Sunday, 24 June 2018

Saturday - let's start painting

Today we had nearly all day to ourselves and then this evening we were going to our neighbours for supper so what else was a girl to do but get the paint out and start to give the conservatory a bit of a facelift.  It has been some time since we painted the conservatory - it was terracotta and a bit patchy at that so we thought it would be nice to lighten and brighten with some magnolia which was used for painting the outside of the house a couple of years ago.  We have to remember that these were originally the outside walls of the house which we have chosen to encapsulate into a conservatory so they will never be smooth like internal walls - not unless we get a plasterer to skim over them.

It was probably the hottest day of the year today and working up close to the glass roof was like being in a sauna but we decided to just to a small section at a time rather than try and do it all in one go.  It looks cleaner already and I can't wait for the rest of it to be done.  John says he will crack on with it whilst I am at art on Monday bless him.  I blame my neighbour for this sudden spurt in getting decorating done - once you see someone else at it it makes you want to do it for yourself.

We had a very pleasant evening round with Lakis, Argy and Kia.  I can't believe that their three months is nearly up and next Saturday they will be going back to the UK if only for a short while.  Their stay has been fraught - they came with the plan that their courtyard would be patio'd, the pool tiled and all the gubbins working in a new pump house, a new bathroom built and the front patio'd.  It was a tall ask and their builder ended up being the psycho-billy kid throwing tantrums left right and Chelsea.  Earlier this week he walked off the job and then he returned but there was no sign of him today.

It has been a difficult time for them and I think Lakis has appreciated having support from John if only in accompanying him in a drink of Zivania at the end of the day.  This evening we were treated to fabulously cooked lamb with roast potatoes and vegetables and salad.  It was fantastic and we were invited round at 5.30pm for drinks and it was nearly midnight before we trotted back home like the Pied Piper with the cats following on.  Charlie, Boo and Chivers all came with us making themselves at home and then Charlie mooched round to see what Persephone had on offer!

We shall miss the Kiriakides but know they will be back and hopefully then they will be able to enjoy all the refurbishments rather than fret about them.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Friday - bbq!

This morning I had a bit of an emergency appointment at the dentists because I have had some pain where I had the first two fillings done a couple of months' back.  I parked up at the municipal car-park and walked through the gardens where civic weddings take place in Peyia.  It really is a lovely spot with the old church and the little gazebo positioned under the shade of some trees.  I photographed Elaine's wedding to Paul there several years ago and then Rebecca's son's wedding more recently.

The lovely Dr Haris saw me and x-ray'd my teeth/gum and prodded about and then assured me that there was no infection and no abscess for which I am very grateful.  He recommended that I invested in a sonic tootbrush (he doesn't sell them so has no vested interest in what I purchase) and said that this would help keep the pland aque under control.  He then cleaned my teeth and polished off a bit of filling that he thought might be stopping me get the brush round properly, said his goodbyes and told me I owed him nothing - RESULT!!

We had pickleball today and it was blooming hot so I found a novel use for the cooling towel my sister had given me - I know I am rarely in front of the camera and looking at this photograph you can see why!!!  Certainly not my finest hour!!!

This evening we were having Kim and Steve around for a barbeque.  I had been to Paps and collared my favourite butcher Valentin and got four of the biggest pork chops we have ever seen - John was worried that he wasn't going to be able to get them cooked properly but they were a triumph - the spare rib bit was crispy and caramelised and the eye of the chop moist and lovely.  We had pastourma and lamb's liver and halloumi with a Greek salad, coleslaw, red pepper salad, beetroot and orange, dips and olives and some lovely new Cyprus potatoes.

It was a beautiful balmy evening - no condensation or evening damp tonight so we sat outside till late with an inter-forces chess championship happening between Steve and John.  We finished our meal with a platter of fresh fruit - there is so much in season at the moment.  Once again we had a lovely evening.  It is good to see that Steve seems to be improving since he arrived.  They want to show us where they used to live near Limassol so we have penciled that into the diary - no rush as they are here for 3 months.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Thursday at Yiallos

It is exceptionally hot here in Cyprus at the moment.  The weather conditions are causing some strange happenings here - yesterday there was a massive hail storm in the Troodos causing a white over.  Today we could see low cloud sitting in the valley between us and Polis.  This could just be humidity down near the coast.

We had been due to meet up with Mina and Claire for lunch at Yiallos but they have visitors so it has been postponed so Di and Rob, John and I decided we would go anyway - having the morning to do jobs and then setting off for a late lunch/early tea.  Don't know how Diana manages it but she always manages to have her eyes shut for a photo!!!

I plumped for the Yiallos Chicken Caesar salad which is absolutely divine.  The food there is good and not overly priced and the setting is fabulous.  It is a great place to go mid week when it is not so busy and whilst we were dining we noticed that Lakis (owner) was catching 40 winks in a chair - I took a photograph and jokingly threatened to post it on social media but as we like the place I wouldn't do that.  I could have sat there for hours but the team voted for ice-cream at Waves so we made our way there.

