Saturday, 22 June 2013

June 12th...

When we look at our two cats we realise how fit and healthy they are compared with some of the poor ferals we see around and about.   They are spoiled rotten we know but they reward us with so much love and fun and photo opportunities!!!  This morning we found Minnie Mou reclining on the sofa in the conservatory absolutely dead to the world and so relaxed.  It is hard to remember just how poorly both she and Chivers were in their early days and how Irene thought Minnie would not pull through.

We were up early this morning because Running John and Susan return home today and my John wanted to go down and check the state of their swimming pool and I wanted to give their patio area a bit of a slooshing down with the mop as there had obviously been quite a number of birds around leaving their mark.  We also wanted to check on Millie's progress after we found her with a poorly leg.

On the way down the hill we saw Andreas with his horses.  He has two in the field just down from the 'Egyptian's' house and today he was beginning to introduce a saddle to the one which we refer to as the Mum.  She was clearly not overly impressed and managed to buck it off pretty quickly!

Andreas moves the horses around the fields in the area.  He is having a house built just across from us and has quite a bit of land attached to it but not enough for the horses.  We don't know if the field they are in at the moment belongs to him as well.  It is lovely to see them and to see them being well looked after - they have plenty to eat and plenty of water and some shade thank goodness.  Animal welfare is not generally that good over here so hats off to Andreas - actually he is a man who is very keen on his hats and today was sporting one which a Rastafarian would be proud of!

All good at the Read's house - the pool is looking better but not brilliant - Millie is looking better but not brilliant as she has been scratching the fur off round her ears and the patio is looking better but not brilliant and I know will not be done to Susan's standards!

I had arranged to go out with Amita today.  I met Amita a couple of times at Orexi and she expressed an interest in photography and wants to buy herself some camera equipment when she next goes back to the UK.  I offered to take her out with my two Canons so she could get a feel for the body and how the various lenses I have work.

We arranged to meet somewhere midway between us and I opted for the Pickni forest because it could give some interesting shots and views and would offer some shade in the midday sun.  When we arrived there were six bus loads of primary school children having a nature day so we decided to drive further into the forest to get a little peace!

Just inside the forest there is an area set aside for picnics with barbeque pits, toilets, children's swings etc but there are several trails and roads going deeper into the wooded area and the trees there are fascinating - some of them must be pretty old and so they made for interesting subjects.

We found a large area where there were quite a few bee hives - all very active with bees going in and out.  Amita took the opportunity to set up the camera with the longer lens on my small tripod so she could shoot from a safe distance!

Whilst there we were lucky enough to see a swallowtail butterfly and eventually Amita's patience paid off and she managed to get a pretty decent shot because the butterfly only settled for a second or two - we said it looked like it was playing with us and taunting us as it came close then flew away, hovered and then flew away!

We made our way back to the picnic area so that we could eat our lunch.  The children had gone and been replaced by some forestry guys who were watering in some newly planted trees.  There were a couple of firemen with their fire engine having lunch and then a whole load of Russian families who were about to embark on a massive barbeque.

Amita had really enjoyed her morning and I think she was convinced that a Canon body would be right for her as it was comfortable to hold, she is trying to decide which lens or lenses she wants as everytime she tried a different one she fell in love with it!

When I got back home and uploaded the pictures to Dropbox for her to share there were 237 to look through - so plenty to choose from!  I hope she gets what she wants when she goes back to the UK and I will look forward to seeing the photographs that she takes in the future.  The shot that I took today which I liked the most was of a gecko just before it shot up the tree and was lost in amongst the leaves.

On the way back up the hill towards home I stopped to take some photographs of the newly planted vineyard - the 'sticks' that were planted last year have all burst into life - there doesn't seem to have been a single failure and the rows are uniform and neat and there isn't a weed in evidence!

I thought the bright blue of the water barrels really stood out against the bare soil.

It is good to see so many new vines being planted - up here in the villages it looks like people are returning to the soil - maybe through necessity but at least it looks nicer than all the building that we have been used to.

As I returned home it had become very sultry - the weather has been strange today and it has felt like there was going to be a storm and I had a strange headache which seemed to reinforce that fact.  We dont get much humidity up here as a rule but today was one of those days where we couldn't escape it.  At one point the skies got very dark indeed but we got no rain.

We went and spent some time with Tom and Jerry who have now doubled in size.  Tom has finally stopped greeting us with a hiss and is turning into a lovely cat.  They both look like they have been through the spin dryer and will presumably grow into their fur at some point.  They are handsome little fellas.

We had arranged to pick up an Indian takeaway and eat at Trevor's this evening.  Vicki returns tomorrow and we thought he might like a bit of company.  The takeaway was as good as we had last week and it was nice to catch up.  We didn't have too late a night as Trevor has a list of chores he wants to complete before going to the airport.

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