So when we arrived at school this morning (after another early start) our little baskets were all taking a dip in a baby bath along with the reeds we would be using today!!! The reeds have to be soaked in hot water for a while before we use them and when we do they are wrapped in a damp towel to keep them pliable. Those which are not then going to be used have to be dried out again otherwise they will go mouldy.
We have all got rug envy as those on the big looms have already made two reasonable sized runners and we are still working our way round and round and round forming the bottoms of our baskets - some are bigger than others!!!
This picture is what we are trying to achieve and Maroulla is nearly there already or at least we thought so but as the base increases in size each circuit takes longer and longer to complete.
A hand-made basket of this size retails at about €50 and you can see why when you look at all the work that has gone into it and it is so evenly made.
My attempt is on the right and for reasons best known only to my basket it refuses to be round even though I think I am doing exactly the same as Maroulla.
It was my goal today to try and get it to grow in a more circular fashion - I am not sure I achieved that.
We are clearly all getting better and can recognise when we have made a mistake there were very few outbursts from Kelly today so that is progress in itself!!!
We were visited by most of the elderly ladies in the village this morning or at least that is what it felt like - for about half an hour it seemed as though they were holding a meeting of the Droushia WI in our room. Still it was good to have our faces recognised by some of the village elders who scrutinised our work, pulled faces, clucked, handed us more suitable reeds, declared our work to be satisfactory and then left!
I have to say that we look forward to the breaks if only to go outside and get some sunshine - not fresh air as we have to dodge the smokers!!! This is the morning class of 2015 along with Sylvia who, along with Bambos, owns the hotel where the lessons are held.
We are lucky that is was another beautiful day and as I was shooting off straight to Pickleball I was dressed in my sports gear so didn't get cold whilst I was indoors working.
It was absolutely glorious as we made our way down to Emba - at this time of year the 5-6 degrees increase in the temperature makes a huge difference and we suffer with being overdressed!! We weren't sure if Mum was going to be done with the chiropodist in time to open up so we were going to do it for her if not plus we wanted to go and see the pool company to confirm our requirements and set the wheels in motion for the work we want done.
We are intrigued as to what the building work at the cross-roads near the Outlet Store will look like when it is completed. The landscaping looks lovely and the building is growing quickly. I have a feeling it is going to be something like Paliomonasteriou in Peyia - a big old venue which could host musical events. Not sure at the moment and have a feeling that if parking isn't plentiful and obvious there could be chaos on that junction!
John must be a sucker for punishment as he played in the badminton competition last night, played an hour and a half of pickleball followed by a further two hours of badminton.
Mum and I went out together as we normally do - firstly to go and get some wool from the UK shop because Kelly is looking for reasonably priced wool for baby cardigans she is crocheting and at the UK Shop the large balls of double knit are only €1.99, then we nipped into the taverna in Emba by the big church where Mum and Dad are helping them with their New Year's Eve celebratory gala dinner.
This taverna has only recently re-opened and is just up the road from Mum and Dad so very handy. They are trying really hard to make a go of things and wanted to provide a gala dinner aimed at the ex-pats but weren't entirely sure what people would expect. They are going to provide a seven/eight course meal for €30 per head and Mum and Dad have decided that they would like to go along and support them this year rather than come up to us in Droushia. We are really happy they have found somewhere that they want to go as we haven't even thought about what we are going to do. I am not a great lover of New Year's Eve personally I always think it is sad when you say goodbye to a year and with everything that happened around Christmas last year I think we as a family will find it all a bit strange this year.
The sun went down like a ball of flames again tonight which means we should get another beautiful day tomorrow.
As we drove back home the sky was awash with colour and there was the thinnest little moon up in the sky.
I persuaded John to stop twice near Kathikas so I could catch what remained of the glorious scene.
Fine bright days equal cool cool evenings for us here in Droushia and I can smell wood smoke coming from a few doors down which means that our Nicosian neighbours have come for the weekend and have lit their wood burner. The cats must go nearby as Minnie has come in smelling like a barbeque!
We are going to have a lazy old evening with a glass or two of red wine and the remainder of the fillet steak left over from Wednesday as I bought extra just in case.
One little sad bit of news - this black cap flew into the conservatory door this morning. All John's valiant attempts to try and make sure it survived failed sadly so we are going to have to say farewell to it in the green bin otherwise the cats will find it and keep bringing it back.
And finally finally something bit me tonight on the way home - I felt something fall down out of my hair and onto my shoulder and then down the front of my top. I have a bite on my chest and it hurts like hell - I can only describe it as though I walked into the corner of something and I have been bruised. God knows what it was.