Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Getting our instructions...

We had a day at home today with only one thing to do which was to have coffee with Di and the Bobster before they fly off to the UK tomorrow for a little visit.  We are going to keep an eye on their property and I am waterer-in-chief and I know how I would look after my plants so want to make sure that I know exactly which ones Di wants looking after.  We are going to miss them because even though we don't see them every day we know that they are 'just down the road'.  We had hoped to have a meal with them before they departed but Bobby has been busy painting the outside of their bungalow and was still at it today when we arrived.

Next year I really want to reinstate our Droushia Days Out.  These were suspended after the unexpected passing of my lovely Dad.  We had just had a day out in Limassol watching the flamingos and then our world was turned upside down and although we have talked about doing it again we just haven't got round to it so I am planning that in January we will - I have some ideas - I just need a date from the Veaseys when they return.

Anyway one of the items which will be in my watering care is the hanging basket in the picture above which Di has created from cuttings from my garden - I am well impressed because these succulents should return year after year.

After years of being somewhat neglected our estate is having something of a renaissance - the houses which had been repossessed are being released and several have been sold including two opposite George and Pam which have been purchased by the same person and are currently being done up.  What a difference a coat of white paint can make.  It is actually really nice to see some life being breathed back into Lordos 1 and to be honest nothing which goes on out in the street has much of an impact on us.

On our return John got out my sewing machine - well actually it is Mum's sewing machine which is on permanent loan!!!  I had some repairs to make to some shorts of John's and a shirt that needed some darts put in it and a brolly cover in need of some major repair.  I really like using the machine and was going brilliantly until I managed to break the needle, fortunately I had a spare and I managed to get my sewing jobs done and the brolly will live another few days/weeks/months!!!

We have a new flower in the garden.  This is, I think, a Pandorea Jasminoides which has been growing in a pot and suddenly made a bid for freedom.  It flowers at the end of new growth and this has grown miles and the flowers were hidden in amongst the plant which goes up and over the archway near the steps to the roof terrace.  It is lovely and adds a beautiful splash of colour where you least expect it.  That is what I love about our garden - it is a bit of a free spirit - things just happen and that is how we like it!!

We had a lazy day really - that is such a treat when there is nothing pressing needing our attention and to be honest for some reason I felt absolutely shattered.  We had a phonecall in the afternoon from the people interested in the house that is for sale (1A) to ask if we could show their architect around.  They have been before so this is quite positive for Marilena who is selling it and we hold a set of keys for her as the alarm keeps going off.  That was fine by us but it meant that we couldn't do anything about our supper until he had been and gone.

We had fridge surprise tonight - I had a load of lounza, bacon, chorizo and halloumi needing to be turned into something edible so with the addition of some tricolour fussili and some cream and herbs and spices we had a meal and it was lush!!!

We watched the end of the ABC Murders and then retired to bed.  No heating required yet but the house is definitely much cooler at night - we are still in shorts and t-shirts so will need to dig out our slippers as the next stage!!

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

The mystery of the missing postage stamps continues as I cannot find them anywhere and I just know they will pitch up when I have done all my Christmas Cards and by then I wont need them.  I am a bit miffed to say the least!!!

Di and the Bobster are going back to the UK on Thursday and Di had very kindly offered to post my cards for me but the stamp hide and seek set me back somewhat so I only had a few written and ready to go so I will take them down with me tomorrow when John and I go down for a coffee to say 'au revoir' to them - we had hoped to be able to spend an evening out with them in the village before they left but this wasn't possible so we are settling for coffee.

I was going down to Polis this morning so decided to call into the Post Office with one of my cards to ask how much it would be to post to the UK so that I could go ahead and write them and post them here.  So the lovely lady in the Post Office informed me that my card would cost 66 cents to post - that is one of these tree stamps (64 cents) and a second boring one which is 2 cents which is fab and actually less to post and send across the miles than to post directly in the UK where a first class stamp is 67 pence.

