Saturday, 21 January 2017


Today we had nothing planned although we were going out in the evening quite early to catch up with Peter and his son before they return to the UK.  As it was a lovely day I persuaded John to go down to the coast and get some fresh air.  We are so lucky that some of the most beautiful coastline is only about 15 minutes away from us and in the winter on a clear sunny day like today the sky and the sea is so blue - so much bluer than it appears in the summer.

We headed for Limni - a favourite spot which may change beyond recognition if they ever build the two golf courses that are scheduled to be built there along with some super-duper oh so expensive resort which may do more damage to the environment than any benefits there might be from the increased holidaymaker footfall. This is an area where the endangered turtles nest and this is a cause for concern because apparently, where they have done 'improvements' in Argaka (including two petrol stations and more street lighting), the turtles have been confused by the increased light at night and this has affected their nesting patterns.  Anyway there wasn't much sign of any development happening in Limni but it does look like the Polis go-carting track is now closed for business and the land up for sale.  We have never seen anyone using it so that won't be a great loss to the area but if just left to deteriorate because it is empty it will become more of an eyesore than it is already.

There was only one other car at Limni pier although no evidence of the occupants - hopefully they had not gone and flung themselves off into the choppy waters below!

We had a little walk but it was really quite windy there and the wind was chilly so we didn't stay too long preferring to move along the coast to an area of the beach we had visited this time last year and picked up quite a bit of drift wood.  We decided to investigate because having had such stormy weather recently there was likely to be some there for certain.  It was really lovely on the beach - the sun was warm and it was totally empty and we did find some driftwood which didn't actually seem to be overly wet.

It all helps when it comes to keeping us warm - the only trouble is that we are running out of space for storing any more but we put the good stuff in the back of Kenny - it will provide some good kindling once it has dried out.

The spring flowers have started to appear so the field where you approach the beach was covered in the local wild anemones in all different colours.  They look so cheerful and they make me feel cheerful and optimistic about the year ahead - I did not make resolutions - they are too easily broken - but I have made intentions and I have started quite well.

Warm days give way to cold nights - the driftwood may come in handy sooner than later!!!  Some of the plants in the garden are now showing the effects of dipping temperatures - the bougainvillea has begun to lose its leaves and the duranta's leaves have turned almost purple and will fall off soon.  On the plus side the wisteria seems to have nice little buds forming so it is not dead as does the new passion flower at the front gate so that is good news - fingers crossed that the next couple of months will be kind - the long term weather forecast for our area is pretty good - a few bits of rain but nothing prolonged and according to Accuweather my birthday in March should be a sunny day although there is plenty of time for that to change.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Another beautiful day...

Big apologies to Jane for the photograph above but today was so lovely I decided that I would not swathe myself in winter woolies and dig out my flipflops and my shorts - I think that if you think warm you feel warm and if you think cold you feel cold and to be fair until about 4.00pm when the sun disappeared over the top of the house next door I was fine and then after that it was like someone had pulled the plug out and it was cold!  Digging out my flipflops and shorts made me realise that I really really must go through all my clothes and get them down to a more manageable amount - we are so limited on space in our little home and half the time I can't find things or don't remember I even had them.  This is going to be my job for tomorrow and John will be so pleased as he despairs when I open the wardrobe door and have to pull everything out and then wedge everything back in.

I am on a roll at the moment with regard to spring cleaning - today I tackled the kitchen food cupboards which I can only do if I stand on the work surfaces as they reach right up to the ceiling.  John suggested I did a freezer inventory so to appease him and his OCD tendencies I did and now know exactly what I have got in there and then I moved onto the stock cupboards where there wasn't so much duplication and waste as I thought except when it came to honey - I seem to have been stockpiling and Branston Brown Sauce which I have to buy when I see it as it is the only brown sauce I like and you can only get it here sporadically.

There were a couple of random jars which could have graced a museum - I am sure that some things I actually brought with me when we moved and that is almost 6 years ago!!!

It is cathartic cleaning and tidying like this - the only trouble is I know that I will get lazy because I struggle to reach things and so don't put them back where John got them from and then the neat and tidy cupboards become messy.  John thinks I have body swapped with someone else but he isn't complaining.

