Friday, 16 October 2015

Taking a walk...

For Diana who takes my blog to bed with her every night!!!

Today was one of those lovely Autumnal days when the sun is lower in the sky and as it rises everything gets bathed in a warm pink light - the weather has been rather changeable and as I was going on a walk around the village with Diana this morning it was difficult to know exactly what to wear - I opted for long shorts (an oxymoron surely) and a thickish short sleeved top - a decision which was to be regretted later in the morning as we were sweating our socks off climbing up the hill from one of the rocks!

My walk started by going down the hill towards Kelly's house - generally a quiet affair but today I had obviously chosen to go during Drouseia rush-hour as I was passed by two stone laden lorries, my neighbour Andreas who asked if I wanted a lift and looked at me like I was a nutter when I said I was going for a walk and then a rather large tractor.

En route there is real evidence of it being Autumn with the hedgerow berries beginning to turn black - not sure you get much fruit from these - rather more pip than anything else but I guess that is because for many months they get no rain to help swell the flesh.

I met Diana at the top of her road or Heart Attack Hill as we like to call it because it appears to be nigh-on vertical - I think Diana needs to persuade Rob to hack some steps over their back wall then that would make life a lot easier!!!

Anyway undaunted by this early exertion we set off full of enthusiasm.  Not exactly sure what route we were going to take until we got into the village we walked up past the two lots of holiday let places where the gardens are still an absolute riot of colour.  We headed for the coffee shops and decided to go down past the Amphitheatre and then out towards the rocks before heading back to the village.  We politely declined a coffee with Bambos at O Stathmos because we reckoned that if we sat down that early we might never get back up and going again!

It was considerably warmer than we had anticipated it was going to be and we were both ruing our wardrobe choices but we soldiered on because the view is most definitely worth the effort.

Within a couple of minutes you leave the village behind you and then there is a great expanse of the wide outdoors reaching down to the coast.  It is a view we can experience every day if we chose and one which people pay a lot of money to enjoy for their summer holiday - we really are lucky and sometimes we just take it all for granted.

Over the five years that we have been living here there have been very few additional houses built in this area but those which have are generally tucked away and so the vista changes very little indeed - being right on the edge of the Akamas is such a bonus!

We turned back up into the village walking along the road which passes in front of Palates and on approaching O Stathmos we turned up walking behind the church and through the streets up to where the new Mukhtari is being built then back down through the village as far as Christos's Taverna turning left and up a narrow road where when we first came there was a tiny house for sale (it is still for sale) - next door there is a sign advertising a 1 bedroom flat to let - I don't know if it was referring to the property behind the blue gates but if so I can't think it has got much interest!!

There are some fascinating properties in the village - sadly too many of them are empty and falling down - it makes for a great photo opportunity but does little for the community spirit!  Now that I have a better understanding of the law of inheritance here it is easy to see why so many properties appear to be abandoned.  Over here all your worldly goods are divided equally amongst your immediate family so wife and children get an equal share - you cannot disinherit anyone!  So over the years property and land have been left to members of the family who could be all over the world and getting them to agree on a sale or even finding them could be a right old nightmare!

We finished our walk in the village at O Stathmos where a nice-cold ice-cold frappe was the order of the day together with a sit down and a chin wag!

We both had a little way to walk home but Diana was the lucky one - her journey was all down-hill whereas from the village to our house there is an uphill whichever route you take - you can opt for the short sharp coronary hill directly up from Kelly's house, the slightly less aerobic but still enough to make the back of your legs really ache route past Lady Val's house or the rather more gentle meander right through the village past Christos's taverna.  I went for the middle option as it was part-way back to Diana's house.  I went off to pay for the coffees but Bambos wouldn't take any money saying they were from him which was very kind of him and as we had chosen frappe not expected - if I had known I would have opted for a Cyprus coffee instead.

There was great excitement when I got back home as Sharon had gone and got herself a little run around car which John thoroughly approved of as it was almost Sheffield United colours!  Cleo the Clio is now a permanent fixture at Lordos 1 and I shall have to get used to the sound of the engine or else every time Sharon goes by I will be running out thinking there is an interloper in the estate!

There was even more excitement as Sharon's boxes had arrived including the two that appeared to have gone missing but which had in fact never gone on the original shipment.

Included in one of the boxes was the heater we have purchased for the  bathroom and this magnificent gecko which was a gift from Sean and Sharon.

He is a real beaut and after some discussion we decided that he would look perfect walking up the new archway that John has put up at the back of the kitchen.  As the plant grows up and over the arch it will afford him a bit of protection from the elements as well.

This afternoon I was wondering what to do with a whole load of green lemons that were sitting in the fruit bowl looking sorry for themselves so I decided to try and make some lemon pickle (as a curry accompaniment) and found an easy recipe so decided to give it a go.

I shall let you know how it turned out - it looked and smelt nice and a quick dip of the finger confirmed that it was hot - bloody hot - so now I need to make a curry to try it with!  Will also have to give Rob some to try and he is a bit of a curry fiend himself.

We were off out tonight - down to Paphos and to one of our favourite restaurants Gabors - It has become a bit of a tradition that towards the end of their holiday Uncle David and Aunty Joyce take us there as a thank-you for entertaining them.

As we were getting ready to go out the weather turned quite stormy which resulted in some pretty dramatic cloud formations and colours.

At this point if we were dinning anywhere near Drouseia we would be contemplating jumpers but we know that it will be at least 5 or 6 degrees warmer down in Paphos so we have to remind ourselves of that fact!

We had a really lovely evening - I had anticipated that this might be the last that the six of us have together in these circumstances but Uncle David and Aunty Joyce are determined to return next year all things being equal.  Uncle David said that they have many holidays but those they take in Cyprus are always the best - how lovely is that?

So there we were John and I in the company of four octogenarians who could teach some youngsters a thing or two about making the most of their lives - what a pleasure and a privilege and we both have fingers very firmly crossed that the six of us will be sitting round that self same table again in a year's time.

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