Thursday, 18 July 2019

Another brick in the wall...

Wooooooo hooooooo today I back to art after a break.  Thank goodness I finished my previous picture of the Clematis Flower before I went away otherwise I would have forgotten what I was meant to be doing.  On the other hand this did mean I had to find a new subject matter so this time I have chosen a seed head from a poppy - yes I know this will not be everyone's choice but I thought it might be interesting.

Prior to art I went to check on Dad's grave to make sure it had withstood the ravages of the weather yesterday which thankfully it had.  Sheila and Klaus had got some of their sockets knocked out in the storm - which some have described as turning into a mini tornado.  John and I had popped an extension lead down yesterday so that Sheila and I could have sufficient light for art today.

It was good to be back to a normal Monday and to catch up with Sheila and Klaus.  On my way there I had noticed that the owners of 4a were there starting doing it up and I thought I ought to say Hello.  As I made my introduction she said "I know who you are Jill" and it turned out that we knew one another through Elena and not only that but they are the couple who answered my advertisement for house-sitters for a house in the village where Jacqueline Thomson lived.  Her daughter Lucy wanted someone to stay there short term whilst the house is being prepared for sale following Jacqueline's death.  This is an ideal scenario for Andrea and John (and little boy Ben) as it allows them to live in the village whilst they are doing their own place up.

My afternoon was spent in the garden.  Bassam came today and the bigger of the two walls is finished so John spent ages cleaning the stone and I spent my time clearing up and clipping back which included halving the ivy which has grown to the top of the aluminium fencing this year and which we think looks better only growing up to the top of the brick wall leaving the fencing in view.

John has worked like a trojan and was sporting what appears to be a broken little finger today having trapped it between two big stones.  We can now just about begin to see the wood from the trees and are spurred on to thet this, and other, projects completed before Hazel comes towards the end of July.  That is the trouble with DIY - when you make an improvement you can see where other improvements are required.  To be fair we haven't done a big project like this in ages and it is quite exciting when you see the fruits of your labour and you are happy with them.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Wet wet wet...

We had arranged to go to lunch at Fitos today.  Mum's treat and, as Liselotte is still away, she had invited John to join us.  We didn't think that he would accept as he was bemoaning the fact that he was no-where near completing his To-Do list but he did accept.  I think it gave him a good excuse not to tackle any jobs and from having to cook - anyway whatever the reason he came along and he manages to keep Mum well amused and having four of us today provides a much better dynamic around the table.

We had anticipated a lie in with no Bassam today but for some reason John had other ideas and leapt out of bed to clean the bedroom windows (I have no idea why!!!).  I blame him for the turn round in the weather - what started as a bright sunny day deteriorated into a freak storm with heavy winds, torrential rain, hail, thunder and lightning and all this in June.  I am more than grateful that we were indoors whilst all this was happening.

We had booked our usual table inside at Fitos and were so pleased that we had as we watched the diners outside srambling inside and hopeful diners rushing inside and then having to rush outside again because there was no room for them at the inn.

Our table in the corner was being eyed up with envy but we remained steadfast and sat it out until we were ready to go.  Once home our garden looked like a herd of marauding elephants had passed through.  It was carnage with furniture everywhere, cushions soaked and plants beaten to the ground.

Our newly cleared front garden (photo taken yesterday) which was cleared and ready for its makeover was awash with mud and our walls and new guttering being tested for their efficiency.  We spotted some drips frm the guttering but that would have to be addressed tomorrow or whenever the weather dried up.  At least all the plants I had dug up and put temporarily into pots had had a good soaking.

The storm was fleeting but fierce and passed through leaving us with blue skies and sunshine and steamy tropical conditions.

The weather brought with it the worst kind of biting bugs and I got a corker on my neck and which is now so swollen I have the appearance of someone with a thyroid problem.  I have another couple just about my ear which are constantly irritated by my glasses.  John is happy because whilst I am the favoured meal fo the biters he escapes pretty much unscathed.  However bad my bites might have been they were nothing compared to what Mum received - her leg ended up going black and blue and seemed to have poison creeping up her vein so she eventually had to take a visit to A&E to get it sorted.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Signed sealed and delivered...

