Sunday, 21 October 2018

Power Outage...

We had to resort to some good old technology today in order to have breakfast - our power went off around 5.30am and didn't get restored until around 8.30am by which time we were all desperate for a cuppa!!!  It went off again in the afternoon - John is blaming the new petrol station - he reckons it was probably being connected to the grid!

Anyway John dug out the good old gas burner ring and we had plenty of hot water for a drink and to wash up later on.  We have contemplated having a gas hob - we didn't before because we didn't have anywhere to hide the gas bottles but now we could put them in the little alcove which we call 'John's Shed'  they would be safe in there and out of sight and, when the current gazebo gives up the ghost John has plans for something a bit more permanent which would provide a 'roof' over where the gas bottles could be stored.

We shall see - fortunately nowadays power cuts are less frequent than they used to be - that is until we get a thunder storm and then you can guarantee the power goes.

We had breakfast outside - it really has been beautiful weather for this time of the year and it is good to get the fresh air - we are guilty of not doing this unless we have visitors which is a shame and when visitors go home we kid ourselves we will continue to do it and then we don't.

In spite of the 'sickness' that has affected the vines, and seemingly the fig trees, John had been successful in finding sufficient ripe figs to provide Aunty Joyce with breakfast today, tomorrow and hopefully a few left over for her to take home.  After breakfast John took a walk up to the cheese factory with Uncle David to buy some halloumi for our barbeque this evening and a pack which Aunty Joyce hopes to be able to give to Mum' neighbour Effie who told her that Droushia makes the best halloumi.

Once we had cleared everything away we took an emotional trip to the Cemetery so that Aunty Joyce could see where her big brother has been laid to rest.  Although they had wanted to come for his actual funeral the weather at the time was terrible and Mum had wanted them to come now as they normally do when she would have been able to make the most of their visit.  I had sent photographs but they don't really give you any real idea what the cemetery is actually like.  I had warned them that it was obviously not like they would be used to in a country churchyard in England and although it is not our cemetery in Droushia is peaceful and calm and they felt it was a beautiful place for Dad's final resting place.  Amazingly his is still the last grave in the row - he only has a neighbour on one side and amazingly the osteospurmum which we put there immediately after we removed the funeral flowers is alive and flowering all these months later.  Aunty Joyce wanted to get something so we earmarked an area where we could put a plant and went off down to Polis to get something.

We had not expected to bump into John's mum, Stan and Jackie but they were heading to Tina's Art Cafe at the same time so we got a table together and enjoyed a drink and a piece of cake.  The cafe was really busy which is good to see for what is quite late in the season here.  Fortunately there was enough cake to go round!!  We shall be meeting up with them again tomorrow when we are all going to lunch with Mum to Fitos's.

We called by the cemetery on our way home to put the pin cushion chrysanthemum at the foot of the other flowers.  The florist had cut out the bottom of the flower pot so hopefully this will take root like the osteospurmum - we cannot do anything permanent to the grave until the spring so we can at least try and ensure a steady display of flowers in the interim.  The chrysanthemum was the most beautiful coppery red colour and there is now no room for anything else.  I removed one of the pots that had held Gazanias as it was past its best but they have self seeded and are flowering directly in the ground so that is good.

We each had our own quiet recollections, silent thoughts and prayers before we said goodbye until the next time.  I expect they will want to go back again next week and that is absolutely no problem.  I am not at art tomorrow and that is the day I generally go and pay him a visit.

No-one wanted any lunch when we got back - the cake had filled us up and so we spent a quiet afternoon in and around the house.  I was getting food ready for tonight's barbeque and John and Uncle David were getting ready to watch the Mighty Blades.

The Red and White Wizards were victorious and as a result went top of the league which made John a very happy chappy - Uncle David is a Reading fan really and unfortunately their result was not so positive!  I think John enjoyed having the company to watch the game and they sat together companionably with a beer and some nuts and crisps!

