Sunday, 25 June 2017

Posts out of Sync

My posts have gotten out of sync - not sure how so there is a post about Jordan and Abi's trip to the waterfalls down below a couple of days which is in the right place chronologically but somehow didn't get posted until today.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

back to normal...



 I think we are experiencing 'empty nest syndrome' as the house seems very quiet and the pool is empty.  Our visitors text to say they got home safe and sound yesterday afternoon and that the temperature in the UK was 30 degrees!  They must have taken the sunshine home with them.  The cats are confused - no-one paying them extra attention!

I am lucky that I can get the bed changed, sheets washed, on the line and dried and straight back on the bed within an hour or so.  I didn't think they looked like they needed ironing, Mum would probably beg to differ but we have no visitors due to be staying until John's mum I think and that is in a couple of month's time so they will have been taken off and given a freshen up before then anyway.  I can see both Minnie and Charlie eyeing up the evacuated space - they will no doubt slip in there the minute our backs are turned.

It is Father's Day today and my turn to host Sunday Lunch but I had given Dad the option and he said he thought it might be nice to go out for Lunch so I had booked to go to The Farmyard in Kathikas.  This was before Mum looked like she had gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson and so we had decided to cancel as Mum really didn't want to be seen looking like she had been beaten up.  It was a good decision because since then her stitches had burst as she had an infection and then she seemed to have had an adverse reaction to the drugs which they have given her.

We decided to have lunch here and I kept it simple as in the hot weather neither mum nor dad eat a huge amount.   Lemon Chicken and salad with coleslaw and roast new potatoes with onion and rosemary followed by Apple Studel and cream.

We started the Father's Day celebrations with a pre-lunch drinkie - we have several bottles of Castelgy gin needing attention due to a fabulous offer in Lidl the other week which Dad shot off to take advantage of!

We began our regular game of Noms - playing half before lunch and resuming the second half after Dad has his customary snooze.

 Although it was quite windy today it was warm and was very pleasant sat under the gazebo by the kitchen.  This was our original gazebo.  The structure is still sound even though it has lost its original cover and the replacement construction made by John is slowly being decimated by the cats!!  In fact the blanket thrown over the top for additional shade is currently being utilised as a hammock for Mr Boo and his little fat backside is in danger of falling through the 'brown stuff' in underneath.


We had a nice few hours together before Mum and Dad made their way back to Emba safe and sound.  It was at this point that the irregular hours I have been keeping whilst the youngsters have been staying here started to take its toll.  There was nothing for it but to lie back on the sofa and check my eyelids for pinholes.  This worked well until Charlie hauled his bulk on top of my bladder!


Sleeping in the afternoon was a BIG mistake because I wasn't then tired when we turned in for the night.  Dad is off to the opticians tomorrow as his glasses disintegrated over the weekend and Mum is going to the hospital to get her face checked out.  Fingers crossed all goes well.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Last Day...

So we have come to the end of our guests holiday and they are more than a little bit sad to be leaving.  They had to be at the airport mid-morning round about the time they have been rising to greet the day so today it was an alarm call and an early breakfast before they tackled the conundrum of getting their suitcase to weigh just 15 kilos!

Even though they had brought out some presents for us, including my absolute, absolute favourite large sized Asda Fruit and Nut chocolate bars and hadn't bought anything much to take back everything they had seemed to have relaxed and put on weight in the intervening few days and so the initial weigh-in was over 20 kilos which was cause for a re-pack.  Although the airport staff here at this end seem to be a little less rigid even they might have baulked at allowing an extra 5 kilos without charging.

Eventually, and just in time they managed to reorganise their case and their hand luggage until they were happy that they would conform to the restrictions.

We set off calling into Paps at the traffic lights so we could Abi to one last minute Cyprus specialty - a Chino!  They are probably available in the UK to be fair but she said she hadn't ever seen any.  This is a sort of coffee/caramel slush puppy and they are lush - probably horrendously calorific but just occasionally it is the only thing that hits the spot.

We often stop at the Paps bakery at the traffic lights on the Mesoghi Avenue after playing sport either for a Chino or an ice-cream and now they have doubled the size of the store and will be selling rotisserie chickens we will be calling in there even more often.

