Monday, 26 October 2015

Fleas and Gravy

Yesterday John woke up with what appeared to be a load of bites all over his neck and chest - he never ever gets bitten - it is always me so that was very strange.  It may have been an irritation from the sap in some of the logs which he moved yesterday - piling them up high in his arms and resting his chin on them for stability but more likely it was a mosquito as one little bugger managed to chomp on my legs two or three times whilst I was in bed.  Anyway John is now convinced that there is something living in our bed and is blaming the cats even though our cats are regularly treated for fleas and I have shown him what cat flea bites look like and his bites are definitely not the same - still to appease him I turned the bedroom into an insect no go area, stripping the bed and washing the sheets, pillow-cases, pillow protectors and mattress protectors then I sprayed everything to within an inch of its life and then dug out the grotty old mozzie zapper and plugged it in and shut up the bedroom.  We are exceptionally fortunate that in the middle of October this washing can be hung out on the line and within a very short period of time is dry, doesn't really need much ironing and then back on the bed!  in fact today it is so warm I have hung it all under the gazebo so that it doesn't get too dry too quickly!

And all this happened before Gravygate!!

Yesterday to accompany our Shepherd's pie I had made some pretty good gravy and there had been quite a bit left over so I decided to put it in one of those special lockable soup bags that Sharon gave me and freeze it.  I thought I had sealed the bag properly but when I put it in the freezer drawer it tipped up and it was then that I knew it was not closed as gravy began pouring out all over the contents.  John was not amused - it was apparently the end of the world except it only needed everything to be taken out and wiped off which I did immediately  - maybe his insect infestation had left him without a sense of humour this morning!!  The trouble is I am extremely clumsy and all the time - I don't mean to be and some of it I have to put down to my poor eyesight but a lot of it just happens and as I keep telling him I don't do it on purpose it is just an accident and I get frustrated and upset when these things just keep happening to me and even after being married to him for nearly 25 years I still don't have his military approach to things so my preparation is poor, my spacial awareness lacking and my common sense nil at times.

With harmony restored and all before about 7.30am John decided to go out for a bike ride as I was going to go off to art later.  Bless him he dutifully accompanies me on a bike ride when he is much more able to go off and do more exacting and exciting runs but he knows that I wouldn't enjoy the group cycle rides that lots of our friends participate in.  I am a 'scenery cyclist' so I just like to tootle along and take in my surroundings rather than clock up the miles beasting myself and so I would inevitably be ass-end Charlie with the remainder of the group merely dots way in front of me - for me there is no fun doing 20km just watching people's backsides disappearing round the bend.  So when we go out for a ride John probably cycles twice as far as I do as he goes off and comes back, goes off and comes back whilst I am trudging along in bottom gear legs going round madly and getting no-where muttering under my breath!

Whilst he was gone, and as I had time before I went to Sheila's, I got out the sewing machine as Mum had some throws she wanted me to hem.

This is a great little machine and I am grateful that Mum has given it to me because it makes little jobs like this so much easier than doing them by hand - anyway Fred will now home some throws so that he doesn't get muddy pawprints or cat hairs on their furniture - I must remember to take them with me tomorrow when we will see them.

I do keep thinking that I would like to do a bit of dressmaking but as with all these things space and storage is the issue - but when I have my amazing space craft room I will be able to do it all!!!

Sewing job completed I then found a piece of wood so that I could make sign for Elena - she mentioned the other day that she wanted one.  I don't know what I was thinking with the first one I did - it looked beautiful until I realised I had missed out the 'c' in kitchen - how did that happen? John would say poor preparation and in this instance he would have been right.

The cats are in a lot more these days - it is a sign of the change in seasons that they now don't disappear all night every night and generally at least one remains in, normally Charlie.

Another sign that Winter is on its way is the fact that we struggle to keep up with their increased appetites.  It is a constant battle that everytime you open the fridge door one or other of them is in danger of having their head clamped inside.  Boris and Charlie are the offenders in this respect, Chivers has never been interested in the fridge and Minnie simply waits patiently for her food to be brought to her - lumps of meat extracted, gravy only for some reason!

Charlie has been known to sleep in the cupboard where we keep the cat food directly on the basket containing the pouches as if protecting his stash!

They are all happy that for a while at least Paps have restocked the Best-In Tuna and Cod - not as happy as we are as this appears to be the only cat food that all four of them will eat and eat with relish by which I mean enthusiasm not pickle.

We are enjoying an Indian Summer and it was a beautiful day to walk into the village and my project of capturing the old houses of Drouseia continues en route.

Why is it that the most decaying of doors here can look so attractive with the peeling blue paint and the rotting wood?  I am so glad that we live where there are still reminders of what life used to be like and where there are still families that have lived here for years so you can ask about the history of the place and you will get first hand recollections of the village in years gone by.

As I passed through the village I called into the post office to check whether we had some post.

John will be delighted that his new long charging cable for his I-pad has arrived as it means he can have it plugged in and still read it lying in bed!

I was delighted that Marina gave me a present of some freshly made organic marmalade with fruits from the garden.  How lovely was that?

I really must get round to potting her up a plant and take it down as a gift because I know how much she loves her garden - she can often be seen outside the cafe/post office with hosepipe in hand tending to the plants she has dotted around outside and the courtyard garden at the back is a real little oasis.

Just on the corner where Panicos keeps his boat there was a family this morning.  The man was making giant cooking pots on the side of the road - I couldn't find out how much they cost as they would have been brilliant for keeping beers in when you have a barbeque - I did manage to ask him if it was ok to take his photograph because I am always conscious that there are people who don't for whatever reason.

There was not a lot of chatting at art today but my progress was slow - getting the chairs right is taking me ages and I know that they look strangely elongated but the frame I am going to use isn't as big as the picture I am just making sure that I take the subject matter down far enough.  Although there isn't too much else to go on the right hand side I have a feeling that the leaves at the top are going to be tricky.  This picture is probably several weeks away from completion and then I need to find my next subject.

I had been going up to Elena's this afternoon to help her prepare some fruit for some concoction or other she was making but she text to say she had it all under control so John decided that we should start to paint the bedrooms having got the paint.

We decided to start with the guest bedroom and cleared everything in the vicinity of the back wall where the taupe-y coloured feature wall is going to be changed to a sort of melon green - the remaining three walls will be freshened up with a lick of magnolia.

Things did not go well as (a) the paint colour is not quite as we had envisaged and although we kept saying we need to let it dry completely neither of us are really convinced by it and (b) during the process the roller pole knocked down the clock which in turn hit a crystal bowl and that smashed - John not happy - poor preparation yet again!!

We will look at the paint colour again tomorrow and make a decision as a second coat will be required and we may just go for the next shade on the chart.

Belly dancing tonight was preceded by a trip to Paps - Amoura had come along for the ride and to watch us make fools of ourselves (her official verdict later was that the lesson was 'interesting' whatever that meant!).  The music in Paps supermarket is eclectic to say the least but we were saying that there are times when it just makes you want to jig along as you shop.  At this point we could hear the strains of  Michael Jackson's Thriller and my challenge to Diana and Elena is that at some point in the future (and after a lot of practicing) we should suddenly do a Thriller Flash Mob in the aisles!!!

The gauntlet has been laid down Ladies but I fear it is too soon to be ready for Halloween...

The original video is below followed by a flash mob video - this is your homework

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