I had organised to catch up with Gillian today.  She and her husband David recently had to return to the UK for personal reasons involving a family member.  Gillian has come back and David is due back on Saturday and then they are going back to the UK briefly at the beginning of December.

We had arranged to go and have a coffee and a spot of lunch at Tina's Art Cafe before it closes for the season.

I was a bit early so took the opportunity to have a little look around one or two of the gift shops that are still open.

Everyone is gearing up for Christmas which served as a reminder that I really need to get my act together!!!  We don't have many gifts to buy but I do like to take time to find something which shows we have thought about the recipient.

It was an absolutely glorious day.  So glorious that Gillian and I had to move from the first table we sat at because we got too hot!!!  We enjoyed a catch up and a lovely light lunch.  My fresh vegetable and cheese soup was absolutely delicious and I said how nice it was that Gillian had dressed in matching colours!!!

John had had a busy morning and had replaced my old dripping kitchen tap with my nice shiny new one.  He expected the job to be more difficult than it had turned out to be - not because of the tap change but because he was replacing all the isolating taps at the same time and this meant making some modifications to the cupboard under the kitchen sink.

It is normally our luck that anything that involves water generally ends up with a leak and buckets and towels and frayed tempers but it was remarkably calm when I got home.

John has now ticked off all the jobs on his list that we really wanted to get sorted this side of Christmas so he is a  happy chappy and if he is a happy chappy then I am a happy chappess.

We decided that we would take ourselves off for a little walk this afternoon because it was such a beautiful day and as we are two thirds of the way through November days like this are a real bonus particularly when you look at the sub zero temperatures in the UK and compare it with the weather we had this time last year.

We decided to go and give the little dog up the road the fat we had removed from the leg of pork we had at the weekend.  She has made a sort of home for herself at Andreas's having been dumped there with an other dog this time last year or maybe even longer ago than that.  Her companion has long gone but she remains and she is such a pretty little thing although she does chase cars which may well be her downfall.

The surrounding countryside is looking very tired now but you can see the beautiful blue of the sky beyond and not a cloud to be seen.  We know that this means it will be chilly in the house in the evening as the temperatures begin to drop.  This evening at about 7.00pm it was only 12 degrees and dropping so would have gone down to single figures.

We walked some of the route which John and Klaus had cleaned on Saturday partly because John wanted to ensure that Marianna had arranged for the bags which had been left on the side had been picked up and partly to see that it was still clean.

We passed a can, a bottle and a banana skin which we picked up and deposited into a green bin and then checked for any blue bags.  Where possible we try and deposit rubbish and bags into a green bin but on this particular route the green bins are rather spaced out so where a bag was full and heavy it was left on the side of the road and it would appear that my message to Marianna had been acted upon as there were none in view which is good.

We had not realised that one of our nearby roads is named after our lovely neighbour - Odos Laxis!!!  His mother in law Kia should recognise the road sign as it is on the corner where her friend with the lovely garden lives.

Once home we settled down for the night, ate up the left over chili and watched the remaining episodes of Hatten Garden before turning in for the night.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Où sont mes timbres?

Mondays seem to come around even quicker and quicker and it is almost impossible to believe it is five weeks and one day until Christmas Eve and I am nowhere near ready.  The weather makes it even more difficult to get my head around the impending festive season!!!

Today was super glorious - bright. warm sunshine all day but clear skies so a cool evening followed - if it carries on like this John will be itching to get the wood-burner lit!!!  I may relent slightly and allow him to try out the new digital thermostatically controlled socket that I have bought so that we can put on a panel heater and know it will kick in and out to control the ambient temperature in a room.  The panel heaters do have thermostats but they are simply on a dial so actually could be anything!!!  We generally hold off with the wood burner until December 1st which is less than two weeks away and at the moment I just don't see it being cold enough.