We got them to the airport without issue except for the guy at the traffic lights who didn't want to stop and could have ended up embedded in the side of the car but that was par for the course when travelling around Paphos!!! I went in with them to make sure that the flight was on time and as long as the luggage didn't pose a problem all would be good and they text to let us know that it was shortly afterwards.  We had decided to return to Droushia via Alpha Mega to get a few bits and pieces which is right up John's street as he likes grocery shopping although he was kicking himself on the way home that he forgot to pick up some of the chilli peanuts that he had when he goes around to the Bobsters.  Actually it is a nice supermarket to go to for a change and it stocks quite a lot of Tesco products (not that that really makes a huge difference to us) the fruit and veg was wonderful and we managed to get everything we wanted and a few more things besides.

So this last picture is me for the remainder of the day - checking my eyelids for pin-holes.  Having two 20 somethings staying has confirmed the fact that I am really getting old!!!

Because of the heat of the day (and the cats) we do tend to get up early and do things in the cooler hours then rest and miss out the heat and then do things again in the remaining cooler hours so a week of staying up way beyond midnight has taken its toll.  Fun but tiring!!!

We have mum and dad coming for lunch tomorrow, initially we had arranged to go to The Farmyard for lunch as it will be Father's Day but the wound on mum's face has become infected and she has needed to go to the hospital today to get it sorted.  I don't blame her not wanting to be seen in public until it looks a little better.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

It was Abi and Jordan's last full day and after a great deal of discussion last night they decided to forego the 'expensive' pleasure of a day at the water park for a trip on the Alkion Glass Bottom boat from Latchi to the Blue Lagoon.  The late night last night meant that they didn't make the morning sailing but set off when we set off for pickleball so they could grab a snack at the harbour before getting on the afternoon cruise.

We went to Emba for pickleball.  Mum didn't play today, her face has sort of erupted since her operation on Monday which is a shame as she looked so well on Tuesday.  Now she looks like she has gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson and come off worst - I did feel sorry for her as she looked so uncomfortable with 'pockets' of sort of bruising under her eyes.

John is having problems with his leg/knee/ankle so decided not to push his luck and played pickleball but not badminton.  He, Diana and I went back to Mum and Dads for a cuppa before returning home.



The kids got back having had a great time on the boat - they said the sea was beautiful and the sand under their feet and the clear blue water was stunning.  They had taken snorkels so got a chance to have a look at the fish around the rocks there.  Jordan said it was a much better decision than a day at the water park so that was good.


We had arranged to go to Finikas in the village for a meze tonight and had asked Di and Rob to join us and I had been in last week and arranged that there would be fish for Jordan (although I had to smile that they also did him Halloumi but it was served on a plate with the wine soaked meat local port sausages!  fortunately he is happy to just take what he wants from the plate even if it has been mixed up a bit.  We had to sneak out from the house SAS style so that Charlie did not follow us.  Just outside the estate we have BigFoot and LittleFoot - they are now practically the same size and both now tethered which is better for everyone as LittleFoot isn't running around loose.  At the moment they both look to be in really good condition but there will have been plenty of grazing for them.

We had a cuddle with Bella en route - she is such a sweet dog that it is a shame that she insists on chasing cars and as a result has a badly broken back leg which has set itself incorrectly.  Fortunately she did not follow us into the village and join us at Finikas but remained rolling in the dust outside Luscious Lynda's with Lynda's own dog Fernleigh watching.  No doubt Lynda will give Bella a little treat as she does try and make Bella's life a little better.

We walked down through the village chatting to various people that we met including the Australian couple who come for about 4 months each year to their old family home.  In fact the old man who lived there was still alive when we first moved into Villa 10b.

I was feeling a little nervous about our meal last night, friends of Wendy and Bill had apparently eaten a meze there last night on Wendy's recommendation.  The friends are staying at the Droushia Heights for a couple of days.  Sadly they said their meal was terrible as it was all frozen which I have to say I found very hard to believe as we normally see Philippos in Paps shopping for fresh food if they know they have diners coming in and the meze doesn't really contain dishes that could have been frozen but people have different tastes and expectations.  We have never been disappointed when we eat there but we know a lot of people in the village who don't go in there for whatever reason.