Because the footie didn't finish until 7.00pm we were late eating our barbeque - in fact it was dark outside when we were ready but I had done most of it in advance so it was only a question of John finishing off the meat.  We had sausages, burgers, chicken kebabs and halloumi with coleslaw, salad and dips and wedge potatoes - even though my Uncle says his appetite has reduced as he has got older I am amazed at how much they do eat - it is a pleasure to cook for them as they eat everything and with enthusiasm.

We none of us had a late night - the food, fresh air and football had left us all exhausted!

Saturday, 20 October 2018

A rest today from a Yiannis Tour - in fact a relatively normal Friday save for the fact that this weekend we have Aunty Joyce and Uncle David staying with us which has become the custom when they are over on holiday.  We shall do the same again next weekend as well.  They are really no trouble, easy to feed and easy to entertain and Uncle David makes a great barman when he decides it is 6 o'clock somewhere in the world!

We were going down to Emba today to play pickleball and to pick up our charges.  John's knee seems to be holding up quite well although whether he will return to badminton is still up in the air.  He enjoys our Friday pickleball session with Diana, Mum, Liselotte and John so for now that is exercise enough.

We stopped, as we generally do, on our way down to drop off our recycling which never seems to get any less!!!  Bottles and Cans go into the bins in Peyia - plastics, paper and card get dropped off to Mum so she can, single-handedly, keep the recycling service in Emba afloat.  They say every day is a school day and that you learn something new everyday and today was no exception - I generally struggle with one hand to lift the can bin lid and then struggle to get the cans in - today a lady marched up put her foot on the silver bit under the bin which is a lever to lift the lid - who knew?  not me for one!!!

We had good games today - everyone was on good form and crazy Liselotte played even though she was flying off to Denmark later this afternoon and from Larnaca!

After a very welcome cold drink we packed up Joyce and David leaving mum to have a day to herself tomorrow - a little time to recharge her batteries as it is tiring having visitors - it is just the change to your normal routine and having to think about how to spend the days and what and where and when to eat.  We are all a bit guilty of over-organising but it is only because we want our visitors to get the very best out of their holidays.

For the early part of the evening we sat inside in the conservatory with the doors and windows open enjoying a bit of peace and quiet.  Fridays are fine - the builders don't work!!

I had our supper all organised - I had cooked most of it yesterday in readiness - we were having minted lamb done in the slow cooker using the bottle of French wine which Mike had left for us - to be fair we all tasted it and felt it would be better used in cooking than drinking from a glass!!!  this was being served with french beans, carrots and peas and mustard mash - I know it all sounds like winter comfort food but we don't eat before playing pickleball and by the time we get home we are ravenous.  It wasn't too cool sat outside although John did lend Uncle David a jumper as he now begins to feel the cold more than he used to.  All this was followed by apple pie and ice-cream!

My aunt and uncle like to relax and read and I have a pile of the National Geographic magazines that were dad's here to keep Uncle David entertained - I had renewed Dad's subscription at Christmas and he only got to read a couple but I didn't cancel it because I had paid for it and there is always someone happy to read them.  Mum also found a number of old newspapers which we had given to Dad for various birthdays.  On his 70th we presented him with original copies of newspapers which were printed on his actual birthday 16.09.1931 and then there was a pack of facsimile papers from key events in history like the assassination of Kennedy and the abdication of the King - these should keep Uncle David quiet for a while particularly as some of them have minuscule print!!

Thursday, 18 October 2018

VJ Day (Visit by Janet Day)

not sure what happened to this post - it got forgotten!

It is here - the day that John's Mum Janet arrives with her friends Jackie and Stan for a two week holiday in Polis.  This time she is staying in Polis Gardens which is a holiday complex tucked back from the main road and which backs onto open fields.  If you didn't know it was there well then you just wouldn't realise that such a place existed.  It would appear to be a complex where there are people living permanently and other properties let for holidays and others just empty.  When we went down this morning to check it out and drop off a few bits it was quiet and that will be just what they want.