I made my regular trip to the cemetery this morning.  Today I decided that I would give Dad's grave a bit of a sloosh down because for some reason the birds seem to have taken a real shine to the marble and the dust in the atmosphere had settled into the grooves of the wording.

The plants in his trough are looking better for the little haircut I gave them and I had stuck in a couple of cuttings from some other succulents and they are still alive so that is good - at least there will be some colour in there for a little while yet.

The wash and brush up left his little spot looking lovely and clean and tidy.  You can see from beautiful blue sky what a fabulous day it was.  I never mind going to the cemetery - it is always so peaceful there and the village seems to take good care of the occupants.

Happy that all was good I carried on to Sheila and Klaus's and my regular Monday morning art session.  I was greeted by three or four little kittens who were checking out the breakfast that was on offer at the Knips!!  One was a cute little ginger but Sheila didn't think it was overly well and would probably not be around much longer.  It did look a bit skinny but then that is not unusual for ferals.  Sheila and Klaus feed the colony but do not interfere with nature.

My picture of the house-leek is progressing well and I am guessing I probably have three or four more sessions left to finish it and then I will have to find my next subject matter which needs to be something similar as I plan to hand this and the next picture as a pair near the other two that I have done.

Sheila is busy working on a picture of Bee Eaters - the colours are fabulous and it is going to make a nice picture.  Sheila was quite chuffed that this week she had managed to sell a picture which she had down in That Nice Shop in Polis - it was one she had done of a Cypriot Donkey.  Framed pictures do not normally sell well to tourists because of their luggage weight limitations and second guessing what subject matter will prove popular is nigh on impossible so it is always doubly exciting when someone does buy a picture you have done.  Klaus also had some success with his gourd carving making a couple of sales recently.  He now has limited supplies of his raw materials i.e. the gourd so if anyone reading this has any they want to get rid of I am sure he will be more than happy to take them off of your hands.

I had a lovely lunch with Klaus and Sheila - our tarragon chicken 'Shepherds Pie' was not only beautifully presented but tasted delicious and the carrots that accompanied it were fabulous.  I left with a bag of lemons from their tree which will grace a gin and tonic or two over the next couple of weeks.

My plan for the afternoon had been to get some Christmas Cards written - Di and Rob are going back to the UK for a week or so and had offered to post some for me.  John's Mum had brought me a book of stamps and I had used one the other week for a letter which I had asked Wendy to post so I had the remaining ones for the few physical cards that we still send.

I don't really enjoy writing cards en masse - I really should start them earlier so I can just do a couple at a time and put in longer personal messages but with Di and Rob going in a couple of days I had left it too late.  Worse than that I could not find the book of bloody stamps and we turned the house upside down.  I was so pee'd off that I really couldn't be arsed to write many cards by the time I had admitted defeat.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Olive picking...

The peace of our well-earned Sunday morning lie-in was shattered by some irresponsible hunters.  I know that hunting is part of the social history of this island (although there is bugger all to hunt now so what they are expecting to shoot is beyond me).  So it is not the hunting per se that I object to, what I do object to is someone wildly firing off a gun in the direction of the house so that shot scatters throughout the garden at a distance which is far less than the legal requirement.

John was not amused and rather than let it pass jumped in the car and chased the three offenders across the fields to have a full and frank discussion with them.  Caught on camera they were rather more conciliatory at the end than they had been at the beginning and hopefully they might think twice now before they shoot over the houses.  Apparently my neighbour had called the police to the same group last week when they had done the same thing so we just might have to look out for them until the season ends unfortunately.

John went off this morning to help bring in the olive harvest with Philippos and his family.  We had offered previously shortly after Philippos had been to have his 'turbo' fitted (aka a stent or actually three stents).  I couldn't help as I was getting ready for Mum which was fine - I can do it another time.  John set off down to the Museum at the bottom of the now newly cleaned road and met with Philippos's son in law Loukas.  It was a glorious day - maybe a little warm for heavy manual work but much better than with the trees wet.

