Today is Car Tax day - and all very easy as we can do it online. For John's Peugeot the annual charge this year is €86 and for Kenny Kembara a massive €77 which is fantastic, compared to what we paid in the UK for our cars this is a bargain. We are uncertain as to whether we actually need two cars but it is so convenient and whilst we can afford it we will continue to run them both.
Today we were having a massive catch up with friends that we did not manage to see over Christmas so it was going to be a full on eating day - bang goes any resolutions we may have had in that direction!!!
The weather today was about as diametrically opposite to yesterday as it could have been with severe storm warnings for this end of the island. The clouds started to amass this morning and as we left to go down to Coral Bay you could hardly see Mount Olympus - it looked like something out of a traditional Japanese painting just poking its head above the low cloud.
January is a very boring month in Cyprus - nearly everything is closed as many of the local businesses take the opportunity for time off - some a few days, others a few weeks and the lucky ones a few months! As we drove down through Peyia it was like a ghost town and the skies were getting increasingly more threatening. We had arranged to meet up with Wendy and Bill in the slip-road before the Coral Bay roundabout outside Hearns bookshop which is a bit of a landmark or I should say WAS as we realised it had moved from that location to the old UK Food Shop in Peyia and there was now no sign whatsoever that it had been on the slip-road. OOOOOOOOO BUGGER this was going to confuse our number one Stalkers. Fortunately they had not quite reached this point when I phoned so we were able to head them off at the pass.
Like Peyia, Coral Bay Strip looks abandoned. As we rarely go that way (except to go to the Blue Olive) we have no idea what is and what is not open at the moment - we had already checked on the Blue Olive so knew that this would not be a wasted journey!!! Wendy and Bill have not been there before so this was gong to be a new culinary experience for them.
Inside the Blue Olive the temperature was as warm as our welcome. It is always lovely to see Rebecca, Derrick, Charlotte and Dan. They are building themselves such a brilliant little business and are just so accommodating particularly where our family is concerned as they have twice opened up specially for us when they would normally be shut. I know that the venue is a little difficult to find but I can guarantee people that once they have been they will return again and again.
The food was lovely and it was so good to catch up with Wendy and Bill - we don't think we have spent any time together since we all went to the Elysium for cream tea with Mum and Dad. In fact we see less of them now than we did when they used to come to the island on holiday - ain't that always the way? Anyway we are hoping to see them again next week when we are coming back from Larnaca airport and can call in and have a cuppa.
A couple of hours flew by and we had to leave (a) because we had Nicky and Mark coming up to our house this afternoon and (b) because the weather was getting worse and worse.
We got home in time for John to rekindle the fire and get the lounge cosy and warm for our visitors. We had hoped to go down to the beach and take some photographs of stormy seas before going for fish and chips which was Mark's request and then walk into the village and cosy up in the Hotel by the fire with a couple of drinks before returning to Villa 10b for a game of something before Mark and Nicky returned home. The weather had put paid to going out with the cameras because suddenly we appeared to be in the middle of a hurricane and monsoon style rains with a a bit of hail thrown in and then thunder and lightning.
Mark came fully prepared for the colder climate up here in Droushia but it was only a matter of seconds before he realised that he wouldn't need his jumper indoors!!!! This year they are celebrating ten years living on the island and we are so pleased that they found their perfect home in what was Mum and Dad's dream home - the house they had built in Emba. We love the fact that someone else is making happy memories for themselves in the house where we made happy memories ourselves.
We braved the weather and went down to Polis for Fish and Chips as promised. Although it was foul outside and many of the surrounding villages were in the grips of an electricity outage it was warm and welcoming in FryDays. We weren't the only mad ones to be in there!
Mark looks very happy with his choice of fish, chips, mushy peas and curry sauce!!! He declared that his meal was delicious and I am glad because this was to be a blow-out before he takes his diet much more seriously due to health issues.
Again we had a lovely evening with them as we always do but cut it a little short because we were concerned about them travelling back in such awful weather conditions.
We have agreed that we need to ensure that we meet up more regularly this year and we will endeavour to do so!!