Thursday, 13 September 2012


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We get a strange mix of old and new here in Cyprus as traditional farming methods come into contact with the 21st Century.  The guy that we call the 'Egyptian' (who lives in the little shack down the road) brought his goats up to the field next door as he has probably done for years but now has to walk them where new pavements have been laid and the new road will go.  I am guessing it will only be a matter of time before they will have to graze elsewhere.  Chivers wont be too upset as he hates the goats anyway!
We are not sure whether it is one 'Egyptian' or two that live in the shack but there were two of them herding today and whilst their accommodation might be basic and their occupation very traditional they have succumbed to the 21st Century as they could be seen sitting on the new kerb stones trying to read the display on a mobile phone!! 
Chivers was absolutely beside himself and set off in hot pursuit but soon came running home when he came face to face with the goatherd's dog which is not unlike the dog we saw at the Inn yesterday.  Minnie patrolled the perimeter fence looking singularly unimpressed as both she and Chivers regard the neighbourhood as their own personal playing ground.  Boy are they going to be in for a rude awakening when it starts to be developed - they don't even like it when they see someone walking along the road!
I left the goats and went off to share a frappe with Orexi Elena, a frappe and some fresh apple as it turned out!  Elena has agreed to put on a special lunch for the Droushia Ladies for our next meeting when hopefully the weather will be kind and allow us the opportunity to sit out in the garden before the clocks change and winter is on the way.  With an eye on her children and the children from next door whilst wielding a huge kitchen knife preparing apples from the garden, Elena conjured up an exciting menu which will be a sort of cypriot/lebanese/italian fusion and we have opted for no meat although there will be some fish.  I have to say that I am not normally one to go without meat but she manages to make vegetarian food so interesting I am willing to try all sorts of different things.  My friend Hazel said it was some of the best vegetarian food she had tasted.  I hope that the ladies will like it - I am trying to find some different things for them to experience.
On my return home John and I decided to go out to the nursery at Agia Marina as I needed some compost and I wanted to get some pots - I never had to twist his arm as it is a nice ride along the coast and the guy at the nursery is very helpful.  It also meant that we could combine it with a trip to Paps to stock up the larder!!
On our return we called into the cheese place in the village to get some more halloumi and this time my freebie was the dried wheat biscuit stuff that they use to make the traditional village soup which I believe is called Traxhana.  The jury is out on this one but I gave some to my neighbour George who says it is delicious so maybe I should try and give it a go.  Apparently the biscuit stuff is made from crushed wheat mixed with goats milk, lemon juice and yoghurt then left to sour for eight days before being shaped into the cigar shaped biscuits - which doesn't exactly float my boat!  I have found a recipe where you mix it with chicken stock, halloumi, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.  I think it is going to be a bit of a visual thing and as this can ressemble gruel when it has been cooked up it is going to look particularly inviting - it is amazing how much we eat with our eyes!!  I can't think for one minute that I am going to be able to persuade John to give it a go!!

This evening we were going to Steni coffee shop for something to eat and to listen to Geoff and Ken playing guitar.  John and I have been meaning to try the coffee shop for ages although we had intended to go for their ribs which we have heard are very good but are served on Sundays.  We were picking up Running Susan and her husband Running John as we have to drive past their house so it seemed sensible to go together.  Susan and John are recovering from having had family to stay and the inevitable emotions that come with saying goodbye which they did on Thursday. 
When we arrived at the coffee shop it was great to see Mosaic Jeannette and her husband Graham were there enjoying a night out together.  We didn't really know many others although there were one or two faces we recognised and we had met the guitarists Ken and Geoff when we went to Paradise Place with Hazel to see the Zilla Project.
It was a nice evening.  John and I shared a 'Cyprus Platter' - salad, pickles, pitta, loukanakia, halloumi, sheftalia and souvlakia and as John was driving I took the opportunity to have a beer!  John and Susan made good company and as Susan doesn't do 'late' nights we made an exit having listened to two sets and were home before I turned into a pumpkin!
We shall definitely return to the coffee shop again.  We think Mum and Dad would like it and we didn't have room for one of their home-made puddings which looked delicious so we will just have to go back.  We are thinking maybe it is a place to take Jane and John to eat when they come and stay with us for a couple of days during their next visit.

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