I need not have worried as our meal was fabulous.  Jordan had a whole sea bream to himself part way through the feast and the eggs and courgette, chips, ravioli and bulgar wheat were well up to standard.
  This evening we also had extras of stifado and kleftiko along with the halloumi and loukanika, pork kebabs and sheftalia.  I prefer Joanna's stifado but each family seems to have their own pet recipe and kleftiko is not my favourite anyway so I didn't have any but there was more than enough food to go round.  It was lovely to be joined by Rob and Di who engaged the youngsters in lots of chat!


We decided to mooch down to the Hotel for a nightcap unaware that there was some sort of party/disco taking place around the poolside - the atmosphere was fabulous and the music brilliant so we ended up staying a lot longer than we had intended.  It was the perfect impromptu end to their holiday.  Early up tomorrow as they have to be at the airport for 11.25am.  The week has flown by.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

remembering...

Today would have been Elena's birthday and it is incredible to think that six months have gone since her passing.  I shall go at some point today to have a little word with her - there is so much going on that she would have loved to have been aware of or involved in - I miss her as I know many, many people do - the village is not the same without her.  Rest in peace Elena-mou, gone but never forgotten.

John and Susan have returned unexpectedly to the UK because John's mother has only been given a short time to live - this has happened on a number of occasions and she has rallied but this time seems to be the time and inspite of John's ongoing eye issue (having been hit by a shuttlecock) he was determined to get back in time.  They left last night having been given the go-ahead by the eye hospital in Limassol.  This means that we have Millie Mou to look after.  Bless her she was there and waiting this morning looking a little disheveled as she has lost her magnificent winter coat.  We had some cuddles and I gave her a brush and I fed her and then I had to leave her.  I hate leaving her as although she lives most of the time outside she is used to having the company of Zak (dog) and John and Susan.

I had a text message yesterday from the main post office in Paphos saying that a package had arrived and asking me to go collect it together with the invoice, this is not good news because by asking for the invoice they are indicating they are expecting a payment of some sort.  The problem is that recently I have ordered a number of things from Amazon or Ebay and I don't know which invoice they will be requiring.  People ask me if there is anything I miss from the UK and to be fair there is very little because most things are available here although whether you want to pay the prices asked is a different matter.  In the past batteries were really really cheap over here and we used to bring batteries back with us but now they are expensive and recently I haven't been able to find any triple A rechargables so I had ordered some from China or Hong Kong or somewhere else in the Far East.

Anyway I decided to go to the Post Office to ask them to give me some more details about the package so I could find the relevant invoice.  The man at the Post Office who deals with payments is a miserable looking sod but I sat opposite him at Herby Caroline's wedding and he seems to recognise me which is a bonus.

I explained that I had received a text but hadn't brought an invoice because I didn't know which one to bring and they went out and found the package which turned out to be the batteries and then placed it and the paperwork in front of Mr Misery-Guts - great!

He asked me where my invoice was and I explained, he then asked me how much I had paid for said batteries and I said I couldn't really remember but was happy to go back and get the invoice and pick them up another day.  He looked at them unimpressed and declared that they 'looked cheap' so declared that they were free from any duty - RESULT.  Thank you Mr Misery-Guts!

We had a newbie at Pickleball today - it is daunting for someone to break into the 'circle of trust' particularly when you have no idea what Pickleball is all about - she will be ok I am sure as previously she was a badminton player.  I think we made her welcome and I spent a lot of time with her in the other room trying to improve her hand/eye coordination as did Mum and Di.  Time will tell but she said she enjoyed herself so that is good.

After pickleball Mum and I ran a few errands which included a trip to Lidl and a trip to try and find a flea comb for Fred which involved going to a petshop where I thought the parrot was stuffed (clearly not a Norwegian Blue of Monty Python fame) but which turned out to be very much alive and which scared the shit out of me when it decided to make my acquaintance from outside its cage.  Actually it was a magnificent bird - not sure I approve of it being kept in the petshop but it wasn't tethered and I guess could have made a bid for freedom if it had wanted to.