The ice-cream is made locally in Prodromi and is lush and today they had a new flavour - cinnamon which is a favourite of mine although I don't think I have ever had it in an ice-cream!!  It, combined with a dollop of vanilla, in a cone was fab-u-lous!!!  We really are lucky to have all this on our doorstep even though we are all guilty of not taking advantage unless we have visitors.

We ended our time down on the coast with a walk around the harbour but boy was it hot with all that concrete so we didn't actually venture too far.  We returned home trying to find the church in a cave Saint Ambelis which I have tried to find before and failed and today was no exception!!!  We ended up going through some fabulous countryside but did a loop ending up on the road opposite John and Susan's - will just have to try again another time!!!

A lovely day all round - ain't we lucky!!!

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Ladies Lunch

Today was ladies lunch day - we were having lunch at Finikas today so I was looking forward to it because I love the courtyard and I love the food.  Before that though there was great excitement on the estate...

...After seeing people looking around the two empty properties across the road, two of the 10 which were being done up by a British Builder who went bust and have since laid empty, a company had been drafted in to clear them in readiness for sale.  These are the two which you see when you come into the development and have the roof terraces with the railings and spiral staircases.  The teams today were tasked with simply clearing the gardens and they worked all day filling two trucks on four or five separate occasions - god knows where the waste went.

By the end of the day both properties had been sympathetically spruced up and we can now see the rather attractive natural stone wall that skirts round the corner.  Tomorrow apparently an internal team will come in to clean the insides and also empty the stinking old swimming pools.  Today's team was being managed by a woman who did a fabulous job and when they left they had cleaned up everything - you would hardly have known they had been save for the fact that you can now see the houses and the wall and because of this it has meant that Mohammed has had to move his horrible old truck from off the front of one.

John picked up Di and dropped us off at Finikas where we were to sit outside in the courtyard for our lunch.  It was fabulous.  Well done Sheila for organising because the mini-meze was to die for and in particular the fantastic roast potatoes which were superb.  There were 16 of us today and it was a convivial bunch.  I sat with Di, Ruth and Marianne and we had such a laugh.

Bless Phillipos for bringing his latest creation - Zivania Liquer for us to finish off our meal - this was a concoction of zivania, cinnamon, pomegranate juice and some sugar - it was so drinkable that Diana and I had no problem helping out with any that people didn't want to drink!!  I even bought John a bottle but think I am more likely to drink it.

I was full of beans on my return - it must have been the zivania liquer!!!!  I decided we should tackle something off of the list of things to do and so cleaned the kitchen cupboards with teak oil and then persuaded John to get out the paint so we did one wall of the kitchen and my plan is that we will do the remainder tomorrow morning before John goes to Physio.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Monday - Bitter Sweet...

So today I didn't go to art because we were going to be meeting up with our No 1 Stalkers, Wendy and Bill and it was with a heavy heart because they are moving back to the UK lock, stock and two smoking barrels because it is the right thing for them to do.

Actually during the course of today they had someone viewing their lovely house in Pissouri and they received an offer which looks like they will accept and then it will only be a matter of time before they have no physica- l ties with the island.

We met them through this, my blog and we clicked immediately, meeting in Faros one New Year a life-time ago and we became friends immediately.   To be fair we used to see more of them when they were just visiting because once they moved over they were busy and we were busy and we thought we had all the time in the world to get together so we just didn't.  I feel a little bit sad that they are going back but absolutely understand why - I will be even more sad if they do not keep in touch!!

We have acknowledged that Summer is here and altered the conservatory around so that we can throw back the doors and take advantage of the weather.  Adding this feature to our house was possibly the best move and the best money we ever spent and we need to thank Dad for persuading us to do this because he put the cost v the benefit firmly into perspective.

We have so much to be grateful for living here, our house is small so easy to keep clean and all on one level which is a big plus even though when we bought it that was not something we took into consideration.  We are tucked away so that anything that happens to the remainder of the estate doesn't really affect us and if they do build in the field next door our beautiful wall will protect us from whatever happens.  We have managed to build ourselves a little oasis but it has taken time and effort.  I am so glad that Dad witnessed most of this - I think he was proud of what we managed to achieve and we are so glad that we had 7 years here with him because if John had worked as long as he could have done we would have missed so many precious moments.

So Wendy and Bill arrived as planned and came with gifts which included some of the lovely plants Wendy had housed on their balcony and which I have told her I am simply fostering.  We decided to go down to Yialos in Latchi for lunch and chose a table in dappled shade.