Another day without Bassam - not unusual as it is Friday and he doesn't work on a Friday being Lebanese and we had an early appointment at the Court House in Paphos so that we could go through the official process of lodging our wills.

I had dressed in readiness for pickleball - i.e. a polo shirt and shorts.  John questioned whether shorts were appropriate for a visit to the Court so I duly changed into some lightweight trousers only to be greeted by Carole (who prepared and engrossed our wills) sporting  some very very short shorts and a strappy vest top!

We hadn't any idea how long this process was going to take and it was all very official with our wills actually being sealed into their envelopes - the man used good old fashioned sealing wax and a match (clearly no health and safety concerns here!!).  It was the same nice man who dealt with finding (manually by looking through dozens of entries in hand written ledgers) Dad's will and then doing the necessary so we could remove it.  I remember him sending me across the road to get the requisite revenue stamps and then he realised that he had asked me to get the wrong amount so paid for the shortfall himself.

In the end it was a quick affair and a tick in the box as we have been meaning to get this done for absolutely ages so we have to thank Di and Rob for spurring us on to get this completed.

We were left with some time to get some shopping sorted and John raided the shelves in Cycleband for the last few remaining bottles of real ale that they had.

We had pickleball this afternoon - no Liselotte as she is in Denmark and it was blooming hot on the court.  I was quite useless this week - not sure why maybe it was having played yesterday but we all had fun nonetheless and Mum was in good form.  She seems to be so much more relaxed since I returned from the UK and played like a demon.

We have decided to dine out on Sunday.  We were supposed to be meeting up with Jackie and Costas but this had to be postponed and our house and garden is in a bit of a mess at the moment as we are mid wall and mid garden projects.

We were both super weary this evening so neither of us fancied a late night and if Bassam comes tomorrow (which will be dependent upon the demands of his children) he will be knocking on the door just after 7.00am

As it happened Bassam did not come as he had to do something with Amoura but we were still up and about and working at 7.00am doing things - we have decided to revamp the garden area just outside our bedroom window which is a part of the garden which just sort of evolved without much thought or planning.  We wanted to dig up and save as many plants as possible then clear it, dig down, put membrane down and then put clean shingle on top and add interest by putting plants in pots.  This was hard work and involved a trip up to Agia Marina nursery to purchase a load of pots to house the newly dug up plants.

It would appear that after many years in the doldrums Lordos 1 is the place to be.  Galatia is having some work done, 4a has started to have work done, 8a and 8b may be sold and there is more than a little interest in 9b and two other properties on the other side have been cleared ready for sale which leaves just 3 from the original 10 repossessed by the bank to be dealt with.  It will be interesting to see how this might affect the peace and quiet although we are somewhat protected from what goes on out in the estate because we are tucked away.

We called it a day mid afternoon and collapsed in the pool which is currently at around 28 degrees and we think that the new pool cover (THANK YOU Lakis and Argy) is keeping the water warmer than the old one did.

There were dark skies and thunder all around this afternoon but we managed to avoid any storms here in Droushia.  In fact we managed a trip to the cemetery.  Dad's grave is now completed and looks so much tidier and is more in keeping - the succulent flowers in the trough are doing great and look bright and cheerful.

We then trod very carefully through heavy plant to get to check our post in Finikas and to seek refuge in the garden for a quick drink which was accompanied by all sorts of little bits to eat including a freshly cut cucumber served with sea salt - the first that Phillipos had been able to harvest and he did so just for us.

We have to thank Argy for the box of Koliva made for her brother's memorial and for giving Dad a mention at the service in the village church yesterday.  They are so very kind to include us in these very important milestones.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Happy Birthday Elena-Mou


No Bassam today meant that we did not have such an early start but John was keen to crack on and clear away any rubbish in readiness for Saturday when work is due to recommence.

Apart from a a quick trip to Windowrama in Paphos and Paps in Polis we had the whole day trying to get the garden into some semblance of order ready for Bassam to destroy!!  We are both absolutely shattered and although we had planned to go to see the school play just didn't have the energy.  The weather always seems to take a turn to for the worst on the evening of the play in previous years it has been cold and miserable and tonight was no exception.  I don't think it rained but it certainly felt damp in the air.

