Sunday, 5 March 2017

Clean Monday - Green Monday...

Today is a Bank Holiday - Clean or Green Monday depending on who you talk to: Clean Monday is the first day of Great Lent throughout Eastern Christianity and falls on the 7th Monday before Easter.

Traditionally a time for kite flying we have been here six years and have never managed to get suitable weather - last year was hurricane force, the year before it rained, before that it was freezing cold - get the picture??  today was warm, muggy and still as you like!!!!  We had hoped to take the kids out but when we arrived at Bassam's Lola had toilet roll shoved up her nostrils and declared that she was full of snot - nice!  Amoura was still in bed and all Rabia fancied doing was play footie!  Anyway Lola perked up when I gave her the camera that Diana had sorted out for her and so instead of kite flying we had a mini photography session and Lola was h-a-p-p-y but I fear she will have ignored my instruction that she was to share should either one of the other children want to use the camera.

She will be mortified that I took a photo of her birdsnest hair!!!!  we went out to take a look at the wooden sink that Bassam is constructing to complete the newly refurbished shower room.  He is a very clever man when it comes to fashioning wood into something useful and he clearly has a great love for creating something beautiful and organic rather than use a more traditional item.

John and I decided to take a bit of a circuitous route home going out to the Bandstand as we had the little pocket kite in the car - we were not hopeful as there was not a breath of air to be had but we reckoned that if we were up high we might catch a thermal or something.

We drove on out towards Lara to the highest point that we could see and parked up.  The countryside really is beautiful at the moment and we came across countless different wild flowers including some anemones and orchids.  Previously we had seen ladies with their arms full of the local wild daffodils that suddenly appear in the fields and which have such a strong heady perfume that they can fill a room with their scent.

John was determined to get the kite aloft and he did manage it twice for about a few seconds but it really was a bit of a waste of time and so we cut our losses and took a very scenic ride home accompanied by the constant sound of gunshot as local hunters took full advantage before the season ends shortly.

By the time we returned home the sun had burned off all of the morning's cloud and we sat outside to have our cuppa and piece of cake before deciding that we would get the bikes out (our first ride was last Monday) and tackle the Fitos run even though we knew that it would be shut so there would be no chance of a drink at the end!!

Last week I had been uncertain as to whether I would have the strength to manage the Fitos run as there is a sharp and lengthy hill near where Liselotte lives - we had done a run through Arodes and Inea instead and I had been stymied by the diversion which led us to an unexpected hill and I had to get off.  I was determined not to have to get off today but when I hit the rough loose road surface at the bottom of LL's hill I thought I was going to come off so didn't get the momentum to get up half of the incline ahead of me - it was a long hard slog but I made it and for once John congratulated me!  We made it to Fitos where thankfully there were still a couple of seats outside even though it was closed and I got a glug of water to keep me going - we took the main road back as far as Arodes and then the back roads back home - the last bit is a long old drag but I made it and I was well chuffed.

On our return we treated Kenny to a wash - it was Clean Monday after all and he had got a bit messy when we had gone out earlier with the kite.  We didn't take it to the level that Bobby Veasey would have done but the inside mats did get a shake out and the ashtrays emptied of the various Paps receipts stuffed inside!!!!  John is a bit worried that Kenny needs the engine mounts replacing so is going to investigate that next.

Whilst John was sorting out Gregoris's pool I took a stroll into the field next door where I came across some of those beautiful native daffodils and then more excitingly the first shoots of local Asparagus - at last it is warm enough up here in Droushia for it to start poking its spear-like heads up.

The asparagus makes me think of Elena and the wonderful foraging trips she used to organise to show people how bountiful our fields can be.  I was lucky enough to go on one as photographer in chief - it was then that I met Andrea and persuaded her to think about setting up camera lessons.  Eventually she did and I went fabulous people who became good friends as have others who have attended subsequent courses.

Our reward for such a busy day was to sit on the roof terrace at the end of the day with a lovely gin and tonic.  It was still relatively warm whilst the sun was out and it was lovely to take advantage of the fresh air safe in the knowledge that supper was in the slow cooker so we had nothing to panic about.

We were joined by all four cats - they love to come 'up top' when we are there and they stayed with us until it got a bit too cold to remain there and then we wandered inside to enjoy the chili con carne that had been bubbling away all day.

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