Friday, 13 April 2018

Easter Saturday in Cyprus...

Wow what an Easter Saturday we had today - great weather (before the rains which have been forecast set in) great company, great food and great experiences.

Our day commenced with a leisurely start and a turn around the garden which is looking glorious and is filled with the scent of the jasmine which is in full flower.

It is my Aunty Friday Jasmine as it was given to me by Elena and had been grown from a cutting by her Aunty whose name is so confusing that I just call her Aunty Friday.  The garden is a riot of colour at the moment - and actually looking a little overgrown in places but shortly a lot of the early flowering plants will be over and I can cut them back.

Along with the flowers we have a proliferation of lizards which are often brought into the house in various stages of demise.  They escape minus a tail if they are lucky.  Something had obviously caught Boris's attention this morning but fortunately there was no evidence of it later.

The cats are loving the weather and the fact that John has put out the steamer cushions which means it is bound to rain.  Whilst I was doing a little weeding John got together the pressure washer because we were returning to that house with THAT view again this morning to see if John could sort out the blockage in the pool system at Iris and Andros's house.

So here is THAT view - how could you ever tire of that????  Iris's daughter took the most incredibly photograph of an eagle on a thermal from this terrace.  They are lucky because they have no electric cables in view.  The pressure washer confirmed that there was indeed a blockage but so complete that not even an air bubble escaped.  Andros was able to call in his regular pool maintainer (also called John) and between them they decided upon a future course of action.

Iris had very kindly booked for us two have lunch at Imogen's in Kathikas - the weather was good enough for us to sit outside (this is a view of the inside).  Iris is a fascinating woman whose heritage on her mother's side is Armenian.  Shamefully I knew nothing about the fate of the Armenians save that I had heard something about ethnic cleansing during the time of the Ottoman Empire.  Clearly as no Brits were involved, this period of history didn't feature in any of my schooling, so Iris kindly gave me a potted version of what had happened in such a way that I want to learn more.

Our lunch was excellent as I experienced a vegetarian meze with a difference as many of the dishes seemed to have an eastern Mediterranean influence so there were flavours and textures not normally associated with the standard Cypriot style dips.  Don't ask me what they were just take my word for it that if you are a vegetarian (which I am not so this is what made it doubly praiseworthy) you are in for a bit of a treat.  I didn't like all the dishes - I have never been a fan of spinach pie because I don't really like spinach and this one was more spinach than pie and the falafel seemed a little over cooked or reheated but everything else was delicious.  We really enjoyed our lunch and the company was fabulous and we had no idea that our lunch was going to be paid for so a big big big thank you for that.

We were sorry that we had to shoot off after lunch as we had arranged to catch up with Simon, Melanie, Jasmine and Frances (in the photo) who were up on one of their rare visits to Droushia and only had this afternoon free for us to catch up.  We all agreed that we really had to try and catch up more often.  The girls are growing up so quickly!

This evening we had been invited by our neighbours Argy and Lakis to go to the midnight church service after which Christ is declared to be risen and then to join them and Kia for the traditional egg and lemon soup.  I had doubted whether I would be able to stay awake but was determined to do so and we made it.  The experience was chaotic as the youths of the area were running amok with fire crackers and home-made bangers which were so loud that at one point the church shook.  The service seemed to be sung by four elderly men in the front of the church - there is no audience participation in any way either by way of hymns or prayers.  We were sitting upstairs - thank goodness there wasn't a fire or else we would never have managed to escape as we were crammed in.  At the end of the service we emerged with our lit candles (my blew out almost immediately which I gather is bad luck) and there was a massive fire raging seemingly out of control and we had to run the gauntlet of the fireworks being thrown in every direction.  This wasn't overly pleasant - a bit scary as it was so dangerous and one actually hit Argy in the leg but didn't do any real damage thankfully.

We escaped to the calm of Lordos 1 and had our first experience of egg and lemon soup which turned out to be absolutely delicious.  It was 2.00am before we got back home!

Big big thanks to our Cypriot friends for today - it was very very much appreciated.

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