“Carry on up the Kali Strata” – Author review with James Collins


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Review copy of book provided free of charge by author.

What is it about Greece?

Fans of my site will have heard me asking this question and attempting to answer it here.  Well, James Collins – British screenwriter and resident of the Greek island of Symi – attempts to answer it too.

I interviewed James here about the film he scripted and shot on the island “”The Judas Curse.”   He kindly let me read his copy of Carry on up the Kali Strata. Was it James’s attempt to script a new Carry On movie?


You see, James has been bitten by the ‘Greek bug’ too – he loves this country as much as I do. More specifically, he loves Symi – an island in the Southern Dodecanese, north of Rhodes and close to the coast of south-west Turkey.  His site, Symi Dream will give you great insight into the island.

So, what is it about Symi?

The people who greet you every morning?

The Filoxenia of the locals? (literally “friendly to foreigners”)?

The scenery, slow pace of life, how life on a small Greek island teaches you to shrug your shoulders and go with it (tomorrow is another day, after all)?

Read Carry on up the Kali Strata to find out.  Lovers of Greece, the Greek way of life and people who already live here will find themselves nodding along in agreement.
James takes us for a stroll around the island, making observations about all and sundry (tourists who think they know  more than the locals, or how about a Greek christening anyone?  And are you popping over to Rhodes, then can you collect a wardrobe for me and bring it back?)

Oh, and you’ll also discover what and where the Kali Strata is.

I loved this book!  It’s so, well, Greek.

James, thanks for an excellently observed and astute read.  Now then, before you get angry with me, I’m off to buy a Greek grammar book.

Featured picture courtesy of: http://www.symidream.com


  1. what is it about greece? greece is ……unique……no other word to descirbe it..it has flaws of course,but it’s unique throughout history..it’s the story that each rock whispers when you don’t pay attention..and makes you wonder if an ancient greek who changed human history ever sat there..a story about a country so different that few have learnt to understand till now..it’s a fairy tale from another era..it’s the closest there is to another,magical world..it’s the feeling that you are home,no matter where you came from..

    bex ,have you been in pelio?let me tell you about it..pelio is a mountain near the coastal city of volos..the vegitation and the waters there are magical..you wake up during the summer in one of the stone guest rooms in the villages scatered in the mountain..you go to the square of the village,covered from one end to the other with the shade of a huge tree hundrends of years old..you enjoy your coffee and watch the local kids play..you go to one of the many beaches nearby for a swim..if it is winter it’s snowing and you go for ski at the nearby ski center..you take the little volos-milies train that goes throughout pelio and enjoy what god has given to this world..athens nowadays is not greece..pelio, the whole countryside and the islands are greece..

    on the afternoon you have lunch at the tavernas,with the kids still playing till midnight..if you want you skip to volos for a good night out in the ”modern world”..you enjoy tsipouro at volo’s tsipouradika by the waterfront and even party through the night ..that bex is life..life as it should be..i have lived it..and i will be back there one day when my best days are gone..because once you have lived that life you can’t let it go..because pelio is greece and greece is pelio..even if it is not like pelio in apperance,it’s in the heart..it’s the closest there is to paradise in this world.

    and by paradise i don’t mean tropical beaches with sharks in 5 metres and 3rd world conditions outside the big seaside hotels ..i mean a real country where you can live and enjoy life to the fullest..

    i don’t care about the crisis..i don’t care if many greeks are corrupt..these things change,they had to hassle and break the rules to survive slavery throughout history,now they have to learn to do everything by the rules..the years of the crisis will be a drop in the ocean of greece’s unique history..i won’t leave my country now..my ancestors didn’t leave it after 400 years of slavery..before the turks were the romans for several centuries,before them were many others..heck,it survived too much and gave too much to the human kind to let it vanish now..

    greetings from an apartment in athens.. can’t sleep and dreaming of beautiful pelio..watch these videos and tell me i am lying..you haven’t learnt greece yet,you have just scratched the surface..it’s not for everyone to understand..some may turn their back and leave..only those who don’t can understand me..
    these videos below..this is greece to me..it’s the greece i will always heart..



    • Many thanks for sharing your Greece with us Thanos.
      I am sure the author of the book I reviewed – James Collins – will be equally as grateful for this insight.

      All the best to you.


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