It was a real family affair which included both the yia-yia's - Marina's mum is not so mobile but Philippos's mum is in her 90s and was well up for the task - in fact when there was a break for a bit of liquid refreshment she continued stoically sorting olives.  It is hard work but actually quite enjoyable - we had done it many years ago and enjoyed it and if you ever get the opportunity to go to the pressing I would encourage you to go - it is amazing and when you come home with your freshly pressed extra virgin olive oil it really puts a smile on your face.  In fact we are just about coming to the end of the oil we produced back then.

Here is photographic evidence of John being given a master class by a nonagenarian on how to pick olives!!!!  John came home full of it - he had been made so welcome and been fed and watered.  In fact he came home clutching some pumpkin pasties made by Andri which he said were absolutely delicious - they are called Kolokotes and I am amazed how much John's food tastes have changed - when I first met him he would have avoided them like the plague!!!

I had not been forgotten - Andri sent John home with the Kolokotes and some flowers for me.  Birds of Paradise blooms which are so lovely - only trouble was I had to find a makeshift vase to put them in!!!

We have told them if they need more help we will try and both be available because it is a lot of work.

I had prepared pulled pork, wedges and coleslaw for lunch - all of which I know Mum likes - the only trouble was she wasn't very well, in fact I thought she looked like she had been crying but she has a bad throat and I think her face looked a bit puffy as a result - I have persuaded her to check out the new appointment system at her GPs and try and get to see her tomorrow if it isn't any better.

We had our lunch and then sat in the conservatory which was warm and bright with the sun coming in.  When it is like that it is so hard to try and think about Christmas but it is fast approaching and we want to make sure we give Mum the best time we can whilst she is up with us.  This year it is not for so long - I think that will suit her and us better and it will certainly suit Fred who will not need to be encarcerated for such a long time.  We think we have the Christmas Film sorted and a new card game to master!!

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Village clean...

It was a dry, fine and bright start to the morning.  The sun was pouring in through the fencing outside the back door (which is in fact our front door but in such a stupid place we would never use it as such!).  This was good news because today I had organised a village clean and shamefully, in November, this was the first this year.

Initially we had been stymied by the weather as for the first few months of the year we had continuous rain and nobody wants to be picking up rubbish that is sodden.  Then we had a stream of visitors which meant finding a Saturday that was fee became quite hard so today became the day and after the rain yesterday I thought I might have to cancel which would have been sod's law.

We dusted off our gloves, dug out our litter pickers and purchased two rolls of bright blue bin bags so that if we had to deposit them somewhere where there wasn't a bin then the bin-men should find them and take them away.  I know that it can be a bit disheartening to see the amount of rubbish that is about but it we don't do it, it is only going to get worse and to be fair when we did the cleans regularly we really got on top of the problem and so hopefully seeing cleaner roads might have made people think twice before launching their water bottles/coffee cans/mucky DVD's/crisp packets/wet wipes/car parts/pill blister packs etc etc out of their car windows.

I advertised the event on various Droushia noticeboards and got all sorts of offers of help but in the end if was the same hardy bunch which pitched up save for one hardy visitor...

Currently on this island and involving himself in all sorts of good deeds whilst seeking inspiration for his latest book in the Peshwari Nans saga, is the author Stephen Haughan who I had invited rather tongue-in-cheek to help us out today and who had telephoned in the week to accept my challenge.  What a great guy he turned out to be and how very grateful were we of his help and good humour.

We took one of our cars down to the museum at the bottom of the hill so that those doing that route could get a welcome lift back up and also meant we could sweep up any 'orphaned' bags to place them in a bin and then we went to the Droushia Heights Hotel to await the masses!!!

We had to be a bit careful at the Hotel because the resident cat population thought we had come to feed them and kept following us - as we crossed the road to sit on the wall and wait they kept running back and forwards and we had to ensure that they weren't knocked down by a passing car.  If anyone is looking for a kitten (or cat for that matter) the colony there (which I know Irene and several others are feeding) are beautiful.  LisaMarie has given a home to the black kitten that lost it leg, possibly to a dog, but that still leaves three jet black kittens and one tubby smokey coloured one which was my favourite.

