Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Tuesday - no pickleball...

This morning John and I both picked up cameras and took a walk around the village (a) because it is a lovely thing to do and (b) it is a bit of exercise when time is short(ish) - we were off down to Emba this afternoon - I was due to play pickleball and John badminton.

Autumn is now most definitely upon us and this is reflected in the fruits which we see on our travels - the olives are turning purply-black and will be harvested soon I guess and the pomegranates are bursting on the trees - too many for people to harvest and now feeding the birds and insects, there are still figs around and prickly pear falling by the wayside - amazing after weeks of no rain that things manage to flourish.

Drouseia is a village of plenty with many of the houses making Haloumi and, if you know what you are doing, the land yields all sorts of edible goodies.  My lovely friend Elena from Orexi runs foraging trips in the spring where the participants seek the holy grail that is wild asparagus and we have it growing like a weed in an around our garden - that is if the local goats haven't got to it before I do!

We took a different route today passing by the school opposite which used to be a 'supermarket' which closed earlier in the year and has now reopened as a grill-house Kaponas.  We haven't actually ventured in there as yet - not entirely sure what it had to offer nor its opening hours but as we passed by and were taking photographs we were called in by Grigoris and Eleni to join them for coffee so that they could find out who we were.  Grigoris wants to improve his English and I my Greek so we agreed that we would help one another.  The grill-house is open every day from 9.30am until people want to leave at night - this is good particularly if you are in need of a kebab after a busy day and you don't want to cook.  The menu is more extensive than just kebabs and Eleni explained that if you let her know and there is a group of you then she can offer other local dishes.  Thursday night is Kleftiko night.  We took a Cyprus coffee with them and declined several offers of zivania to ward off the cold!  I am reliably informed that Grigoris is related to the current President of Cyprus whose grandmother hailed from Drouseia.  Anyway we shall be returning shortly to sample the food - it seems rude not to!

On our walk we passed by an old Bedford Bus.  These used to be everywhere on the island and have now been replaced by more efficient air-conditioned mini buses which lack any sort of character - I cannot see anyone in the future thinking it quaint to travel to a wedding in a refurbed mini-bus but those old Bedfords which have been done up for that purpose look fabulous.  This one sadly seems to house nothing more than old sun-beds - gosh I would love to do one of them up and have it as my craft workshop.  I keep watching those George Clarke's Amazing Spaces programmes so I know what can be achieved - I wonder if anyone would mind if I got one installed on the Green Area???

Anyway we had a good old wander around the village taking photographs - it had started out as quite a nice morning but the longer we walked the heavier the skies became.  Grigoris said he thought it was tipped to rain by mid-day or at least if my understanding of his Greek was correct that is what I think he said!

There are so many interesting bits and pieces just loafing about like this old post box which has weathered and worn and is now a fantastic colour.  You could imagine that if this was in an antique shop someone would snap it up because in the right place it would look fantastic - to me the right place is still hanging on the rusting gates of the abandoned house to which it belongs - it is a piece of social history and in that respect it is priceless!

Anyway I hope that as we wander round I am managing to capture all the houses of those Drouseians living abroad - I post them on the Droushia Facebook site and people are always commenting on them.

Just as we approached Lordos 1 and we were looking at how the fire damage is now very difficult to see as the little rain and heavy condensation is slowly turning things green we came across one of our cat's abandoned collars.  It had done its job and quick-released so would be usable again - guess whoever was wearing it at the time either got fed up of it and whipped it off or was fighting and had it removed either way it is good we have found it because they lose them for a past-time.

On returning home I got a message to say that there were insufficient numbers for pickleball today.  We had been due to relay the court markings today in readiness for the season but a couple of people couldn't make it unfortunately.  John was still going to play badminton but not until later so we had a couple of hours to kill before setting off.  This at least gave us time to oversee the emptying of the swimming pool in readiness for its refurb.  There seemed little point wasting water, electricity and chemicals if no-one was going to swim in it.  Now empty we can see the ravages of time on the old liner - bleached and bubbled - it really is time for it to go.

Whilst John was playing badminton and Dad and Uncle David had an afternoon snooze Mum, Aunty Joyce and I headed for one of our favourite spots for a cuppa - the cafe at Tala Monastery.  It seems to have its own little micro-climate there - cool under the trees in the summer and warm under the trees in the winter!

We decided that the pieces of cake were so enormous that we would share one and plumped for a rather nice looking slice of carrot cake.  Carrot cake is one of those things that can look very nice but can sometimes disappoint - not on this occasion - it was moist and full of nuts and spices and we all enjoyed it.  I am not entirely sure my morning amble burned enough calories for me to have earned the right to a bit of cake but I shall worry about that another day.

After our afternoon tea and stickies we headed for the London Road Supermarket to take a look at the plants there.  Mum and Dad struggle to keep things going in their borders because of the extreme weather conditions so we were looking for something that might survive.  I remembered that when our villa was rented out the gardens were pretty much left to their own devices - rarely watered and then scalped just before anyone was coming and one of the plants that thrived from neglect was the Duranta which has bright green foliage and lovely pale blue flowers so we bought a couple to see how they get on - two fairly biggish plants were only €2.50 each so she wont have lost much if they perish.

On our way home the weather deteriorated - the sun was valiantly trying to shine through swathes of grey cloud and when we got to Kathikas the heavens opened - big fat spots of rain!

Dry roads when we got to Drouseia but it was only a matter of time - just as we went to bed we heard the rumbles of thunder and raced out to bring in to the conservatory all the outside cushions.  This will now be a regular occurrence until we decide enough is enough and find a home indoors for them permanently!

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