Their home for the next two weeks is Delta Uno - a two-bedroomed two-bathroomed town house which is positioned equidistant from the two pool areas so they will not have noise from the pools to disturb them.  It has a little seating area outside the front and a shady secluded eating area out the back complete with chimnea and barbeque.  It is clean, tidy and comfortable and Kim had already been and dropped off a welcome pack which we supplemented with the gins and tonics which we had bought in readiness!  Even better the TV works with all the channels you could wish for including one which will be showing the Ryder Cup when it kicks off on Friday - Stan will be well happy!!!

If they exit the front of the town house and walk to the right there is the larger of the two pool areas with a huge adult pool and a small childs' pool next to it.  The area is very clean with lots of umbrellas and sun beds and the water in the pool looked very inviting helped by the fact that once again we were enjoying cloudless blue skies - it will be a bit different from the 4 degrees which Janet, Jackie and Stan left this morning!

There was one swimmer going up and down, up and down doing lengths looking very professional and when we returned later with our visitors she was still going up and down, up and down - we wondered if she had been there all day!!!!  She seemed to be wearing a professional full body swim suit so maybe she was in training for something!

If they exit the front of the town house and turn left they walk down a path with some lovely plants either side and come to the second smaller pool area which had absolutely no-one around it this morning.

The pool is smaller so not suitable for someone who wanted to do some serious swimming but fabulous for dipping in and cooling off.  Again it was beautifully clean and there were beds and brollies available along with a nice shower area.

The accommodation also benefits from a designated underground parking space which will keep Kenny cool and Kim has put together some comprehensive information which just about covered everything we could think of - we hope our guests like it - we can think of worse places to be!!!

John set off for the airport early afternoon - he was stopping to do a few things for Mum beforehand.  The Jet2 flight from East Midlands was on time which was a bonus as this airline doesn't seem to have the best track record for its schedules!  This meant that I was home alone waiting for a call to say they had arrived and were on their way to Polis so that I could join them with Kenny who is going to be in Stan's tender care for the next fortnight.

I am not sure whether Charlie (who kept me company all afternoon) had got hot and was cooling down on the tiles in the lounge or was hoping that the fire was going to be lit!!!!  I had expected him to be rather more conspicuous by his absence now that Lou and Malc are here but he has clearly got the hump that his BFF George isn't here this year and Aunty Perse isn't down the road either so he is doubly miffed.

I left him sulking while I went across to the spare bedroom to tackle the ironing that is lurking in there.  I had hoped to be saved by the bell but it was not to be and I got the whole lot done before John called to say they were in Polis unpacking and could I come down to meet them.

We had a quick trip to Paps to stock the shelves - Stan and Jackie were amazed that we arrived at the shop in daylight and then within about 10 minutes it was dark!!!  Once the sun goes down that is it - from light to dark in seconds!!

Whilst in Paps I bumped into Lola with her grandmother Elizabet (Elena's Mum) and we stopped for a quick chat - shamefully I hadn't realised she had been over for a couple of weeks already.

We finished our day with a trip to Yiallos for our evening meal and sat listening to the waves crashing on the shore - it was warm - a bit too warm for our visitors!!!!  Everyone enjoyed their meal and it was a great start to their holiday let's hope it continues that way.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

More Tours...

Yiannis' Tours were in full swing again today - at this rate our visitors are going to need a holiday to get over this holiday if you get my drift!!!!  I think those of us who live here just want to show holidaymakers all the very best there is on offer and actually there is quite a lot.  Previously Stan and Jackie have stayed down at the Helios in Paphos or more particularly on the road between Tombs of the Kings and Banana Bay so they are unfamiliar with this corner.  John's mum on the other hand has been now on many occasions but we still manage to show her some new things when she comes.