Before going down to Polis to do our shopping we called in to see Bassam.  When Elena was poorly she kept on about the sink in the bathroom which was tenuously hanging from the wall - she was always worried it would fall on someone's feet if they weren't careful.  Bless Bassam he has tackled this issue - in fact his answer to the problem is to rip out the bathroom in its entirety and he is in the process of completely refurbishing it and even installing under floor heating.  He seems ok immersing himself in getting the house together for him and the children - time will tell but we call in regularly and we offer to do shopping for him when we are out and about and to be on hand if he needs us.

In Polis we called in to get an oil filter for Kenny and to treat him to an oil change.  We go to the spares place pretty often for one thing or another but I had never noticed the old, what appeared to be Morris Traveler, back door mounted on the outside wall.  John was pleasantly surprised with the cost of the oil change - the guy at Petrolina by Paps supermarket did it for us.  Another pleasant surprise was that all the fruit and veg in Paps was 30% off just for the day!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

A lovely day in January

As you will have read poor little Bobby has a poorly finger - joking aside it really is rather nasty and will take some time to repair which will drive Bobby nuts and as a result Diana even nuttier!!!  We decided to call in today to catch him before his big op and provide some moral support - visits to anything medical here is rather different to going to your local GP in the UK.  When Rob went yesterday he said the doctor seemed a little harassed and whilst Rob had some questions about the procedure he didn't get many satisfactory answers because, as the doctor pointed out, it was only a finger but it was Rob's finger and he is rather attached to it!!  We are sure all will go well and it will only be a matter of time before he is back fully functioning.  In the meantime I have my gynae gloves ready in case I am called on at any time to give him a hand!!

We sat outside for our coffee - it was absolutely glorious out the back of their bungalow in the sun and this weather is such a welcome change to the weeks of rain we have had.  I feel so sorry for Jane and John that they returned to the UK and the weather changed.  Still hopefully they will be back again this year when the weather is better.

I don't know if you can read the weather station but even with the outdoors transmitter located in the shade the temperature was creeping up and was over 20 degrees.   We have had a bit of a bumper few days with regard to our electric generation which is also good news as we certainly needed to rely on our banked kilowatt hours to see us through the coldest days before Christmas.  We are not being complacent though as generally the worst of our weather occurs in January and February.

We were able to eat our brunch outside - we had pickleball and badminton this afternoon so we never want to be running around on too full a stomach!  Good news was that Di felt able to return to pickleball after pulling something in her leg the other week - even better news we had a full house of six players today and I have managed to get five for Thursday so we should be able to cover the rent this month even with Jeff, Wendy and Bill all sailing the seven seas somewhere in the world.

I went down with Di to show her the way but waited for John to pick me up and take me home as I thought Di would want to get back to Bobby and she wont always want to stay the extra couple of hours after we finish playing so needs to familiarise herself with the route - in fact there are many ways to get to the place where we play and if we are driving we will change our route depending on whether or not we have shopping to do on the way down.

Pleased to report that Fred is doing well - his injury is more or less healed and as a result I think he will always have a bit of a lopsided face as he has a full shield on one side and not on the other.  He doesn't seem to be desperate to make a bid for freedom but drives Mum and Dad nuts because he constantly wants feeding - we know that feeling as Charlie is exactly the same and this morning I noticed that he got slightly wedged whilst trying to get through the catflap and it took rather more effort to haul his bulk through.  We are going to have to keep an eye on that because with the extra weight and the extra thick winter coat that he sports he is looking huge the only trouble is that he will eat anything and everything and will gladly mooch on up the road to Sharon and Sean's and hoover up anything that their animals might have left lying around.

Everything is springing to life and looking green and healthy - at least they are now that the flood waters in Mum and Dads front garden have subsided.  I hope the plants are not being lulled into a false sense of security with the current sunshine.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

busy day

It has been a busy day and we have been out this evening and are back much later than anticipated so will catch up tomorrow.   Big kisses to Bobby after his hospital visit today.   Hope that it gets rid of Timmy Mallet.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

No Art...

Monday and the start of a new week and the weather has got its act together and we woke to a bright and reasonably warm day.  As I threw back the windows I was greeted by a bloody great spider taking its breakfast in the sunshine.  Well it was either having its breakfast or it was wrapping it up for a snack later on in the day.

I did not have art today as Sheila had an appointment elsewhere so my picture has not progressed any further which in one way is a good thing because there isn't too much left to do and so I will need to find a new subject for the next one.  If I am going to keep this one then I want to find something which is similar so that they look good together so I may need to find some other glass flower vase to do.

