Saturday, 30 December 2017


The 21st of December and Christmas Day is just around the corner and this is what the local supermarket car park looks like at 9.00am!  I had a date with Kate this morning at 10.00 so decided to get down early to fight my way around Paps and well let's just say that apart from the fact that they were using the ticket system on the meat counter there was nothing to indicate that the festive season was just about upon us.  Perhaps the canny Cypriots are sensible enough to have realised that Paps will probably only be shut for the shortest amount of time possible and even then there will be a kiosk or periptero open somewhere if you are desperate for something.

The ticket system on the meat counter was causing consternation because people were milling around the pork chops unaware that they needed a little yellow ticket.  Some people get their ticket, wander off, miss their turn and then come back and demand to be served next.  Some people try and catch the eye of a friendly butcher in the hopes that they can forego the ticketing system all together, others find a friend in the queue and tag their order onto the end of their friends.  The butchers are getting wise to it, the woman butcher wont stand any nonsense so today although a little slow the system was working.  As I waited my turn to purchase liver for the cats (having first ascertained with the lovely Valentin that they had some in the cold store) I met up with a woman whose mother lives in Droushia and who is confined to a wheelchair and is looked after by Tina who plays pickleball on a Thursday.  Close behind was the selfsame Tina who said she was so looking forward to this afternoon and her game - she is a great new member to the team and I am glad she has joined us.

I went from Paps and parked up in the rough carpark and walked through into the square en route to Kate's - I know that most shops don't seem to open until 10.00am but I was amazed at how quiet Polis was.  There were a few stalwart punters in Central Point and a couple of tourists having breakfast in Chix Chox - how did I know well they were in shorts and t-shirts and any self respecting resident would be in long sleeves at the very least, having said that I had emerged from Droushia in little more than I would wear in the summer - it was such a beautiful day with some real warmth in the sunshine.  Such a change from last December!

Even the local men were out enjoying the sunshine and setting the world to rights over a noisy game of Tavli.

I made my way to the sanctuary that is Beauty by Kate for a wonderful facial and a spot of reflexology on my feet and legs.  My appointment there was rounded off with a little glass of mulled wine and two mince pies wrapped up for me to take home to John.

With an extra spring in my step I returned to the car and set off for Giolou where I hoped to catch either Mina or Clare or both as I had a little gift for them which I had seen when I was in the Mall.  When we had dinner with them last week the table was laid with some beautiful slate tablemats and I had seen some slate coasters in Tiger - in fact I had picked them up because they had caught my eye and were such a good price.  I had returned to Tiger on Monday to grab two packs to give to the girls as a little gift from John and I for Xmas.

The drive to Hounds on Holiday was absolutely fabulous - the clear blue skies made a perfect backdrop to the countryside which, after a little rain is looking green and lush.

I found Mina in with the dogs.  She was moaning that she had a sore throat and was feeling achy so I gave her the name of the throat spray mum had got me and the foul tasting medicine which had done its trick.  Clare is recovering from a sort of flu bug but was helping out Mina's Dad and had to get better fast as her mother was coming out for Christmas.  We air kissed so as not to spread the germs and we left promising to make sure we see more of one another during the forthcoming year.

Hounds is located in a lovely spot and the girls are making themselves a fabulous home.  They both work really hard, Mina at the Kennels and Clare at the Aliathon Gallery and when then down tools at Christmas they both seem to get ill which is a shame.

I decided to drive home via Theletra which is a bit windy but so interesting and actually probably the quickest way to get back to Droushia.

Whilst I had been out John had gone up to the Village as the President of Cyprus was coming to officially open our bloody great Community Centre which has been a bit of a bone of contention amongst some of the residents.

He called me just as I was coming through Kathikas and said that the whole village had been invited to the Droushia Heights for a drink after the ceremony so I said I would pick him up and we would go for a quick drink before returning home.

John had met up with Bassam at the ceremony and here they are with the President getting their photograph taken.  Apparently, so some of our Cypriot friends were thrilled to inform us, during our Mukhtar's speech he had mentioned the clean-up team and personally thanked us for our contribution to keeping the village looking lovely.

When we arrived at the hotel it was absolutely packed and we hadn't realised that a complete buffet had been laid on for anyone who wanted to eat.  We were going out later to Fitos before he shuts tomorrow with Di and Rob so we simply had a coffee and a chat with Soteris who told us all about the plans that are in place to develop a village square in Droushia before making our way home.  Fetoula on reception said we were the only people she knew who would leave without eating as she expected to see people leaving with carrier bags full and I did spy the one eyed goatherd with two carrier bags in his hands as he approached the buffet!!

It was great to see the village come together and it was especially great to know that our efforts have not gone unnoticed and that some of the younger Cypriots that we know were keen to ensure we understood that we had been mentioned in despatches.

As I said we were out with Di and Rob tonight, we wanted to make sure we ate at Fitos once more this year as he will close tomorrow for two weeks.  I have to say it was one of the nicest meals we have had there for some time.  The stifado which Rob and I chose was absolutely divine.  We started off with a plate of some sort of boiled chicken dish which tasted fabulous even if it didn't look so good - this was accompanied by some crisp fresh raw cabbage sprinkled with olive oil and lemon juice and salt.  Then came the salad and dips and pittas and toasted village bread, then our main courses, then fridge cake and fruit, drinks and coffee and more drinks and more wine and and and baggy heads no doubt!!!  All for the princely sum of around 50 euros for the four of us!!!

There was a meeting of Droushians as Simon came in for a takeaway and we arranged to see him, Melanie and the girls on Saturday morning and then David Dixie-Seven and wife Edda came in with two others and David collared John and Rob to help him put his swimming pool cover on tomorrow - but hey that's what friends and neighbours are for.

When we got home the conservatory looked super festive and all four cats were in admiring the Christmas tree - life is good - ain't we lucky?

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