Friday, 2 October 2015

Thursday - Too Hot to Handle...

Today was an at home DIY day - the temperature is much cooler so better for doing work and, before we know it, winter will be here with the rains which makes it impossible to get jobs done outside.  We have John's 'to-do' list hanging over our head - he is desperate to be able to mark some jobs off!!!

Anyway we have to practice the 6 P's (prior preparation prevents p**s poor performance) so John was sorting a few things out in advance of our job today which was taking down the ceilings in the bedroom to check the insulation (the packing materials which were used when we moved over here) to ensure we weren't creating one big old void of mould.  Not a job I was relishing as I hate doing things that involve me lifting my arms for any great length of time as I have a poorly shoulder from a car accident about 25+ years ago plus we are very limited for space so John can never get a clear run at a job he always has to work round stuff.

Anyway just changing the subject slightly, the house next door is empty - fairly abandoned and at some point in the past we think kids tried to break into it so John keeps an eye on it and periodically we give it a bit of a tidy up so that you might think that it someone goes there now and again.  Unfortunately the swimming pool is disgusting but at some point or another some mosquito fish made their way into it so although the water is thick and green there doesn't seem to be a bad mosquito problem nor does the water smell thank goodness but what it does now seem to have attracted is leeches and I don't know whether that is good or bad - might be ok if we fancy a spot of blood-letting in the future I suppose!

In our neighbour's yard is a vine which grows out of the concrete and which every year we cut back to the ground.  The photograph above is the result of just one year's unchecked growth.  No grapes seem to form because the vine never gets treated properly but it is amazing how it thrives with seemingly no soil and no water.

Continuing with the wildlife theme John is convinced that he is killing the resident wasps in greater numbers than they can reproduce - I am not sure about that because this morning when I looked up they were reinforcing the front-line and I swear they are laughing at him.  John says he has read that as you kill the frontliners then send more in ever increasing numbers and then there isn't enough to sustain the nest - I don't know what timescale he is working to but I hope that we get rid of them soon as all their little dead carcasses are littering the pathway.

Finally on the wildlife theme this is the big caterpillar that I thought was an Oleander Moth caterpillar about to pupate but in fact I have found that this is the brown version of the Vine Hawk Moth caterpillar and reading the blurb it looks like he will be a big old bugger when he emerges in his final state.  I have moved him, and a load of the vine into a bucket so that he can do what it is he has to do and not die as we are about to chop down that vine and get rid.

So eventually we were ready for TODAY's JOB and I cleared as much as I could from our bedroom and chucked it into the bedroom next door in a heap which Boris managed to find and made himself comfortable whilst all around him was chaos.  He is back to his old self now thank goodness although when we are home he doesn't venture very far at all.

The big ladder was erected and John began to remove sections of the wood which makes up the false ceiling and behind which we have stuffed the 'insulation'.  As Cypriot houses can be notoriously damp and as the bedrooms did not have any form of heating when we first came and we used a Super Ser for a while and we had broken ridge tiles which we have subsequently replaced we were fearing the worst that we had created a wonderful breeding ground up top but in fact we were rather pleasantly surprised that there was nothing much to worry about in either of the rooms.  That was such a bonus as it was quite a difficult job and it got increasingly hot for John working in a confined space surrounded by crap - temperatures and tempers increased for a while but then John declared that it had been a job well done and, more to the point, a job from his list that can be ticked off!

John decided to cool down with an outside shower - we were going out early this evening to watch the sun go down at the Winery with Lou and H and Lou's mum Pat.  Whilst he was showering I could hear some talking or some sort of noise coming from out on the road to our left but didn't think anything of it as there are often local boys down in the lay-by on their mobile phones or having a crafty fag.  Then all of a sudden we could smell smoke and it smelt fresh and close and then when we looked up we could see what we thought were fast moving clouds coming over the top of Galatia's house but which we quickly realised was the smoke that we could smell.  Last time there was a fire that close it was in the field next to Marion and Chris's house at the entrance to our estate.  If it was there again then that was where the mare is tethered and where the stallion appears from.  We quickly legged it out to see what was occuring.

Sharon from up the road was already on the case, quickly followed by Sean and George and Pam - I had rung Marianna from the community office to say that there was a fire - at this point it was a small blaze just at the side of the road but within minutes the wind had whipped it up and it was spreading fast - fortunately across the road from where the horses are.  Marianna arrived with her daughter and was clearly asking for the Fire Brigade to attend.  We were using what hoses we could with Sharon trying to keep the road damp to stop it from jumping across the road and John in the thick of it trying to stop it spreading.  The Fire Brigade seemed to take ages - not helped by the fact that they raced down the new road which ends in a cul-de-sac and had to turn round - you would have thought they had learned their lesson from the last time they were called as they did exactly the same thing.  Two engines came - one using its on-board water cannon to soak the surrounding areas.  Then the police arrived.  I am not sure if what I had heard previously was just coincidence and I hadn't been able to see anyone or clock any of the cars so we will never know whether this was set deliberately or just carelessly.

When things had calmed down we got ready to go out but hadn't seen Boris whilst all the commotion was happening and we hoped to goodness he hadn't been in the field at the time of the fire.  We called and called but he didn't pitch up and as we were late going to meet Lou we had to leave (not before giving our details to a very easy on the eye fireman!).

We forgot about the excitement of the fire and enjoyed a very very pleasant evening at the winery with a small glass or two of our favourite red wine and some platters of very nice nibbly food to accompany the wine.  Lou's mum was very impressed by the winery and couldn't understand why we were the only people there.  We don't mind as we have got to know Maria there quite well and can enjoy a bit of banter with her which she couldn't do if she were rushed off her feet.  One of the brother's arrived and we saw the inside area which is going to be used for small parties all lit up with its fancy lights - it has a wonderful fireplace in there so would be a great venue for the winter.  We have our silver wedding anniversary coming up next year although that will be July but maybe we might hold a little get together somewhere like that - there are far worse places to be!

We were treated to another spectacular sunset before we made our way back home.  Still no sign of Boris so we gave him an hour or so and then went out around the estate looking for him.  He eventually pitched up with Jazzy-B in tow.  Apparently, according to Sharon, Jazzy follows Boris around like a love-struck teenager so maybe those two were out on a date together.  I don't know about that but what I do know was that I would sleep easy knowing that he was safe and sound. 

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