Today John had decided he was going to rest his knee and not play badminton. I was still going to pickleball and so decided to go down early so that I could run some errands in Paphos. I needed to get to the bank as Mum and Dad were going to Atlantic to pay their house insurance and were going to pay ours at the same time - plus there were a few bits and pieces I needed and I am still desperately seeking Christmas presents - only small things but required all the same! I set off early as we had not been to the gym this morning (Diana is getting ready for her and Rob's little break back in the UK). I took the concrete road down out of Droushia making sure that I avoided a cat that I have seen around - I think it must belong to Andreas - it certainly looks a bit like on the of the kittens that we found under the container some months ago.
It is glorious again. Deep blue skies but parched earth and the island is crying out for rain. Accuweather indicates we may get some next week but it keeps changing its mind - a couple of days ago it said Monday to Friday there would be some showers - not it only shows it for Wednesday and Thursday and then the temperatures shoot back up again to the mid 20s even here in the hills. It looks like we could be sitting outside for Christmas lunch this year - that might not be a bad thing on Christmas Eve as I am still trying to work out how we are going to seat 8 - John has a cunning plan but has yet to reveal it!
I passed through Stroumbi which has become the village of mosaics and murals - all along the roadside as you drive through and they are very attractive. Years ago Stroumbi was just somewhere to quickly pass through - it was scruffy and dirty but now it is quite an attractive place although the weather here is always colder than anywhere nearby - we can drive back from Paphos and see the temperatures dropping as we approach Stroumbi and then as we climb up out towards Kathikas it starts to rise again.
I took the opportunity to go the main branch of our Bank, Alpha. I love our bank - we hold our accounts and normally do any transactions at the Polis branch where the staff (save for the Manager) have remained the same since we joined six years ago and there is a real comfort in banking where they recognise you. Our manager was recently moved to a branch office near Carrefour so I called in there to get some money out and he lept out of his office to come and ask me why John has not been at Ayia Marina watching the football and I had to explain that the home games now clash with the home games at ENAD where John is a season ticket holder. He then looked through his diary and told me that this Saturday Agia Marina would be playing at home and ENAD away so John could come - I didn't like to tell him that there is a crunch match for the Mighty Blades versus Charlton that afternoon and wild horses would not drag John away from the radio - although John will be missing the company of his mucker Rob who has decided to visit the UK and watch the game live! Anyway I had to go to the main branch of Alpha in the end to sort out getting my cashpoint card replaced and the service was swift and pleasant - such a nice change from the sullen cashiers I used to encounter in the UK.
I played pickleball - Mum has strained something in her playing shoulder or torn a muscle and had to retire early and we have persuaded her to give it a rest for a week or so otherwise she might do some permanent damage. We tried to check out the Phoenix ambulance service but the office was closed and tried to find something for Dad for Christmas but failed on both counts. I dropped her back home and called into the London Road garden centre to finally purchase something with the money that John's Mum had left for us to spend on the garden. We had bought a selection of terracotta pots and I had one very large one that I wanted to grow a climber in so that it would go up the other side of the roof terrace from the clock vine. I got something which looks like it flowers at this time of year which should add a splash of colour when the garden needs it.
I learned something new about my phone tonight - like Tommy's it will do panoramic shots but what I found out is that you have to move smoothly otherwise you get a jerky picture. The sun was setting like a ball of fire and the clouds were stunning so I wanted to try and capture it and whilst fiddling around with the phone came across the panoramic setting.
Bless Claire who made a fabulous three course meal with the aid of a halogen cooker, hot plate and microwave. It was all delicious but I particularly liked the fishcakes which we had to start - and Marks and Sparks would have been proud of the pastry on the apple pie!!!!
They are gradually turning their house into a beautiful home - I take my hat of to them for not compromising on what they want and waiting until they can find it and/or afford it. It has a nice welcoming feel to it although it is far from finished.
Mindful of the fact that Mina is up at 5.00am walking the dogs which are holidaying with her at the kennels we did not outstay our welcome but could have sat round the table for hours just chatting. Big thanks - you were more than welcome to borrow our things whilst you were without - after all that's what friends are for!