Friday, 22 February 2013

February 14th - Valentine's Day...

Today is Valentine's Day - our second spent as residents of Cyprus not that this is particularly relevant but back in the UK we treated it as just another day because John was adamant that he was not going to pay the inflated prices charged for things just because it was Valentine's Day.  You see you can take the boy out of Yorkshire but not Yorkshire out of the boy!!!  So it came as something of a surprise when John returned from a trip down to the woodyard armed with a bouquet of red roses all beautifully hand tied and ready to be popped into a vase.  There is a bit of an old romantic lurking inside that body after all and for that I am eternally grateful - after 20 odd years he can still surprise me and in the nicest possible ways and I love him for it - I am not entirely sure why I deserved the flowers because I have been a bit grumpy recently but he said that I did and I was not about to argue.

Not only was it Valentine's Day but it was a beautiful warm and sunny one although very windy.  The wind however was warm up here and looking on the blog it would appear that the next coptic storm had arrived  a few days early. 

It is most definitely beginning to feel more spring-like although we are under no illusions that February is often the most miserable of months and is still only half-way through.  

For John the warmer weather brought about a longing to go down to the wood yard in Polis.  Their profits must have slumped over the last few months as John had not been there!  He made up for it today by purchasing some wood to go on top of the garden fencing to provide a continuous run to replace the odds and sods that John had put up so that the 'cats didn't hurt their paws'.  He also bought wood and curtain track so that we can put some curtains up at the conservatory windows to (a) block out the sun when we are trying to watch the TV and (b) make it feel more like a room at night rather than feeling like we are sitting in a goldfish bowl.  This does of course only address one side of the room but the other is a much bigger project altogether!

We have also decided to put the muslin (or Muslim as John calls them) blinds back up on the ceiling of the conservatory as the sun is now higher and we seem to have managed the condensation a bit better so they are less likely to go mouldy.  Getting them out of the cupboard ready to put up meant that there was something new on the floor for Chivers to play with/sleep on so we had to tear him off when we needed to!

Vicki came to pick me up today to go to pickleball.  She wanted to familiarise herself with the route so that on the occasions that she drives herself she wont get lost.  This, of course, sparked some debate in the Wiseman household as to the best way to go but the matter was complicated by the fact that Dad wanted to go home for the afternoon to tidy up before Mum returns on Saturday.  Going down via Stroumbi and through the cut and past where Mum and Dad lives is probably not a bad run but I was uncertain as to whether Vix would want to take their lovely CRV down through the cut which is a bit rough and a bit of a rat-run but she said she was fine about it so that is the way we went and in fact it didn't take us too long at all.

Unlike me, or perhaps because of my accumulation of speeding points, both Vicki and Trevor are being good at adhering to the speed limits.  I thought Vicki would, Trevor was a different story because he always used to hare around all over the place when he was in the UK.  Perhaps this retirement thing is slowing him down!!  Anyway Vicki found her way with very little prompting and dropped Dad off an we went on to the Karate club and pickleball.

I tell you there is no health and safety in the room we are using as a court because there are a couple of nasty looking scythes hanging on the walls!  and in the Ladies' loo there is quite possibly the most random soap dispenser I have ever seen - it is the stuff of nightmares!!!

Anyway I digress - Vicki is a welcome addition to the pickleball group so when Mum returns we will have six players on a Thursday.  This is a good number because you get regular sitting out periods but not for long so they actually come as a welcome break and it means that if someone can't make it - in fact if two someones can't make it we still have a four to play.  We are also gradually reimbursing Tom for the money he laid out for the net, balls and tape so this can only be a good thing.  Even in just two weeks you can see that Vicki's game has improved and she made some corking shots and was involved in some of the high speed volley rallies at the net - something I struggle with as my eyesight is rubbish for that.

Jeff did not have the excuse of a hangover this week (it having been the day after his 70th Birthday when we played last week).  He was, as always, his jovial self and brought with him a thank you note for Mum and Dad and for John and I as we had given him a donation each at his party last week.

It is a measure, I think, of how highly people regard both Jeff and his chosen charity Cancer Support, that Jeff was able to hand over a cheque for just over €500 which I think was marvelous.  We are guessing someone must have emptied out their pockets of change for there to be an odd 14 cents!!

So after a good hour and a half run round the court with some 'bugger its' some 'sorrys' and some high fives we left for another week and made our way back home not forgetting to pick up Dad who was waiting on the corner having completed his chores - personally I think he just went home for some peace and quiet and a bit of shut eye in his own arm chair - he says not but I never got the chance to go in the house to see exactly how much cleaning he had managed to do with his sciatica causing him trouble!

John was hard at it DIYing when we got back.  He had worked so hard that his cordless drills were fresh out of charge!!!  We now have what looks like a decking 'run way' that goes all the way round the boundary of the garden and looks so much neater and tidier than it did before.  The cats have given it the once over and seem to have given it their seal of approval although John is contemplating making some little ladders so that they can climb up and down easier - good god man they will end up losing the use of their legs at this rate!!  We got Dad busy doing the technical thing of working out where the curtain hooks needed to go so that they were spaced out in a regular fashion - I would have just guessed!  I did the taking up of the curtains thing to the best of my ability - we have to have them a bit short just in case the rain comes in!

It is marvelous though, we drew the curtains, put on the gas heater and stayed in the conservatory ALL night - watching TV without straining our eyes and eating our meal at the little table we rescued from the garden.  Having moved the furniture around for the umpteenth time we can get a nice little table in here quite easily so will now be on the look out for a square one - hopefully something that might match what we have outside.

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