Today we had the men in mind when we set off - we had decided to go and take a look around the Minthis Hills golf course and have coffee.  This was originally known as Tsada golf course and in the early days was akin to playing on the moon!!!  it was a rough old course with a tatty club house.  There was some dispute over the building of a new club house on church land and so for a while it resided in a sort of portacabin affair!  We hadn't been here for years, as I said although John would love to play time and finances just don't allow unfortunately but some months ago we had occasion to pass nearby and so we popped in and were gobsmacked by the transformation.  It is beautiful and beautifully kept but they are building and building and building all around so one hopes that it does not become over developed.

We chose a comfy seat on the shaded terrace over looking the course to take our coffee.  If you are planning to go then actually it is really quite reasonable if you take into consideration the service and surroundings.  Jackie had a specialist tea and Stan, John, Janet and I had an Americano coffee with extra water as it was a little strong and so ended up having two large cups each - for which we paid €19.50 - 4 euros each for the coffees and 3.50 for the tea which is a even cheaper that up at the hotel.

After a while the boys got itchy feet and went off to explore and to check out pricing and get a ball for Stan's collection.  Stan was well impressed and he said that when his lottery numbers come up he will definitely be back for a round - we said that if they came up well enough he could afford to buy the place outright!

I remembered that Mum and Dad had been to a wedding here at the golf course and so I asked where the church was situated and we decided to take a drive there to have a look.  The road passes through part of the course so you run the risk of being pinged by a wayward golf ball.  No such issues for us today fortunately!

There is an old monastery here dedicated to St Anthony which is abandoned now and a church which is obviously only used for weddings or special occasions - unfortunately it was locked so I can't tell you what it was like inside.

It is a pretty little place - I can imagine that weddings there are fabulous.  I know that somewhere around the golf course there is a nice walk which I am going to check out for one of our discover days.  There was a memorial to a Saint Barnabas but I couldn't find any record of him to be able to give you any history unfortunately.

We spent a little while here - taking photographs and enjoying a bit of cool in the shade of the arches before moving on - today was going to be our 'religious' day as our next port of call was to be the Monastery at Tala - Agios Neophytos.

We had thought that we had managed to get up to the monastery previously with Janet and Hadge but apparently not so this was a new experience for John's Mum.  It was so busy today with a massive tour group of Greek Orthodox from the United Arab Emirates if their t-shirts were anything to go by.

We took a walk around the grounds which are so calm and peaceful but we ladies decided to forego the pleasure of donning one of the dresses which are offered if you want to go inside the monastery itself - there was obviously a one-size fits all policy which was ok if you were about 5 foot 5 inches and 15 stone!!

It was at this point that our tummies began to rumble and although we could have sat and eaten at the monastery cafe we had somewhere else in mind - the cafe today was heaving anyway - I don't think I have ever seen it so busy although there was one nice area still available for us had we changed our minds.

Our final port of call was also with the men in mind as Stan likes a cider and so we decided to call into the Aphrodite's Rock Brewery so that he could sample the ciders and John the beers and we could have a spot of lunch.  When we arrived we thought our plans had been scuppered by a power cut but fortunately the kitchen is predominantly run on gas and actually after a short while power was restored.  I took over the driving at this point - the men having supped a couple of pints!!  Actually we had a nice lunch and a couple of drinks sat in the shade of the courtyard.  It was so lovely to see Rebecca (formerly of the Blue Olive) and to catch up with her and daughter Charlotte and her partner Dan.  We do miss them not being at the Blue Olive (which is now up for sale again).

Had the lemon drizzle pudding been available at the Brewery we might have stayed longer and had a pudding but it was not so we decided that we would makes Stan's day and stop at the Gelataria in Prodromi for an ice-cream.  Apparently he has wanted to go here for days.  His verdict on the ice-cream?  Apparently he had died and gone to heaven!!!  I don't know whether it was the end of the girls shift of they were packing up for the afternoon but the portion sizes were ENORMOUS today!

Another successful Tour but boy I am exhausted - I see a very early night coming on for me!!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Yiannis Tours...

Today was what in football terms would have been called a game of two halves!  John had decided he would like to take our visitors on the trip he did with his sister and family when they hired buggies only he felt buggies were probably not suitable for our more mature family members so he opted to take them in Kenny and as Kenny is really only a four seater car that meant I didn't go with them but went to the Ladies Lunch in the village instead.

