Thursday, 19 November 2015

Day Two of School...

I felt rather ropey this morning when my alarm went off seemingly in the middle of the night - getting up and ready for school at 8.00am after rather a heavy night of red wine is more than a retired person can stand - I crept about leaving John to sleep in - John and Boris all snuggled up was a rather tempting sight but needs must as they say and it was my turn to drive so I duly got my act together and went off down the hill to pick up Diana and off we jolly well trotted to Palates for rather long morning of basket weaving 8.00am - 1.00pm!!!

Kelly was in no better mood today and her frustrating spilled over so that we all had a language lesson - a bad language lesson!!!

Oh she makes me laugh and I am so glad that she managed to make it into our group because she certainly makes it interesting.  Diana was quick to point out that in this photograph Kelly looks to be sticking a reed up her nose - maybe that is what she is doing wrong!

Grade A* student is Maroulla whose burgeoning basket is nigh on perfect and, more to the point, is round!!  She just quietly gets on with it - that is clearly the best policy.  Janice reckons that the reason why Maroulla's is round is because she leaves much smaller gaps between each new reed that she inserts so it pulls the spiral in nice and smooth.  She doesn't even sit with a towel on her knees she is so hard core!
We had been toiling for what seemed like hours and it was only just after 9.00am so we were all looking forward to our mid-morning break not least because outside that room it is like a different world - sunshine and warmth fabulous.  Janice, Diana and I took our coffees down to the swimming pool area and enjoyed some gorgeous November sunshine.  Just to prove it I took a selfie!!!

My basket continues to grow, slowly, we all suffer with an inability to get the reeds through the holes we make or have reeds that split and snap but we carry on - it is after all only day two!  Our aim is to make a bread basket and we will be encouraged to take our projects home for the weekend and work on them.  We are all quite enjoying the challenge now that it is making more sense!

On my second break of the morning I was joined by a dog availing himself of the facilities!

I don't know if it is just a village dog on a wander or if it belongs to Bambos and Sylvia - it looked in reasonable condition for a hunting dog and was wearing a collar although as I know only too well wearing a collar means nothing if the poor thing has been dumped it wasn't overly scared either so I am hoping that it is one of the local dogs just enjoying the pool and the sunshine like I was.

By the end of this morning's session my basket base was about the size of a small tea-plate and hexagonal for some reason - I am sure people pay extra for a hexagonal basket!!!  We have all agreed that it is no wonder these traditional baskets are so blinking expensive the amount of work that goes into them.  Anyway I have done just about 8 circuits and Eleni wants us to do 10 before we start to do the sides and learn how to plait the small reeds to make the decoration on the top.  She was showing us some of the more intricate patterned baskets she makes with dyed reeds and said that those baskets which have had fabric woven into them are specific to this area of the island.

When I got back from school the goats were out in the field next door.  I love them even though they are smelly and make all sorts of noises like they are farting all the time - who knows with what they are eating maybe they are!

Charlie is not so keen on the goats and takes up his position on top of our wall and growls at them - they take absolutely no notice but I think it makes Charlie feel better.  Interestingly I have noticed that they do not eat the 4 o'clock plants (Mirabilis Jalapa) which are growing wild in the field - maybe that is why you see so many of them around the village?  It is a good job that the goats don't like them because as we were leaving to shoot down to the bank we noticed that some of the herd had made it into our green area and were heading up the estate - the front garden at George and Pam's are covered in Mirabilis Jalapa and they are George's pride and joy - still they should have dropped all their seeds by now so he should have an amazing show next year.

We were quite happy to see the goats chomping their way through the green area as this is a bit of a bone of contention with Angela who lives in 3B - she wants to see it looking clean and tidy and she, Gregoris and we, did pay her workman to clear it but he didn't really do a good enough job and so it all grew back again.  It is more than we can cope with and it isn't our sole responsibility but because we are here all the time people think we should be looking after it.  It needs a permanent solution to the weeds and plants but we can't afford to sort this and our own place.

 It has been yet another glorious day and we are nearly midway through November.  This was the view as we drove down to Polis to see the bank and to pay John's mum and stepdad's deposit for their next year's holiday at C&A Apartments.  We managed to catch Nitsa in the kitchen and had a very pleasant chat with her, drinking her homemade lemonade before handing over the dosh.

Whilst we were in Polis we also called into the car spares place as there is a knocking noise on Kenny Kembara and apparently it is the bottom bushes which sounds painful to me!  The parts will be in on Monday and luckily whilst we were there Marianna's mechanic husband Andreas was also in there so John spoke to him about getting the work done.

John is off to Geroskipou this evening to play in a friendly Badminton competition and will have to set off quite early - he likes to support the Gerioskipou club as it gives him the opportunity to play against some different players.  As neither of us had had any lunch we decided to stop off on the way home at the little kebab shop which is next door to the fish market.  Neither of us had been in there before but it was handy and open and still doing food mid afternoon so that was great.

It gave us the opportunity to sit and talk over the plans we have for the swimming pool.  We have been trying to tie down a few prices for some extra bits and pieces we have added to the project and eventually agreed on what sort of look we were going for and a price we felt reasonably happy with.  Scary stuff as the plan will be for the work to be completed before Christmas - oooooo blimey let's hope if this is the case that the lovely weather we are experiencing goes on for another month or so otherwise we are going to be in a right old state for the festive season.  Still it looks a right old mess at the moment with half the liner ripped out and a mud slick in the bottom.

I was really hopeful that whilst we were at the kebab house I would get to capture on camera the old man and his ginger cat.  I am guessing that this happens every afternoon - certainly if we pass by at this time I have seen it.

This old man slowly makes his way from the kebab house and along the 100 yards or so of pavement to his house.  His ginger cat runs out to meet him and greet him - carefully keeping out of his way so as not to trip him up or be trodden on.  The cat walks a couple of steps in front of the old man and then stops and waits, walks another couple of steps in front and stops and waits until they make it home.  They are both clearly devoted to one another and it is a beautiful thing to witness.  If you are passing by there in the afternoon about 3.30ish go and watch - it is where the old Glykkis DIY shop used to be - it will give you a lovely warm feeling.  I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself.

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