Anyway I managed to get a flea-comb for Fred who will get pampered to within an inch of his life - that is if he can be coaxed away from Dad's lap where he has become a permanent fixture.


We then went to Tala to see what they have done to the newly refurbished square.  If you didn't know what it looked like before then I am sure you would think this looks lovely but we felt it had just lost some of its rural charm.  The bars on the opposite side from Voukani have just been obliterated.  It wasn't somewhere that would make me want to go and have a drink which is a shame because I was hoping it would be another venue for Mum and Dad to go for a cuppa or a light lunch.


Voukani is still there and seems to be a very Brit orientated establishment, there is a small meze place to the left of it as you look at it and there is a Pafiakos charity shop to the right.  Hardly the stuff to make visitors flock but maybe that wasn't the idea...

My visitors had a day to themselves - they wanted a bit of culture and probably got plenty of it trying to negotiate their way out of Droushia via Inea where most of the roads seem to have been dug up and blocked off.  My hand written (not to scale map) on how to get to the Harbour via Peyia was stoically ignored as they turned left out of the estate instead of right.  No harm done they managed to find their way to the mosaics and also to the Mall where they have purchased a new inflatable for the pool.

This needed to be tested obviously although Jordan had a bit of trouble blowing it up until he adopted his trumpet playing lip and teeth formation and then it was all systems go.

It is great to see the pool being used even late into the evening when we normally have it tucked up and ready for bed with the cover on.  Tomorrow we are forecast storms which is a bit of a shame as we had a day at the beach at Pomos penciled in - we will go out anyway as the weather is likely to be better down on the coast anyway.  After that we will be heading to the airport to pick up John who returns from his week away.
It was to be a quiet day at home today followed by a little local sightseeing before our evening meal which was to be at Fitos tonight and which was, very kindly, paid for by Jordan and Abi.  It had been another late night last night by the time John was home and unpacked and unwound and got the drinks in!

We had had plenty of sun at the beach yesterday so our guests chose to relax around the pool and up on the sun terrace whilst I did some washing for them so they could return home with a suitcase of clean clothes.  We started by having our breakfast outside.  Fresh free-range eggs from Tanja in the village and my dozen turned out to be 15 which was a result.

John was relaxing in the shade, happy to be home and with Mr Boo happy that he was home too.  Chivers has taken umbrage at John's disappearance and has been conspicuous by his absence and now that it is hot takes himself off somewhere and resolutely refuses to come home to call - he is making John pay for going away.

Quiet days are good but we only seem to have quiet days when we have visitors so it is good that they make us take stock and enjoy our surroundings.  Yes we have jobs that need doing but we are experiencing a bit of a heat wave at the moment so during the day it is really a bit too hot to be working too much (take note Bobster!!!).

So this was our Thursday, in and out of the pool, a light lunch and nothing else too taxing.  John wanted to take Abi and Jordan to see a couple of local places of interest so we showered and changed ready for our evening meal and took ourselves off down the road to Kritou Terra so that we could show them the waterfalls.  The ride is beautiful even though things are now beginning to get very dry and dusty and the noise from the cicadas was deafening in places.  Kritou Terra is a very pretty traditional village with some lovely old houses and both Abi and Jordan like a bit of culture and nature so they were up for a bit of exploring.


We love the waterfalls and are amazed that we only discovered they were there last year - they have clearly been there for a long time!  We were lucky that no-one else was there at the same time and we spent ages trying to find the bullfrog that we could hear almost speaking to us and also saw crabs and some goldfish.  We stayed long enough for me to get bitten on my leg and my arm by the resident mosquitoes!


We then took them down to the church in the cave which is little bit spooky with its wax dolls and dolls heads.  This little place of worship has clearly been in use fairly recently as it was full of fresh flowers - I am guessing it was for Kataclysmos which was the other week.