I was up early and watched the sun begin to creep up over the mountains - it is a beautiful sight which heralded yet another fabulous October day filled with warmth and sunshine.

I took John down to Polis Gardens so that he could begin his guided tour and I nipped into Paps to do some shopping.  Polis Gardens has proved to be a real hit with our family.  This is the view from their front terrace looking down to the left and the smaller of the two pools on this side of the road.  The complex stretches across the other side of the main road and there is at least one pool there as well.  It really is a very nice complex and very well maintained - particularly the gardens.

On my way back home I nipped into the post office to see if there was anything for us and there was a big fat parcel sitting on the side from the lovely Mr & Mrs Venner (Paul and Carole) who had sent a bucket load of Lick-e-Lix treats over for the cats.

Charlie was beside himself in anticipation but I am smarter than him and gave him an unopened packet which he viewed with some disappointment!!!

Really the Lick-e-Lix are destined for Chivers who is a right fussy old sod with his food but seems to love these.  I cannot believe how much the postage cost so big big big thanks we are extremely grateful and none more so than Chivers.

I did relent in the end with Charlie and gave him a packet but to be fair if it is edible Charlie will give it a good go - he isn't fussy except when it comes to the biscuit treats we buy and then he just ignores them!!

I got myself organised and changed and then walked down through the village to meet up with the Ladies wot Lunch.

The village has gone back to being very quiet although there are still some tourists about.  I took this picture because we are supposed to be getting the roads in the centre of the village cobbled like they have done in Kathikas and Inea so it will revert back to having a more traditional feel.  This will be a reminder of how it used to look.  There is no timescale for the works so we have no idea when it is due to start - when it does it will cause chaos for sure as there is no way of circumnavigating parts of the village if the roads are out of action - watch this space!

We were a smallish group for the lunch but it was nice to catch up with one of my blog readers - Jan Fox - we might not have met had it not been for the blog!  There was another lady attending called Avril who has a home in the village but only comes out for holidays so it was good to see her too.  It was very pleasant sat in the courtyard although I was grateful that the rather large gourd which was hanging precariously above my head decided to stay there!

I had a lovely meander back home - here a a couple of pictures of arches in the village - the one on the left is at the entrance to Christos' Taverna and the one on the right is next door at the entrance to the house owned by Georgia's family in South Africa.  This is the one that has had the fascinating extension built on the side of it - at least we think it is an extension rather than a separate dwelling.  I love these traditional elements to the buildings and the cobbling of the streets can only add to the overall look and feel of Droushia.

Yiannis Tours took the visitors all over the place including a visit to St Simeon Church in Miliou and then in and out of villages around Theletra, Akourdaleia, Kathikas, Akoursos etc before eventually ending up at Viklari (The Last Castle).

John's Mum has been here several times previously but this was Jackie and Stan's first visit and by all accounts their reactions were the same as everyone who goes for the first time - wonderment!  What a view and what a venue and what fabulous food.  Jackie is not a vegetarian but likes to try all sorts of different foods so we had booked for her to have the fabulous bean dish they do there.  They all returned with doggie bags which will keep them going for a few nights!!!

One of their final ports of call before heading back to Polis was to stop in the square in Arodes and have a welcome cool drink.  They had had a lovely day!

John phoned as they were on their way towards Polis and I followed on down so that I could pick him up and bring him home.

We were both quite tired but the Mighty Blades were playing this evening and the game was on TV so John was determined to stay up and watch.  I managed to keep my eyes open long enough to ensure that he had got the match playing before I waved the white flag and retired to bed.

They were successful with a 2-0 win which means that they are joint top with Leeds and Middlesborough - let's hope they keep this up as it makes John a very happy chappy and we like it when he is a very happy chappy.

We are out again tomorrow - a bit of a treat for Stan as we are taking him to see the golf course at Minthis Hills - Stan is a keen golfer!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Getting ourselves ready...

