have recovered and the area between the two villages of Laerma and Asklipio is one of their favourite haunts.


It's not a road you'd want to drive along in the dark if you have an unreliable vehicle though, because you are truly miles from anywhere for much of the route and if you don't know the road you could also very easily end up in a ditch, the edges of the road are so sheer and uneven in some places.


But if you want to go deer-spotting, it's perfect just after sundown.

More about this road can be found in this post.



All Exclusive? • July 30th 2016 (First posted: Dec 9th 2014) 

Frankly, this is even more urgent now than it was two years ago. Please read it and think about what it means, thanks.

This is a photo of a sign in the window of a Greek business. It's rather succinct in my humble opinion...




This is what it says:

"When you shop at a small local business, you're not helping a senior executive to acquire a third home. You're helping a young girl to continue with her ballet lessons, a boy to learn a sport, a mother to fill her family's table [with food], a father to pay off his loan, a student to complete his or her studies.

Support small businesses, they're the backbone of the Greek economy."
 


...and, I would add, of any community. 


It's rather an eloquent way of suggesting to potential clients, including - of course - tourists staying in the dreaded "all-inclusive" resorts, that perhaps they may like to do it differently next time. In general, the primary ones who will "suffer" if you reject "All-Inclusive" are those businessmen with their planned third homes. How deprived they'll feel to have to settle for two instead.


I fully understand why some people, especially families with small children, plump for all-inclusive holidays. But really they're falling victim to the hard sell. The tour operators who promote them aren't thinking of you, you can be sure of that. They most certainly don't care about how many small businesses go under throughout the Mediterranean area every year either.





Yet More to Read! • July 30th 2016
Just added a permanent link on the "LInks" page to another blog from Rhodes that I only just discovered. It's called Our Big Fat Greek Life and it looks good on first glance. Yes, that's a link above too!



Not Getting on With It • July 26th 2016

I am trying to get some writing done this summer, owing to the fact the the excursion numbers are down (I still blame the media!) on last year. The problem is, now that we're in high summer and temperatures are soaring, it's all too tempting to pack up a bag and nip off down to the beach when the two of us are off together. Which is what we did today...

video

(If you can't see the video, try this link)


This is our favourite spot for swimming. It's like this even during the high season. The head in the water, busily swimming off into the blue, belongs to my better half, by the way. 


Just a few hundred metres along from here is a section of beach used by a large hotel (you can see it toward the end of the above clip), where the umbrella are packed like sardines and there are people charging around the surface of the sea on jet-skis, being towed on those inflatable sofas, those rubber rings, all that kind of stuff, screaming all the while. There are kids shouting and running and splashing and the continuous sound of the 'bip-bapping' people playing with those hard bats and balls on the water's edge, something it seems that so many seem compelled to do whilst on their holidays, don't they. Weird. 


Here though, the sea is virtually empty of human craziness, the birds are audible and peace reigns - mercifully. Even the sun beds are only €6 a pair for the day, the money for which is collected by our Bulgarian friend who's worked for the same local taverna ever since we first moved out here in 2005. 


Glystra Beach is only a mile along the coast from here, but it's chock-full of umbrellas and hot, red bodies and the noise that goes along with them.


You can see why this appeals rather more than slaving over a hot keyboard in the sweltering heat of a Rhodean July, can't you. "A Jay in the Jacaranda Tree" has been started though. I am in fact on the third chapter, so at least I'm out of the blocks. The book will be a deeply honest account of more than a decade of living out here. It will delve into the deeper feelings that one experiences too, having re-located to somewhere a couple of thousand miles from one's relatives and the friends one grew up with.


Of course, there'll be a good helping of yarns about life over here too, warts and all as always.





Lick Your Lips • July 16th 2016

I don't doubt for one moment that hungry readers of RFR will want to know about this one...
https://kouzounaskitchen.com/2016/07/15/meet-maria-story-of-stefania/

Plus, she has a Facebook page too, click HERE.



Rhodes Riviera? • May 30th 2016

Our neighbour Giannis, over the hill from us, runs the Kiotari website as a labour of love. He's recently made it a lot more informative and I'd say it's well worth a browse if you're going to be in the south of Rhodes any time. Despite the fact there are some quite new hotels and ongoing development along the 'main road" here, the lower "beach road" is still remarkably sleepy for much of the way and at my local spot there is a clutch of tavernas and a bar which are all simply beautiful, situated as they are right across the narrow road from the beach and all with stunning sea and coastal views.