We ate our evening meal at Fitos.  Fitos has broken his wrist - he blames Joanna - not sure if he was joking or not and there was some confusion between Joanna and Andri over the booking of our normal table, table 1, so we sat at a different table and had a different view!  The food was excellent.  Jordan tackled the swordfish (being a fish eater) and Abi tackled the village chicken (not being a fish eater) and John had a massive pork chop and I had the stifado.  We were treated to fridge cake tonight and Jordan insisted we took home what we couldn't eat has he had earmarked that for another occasion.

On our return they wanted to play UNO and we were up for that.  Apparently Jordan hates losing and he was absolutely clobbered to death every time a penalty card was played.  It didn't help that Abi was well into her second bottle of rose at this point so found it all highly amusing!


It was an unusually balmy evening in Droushia with no chill and no condensation so Abi was desperate for a midnight swim - the water actually felt like a bath and she cajoled poor Jordan into joining her.  John and I played the responsible adults because late nights, alcohol and swimming pools can be a dangerous combination.  No problems though and we eventually got the children to bed in the early hours - I am going to need to sleep for a week to get over the exuberance of youth!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Pomos

Although the early morning was a bit hazy and overcast the sun soon burned it off and so our plans for the day didn't have to change.  I woke Jordan and Abi with a cuppa so that we could get ourselves organised and off to Pomos for a bit of sun worshiping and snorkeling.

Our first stop was to feed Millie and for Abi to have a little bit of love with her.  Millie was there ready and waiting to be fed - this is good as I hate it when I go and she isn't there.

Next stop was to sample the ice-cream from the place where they make it in Prodromi.  This was a hit although I reckon the sugar-rush from the extra extra dark that Jordan had must have been massive - he said it was pure melted chocolate.  Anyway he didn't seem to have too much trouble completing his tub whilst Abi and I enjoyed our cones.  No Mandarin again today and, good job John wasn't with us, no pistachio!  This would have been a disaster.

We then made our way slowly along the coast to Pomos and parked down by the harbour.  Since we were there the other week they have started to build a permanent bar on the beach although this is nowhere near completed and they have put up brollies and sun-beds.  Big result was that we weren't charged for the beds - no-one came to ask for any money which was a bonus - I did (as a true resident) have my trusty deckchairs in the car but they are no good if you want to get your back tanned!!!


We were lucky that when we arrived there were only two other couples on the beach so it was lovely and quiet.  This was not the case as the day wore on when we were joined by an eclectic mix of tourists - some rather gobby Brummy family who had clearly seen too much sun previously but were intent on pushing through the pain barrier in the name of a good holiday (which is clearly measured by the depth of your tan even if you are a milky skinned redhead).  There was also a foreign family with four kids under the age of about six.  We couldn't make out anything that they were saying and wondered if they were possibly Middle Eastern although three out of the four kids were very fair.  We decided that they had kept on producing children until they had got a little girl!  The two middle children were left scampering over the rocks which are high, sharp and slippy and at any moment we were waiting for some sort of accident to happen.  Finally another English family arrived with fat-mum, tattooed Dad and three kids of vary ages and sizes who made a right old fuss about getting in the water and then declared it to be lovely.


Abi and Jordan snorkeled - this is normally a good place for snorkeling and today was no exception as they got to see all sorts of fish although sadly no turtles as it is too early in the season.  John and I were lucky enough to swim with a turtle here at Pomos.  How spooky that whilst I was sitting on the beach I got a call from Diana who had picked up some parcels for me, obviously I wasn't at home for them to drop them off but they were on their way to Pomos with their neighbours so we arranged for a handover there!!!


After a hard day's graft sun-worshiping we made our way up to the restaurant at Pomos so that Jordan could have some real fish.  He chose sea bream whilst Abi indulged in some chicken - they are both making the most of not having to accommodate one another with their meals!  I went for good old halloumi, egg and chips!

Although John's flight took off late it made up the time en route so by the time we had got back from Pomos and showered and changed it was time to make our way down to the airport.  Being Wednesday it was a busy time but eventually John made it through.  Another late night as we sat outside chatting - the sunshine had given me a bit of a headache so I retired to bed first - knowing I would be up first in the morning as the cats wouldn't take into account what time we went to bed.  It is a day at home tomorrow so time to catch up a bit on things like the blog and washing and a bit of ironing.