It is the last day of October - the clocks changed on Saturday night/Sunday morning and with it the weather changed too. It has gone from being glorious to having a distinct chill to the air. The sunrise this morning was almost obscured by the thickening clouds. There is bad weather forecast although we are not entirely sure when or where. Diana says that her parents experienced a very bad storm in Malta a couple of days ago and that could be what is heading our way.
I went to visit Elena this morning. She and Rabia were both feeling under the weather and confined to barracks so I spent an hour catching up which gave Bassam the opportunity to get out for an hour as he has a job he desperately needs to finish before any rains come.
We chatted for a while and then it was time for me to leave and go off for art with Sheila and Klaus. I could smell burning as I left which was not surprising as they were burning a load of rubbish outside the new Mukhtari building. It was pretty windy this morning so I hope there was someone around keeping an eye on the flames and the burning ash that was drifting across the road.
Fires are an occupational hazard here in Cyprus and due to the extended period of dry weather can take hold really quickly if left to get out of control. Looking closer it would seem that they were burning some very green branches which had been cut down - hence the abundance of black smoke.
I had a welcoming committee when I arrived at Sheila and Klaus's - two of the small kittens which are members of the Dead Centre Stray Pack were viewing my arrival with some caution! These two look like twin statues - very beautiful markings and super cute but wary if you get too close. Sheila would be able to identify them and tell me what names they have been given - I wouldn't be able to tell them apart!
Sheila and Klaus have a smallish colony of stray/feral cats that they feed - over the years they will tell you that the numbers have changed very little for one reason or another. Apart from feeding, a worming tablet or two and some antibiotic powder when required they do not interfere with the daily lives of the colony members. The cats are outdoor cats and kept separate from their two dogs Charlie and Benji.
They are lucky cats as Sheila recently received a phone call from the local supermarket telling her that she had won a dog house and although she wasn't sure how that came about she took delivery of a smart new dog house which the dogs promptly ignored but which the colony took over as soon as they caught sight of it!!
My new picture is beginning to take shape - I am really enjoying doing the leaves but I am not so sure I will be so enthusiastic when it comes to doing the myriad of little flowers that make up a single hydrangea bloom - if nothing else it will keep me busy for a while!!
Sheila is busy working on her intricate picture of an oriental woman in traditional clothing - between her and I we fill the room with sighs as we struggle with areas that cause us grief!!!!
I can never work out why, when we clear the table ready for lunch I have a mound of pencil dust under where I have been working and Sheila does not!!!
Anyway as always a lovely morning together followed by an equally lovely lunch and bless Klaus he often includes mushrooms in the recipe knowing that we never have them at home because of John's deep aversion to funghi!!!
My morning session over I returned home - Bigfoot and her foal are directly the other side of our wall and John wanted to make sure that they had plenty of water. The blue container is there but it didn't look like it was particularly full so John wandered down to top it up and then returned with some apples as a treat for the horses.
At this point it was windy and a little overcast but we had no idea what was in store for us later on - if we had we would have been much more likely to have battened down the hatches.
Our peace and quiet was shattered literally but jets buzzing overhead on a regular exercise but boy were they low and loud - it freaked the cats out big style and Boris went missing at tea-time which is most unusual.
Diana asked me to make her a few Christmas Cards so I thought I would get on with them this afternoon whilst I had an hour or so free before belly dancing.
I am never exactly sure what people want so I did a range of cards based on Christmas baubles using some very pretty pink snowflake confetti - I hope she likes them.
She also asked for a larger one for her Mum and Dad and for that I did a collage of leaves and berries to look like holly.
I shall have to get on and make some for myself - once we have had our weekend with Tommy and Sally Christmas will only be four weeks away and I might ask Sally to post the few cards I send to people in the UK - I can't do that if I haven't got any!!
So as I said Boris was missing - spooked by the aircraft he had got himself into one of the overgrown gardens of an empty house and couldn't work out how to get back out so I had to send John over in his slippers to try and capture him. We managed eventually but poor Boo was pretty distressed poor boy.
My day was completed by a good session at belly dancing although I had forgotten the routine by the time we got home!!! It got increasingly more windy as the evening progressed and then in the early hours all hell let loose.