Check out the "Restaurants" page especially.





Take a look at the book • May 24th 2016


I was thrilled to read the latest review on its Amazon UK page of my latest novel "Sometimes You Just Can't Tell". If you weren't aware that I write books (both fiction and non-fiction), you can go to my official website by checking out the top of the column that appears to the left on every page of this blog. There are a couple of direct links to the site, where you can read all about my "stuff" if you'd like to take the risk!

Here's that review:





Chew with a view • May 19th 2016

On the site that used to be Shimba's Beach Bar here in Kiotari there's now a newly opened beach bar/taverna called Riva. I took a few shots with my phone when we passed by during a walk today, so they're not all that good in quality. They do have a web-site that's not yet functional, but you can bookmark it and check it now and again if you click here.

Here are a couple of the shots I took this evening...











Have Fun Sightseeing • May 11th 2016
If you're coming to Rhodes this year, I'd heartily suggest you whack this on your Kindle before you come. It's a lot of fun (Click on the image below):






Still Misinforming the Public • April 29th 2016

Just spent the day on Paros (will post something with photos soon) but had to mention this. On the boat coming back from Paros to Naxos this afternoon we heard a couple talking and they were evidently from our old neck of the woods, SW England. They were Bristolians in fact, both senior citizens, but full of the adventurous spirit since they were taking a DIY holiday and on their way from Paros to Naxos today for a couple of weeks. Of course they asked us where we were from and so we told them that we lived on Rhodes.

When I asked the man if they'd been to Rhodes, his reply revealed just how wildly misinformed the UK public still is about the situation on the ground on the islands in the eastern Aegean. He said that yes they'd been but were keeping well away from that region now owing to the - as he put it - "volatile situation with all those Moslems."


Further conversation revealed that they were under the impression that to come to the eastern Aegean islands would mean taking some kind of personal risk owing to the refugees from Syria, plus the fact that they are Moslem.


If you read this and would like to help, please share this page. Let me get this straight...


1. If you go to any of the eastern Aegean Greek islands this year you'll have a great and very safe holiday, including on Lesbos, Kos and Chios.


2. On many of the islands you won't even be aware from what you see there that there even IS a refugee problem. Rhodes, for example, has been entertaining holidaymakers all last season and will do so this year with no one even seeing anything that would make them feel at risk.


3. Even the islands that bore the brunt of the wave of war refugees, like Lesbos, are now largely back to normal. The beaches are not, repeat NOT covered in thousands of abandoned life jackets. The new arrangements with Turkey cooperating are working and the flow has been drastically cut.


4. Sadly, the businesses on the islands most affected are now seriously facing bankruptcy owing to huge numbers of tourists staying away. It's their livelihood, yet many tour operators are cancelling flights and even if you wanted to go there you'd find it difficult. Time to maybe start taking DIY holidays, eh?


5. Finally. Forget the fact that the refugees may be labelled "Moslem". The majority are normal people fleeing a home country where the entire infrastructure has been destroyed. There is no electricity, no water, no stores, not many buildings left standing even. These people are educated, civilised and above all - human beings!!


Thanks for reading this. No, really, thanks. Please do spare a thought for the restaurant owners, the hoteliers, the bars and cafés on these islands, who will see their incomes disappear this season unless people make the effort and go there for their vacations. 


Just imagine what a welcome you'll get if you do go!!


Update 30th April: A response to the above piece has appeared on the FB page "Grecophiles Forum". Sally Harper writes:
"I live in Athens...Have I had any issues involving migrants/refugees? Simple answer is no!
I do see them in Athens, sometimes many, especially on the tram from SEF towards Voula as there is a camp at Elliniko along that route. One time I got on & there were only 3 of us that were not migrants, it was full, many of them families, most had bags of shopping with basics, sitting chatting quietly, no feeling of 'threat' at all as the media would have you believe!
Another time I got on & there were no seats available, one gentleman sitting with his wife got up & offered me his seat. What I am saying is, even if you do encounter them, they are people, in many cases no different from the rest of us except they had to flee from awful situation in their home countries. Been on the Piraeus metro several times with quite a few on there, again no problem, on there I'm more concerned about pickpockets! Had an attempt by a young Eastern European female.
I do wish the media would publish some reports with experiences of us real people actually living with this instead of scaremongering!"