We had an early night because John had to be up early to meet the man from Windowrama and collect the new downpipe for the front wall.  This is to take the rainwater away from the two roofs and feed it out along our pathway to the road, this is instead of using the water butt which hasn't always proved to be very successful, particularly when it has had a snail stuck in the pipe and overflowed and the water come in through the front door.

I had a better night's sleep than I had last night because thankfully Mr Boo seems to be improving slowly.  This morning was spent erecting the new downpipe which was not without issue, frustration, and swearing but John needs to have it in place before Bassam starts on that side.  The new walls have spurred me on to think about the garden layout in the front so when I get a minute I am snipping things back and thinking about new locations for some of the existing plants.  At the moment the planting looks great in spring and early summer but then it is messy and lifeless so as a lot has been trampled on now is a good time to make some changes.


I was a nice person this afternoon and travelled down to Emba to make up a four for pickleball otherwise the session would have to have been cancelled for the third week in a row.  I haven't played with Tom, Mike and Carol for a long time but both Mike and Carol's games have really improved so I actually quite enjoyed the change of game.

No wall building again today or tomorrow but hopefully Bassam will be back on Saturday.  I realised that it would have been Elena's birthday today and she would have been 50.  She has been gone now over three years and we still miss her but had she still been with us you can guarantee that her 50th would have been a party to remember.  Let's hope she and Dad are kicking up their heels together today either upstairs or downstairs - wherever they ended up!

Sunday, 14 July 2019

The second great wall of Droushia begins...


I realise that my blog is now some weeks behind which was not really my intention but with the events of the past couple of weeks it seemed either inappropriate or impossible to blog.  So I want to get on track a bit more and will lump together some posts on days when there is not too much to report although I don't know exactly when that is going to be because just at the moment life is something of a roller coaster.  This week sees the commencement of the building of the great wall of Droushia.  Bassam is coming to clad our salami coloured, weather-proofed walls after the disaster with the Dulux WeatherShield.  We have opted for what we hope will be an attractive permanent solution which should make the house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.  It is not a cheap option but then neither was the paint and look how that turned out.

No art this week which was just as well as I am Bassam and John's gofer and I am trying to get our overgrown garden into some semblance of order plus I had to take Boris down to the vets because he has been sneezing more and more, particularly when he eats, and we are sure he has something stuck up his nose.  He has been like this once before after a fight but on examination the vet Susana is concerned because his teeth are in very poor condition and he shows signs of being anaemic which is odd because he eats a lot of liver.  She wants to do test to find out why and worryingly this includes testing for cat flu and feline aids.  In order to sort him our he is going to have to have an overnight stay down at the other practise.  I just hope it is something straight-forward poor boy.

I had invited Di and Rob round for a drink this evening as we haven't seen them for a while and are desperate to catch up with them and discuss their trip to the UK, Charlton's promotion and life in general.  It was lovely to do so although we had planned to sit outside and then couldn't as it suddenly turned very chilly all of a sudden.

An update on my Aunt - she is busy trying to build her strength up in order to have an operation.  She remains positive and when I sent her a picture of the wall being clad she announced that she would see in in person in October and I blooming well hope she does.


I had a trip to Paphos today to take Mum to sort out the payment of her tax.  I feared there might be an issue with my bank card which might prevent us doing so but in the end it was fine and even better I had spotted an error which meant that Mum's bill was about half what it had been estimated.  Good job I had gone with her because she says she doubted whether she would have realised until it was too late and as we know it is a darn sight harder to get money out of the Tax Department than to pay it in!!

I took the opportunity to get my haircut before checking in on Boris who is not so good as it appears he has a hole in his nasal cavity between his nostrils along with some other issues although not, thankfully, flue or aids.  On my return Bassam and John had worked so hard that most of the big Wall is covered.  They will have a few days' rest now and they deserve it - work recommences on Saturday providing Bassam's children don't need him as their taxi.

We had to go back down to the vets to collect Boo.  Although the vet is reasonably happy with him she did not have a camera which could completely check his nose so he is still sneezing but she did manage to get his teeth cleaned but he has a cavity in one which she could not remove because he is very anaemic and he has an infection which needs to be cleared up.  He was super drowsy from the anaesthetic and very unhappy so John and I had to cat-sit with him to ensure he didn't injure himself trying to move around with very very wobbly back legs.

