Even though we were going to be out for lunch John was keen to get more work done beforehand and as Tony is, by trade, a plasterer we had asked him to investigate the 'bubbles' that had appeared on the kitchen ceiling which is under the flat roof. Actually he just confirmed what John had already thought that sometime in the past water had managed to find its way in and the reinforcing bars in the ceiling had become rusty and expanded and popped the plaster. This isn't a major job to sort out thank goodness as we had visions of the whole ceiling having to come down and with the work we have had done to the flat roof should never happen again. We just needed to get the areas affected exposed so that the extent of the damage was revealed and then Tony was going to sort out the issue after he had finished painting the outside of the house.
On that subject it was a day that rain stopped play - I don't suppose we should moan for November but it was a little unexpected or at least we hadn't taken notice of any weather forecast that told us it was coming. Fortunately Tony had come to a suitable point to stop when we noticed that the skies were turning grey and Mum had text from Emba to say they were leaving to come up to us and it had already started raining there and was heading our way.
In the end it really only turned out to be a long heavy shower and cleared up shortly afterwards but sods law was that it happened just as we were going out to lunch - the boys to Fitos in Kathikas and the ladies to the Droushia Heights Hotel.
This lovely hotel is situated in the village and is our venue of choice for the winter because it is always warm in fact today they even asked if we would like the open fire lit if we were wanting to sit around on the sofas after our meal.
Generally it can be a little pricey to eat and drink there as it is a 'boutique' hotel but they issue locals with a discount card which helps and at our ladies lunches provide very reasonably priced carafes of wine.
The food can be variable and as it is a typically Cypriot hotel there can be what we Brits would consider an eclectic mix on the buffet - we once had a dish of Brussels Sprouts rubbing shoulders with char-grilled octopus! but hey when they only charge €10 does it really matter as there are plenty of other things to tempt your appetite.
For today's lunch you could have vegetable soup with local fresh bread - I can't quite get my head around this bread as it is heavy and cake-like and could double as a doorstop if required but is deemed to be a real local delicacy - I reckon it is too many years of white processed bread that has dulled my tastebuds! Then there was a selection of salads and a selection of hot food plus four deserts and a huge bowl of fresh fruit.
It is clear that this is a popular choice as we had 22 ladies from Droushia and surrounding villages around the table today including Elena's larger than life Aunty Maura who sadly returns to South Africa in a week or so but who has insisted that I go and visit for coffee before she does. Last month when she came it was her birthday so we all celebrated with cake and whilst she was in full conversation and gesticulating madly with her perfectly manicured talons she managed to take the skin off of the nose of the lady sitting opposite. Poor Ruth it was her first time at a lunch and she went home injured. It clearly didn't put her off as she returned again today and sat next to Aunty Maura but ducked if she became excited and started hand waving.
I often see Kelly who lives down the road from us and who works at the hotel when she is out on one of her power walks - she was bemoaning the fact that since the wedding her enthusiasm has waned somewhat and she has started to put on some of the weight she lost. This of course has nothing to do with the fact that she decided to try all the sweets that were on offer!!! And she will kill me for recording that fact! ]
Anyway as a couple of us try and get out and walk each week we have suggested we try and go when she does and we can all power walk together - unfortunately it wont be this week as Elena has been poorly and has a touch of bronchitis - in fact she has been proper poorly all week and only just felt well enough to come to lunch but I was glad that she did as it gave us a chance to catch up and I called round to her house after lunch to get her PC set up so that Rabia can sort out his own ITunes and update his own IPod. The lesson for today had to be postponed because he didn't have time to sit and learn what to do as he was off down to Polis for football training. Football is his passion so as much as he wants to sort out his sounds that will always have to wait if there is football training to attend! I shall go at the weekend instead!
I was very excited to learn that one of my photographs has graced this month's cover of PALS Magazine. I have submitted quite a few over the years but nothing was ever chosen until now. Several ladies at the lunch congratulated me and I didn't know anything about it so had to rush home and find out what they were talking about. They had chosen a photograph I had taken some time ago of poppies which were on the side of the road in Kathikas I think and they were beginning to fade from their former glory so had a delicate washed out pink colour. I was rather surprised to see this picture being chosen as the poppies are generally around in the spring but as John pointed out this flower has come to be recognised as the International symbol for remembrance and Armistice Day is commemorated in November. Needless to say I am pretty chuffed that this has been chosen and I will continue to submit photographs.
I know that several people read my blog last thing at night - I am not sure whether that is just a routine or because the content sends them to sleep but for fear of sounding like an episode of the Waltons...
...goodnight Elena, goodnight Wendy, goodnight Lou-Lou and goodnight Diana...