Re her comment about pickpockets. They have been a problem on the Athens metro for a long time. Whilst they don't pose any threat to personal safety 'per se', they are a nuisance. Interestingly though, they are NOT the refugees, but rather ne-erdowells who've lived in Athens for a long time. They certainly don't make Athens an unsafe place to visit or walk around at nights though. Plus, you'll find their like in every city on the planet, right?



Tickle your taste buds for Rhodes • Mar 23rd 2016
This site's undergone a major revamp and it's very beautiful now. if you're thinking of a tailor-made holiday on either Rhodes or Halki you really ought to look here first!
http://www.lindosdestiny.com



I do hope you'll read this and pass it on • Feb 29th 2016

The people of islands like Lesvos are facing a huge tragedy, one that could be potentially devastating. Please read this story, please do. Please also make it as widely known as you can.



Are You the Adventurous Type? • Feb 16th 2016

If you're someone who's genuinely thinking about moving out here to Greece, in particular Rhodes, there is some info you may like to read on the page "Play, Eat, Visit". You'll have to scroll a long way down toward the bottom, but do so, please, and read what I've written there. 

Plus, further down this very page is the caption "House (and Hugh Laurie nowhere in sight)", which is all about a house which some friends are selling in the village of Pilona, not far from us. Scroll down from here a little way and have a look. There are a few photos too. 


Further down again is another heading "Get a Move On", about another house in Pilona for sale, but no photos on that one. There is, though a link to a website containing some nice photos. Haven't talked to the owners of that one for a while so they may have sold by now. But the "House" one is still available.




Available for Comment - 2 • Feb 8th 2016

Author Kathryn Gauci has posted this interview with yours truly on her website recently. 


Available for Comment! • Jan 4th 2016
This interview just went live today.
http://interviews.blogexpat.com/blog/2016/01/04/from-the-uk-to-greece-ramblings-from-rhodes



House (and Hugh Laurie nowhere in sight) • Oct 30th 2015

A little further down you'll find a piece headed "Get a Move On" which carries a link to some friends' house which is for sale in a nearby village. We have another couple of friends too who wish to sell another rather lovely secluded property, on the edge of a village not far from here. This one, though, doesn't have a website, so here a a few shots of the property in question...









 Contrary to what you may be thinking, there are still folk arriving here to start a new life quite regularly. Fact is too, owing to the uncertainty that is putting some people off, properties such as this one and the one referred to further down can all be bought at a pretty attractive price since it's kind of a "buyer's market" at present. This one (photographed above) has a rather generous garden all around it too and is in a lovely quiet spot, yet only minutes walk from a bakery, a bar, a newsagent and a few tavernas. Plus you can be walking in unspoilt countryside in even less time than that.


If you're tempted at all by this one, in the first instance contact me through the "View my complete profile" link under the heading "The Culprit" in the left hand column. I shall then be delighted to give you contact details for the owners themselves.

 


Available for Comment! • Oct 20th 2015

I was recently interviewed by author Chrissie Parker for her blog. You can read the full interview here. She publishes one interview per month with a fellow author.
 


Read On... • Oct 18th 2015

A great site for instant access to a whole host of books to read. Click the image...


http://ow.ly/Tw8WQ
  


Get a Move On • Oct 13th 2015

Trisha and Alan, Some British friends, are selling a beautiful house in nearby Pilona. if you'd like to take a look at the website advertising it, click this link.  If perhaps you're in a position to do more than simply dream, their contact details are on the home page of the site.


Well, whaddya know! • Sept 28th 2015

Just discovered this and I reckon it'll be of interest to Rhodes fans everywhere. I'll add the link to the "links" page when I get around to it as well.