We had so many plans for today as we were free all day until I went off to Belly Dancing for my first session in a long time.  Di would not be joining us today as Bobby has something called Timmy Mallet finger - which means that he can point round corners with ease!!  Sadly he has snapped the tendon on the index finger of his left hand and he is a leftie so this is pretty bad for him.  Initially he thought he had been bitten by something nasty like a scorpion as the knuckle was swollen and red and then it looked like a chilblain and then it took on the appearance of leprosy!!!  Anyway today it is being looked at with a view to it being splinted or pinned - neither of which sound very nice and we hope he will be better soon and not in too much pain.  Remembering how incapacitated Dad was when he had both his trigger thumbs sorted at the same time and realised he couldn't do up his flies I have offered to make sure Bobby doesn't encounter such difficulties.

I had hoped we might have taken off and gone to investigate the snow up on the Troodos - we haven't done this since Deb came to stay a couple of year's ago in February and there was still snow up there then.  I have seen some photographs of the snow up there - it looks spectacular and you can chart the progress on the webcam:  Troodos Webcam  but sadly we didn't get there so will just have to go sometime soon before the snow melts.
We didn't actually achieve very much at all today because the android TV box in the conservatory had died - it must be something to do with me as things keep failing.  We had done some research to get it up and running and then managed to 'brick' it which means in laymans' terms we completely killed it - eventually after hours of trying we managed to get it back up to a certain point but couldn't get everything working that we wanted - in a huff we gave up and decided to do some more research and tackle it again tomorrow.

I went off to belly dancing - bloody hell I could tell I hadn't been for a while and had over indulged over the festive period as I had things wobbling that I couldn't control!  We had to do some free styling and I hate trying to dance off-piste and there was no hiding as there was only Norma, Cara and I there.

Today we finished watching a four parter series called One of Us which started a bit slowly but picked up and we did get into it in the end.  We have watched some really good series recently so when we start something that doesn't grab our interest immediately we get rid.  We started to watch Delicious which stars Dawn French and Iain Glenn - I like them both but after 20 minutes John and I were both bored to tears so it got a draft chit and we are still looking.

Monday, 16 January 2017

packing Christmas away

Things are slowly returning to normal after Christmas and the New Year and particularly now that Jane and John have returned to the UK.

The decorations were put away some time ago but the poor Christmas Wreath got a right battering in all the rain and was in need of some TLC or replacing altogether but we have had it for a long time and I was sure that with a bit of imagination, some baubles and my glue gun that I could restore it to its former glory and I am going to try and be good this year about spending money unnecessarily.  The pound is being battered at the moment and the exchange rate is terrible so if we had to bring money over we wouldn't be getting much for our bucks compared to before the bloody referendum - we just wish we knew exactly how Brexit will affect us - but I guess that isn't going to be clear for quite some time.  So back to the wreath it was repair and not replace and it actually cost me less than 2 euros to do so and a similar sized new one in Jumbos would have been at least 5 euros!

Whilst I was in crafting mode I got down to making a birthday card or at least start to make a birthday card for my hairdresser as her 50th birthday is later this month and I want to pop in a card because she is lovely and always has a very positive attitude to life even when she gets faced with problem after problem.  I stumbled across her as a result of a daily deal about 4 years ago and we have been together ever since.

It is a year of special birthdays with Kate, Lumi, Liselotte, John and my John all reaching milestones this year and as I have a load of card-making stuff at home I intend to try and make all my cards this year rather than buy them - I need the space and although it is quite easy to find reasonably priced greetings cards in Cyprus now it will save a few pennies and be more personal and John will be more than happy for me to get my craft stuff down to a more manageable amount!!!

It is also on my list to declutter a little - the only trouble is that John and I can never agree on what we should keep and what we should get rid of and subsequently we end up keeping everything!

We had a text message from the shop where we bought our anniversary plaques for the garden to say that they were closing down.  This is a shame as the stone ornaments they sold were really nice and reasonable.  As a result of closing down they are taking 40% off of the remaining stock and although we didn't really want anything we went to have a look and found a nice small plaque which we will put up in the garden.

I am so glad that I managed to get out and give the garden a bit of a tidy as the last few days of sunshine have got everything growing especially the weeds - I shall go out later this week and tackle them when they are a little bigger and easier to pull up.

