Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Village Living

The initial revelation that we have a house in Cyprus is generally greeted by ill disguised envy...but below is the cold hard truth, it IS a house, but not one you can float around wearing Haviana's sipping cocktails on the veranda. No, it's a Gulag, barely watertight and in need of a huge cash injection to make it livable.
He has 8 years, and you may not know it, but you are looking at well over £1000 of renovation already...Look very hard and you will see a new water tank, new hot water cells and two previous water tanks now rehoused.
Behind you out of vision is another £2000 pounds worth of water renovation, including a restored well and THE BIGGEST water depot for miles. The water from it is used to irrigate the garden, what you see here is to collect the (if we are lucky) daily delivery of water. There is no mains water in the village, the water it is controlled by a man in a village who opens a valve allowing it to be trickled into the tanks. Most tanks are stored on the roof but as Emin was an infrequent visitor he failed to see his had rusted and so the tank exploded depositing hundreds of gallons of rusty water into the house, the roof too leaks and so the next time you see a photograph it will have a pitched roof costing...£8000.

That is the price of Island living!

After the roof will come windows, we are angle grinding the walls to create more French windows, then a re-render of the external walls and a paint job before finally renovating the inside.
All the while this goes on Emin is fixing up the garden.

He is currently digging a trench to create a dry area around the house which should reduce the dust blown in and create a gravel garden.

No, I am not helping, I decided to have a rest.

As did he ....seen here chatting to his neighbour.

The original Venetian houses in the village looked like this, they have been allowed to decay and are often turned into hay storage, this beautiful structure is just before his aunts house, she owns this bread oven.

which bakes THE best bread on the island, she looks after her grand children during the week and returns to her house at the weekend. Every house has one of these ovens and I guess at some point I may have to learn to use one!!

Hi Jinks with the Leyla monster.

This is how most of the villagers shop, everything comes via a van although there is a shop in the next village many of the older villagers only have a tractor and are now too old to drive them.

We can't leave any food in the house after a visit because of that heady mix of cockroach and ants. This means we buy and use what we need giving us very limited options, toast and honey with salad and olives for breakfast.
For dinner I developed a tuna pasta dish by frying two onions until very soft, adding tuns and sweetcorn and heating through with the onion. I would boil a pan of spaghetti before stirring the mixture in. Then grate an entire Helim cheese and mix together with three heaped tablespoons of dried mint, serve up the pasta with two heaped table spoons of yogurt and then sprinkle the mint and cheese mixture on top. It was surprisingly delicious, and ticked Leyla's many fussy boxes.
Next time I visit I am taking a box of stock cubes though!

Every where you go there are fruit trees, I was surprised at just how many pomegranates had been left to rot. But the joy of picking lemons will never cease for me.

The almond blossom was just coming out, you could hear a tree before you saw it as it would be alive with honey bees,

Just a few wild flowers the narcissus were at an end and it was too early for the tulips but after the rain the fields were full of this yellow flower.


materfamilias said...

It does look as though you (well, Emin, I guess) have your work cut out for you, but what a magical place. Pomegranates, lemon trees, outdoor clay bread ovens. . . not to mention all that wonderful sunshine, sigh . . .

indigo16 said...

Oh yes, the sunshine really nails it for me too.

Badaude said...

Lovely to see the place you described to me last weekend. You have to read Honey from a Weed by Patience Gray: the oven looks just like those she describes in Greece.