Ryan Air Rhodes Guide



Common Sense Prevails • July 11th 2015

The Guardian newspaper in the UK has just posted this story. 
Well done to them...
http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/jul/11/greece-holiday-solidarity



Worth a Thousand Words • June 18th 2015

My sister just sent me a photo of her latest watercolour of a Lindos street. I rather like it! if you'd like to commission a work, she can be contacted thru her blog "A Brush With Whimsy". She doesn't post very often, but if you scroll down to "View My Complete Profile" in the left hand column you can contact her that way...





 A Recommendation • June 10th 2015

A really informative website called rhodespefkos.com (there is also a permanent link on the Links page) has just named "Eve of Deconstruction" as their book of the season, for which I'm not only humbled but also exceeding grateful. Thanks so much to the administrators of the site.




Linkmania? • March 30th 2015
The new (and ever developing) Links page on my official website has a lot of really useful links on it for all genuine Grecophiles.

If you want to go take a look, click HERE.



A slice of yer actual culture • Feb 26th 2015

Through the Facebook Group (see previous post below) I came across this website, by a newly published author, Ruth Kozak (resists temptation to say "Book 'em Stavros!"). 



Villa-bulous • Feb 6th 2015

I've now added two links to the Lindos Seaside Villa on the Stay page. If you love Lindos, you must check this one out folks.


He Hawt to Know Us by Now • Dec 28th 2014 

Lovely walk down to the Freddito Café for a coffee (and free kourabiedes) today. Too hot when walking back, even with only one layer on. Had a chat with a near neighbour on the way home. He also works during the summer season. Friendly chap though...



Of course, I say "chap", when it could have been a chappesse. You just never know these days, eh?



Something Symi-lar? • Oct 28th 2014 

Just a reminder for all Symi lovers that the definitive blog about life on Symi is Symi Dream, run by Neil Gosling and James Collins. It's really excellent. James is an accomplished writer, having written several books about life on Symi plus novels too, reflecting my own record about all things Rhodean. Neil is a photographer and his work is simply stunning. Don't take my word for it, go take a look. They've lived on Symi for many years now.


Round and Round Again • Oct 15th 2014 

It's weird, but the small island of Halki seems to have a better recycling system running than we do here on Rhodes. It would be nice to see the Rhodean authorities getting up to speed on this, since recycling is still woefully inadequate here. These bins were everywhere on Halki when we spent a few days there last week. They're colour coded for plastic, glass, cans, paper, card and general waste...



Don't be fooled into thinking that the bins are a sham either. I've seen the pound where they have the crushing machines and piles of waste-specific "bales" awaiting transporting to Piraeus for further processing.


10 out of 10 to the local "Dimos" on Halki, where they also now can take pride in their new desalination plant [discreetly placed where it can't be seen by visitors], which has meant that this summer, for the first time, they don't have to buy their water and have it shipped in from Rhodes. The water in the taps has excellent mains-pressure and is safe to drink.


New Beginnings • Sept 13th 2014 

If you remember the Filimon Hotel at Pefkos, which was situated in a quiet area at the top end of the village, you'll probably know that it closed down a couple of years ago and has been derelict for some time.

Well not any more. It's recently re-opened after a splendid refurbishment and is now called the Eagle's Nest. From what I've seen it looks beautiful. You can check the website out here. If you do end up contacting the management, please do tell them how you heard won't you. Ta!


Oh, and I nearly forgot. They have some special introductory offers on at the moment owing to the fact they they are newly opened. Well worth checking out that link if you're planning a last minute visit this season.



Having a lovely time • Sept 1st 2014 

You know something? if this video doesn't make you want to come to Rhodes, there must be something wrong with you!!


The shrinking library • August 28th 2014 

Dropped by to see Melanie at Lindos Reception this morning. She's one of the good guys and her hubby has a boat too. Must get round to putting his details on the "Play, Eat, Visit" page. 
Just a point for anyone arriving or departing from Lindos Reception, or if you're staying in Lindos and decide to have a drink there (which is a good idea for the view alone) - Melanie's book shelves constitute a book exchange, not a free bookstore. Please, if you're a reader who still uses books rather than a reading device, remember to leave books if you take any. It's not rocket science but does demonstrate a lack of concern for others if you just take books and don't leave your old ones.
I'm sure it doesn't apply to you personally, of course!



Before it's too late? • Aug 1st 2014

Then think before booking your next visit to Greece.
Thanks!