So here we are assembled for our group shot before we split into two as Klaus was keen that if we had enough we could manage two routes today.  Something got a bit lost in translation but anyway John and Klaus went on the circuitous route around the edge of the village from the Mukhtar's around the back our our houses, down the road to Kelly's and then back along the main road to the Hotel and the other five of us took the long road down out of the village towards the museum.

Good job we had set off relatively early (9.30am) because as the day progressed it got warmer and warmer and warmer by which time the Bobster was regretting his choice of retro Haircut One Hundred sweater and Stephen his fetching pork pie hat!

For those of us concentrating on the down hill stint our pickings today were filled with car parts for some reason - everything from brake shoes to spark plugs to a hub cap!

Interestingly this time there was no glut of mucky DVD's which is normal on this route so we had nothing to add to our collection save for one disk which had a chunk missing out of it and an empty case - maybe the youth of Droushia have moved on to more modern ways of getting their kicks!!!

We had plenty of encouragement for our labours from passers by - this is great but one week and extra pair of hands would be even better.  I am not entirely sure exactly how many bags we managed to fill - I will need to to a count of how many I have left but that wouldn't be accurate because we did try, where possible, to empty the contents in a green bin and reuse the bag.

So I know I am not normally in any of the shots, preferring to remain firmly behind the camera but here I am with the other nutters who kindly gave up their Saturday morning to make the village look better even if it is only for a few hours or hopefully even days.

Klaus and John did an equally brilliant job actually probably better as there were only two of them on their route.  Klaus counted up that they had filled 18 bags between them - some of which got too heavy to deposit at the nearest green bin so I have had to ask Marianna if our bin-men can look out for them and scoop them up.  Big thanks to Klaus who did not join us afterwards for a coffee.

So the remaining six of us enjoyed some beautiful sunshine, and even more beautiful views, out on the terrace of the Droushia Heights Hotel.  It is hard to believe that we are mid way through November.  We all agree that it is certainly better weather this year than it was this time last year.  Refreshed by coffees people went their separate ways but we had asked Stephen to join us for lunch as a thank you for his attendance.  We wanted to show him the delights of Fitos as he said he had passed it on many occasions, even been recommended it by a random lady biker who he meet at Kritou Tera waterfalls, but had yet to sample.  I do not think he was disappointed as we sat outside taking in the view and eating some really delicious Sea Bream.  Stephen doesn't know how long he will be staying on the island - he isn't far from us as he is in Stroumbi so we are hopeful that we will meet up again before he returns.  He was such an interesting and all round great guy and I am encouraging all my lovely readers to investigate his books.  Interestingly he told us that he gets no more money from purchases via Amazon for the paperback copy over the Kindle version despite the difference in price!!!

The efforts of this morning and subsequent lunch meant that our scheduled trip to Paps in Polis seemed rather unappealing and as all I really needed was some veg for tomorrow's lunch with Mum I suggested that we pop to Kathikas and I could see what the shop had on offer there.  John thought it was a brilliant idea but what would have been more brilliant was for him to sample a bottle of Old Speckled Hen whilst I was shopping.

Bless him I couldn't disagree so he was a very happy chappy and pleased to report that the Ale was as good as he had remembered it!!!

I managed to get some decent veg from the shop so I had everything I needed although I can't think why I didn't get it when I went into Tsada and bought my meat - I obviously wasn't thinking that far ahead!!!  I had, however, got up early enough this morning to put the pork joint in the slow cooker as we had decided to have pulled pork with coleslaw and wedges.  John may or may not be having lunch with us - we had offered to help Phillipos when he was olive picking, particularly as it isn't that long ago that he had his stents put in and we realise that he had started the job yesterday so John has offered to pop down for a couple of hours in the morning to lend a hand.  If the work continues on into next week I will go on Monday afternoon with John - we have done it before although about 7 or 8 years ago and enjoyed it although it was hard work!!!  

