It was a grey morning that greeted us this morning - October is turning out to be equally as unsettled as September had been. The PV panels are covering our consumption at the moment but there wont be a great deal of extra to bank at this rate!
Now that it is most definitely Autumn are minds are turning to maintenance jobs in readiness for the winter. As we are now in our fifth year we feel it is time that both the interior and the exterior of the house got a new lick of paint. To be fair the outside walls that get the prevailing weather were done previously although I have never liked the colour which turned out more pink than almond and John gave the lounge walls a lick of paint when I was back in the UK last winter.
The problem is going to be on whether John and I can come to an agreement on the accent wall in each room. Most probably not as we have very different tastes and ideas in that department!! I would have the bedrooms just magnolia and introduce some colour through the bedding but John wants a stronger colour behind the bedheads - all the colour swatches got vetoed by me today so I think it might be some time before we reach an agreement!
Even though it is much cooler John still insists on having an outside shower whilst he still can - nutter! now that the pipe is buried in the lovely Bassam-built natural stone wall it doesn't get heated by the sun like it used to when John had it snaking around the outside of the old fence and to say it is bracing is an understatement! This is clearly the result of his years of military training and grabbing and shower whenever and wherever he could - I am reminded of the time he came back having been on board ship when his skin was scaly and smelt of fuel because of the shower configuration at the time.
I draw the line at cold showers - my excuse is that the cold water doesn't get the soap out of my hair properly and John knows better than to interfere with me and my hair!
With visitors coming this weekend we are wondering whether there will be enough sun to ensure hot water for showers - always a bit difficult to tell this time of the year - there will certainly be some unless it really is overcast all day but enough for four adults? Nothing worse than jumping expectantly into the shower and for it to be luke warm. Still it will give us a chance to try out the new sooper-dooper digital immersion timing switch that John's mum brought out for us if we think we will need to.
John shot off down to Polis this morning for a few bits and pieces and to check to see whether John and Susan needed a new water bottle put onto their dispenser as John R is incapacitated with his poorly hand (operation will be early next week apparently).
John returned with the colour swatches - hence the debate on paint and a new toy for the pool - a chlorine dispensing fish! The fish has caused much consternation amongst the cats who can't quite work out what it is.
Along with the house painting our next and hopefully last big project is to have the pool re-lined and the surrounding area re-tiled so that it is more in keeping with the aforementioned Bassam-built wall.
During the time that the villa was a rental property the pool was shocked into life rather than ticked over on a regular basis as John does now - this has resulted in the chemicals knackering the liner and we believe that the liner is leaking as the amount of water loss is more than just evaporation on its own. We had always set aside some of the original rental monies to cover this project and we have limped the pool along for quite a while so now we think it is time - either that or we fill it in!!
Pam and George go back to London tomorrow after being here for nearly two months. We are going to miss them being nextdoor-but-one as they are good fun and their return also means that summer is most definitely over.
Pam had asked me to make one of my plaques for her daughter Louise so whilst John was in town I got it sorted. I am now in need to some more jigsaw pieces as I have used all the suitable ones from the puzzle Louise got me the other week.
Nice to think a little bit of my craft has been commissioned and will be winging its way to Ickenham! I am going international!!! It would be nice to have more room to accommodate my craft bits and pieces as they seem to be taking over the bedroom. Maybe I could persuade John to build me a studio when his wooden shed dies and is rebuilt with a more permanent one - I think that most unlikely personally! Still if the empty houses across the road where the builder went bankrupt ever come up for auction with the prices as they are at the moment I could probably buy one of those just as a studio - now there's an interesting thought!!!
Final preparations for Aunty Joyce and Uncle David's visit today because it is amazing how the dust accumulates even after a day. Charlie is very confused as to where the laundry basket has gone and I found that he had snuck in and was asleep sort of sitting upright where the basket is normally located.
Boris on the other hand was checking out the comfortability of the chairs on the decking just outside the guest bedroom door - he seems non the worse for whatever it was that happened to him the other Sunday thank goodness - that was strange as on the night he was so very poorly and in pain. Just so regular readers know little Jazzy-B has gone to the vets to be spayed today - or at least that was the plan but when Irene came to pick her up the little bugger was missing - she must have known what fate she had in store!
I was off down to Emba this evening to go to the theatre with Mum and Joyce and David and then was bringing Joyce and David back up to stay with us.
I had a little time before setting off so went down the road for a coffee with Diana and Rob - they have been very kind enough to let us have some of their old wooden gazebo and John has made it into ladders and an arch for me. Diana said they had some more wood if I was interested and I went down to have a look - we never say no because what can't be used in a building project can certainly be used for craft or at the very least burned!
Rob had saved me this particularly fine specimen from one of the trees that they had taken down in their garden - they thought it looked something like an owl (or ET) and thought I might be able to do something artistic with it - I will certainly give it a try particularly when my pyrograph pen arrives which is for another little project I am going to do for somebody. So much craft and so little time and people ask me what I do with myself all day now that I don't work!
About 4.00 I set off down to Emba - now is probably the driest and dustiest it will be on the island as everything is parched and there are huge areas of the landscape that have no colour at all. Once the rains start in earnest everything will become green again as if by magic.
We had decided to eat out at Sayas next door to Papantoniou Supermarket in Chloraka - that place has been their years and he is particularly noted for his rotisserie chickens. I would say that generally the place is more used as a take-away as the dining area is small but basic but if you do sit in you get a right old feast!
Dad had come down to eat with us and we had ordered chicken and chips all round. Prior to this arriving on the table we were given plates of salads and dips just to keep us going. It is no wonder that after such a long period of visitors and eating out so often I am struggling with keep my weight down!
Anyway our feast came to the princely sum of €35 including tip to feed the five of us with some chicken left over for Mum to take home for Fred the cat to eat so that is a bit of a bargain really. Strange - these take away rotisserie shops used to be all over the place but now are quite few and far between - I guess tastes change and the younger generation prefer the likes of Wagamama in the Mall.
As we returned from Sayas I caught a photograph of the sun going down poking through the building in front of Mum and Dad's - the sky was a stunning colour so it looks like we are in for a nice day tomorrow which is good.
So tonight's Theatre performance was Alan Ayckbourn's Table Manners - one of the Norman Conquests trilogy. Mum was concerned that it might get chilly in the Theatre - it can depending on how close you are sitting to the air-conditioning so we armed ourselves with cardies just in case but it was very hot in there so we didn't need them.
It was good to see the theatre full. All too often we go along to a less than full auditorium which is a shame because for amateurs they put on a good show. The theatre is small and well organised and the volunteers work damn hard - the subject matter may not always be to everyone's taste but tonight's was a light comedy/farce type which certainly had people laughing. I thought it was good and Mum and I plan to go again when they are doing a performance of the Vicar of Dibley - the Wedding. We saw the Vicar of Dibley previously and really enjoyed that plus it will be near Mum's birthday so we can give the tickets to her as her present and go for a meal or something beforehand to make a bit of an occasion of it.