What a Transformation • June 17th 2014 
The old Daniel Hotel at Kalathos has received an impressive facelift and is now quite simply an amazing place to stay. The new apartments are excellently well appointed and the whole place has to be seen to be believed. Check out the "Stay" page under Kalathos for links.


Up, up and away • April 23rd 2014 

Someone just placed this link on Facebook, so I thought it may be worth checking out. I've also put it on the "Stay" page.


Good Post about the scourge of AI holidays • April 16th 2014 

Someone who used to live on Kos posted this. Please, please do read it.Thanks.


Time Rhodes Got into Gear Here... • April 11th 2014 


Naxos. OK, granted, not the prettiest sight, agreed. But nowadays these things are essentials. They're recycling bins and between the three of them they'll take paper, card, plastics, tin cans and all kinds of glass. Naxos, to their credit, have these bins placed strategically everywhere you go. So, yes, here I chose to photograph them and it makes it look as if they're making the view of the Temple of Apollo look decidedly tawdry. But it's deceptive. This particular spot is a bit of a backwater away from the main tourist trail, but beside a parking area and road used continually by the locals. Having taken a peek inside a few of these as we've come across them, we've been impressed to see that the locals do appear to be using them too.

Ugly or not, they're a necessary part of any modern urban area - agreed? Yet on Rhodes all we have are two machines in the town that require the user to insert plastic bottles, glass bottles, or cans one at a time while the machine crushes them individually. It takes an age and that's always assuming you can park since both are in positions chosen to make it a virtual impossibility to stop a vehicle in order to do your recycling.


Elsewhere [on Rhodes] there are now a few of the smaller wheelie bins in threes, colour coloded it's true, but because they're the same type of bin as used for rubbish, most of them end up filled with precisely that - rubbish.


No, if anyone reads this who has any sway with the authorities on Rhodes, it may be a good idea to suggest they talk to the Naxos Dimos about what they're doing and thus get Rhodes finally into gear with recycling.


Just found this... 
 March 27th 2014


 More About Lardos Folk • March 20th 2014

I mentioned a while back about one man's labour of love, the new Folklore Museum of Lardos, all put together by the blood, sweat and tears of Panagiotis, a Lardian who's passionate about his village and it's illustrious history.

 Well there is now a Facebook page for the Museum. There's not a huge amount of info there yet, but there are already lots of photos which show just how much "stuff" Panagiotis had managed to garner together to exhibit in the museum.


The sheer hard work and graft that Panagiotis has put into this project makes it well worthy of a visit if you're in the area.



A Fly-past • March 12th 2014

One of my regular correspondents, Trevor, who also lives on Rhodes but quite some distance from us, recently sent me this link, which I'm very pleased to place here for RFR readers to check out.

It's a rather nice aerial view of Rhodes, mainly the town area, shot as a short movie from a low-flying aircraft by a local photographer Mihalis Poniris. It was shot during wintertime too, as you'll see, because everything's very green. 


• 

Reasons to be cheerful • March 5th 2014

"What have the Romans ever done for us, eh?" is a favourite expression for many from a particularly popular comedy film from years ago. We might well say (especially in the view for caustic jibes that have been made about Greece tapping money from Europe all the time of late) something similar regarding the Greeks. Well, here's your answer folks!!! In fact, here are sixteen answers...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/greek-food-better_n_4875637.html


The Island Bus • Feb 18th 2014

Just found this beautiful little trailer for a documentary set on the island of Tilos. Please do take a look, it's excellent and could easily be about nearby Halki or indeed parts of Rhodes near where I live. It's a lovely evocative snapshot of a rural community on a Greek island.


It's not what you know, but... • Dec. 28th 2013

He's such a nice guy, will do anything for a friend...






Worthy of a cringe? • Oct 26th 2013

If you really haven't got a life and can afford to waste eight or nine minutes, yours truly bares his soul about his work here in a short video.


Down, but then Up • Sept 21st 2013

Driving into town last Tuesday with a car stuffed full of plastic bottle and cans to take to the recycling centre (see further down under the heading "Regarding Recycling") we were totally crestfallen to find that it has in fact closed. With rather graffiti-like lettering in black paint (and only in Greek) daubed all over the doors, it threateningly told visitors not to dump any more stuff outside. The yellow "For Rent" sticker on the doors further drove home the message that there has yet to be found here on Rhodes someone with the vision to get the whole thing under way again. Don't they realise that they'll actually make some cash out of it too?