Friday, 6 December 2019

We get rain...

The forecast rain came during the night.  It has become an unfamiliar sound and, since the last winter, we have had the outside of our bedroom wall stone clad with the down pipe from the guttering incorporated into the cladding.  I had not appreciated what sort of noise the water would now make as it made its journey from the roof out to the road so to me it sounded like we had a water leak and so I just had to get up and make sure what was going on.  It was the middle of the night but at least I could be sure that we were not going to be washed away and even better where the rain was falling on the stonework that John had treated with the Nanopro-C it was running away like mercury!  Satisfied that all was fine and dandy at 10B I returned to my bed.

The rain persisted and was accompanied by a thunder storm passing over from Latchi heading towards Paphos.  The rain no longer bothers me - we had a baptism of fire the first winter we were here - water coming in everywhere including places where you would have thought it was impossible but over the intervening years we have done what we can to ensure that the house is as water-tight as possible.  There really isn't much more we can do now save general annual maintenance.

We were going off down to Paphos early this morning.  One of our friends is returning to the UK after nearly 15 years on the island and is selling items which she does not want to take back with her.  Mum is having her dishwasher and we had arranged to pick it up and plumb it in for her.  The one Mum currently uses has seen better days - the upper basket is in need of replacement and if I could find one it would cost a small fortune.  John had forgotten quite how awkward it would be to replace the existing machine with the new one and got an electric shock for his troubles but eventually he got it sorted but by that time had got all hot and sticky because it was warm and muggy down at Mum's.

We got even hotter and stickier at pickleball but as always on a Friday this was as a result of some good games and some even better banter.  We had a full six today so slightly more time to rest and as the session wore on I chose to sit out with Mum as my foot was beginning to ache and I do not want to push my luck as it seems to be getting back to normal albeit slowly.

We were more than ready for a cuppa when we got back to Mum's and I think we had earned it!!

Although it had been fairly warm, bright and muggy down in Emba as we made our way back home the weather really deteriorated and as we got nearer to Kathikas it was as black as your hat.  As we passed along the road from Stroumbi and Kathikas where you can (if the weather is good) see the sea on both sides it was like a scene out of some disaster movie as an impending storm made its way up the valley.

We had stopped en route at Tsada to get some veggies from the fruit and veg shop there and for John to chop in his empty crate of Leon for a full one.  I decided to try the butcher there - he is such a nice chap save for the language difficulties as he seems to speak Bulglish (Bulgarian English) or something similar - anyway he smiles a lot and eventually we got what we wanted.

The chicken fillet and pork leg was cheap as chips but the beef mince less so although it did make a fabulous chili for our supper with absolutely no fat or gristle but we have a sneaky suspicion that it was finest steak that went through the mincer rather than offcuts!  We accompanied the chili with a bottle of red which has been loafing around on the wine rack and needed to be drunk up - haven't had Cimerosa Shiraz for some time and had forgotten how heavy it is.  If blame the fact that I was up in the early hours this morning checking out the weird rainfall noises for the fact that shortly after I had eaten my supper I was away with the fairies catching flies on the sofa.  I didn't mind too much that we went to bed early because we are up in the morning and doing a village clean weather permitting and I am so excited that this time we have got a bit of a celebrity joining us.  It would just be nice if plain ordinary Droushians came along!

Thursday, 5 December 2019

So many good things all in one day...