Poor poor Boris was really not himself and so I opted to sleep in the spare bedroom with him because we needed to keep him confined indoors and he was so unsteady on his feet that even getting on and off the bed was proving to be too much for him.  We were both knackered so John slept in our room and I tried to settle Boo.

Boo managed to snooze for a bit and then started sneezing and crying and wandering around.  I quickly realised that he probably wanted to go to the toilet but didn't want to use the litter tray.  Susana said we should expect him to pee loads but nothing seemed to be happening in that direction which was a worry.  At 5.00am he eventually gave in and used the tray for both pee (a lot) and poo (smelly) and then went on the bed and fell sound asleep.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Getting back into the swing...

I have posted two posts today...

It is taking me a while to get back into the swing of things - really I could have done with a a few days of doing nothing but we have friends wanting to see us (Laura, Mark and Gramps yesterday and Mike today) and we have the walls being stone-clad starting next week and I need to to with Mum to sort out payment of her tax on Tuesday and John and I have to go to the Court on Friday to lodge our wills!!!

Whilst I was away Dad's memorial finally got completed and we had been to get some plants yesterday to go in the planter to finish it off completely.  We have chosen succulents which should withstand most weather conditions and will flower during the day and shut up at night.  It has taken a while but now it is done and it is one less thing for Mum to have to think about.  I think he would have been happy with the end result.  I am hopeful that the plants we dug up will survive.  Mum has some in her garden and I will be putting the ones I have potted up in the front garden after the wall has been completed.

It is Sunday and Mum was coming up so I have made a banana cake in readiness and this week we were being joined by Liselotte and John who had offered to have mum round to theirs to give me a bit of a break but I thought it might be easier if I did the meal because I know exactly what Mum likes and doesn't like and so I erred on the side of caution and opted for Hunter's Chicken, wedges and coleslaw and a fresh fruit salad for those who didn't want the banana cake.

I was flitting about trying to get my arse into gear when we were greeted by rumblings of thunder - WHAAAAAAT????? In the end, and most surprisingly, Droushia avoided any storm but Latchi didn't by all accounts.  That was good because I had planned for us all to eat outside and that we managed to do although it was rather close and muggy as a result of the weather.

We had a nice lunch and a rather riotous game of Noms - we played to our house rules which Liselotte's John just couldn't comprehend but that didn't stop him winning although neither he nor we know how that happened.

There has been an update on my Aunty - apparently she now has to build her strength up sufficiently in order to have a fighting chance at a good recovery from an operation to remove the mass - whenever that is going to be.

Liselotte and John returned home followed shortly afterwards by Mum and we had no sooner said goodbye to them than Mike came along to say his goodbyes.  I can't believe that I missed him being here as well as the Pamments.

Unusually we had immediate neighbours last night as Gregoris and Dora's son Stavros came with his girlfriend and dropped off some tablets for the pool.  Apparently he had been at something going on at the Droushia Heights Hotel.

Bye Bye Laura, Mark and Gramps...

Laura, Mark and Gramps go home today.  Once they have checked out they are coming to us for lunch and to spend the remainder of the day before setting off for the airport later this afternoon.

In the meantime they invited us up to see their accommodation which is a two bed apartment in the top most tier and which had fabulous views and they also asked us to join them for breakfast which was very kind.  The Spa holds no surprises for them as they have stayed twice before so the fact that it is a little tired and empty doesn't bother them in the least because they are more than happy to have the place to themselves.

Breakfast was buffet style and really rather good and the restaurant area has the most stunning views out across the swimming pool and to the coast and the mountains - I could happily sit there and take that it all day and apparently that is exactly what Gramps was happy to do.

John and I nipped down to Polis for some supplies for lunch leaving the Pamments a set of our keys so that when they were ready they could come on up to our house and let themselves in and make themselves at home which is exactly what they did as Laura was braving the pool when we arrived back.  It made sense for them to come up here and have something to eat and take a shower before travelling back and it was great to have them here and it made best use of their last day.

It was a shame that I only had such a short amount of time with them but they will be back for sure.  Once they had gone we just had a quiet night in - I am shattered and I have lunch to sort out for tomorrow.