Anyway, that's the down. The "up" on the other hand was yesterday, when I did the Butterfly Valley and Halki excursion as usual. I'm pleased to say that lots of guests decided to take the train to the top of the valley, where they could take a peek at the tiny monastery, along with its spectacular view, before making the walk down through the valley from above. Here's my friend Panagiotis, who's waiting to sell you your ticket...




Panagiotis is a good guy and I'll tell you why. It was he and his wife Maggie (from Scotland) who first got the recycling centre going, before passing it on to others who they had hoped would continue with the project.


There are a couple of weeks still left this season when butterflies will still be seen, but their numbers are dropping week on week now. But the valley is an enchanting experience anyway.


Cruise aboard the Magellanos • Tuesday June 25th 2013

Captain Adonis and his crew, aboard the Magellanos, now has a superb new website to show off that wonderful boat, on which I worked alongside them all through the 2012 season. It's one of the nicest, cleanly designed websites I've seen. Check it out HERE.


Desperately Sad • Thursday June 20th 2013

Please do watch this...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=354612044570441
Ironically too, the song was about a trip to Greece.

 
A Thousand Words? • Tuesday Nov 6th 2012 
My sister has just started a new blog to advertise her watercolours. She'll paint virtually anything to order and will send pictures anywhere, so long as she gets paid of course!! Her blog is http://brushwithwhimsy.blogspot.com.


A Matter of Grave Concern? • Saturday Oct 6th 2012
 On my "Capital Delights" excursion last Tuesday with Thomson (TUI), some guests were asking about the War Dead Cemetery in Rhodes and I wasn't able to be particularly helpful. Hopefully they will be checking out the blog either now or some time soon as my old friend and persistently useful reader Dave Harris from Leicestershire was present at the Top 3 Bar at the time, having made a flying visit to attend a wedding. He was very thoughtful in supplying this link to Rhodes War Cemetery.



From Lindos With Love

Josie Kelly,  a long-time ex-pat Rhodean resident, has written a novel, which I was asked to format and prepare for publication, as well as design the book's cover. I'm pleased to say that it's available from Amazon [paperback and Kindle] and also the publishers lulu.com
It's a lovely, gentle book about how a group of disparate individuals from the UK find themselves thrown together when they all, for various reasons, embark upon a crafts and card-making holiday in Lindos, which of course works its magic on them and brings about changes in their lives which will endure long after the visit.

If you're a Lindos fan, it's a must-read!

It's available in Kindle format too!



Some books I'd recommend • Friday Jan 27th 2012

If you like to read books with a distinctively Greek theme, then I'd recommend the following:
The Greek For Love - James Chatto (set in Corfu, a memoir)
Talking to Zeus - Jane Shaw (a horticultural odyssey from the countryside near Athens)
It's All Greek to Me - John Mole (A memoir set on Evia)
Blue Skies and Black Olives - John Humphrys (set on the Peloponnese, not as good as some claim, but still worth a read)
The Summer of My Greek Taverna - Tom Stone (set on Patmos)
Into the Blue - Robert Goddard (This one's fiction, but Rhodes features strongly, a page-turner anyway)

Hope you approve. I'll list others as and when I feel they're worth recommending.







What's all this about then? See Andy's comment on the post about the tomb!



CV • Fri Jan 6th 2012

To read a bit of a bio about me, click here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/John-Manuel/e/B0040QB5EK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

Dreaming of Symi?
 James Collins keeps a magnificent blog called Symi Dream, which could even be called "Ramblings From Symi!"
Not only is James' blog essential reading for any Symi fan, it's full of great photos by Neil Gosling, plus loads of interesting stuff about island life there. 
Can't recommend it highly enough. 
James has also written a number of books, among which is a brill thriller called "Jason and the Sargonauts" which is a really great read...


32 comments:

  1. Ha,Ha John. love the photo of you sunbathing with your socks on

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. Very soon there will be a review of Brief Moment of Sunshine by me, if only people would stop interrupting my reading with requests for meals, and lost items of clothing and help with holding ladders, digging holes etc
    Vicki

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    1. I would reply to this, but I'd like you to keep reading please.