We have finally said goodbye to our ancient swimming pool pump and control panel.  Something which John has been wanting to do for a while but whilst they still functioned we couldn't seem to justify the money it would take to replace them.  Of late though the pump has been making some very funny noises and over the past 9 years various parts have had to be replaced on the control panel - latterly we were thankful that Lakis had his system replaced because John was able to salvage some spares from Lakis's outgoing equipment.  We reckon this kit is approaching its 20th birthday, if it has not already reached it so we are hoping the the shiny new replacements are quieter and more efficient.  We had gone to ShipShape to see Mani as he had done all the pool work at Lakis's and seems a reasonable sort of chap and we agreed a price.  The workmen were scheduled to arrive yesterday morning which they did earlier than anticipated and having rung first to say they were coming which is quite refreshing and they arrived, got on with the job, were polite, neat and tidy and tested everything before they left making sure that there were no leaks so hat's off to ShipShape for exceeding our expectations.  We now have a quiet pump and a timer that comes on and goes off when we expect and a bank balance which is somewhat lighter but, as John says, we cannot take it with us.

We woke this morning to hear the fire helicopters returned to various locations nearby - there were apparently at least 7 fires started in the area which they believe were most likely to have been done so deliberately.  This is scandalous - I know that there are people who feel aggrieved that they own land which they have been prevented from building upon when other similar land has been developed seemingly via the brown envelope system which has been rife here but the destruction caused to the fauna and flora is unimaginable and devastating.

Today we were meeting up with great friends of my cousin Michelle who came to visit us back in September.  Linda and Graham have been to the island on many occasions so much of it is familiar to them although possibly not our neck of the woods.

We had arranged to meet them at the Droushia Heights Hotel.  It was an overcast and muggy day so the view was not as spectacular as it can be.  We have been forecast rain for today - a 30 percent chance and then again tomorrow but with a 50% chance.  As it happens it didn't rain until the evening and through the night so at least when we were driving them around it was dry.

They are keen to explore the island and some of the more rural areas to get a feel for the real Cyprus which you can miss when you are staying down on the Hotel strip.  They are rather unimpressed by their hotel - the Louis Phaethon but are quite happy to jump into their little hire car and see where they end up.

We recognised them straight away thanks to social media and they us - they are readers of the blog and we sat and got acquainted over a nice coffee on the sofas of the Hotel.  They liked the atmosphere and the furnishings and I think they were rather surprised to find such a nice establishment in a such a small rural village.

They were actually working on the roads in the village today - well two of the three men were manoeuvring heavy plant machinery and the third was supervising - it was right by the museum/Marios's/Bambos's so, as they had not closed the road off, was causing maximum disruption.  I am thinking that it will be a right mess after the rain now and we have a village clean planned for Saturday!!

We thought we would have some lunch together - we certainly had not expected to be treated so thank you very very much Linda and Graham for being so kind.

Where better to go to show people 'real' Cyprus than the place where you get possibly the biggest pork chop known to man - namely Fitos???

Linda said she would eat anything and wanted us to chose for her so we opted for a mixed kebab on a plate which gave her pork and chicken souvlaki  and sheftalia with chips and Graham got a mega chop and was delighted.

It was a very pleasant couple of hours and it was lovely to meet these lovely people who are such great friends to Michelle.  Isn't it strange how you can meet people and feel that you have known them for a very long time even though this is just your first encounter?

On our return from Fitos we said our goodbyes to Linda and Graham - they have a couple of days left to their holiday but we know we will keep in touch and no doubt see them again.  We noticed that Nicky and Mark's car was on the drive of the house opposite and that could only mean one thing - they had their keys at long last so we now have new neighbours - well sort of - they have a refurbishment project in front of them to create their forever home but they can do it siga siga (slowly slowly) as they still have their house in Emba, although this is on the market.  We cannot believe how our lives have become entwined as their house in Emba was the one which Mum and Dad had built.  We have known them now for a fair few years and it is great to think they will be up here in Droushia - I think they may still need to sleep over with us now and again until their home is sorted though!

I had a phonecall tonight from a guy called Stephen Haughan who is an author and who is currently on the island and who has agreed to come on our village clean on Saturday.  I am about to embark on reading his books which look right up my street and reading about him he seems an all round nice guy so I am thrilled he accepted my invitation to come to Droushia.