If we manage to avoid the really cold snaps that we have had in previous years then we will be unlikely to lose anything - I have protected the pretty hibiscus which is by the guest bedroom door and so far it is looking ok.  We haven't had the conditions which mean that the solanums and the bougainvillea lose their leaves but February often has a sting in its tail fingers crossed that history will not repeat itself.

The last few days of sunshine have really boosted our electricity production.  We had a terrible end to the year and January wasn't looking so good but if we have good weather for the remainder of the month we will back on track.

The sunnier days mean that we have clearer skies at night and with that dipping temperatures.  I am in love with my hot water bottle and even more so since I knitted mine and John's a jumper which means that they cannot scald our feet when they have been filled.  I am amazed that they remain warm right through the night and I have used the water in them to wash up before now!!!

Last time I was in Jumbos I managed to get some more wool and so when I am sitting watching TV I can crochet yet another blanket - my crochet skills are limited so I can make anything as long as it is square!!!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

when the sun shines...

When the sun shines there is no better place to be than here in our little corner of Droushia with a view of the coast and a view of the mountains.  When it rains it is grim, grim and cold and people just don't appreciate how cold it feels here in the Winter - it may be relative but single figures is cold no matter where you are in the world!

Today we had a lovely start to the day - a start that fills you with energy and enthusiasm.  Washing done and on the line and no worries about whether or not it will dry.  It is January and January can be wet and uninviting but so far so good.  It feels good to have been able to get out in the garden and tidy up, it feels good that it looks like we have survived the worst that the winter can thrown at us so far and survived relatively unscathed in fact it just feels good full stop.  I have decided that I am the mistress of my own destination and so if I approach the forthcoming year with a positive mental attitude then hopefully my experiences will be positive ones.

The current weather conditions lead to some amazing skies, today was no exception - look as the big clouds disappearing over the mountains towards Lyssos.  The full moon last night was exceptional - I would say it was the largest and brightest I have ever seen and it followed one of the most impressive sunsets I have seen on the island.

There is snow on them there hills.  I am hoping to persuade John to go up and see it although he will say to me that if I climb up onto the roof terrace I can see it any time I like!!!

Although there is snow on the Troodos the lower mountain ranges have had no snow this year unlike in previous years so although it has been a wet and miserable winter there has been less snow and less snow means that the reservoirs may not get filled as the snow melts.

We should not be complacent as historically January and February are the worst months of the year and so we may well have more wintery weather to come.

Some of our friends are away on a Caribbean cruise at the moment, hoping to find some winter sunshine whilst escaping the rain here, no such luck it would seem as they sent us a photograph of a very very wet Aruba and they have experienced some exceptionally choppy seas - thank goodness that Colombia was nice - John really like Columbia when he was there about 7 year ago.

I ordered a new hoover/dust buster this week - treating myself as I find it nigh on impossible to keep on top of the rubbish which appears on the conservatory floor - I ordered it from Amazon on Wednesday and it was delivered to Droushia on Friday - can't say fairer than that!!! It would have been delivered to our door except for the fact that we were in Paphos when the driver rang so we arranged for it to be dropped off at the Droushia Heights Hotel.

We charged it overnight so that I could give it its inaugural outing this morning - woo hoo as someone who doesn't rate hoovering this makes it so easy - in fact so easy that I am thinking about selling my full sized hoover and making space.  This little beaut has a whole host of features but best of all it seems to deal with cat fur in a way that my other one did not and that is the most important thing in the world when you live with Chivers, Minnie, Charlie and Boris!!!

Along with my positive mental attitude resolution I am also trying to have a little declutter resolution and get rid of things which we really dont want, use or need.  This isn't easy as I am by nature a bit of a hoarder and even less easy when John and I cannot agree on what we should or should not keep.

I have one of the Jumbo mega bags to hand at all times and when I come across something I am putting it in and will give it to Mum to get rid of at the charity shop she works in which is located in Kissonerga and called What's New Pussycat as it supports the massive cat rescue centre at Tala Monastery.

I have made a start - I am going through drawers one at a time and being ruthless -ish!!!  unfortunately we may well just replace with new stuff!!!

This evening we came to the end of a series we have been watching - possibly the most realistically violent series we have watched called Love/Hate - we had saved the very last episode for this evening and weren't disappointed - filmed in southern Ireland I now feel fully fluent in Irish Gypsy-speak - I spent the last few weeks asking John if he understood what was being said!!!!  Not one to watch if you are in the slightest squeamish!!