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  4. 'All inclusive' article is so very depressing. What fools people can be. I'm sorry, but it requires very little in the way of imagination and 'googling' to sort out a cheap holiday without resorting to giving one's money to tour operators as opposed to Greek hoteliers, restaurateurs etc.
    Vicki

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  5. Just to let you know, the link to www.exclusivelypefkos.com, on your Stay page, doesn't work John.

    Vicki

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  6. Is that Haraki in the background on your new links page?
    Vicki

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    1. It's the same pic as backdrop to all the pages on the site Vicki and yes, it is Haraki (in wintertime).

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  7. Never mind Lindos music week, e've got Radio ! Big Weekend in the park not 5 minutes from my house. Hoping to enjoy Foo Fighters playing live tomorrow while sitting in my own garden.
    Vicki

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  8. * we've got Radio 1

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    1. You have my sympathy, Radio ! sounded more interesting! I'd also be interested in seeing the Foo Fighters sitting in your front garden while playing live.

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  9. We didn't bother applying for free tickets as we were so sure there'd be nobody playing in whom we'd have the slightest interest. How wrong we were, Muse, Foo Fighters, Ben Howard....................oh well, we enjoyed Muse last night and their light show was stunning in the sky above our garden!

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  10. I love your sister's watercolour of Lindos. Please pass on!
    Vicki

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    1. I think I'd rather not pass on for a few years yet! Nice to hear from you though, you've been kind of quiet of late. I was getting quite worried.

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  11. Oh what? Where is the rest of my comment? What I meant to say was
    'Please pass on my appreciation of your sister's work'. As someone who cannot draw, paint or do anything much creatively on 'paper' I really admire someone who can!
    Yes I have been quiet, nightmares with Inheritance Tax forms. I need a holiday.
    Vicki

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  12. Common sense indeed, in the Guardian piece. Even Michael O'Leary is trying to do his bit, fares are tumbling!
    Vicki

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  13. Hi. Does anyone know what happened to St.Johns Hotel, Lardhos. We can't find any tour operator that goes there.Cheers.Andy

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    1. Andy, I've been here 10 years and never heard of this one. Can you give me the location maybe? - John

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  14. Hi John. Thanks. The hotel was in Lardos. Heading north from the Olive Garden Hotel towards Lardhos there is a turning on the left which takes you into Lardhos village. Just before this turning (also on the left) is a small lane which takes you up to Saint John's Hotel. It was run by Angelo. Angelo's wife was Angela and they had 2 children. Angelo also had a brother, Michael. Many thanks.

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    1. Yea I know it now Andy. Yup, closed down. Don't know whether it'll be refurbed and re-opened, but not much happening there at the moment.

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  15. Love the new look page..................seems easier to read somehow. Also like the piccie at the top. Cantina on the bend by the big rock?
    Vicki

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    1. Quite, Vicki, near what we call Lardos "limani".

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  16. Just realised your pic of the waste recycling bins on Halki is the photo I took!!
    Vicki

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    Replies
    1. Curses! You spotted it. I suppose there will be the issue of royalties now...

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  17. A good meal or a couple of drinks should cover it!
    Please get rid of that awful weather too!
    Vicki

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    Replies
    1. Now you of all people should know that storms only last a few days here at best. Stop worrying. Plus we here wouldn't call it awful, we'd call it welcome!!! S'not like the UK, rain and stuff doesn't go on day after day after day... The dust is all settled and dampened down, the atmosphere is much, much clearer, the truly awful sweatiness is greatly reduced and the sun is shining today. Feel better now?

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  18. How do I add a photo for the competition mentioned above, John? Seems like judging is underway but you said it closes on march 28th???
    Vicki

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    1. Sorry but it is too late Vicki. Rose (who runs the page) did post to say that she'd be selecting a shortlist a week before the competition closes for members to vote with 'likes' for their favourite from the shortlist. If you want a signed copy, why didn't you let me know before? I can probably sort something out for you, what with all the courier work you do for us!!

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  19. No problem, I just fancied submitting one of my many, many photos!
    Kalo taxidi for next week!
    Vicki

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