We had a lovely lunch followed by a fabulous ice-cream at Waves before returning to Droushia where we waited for Di and Rob to come back from Paphos so that they could see Bill and Wendy too.  We were excited for Bill and Wendy because we knew they had a viewing of their property which sounded like it could be a positive one and as it happens it was but we will miss them hugely because we have always had great times together.  I know they say we haven't seen the back of them but they have so much to keep them occupied in the UK and probably so many other places they want to visit that Cyprus may slip down on their list of priorities.  We hope not but we understand why so Wendy and Bill if you are reading we wish you both all the very very best - you will always be our number one Stalkers wherever you are and whatever you are doing and you will always have a special place in our hearts.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018


So after world domination yesterday, this morning started with a nice leisurely breakfast outside - lovely Lidl croissants (thanks Mum) and homemade jam or marmalade.  We always have a good time with Nicky and Mark and our next weekend is already penciled in the diary.  They had things to do today so left after breakfast which left us time to get organised before mum arrived.

It was a lovely day after the storms yesterday so John took the opportunity to get into the pool.  He has been struggling to get the dust under control.  The dust has been brought down from the atmosphere by the recent rain.  We acknowledge that a pool up here in Droushia is a bit of a luxury but we wouldn't really be without it at the moment.

We decided to something a bit different today and take mum down to Latchi and walk through the botanic gardens which lead to the Baths of Aphrodite - we knew it would be busy as it was a Sunday but hadn't realised just how warm it was going to be.  We took our time as it was both hot and quite uphill stopping to look at some of the fabulous Eucalyptus trees which are absolutely enormous.

Although it was busy with some large tourist groups doing 'the Grand Tour' we managed to get to the front so that we could take a photograph at the actual baths.

They have actually done a lot of work around the baths - the first time I went it was nothing more than a very uninspiring pool but now if you want you can do several walks around the area.

We left after our photo opportunity and made our way back to where we had parked the car.  We decided that we would have a coffee at the restaurant and then go home for some lunch as we had plenty of food left over from last night.  Mum was happy with that and I thought that eating a bit later would spread the day out better for her as we are conscious that Sundays are different now for us all.

To be fair Mum is doing really well - we are proud of her and we are glad that we are here to support her - it has made us wonder how people manage who have nobody to turn to to help when they suddenly find themselves having to cope on their own.

The view from the restaurant is stunning and we are thinking that it might be a nice place to come for a coffee when John's mum is over with Jackie and Stan - we got a menu to check the prices - some of it was a tad pricey but I guess you have to take into account the location.

So after a pleasant little trip out we returned home and had lunch sat outside in the garden until it got just a little bit too chilly for Mum and then we retired to the conservatory.  It was a nice day and after Mum had returned home John and I remained in the conservatory to watch the TV before calling it a day.  We caught up on Love in the Countryside and Million Pound Menu.

Monday, 18 June 2018

good times with good friends...

This weekend we had one of our regular visits from Nicky and Mark.  It is always easy with them - we have known each other now since they bought Mum and Dad's house in Emba and get on well.  They always plan to come at about 11.00am and are invariably late but we don't mind then we spend the day together, they stay overnight and then return home after breakfast.  They always say it feels like they have been away on a holiday after spending time up here in Droushia and they have been in all weathers!!  True to form they arrived nearer 12.00 today but who is counting?  The weather wasn't due to be good today so we had planned the whole day at home - and good job as we had thunderstorms and a powercut!!!

Bless them they came well prepared with drinks and entertainment in a massive Jumbos bag - you would have thought they were coming for a week!!!

We chilled for a while catching up on what has happened since the last time we were together.  Nicky and Mark have a busy time working so we like to make sure they relax as much as possible whilst they are here.  What is good is that Nicky's mum knows my mum and so we plan to get together periodically and have a meal together which is nice and it will be nice for Mum to have something regular in the diary.

We always have a laugh playing games so after a light lunch of wraps with bacon brie cranberry and lettuce the girlies challenged the boys with a game of Them and Us (the girlies were appallingly bad) then Say what You see (like catch phrase before embarking on Risk.  We were due to play this last time but someone forgot to check that we had the requisite number of dice in the box!!!

It took forever to get the game set up and the rudiments of the rules sorted (although they seemed to change depending on whose turn it was at the time!!!) and I was obliterated after the first round which made me realise that being the last player is a complete disadvantage!  Anyway I had supper to get ready so I didn't mind too much but the other three started to get uber-competitive and before long World domination was happening right at my dining table!!!

Tonight's menu started with home-made chicken, pork and orange pate with a side salad - I think I was a tad over generous with the portions but the pate was good even though I say so myself.  Then we had Cyprus roast potatoes, carrots, leeks, green beans and peas with pork tenderloin served with a cream, ginger, lime and mustard sauce.

We had to have a bit of a rest before tackling the pudding which was a home made pavlova with vanilla cream and cherries and mint.  To be honest it was too much too late and we all felt stuffed as we contemplated bed - Nicky and Mark are early to bed and early to rise which is absolutely fine in our books.

We had a lovely day and it was good to catch up...