My dad's sister Aunty Joyce and her husband Uncle David arrive today and John and I are off to the airport later to pick them up.  They like to come later in the year because it is 'cooler', they do not like the heat, sadly they are to be disappointed - the temperatures today are in the 30s - the weather this year has been crazy.

Uncle David, John and my dad made up the three amigos, all born on the same day 16th September but in different years - Dad would have been 87 this year, Uncle David celebrated his 86th and John brought up the rear with only 51 years under his belt.  They have, on one occasion, all been together to celebrate and that was back in 2011 when we had first arrived over on the island when Dad celebrated his 80th birthday and it was an exceptionally hot day then.

With time on our hands this morning I wanted to get the house clean and ready for our visitors when they come and stay at the weekend.  I have got to say our house isn't large by any stretch of the imagination but when it is hot and sticky it is well big enough - there is just so much dust - not helped by continuously moulting cats!

So inside and out got a good 'bottoming' and it always feels very satisfying when it is done until I notice that a cat has had a good scratch somewhere and showered fur everywhere or dust has blown in the front door and my lovely conservatory floor is ruined!!!

We are having to keep an eye on Mr Boo at the moment because he has been in a fight and has a couple of scratches on his right cheek - yesterday it seemed to be quite swollen and he is inclined to get abscesses.  It doesn't seem to be bothering him too much but neither did his ear when it began to go necrotic!

So pleased to report that the EasyJet flight from Gatwick was on time and the only flight arriving then - the previous one being half an hour before and the next half an hour afterwards so not too much for the baggage handlers to cope with.  They came through quite quickly.  Poor Uncle David has had to have some treatment on sun damage/skin cancer - only having stitches out yesterday.  He has been left with a circular scar on the top of his head but it has healed well.  Sadly this was not the case for Dad who had a similar operation but the wound would not heal and that is probably because his weakened heart was unable to pump the blood round his body sufficiently well to aid the healing process.

Recently my Dad and Joyce's brother Doug had his ashes flown over from Canada along with family member so that they could be scattered in Portholland and a plaque put on our memorial bench which sits looking out to sea.  As a result of the family get together which followed Aunty Joyce had some old photographs one of which was of a bus.  I always knew that my grandfather was a bus driver - he was in a retained occupation during the war as a result but I never realised that he actually owned the bus and above is a photograph of one of his buses with the fabulous registration of KCV 888.  E Tregunna (my grandfather) was Ernle John Tregunna and my dad was Ronald Ernle Tregunna - there is a story behind the unusual name of Ernle which I will have to ask Aunty Joyce about but I have tried to see if that name is still used anywhere but think it may have died with my dad.

On our way home we called into the Smart Shop on the Mesoghi Avenue.  It has quite an impressive wine selection and you can generally buy Tsangarides or Vasilikon wines here cheaper than anywhere else.

Today they were promoting a wine that I was not familiar with - it was Cypriot and called Aspelia which doesn't seem to have a translation so just a name and it was a mighty €1.85 a bottle - now that is actually cheaper than Bleach and I bet it works just as well.

We didn't buy any - I haven't as yet adopted Dad's attitude that 'I've had worse!' but looking at it this might just test the theory either that or it was a hidden gem and we dipped out!!!!

John found a hidden gem once - shortly after the fall of Ceausescu - there was an increase in the number of Romanian wines available on the supermarket shelves.  John spotted a dreadfully labelled bottle of red called Dragon's Delta which was cheaper than cheap but which turned out to be absolutely fabulous so we went back to the shop to clear the shelves.  A couple of day's later this same wine was featured in the Times or Telegraph as the wine of the week and from that point onwards it disappeared never to be seen again.  We reckon it was rebranded and repriced in an upwards direction!

Mum has mastered her phone camera and WhatsApp sufficiently to send me a photograph of our happy campers having their first meal sat outside on the round table which we upcycled with the tile stickers from Jumbos!