Sunday, 23 June 2013

June 13th - Happy Birthday Orexi Elena...

I had the most awful night's sleep because I had picked up a load of bites last night and they were itching for England. At 3.00am when I could stand it no longer I got up and went across to the kitchen to get some Dettol to put on them.  Relief for a short while...

I needed to be up early this morning because it was Orexi Elena's birthday and she was hosting a yoga brunch with 30-odd people being fed in the garden.  As all the food is prepared fresh she wanted me there at 8.30am to help with the preparation and then with serving the food as she is supposed to be taking things easy although there is little evidence of that so far. I walked to Elena's - the weather this morning was very grey and it looked like it could rain - this would have been a disaster for the brunchers as they would get a soaking out in the garden.

The children were not at school today so I was greeted by the incomparable Lola and then Amora and finally Rabia.  Elena's lovely mum was already busy organising tables and chairs, Philippa arrived with her girls so the kids all disappeared to amuse themselves.  Elena had even organised some eye candy for the girlies in the shape of Stuart who we said should have waited at the tables in just collar and cuffs!

I had made for Elena's birthday a driftwood sign for the bathroom because whenever I have been in the kitchen someone always asks where the toilet is.  I had also made one of my pebble picture cards and put the wording in Greek! She seemed to like the sign and it proved invaluable for all the brunchers who did not know where the toilet was!

As brunchers were expected at around 10.30 it was very much all hands on deck as there was a lot to do, not least provide one long table that would house the 22 yoga ladies so that they could sit together! We were grateful for Stuart's braun when it came to the lifting and shifting.

In conversation I learned that Stuart was from Chesterfield and that he was familiar with the pub that John's Mum and Stepdad used to run - in fact it was more than possible that Stuart had drunk in there when they had been in charge - it's a small world and seems to get smaller everyday!  

He and I were detailed off to help make the flatbreads that were to be cooked later.  This involved kneading and forming the dough that Bassam had made earlier.

Here I am with Bassam making one of the many balls that were later to be rolled flat, topped with a savoury meat topping and then baked in the outside oven.  I promised Bassam that I would airbrush him if I thought his photograph needed it but I think he looked just fine!

The food began to stack up in the kitchen as we waited for people to arrive and then once they did it was a blur of serving and making drinks and then washing up and more washing up and even more washing up.  To cap it all Elena was catering for a funeral in the afternoon so we needed to get more food prepared to help her out.  Not the best way to celebrate your birthday!

Everyone seemed to have a good time which is great and the weather was kind so people could eat outside and by the level of conversation everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and Elena's little helpers were kept well busy.  In fact at about 2.30 when I finally hung up my tea towel my feet were absolutely killing me - I said to Elena I wouldn't care to do this for a living but have just been happy to help her out in her time of need.

Just before I left Elena's mum brought out the birthday cake that she had made which was decorated with the rose that Elena's Dad had given Elena for her birthday which is apparently something which he does every year.

As I made my way back home clutching some Lebanese flatbreads which Elena had given me as a thankyou for my help John came to meet me on the bike - I can't say I was too sorry as my feet were about to give up!

We called in to see our neighbours Ollie and Trish as they are going away for a few days next week and want me to do some watering in the garden and had our daily kitten cuddle before collapsing on the sofa. I have another early start tomorrow as I am taking Frank to the eye hospital in Limassol and then to visit his wife's grave at the British Cemetery in Irimi.

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