Pool Day, Our Gourd Lamps are Ready, and Dinner at Tervetuloa

We are heading into another few days of extra hot weather, peaking tomorrow and then cooling down again. We’ll stay close to the villa and perhaps have some beach days. That’s all you want to do when the weather is hot.

Next week is Kurban Bayram, one of the big holidays here. It starts on Monday evening and continues through the day on Friday. Kurban Bayram celebrates the sacrifice of Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son Ishmael or Isaac to God to show his devotion. Once he made his willingness plain, God sent a wandering ram his way and allowed that to be sacrificed instead. It is a big family occasion. Traditionally, the family will sacrifice an animal, generally a sheep, (or indeed buy a whole sheep) and they will gather together to feast on it. Some of the meat will be distributed to the poor in an act of charity. Banks, government buildings and some shops will be shut. Families will gather together to celebrate. In an ordinary year, Cyprus would see an influx of returning residents, coming back from Turkey or even the UK in order to be at home for it. It’s somewhat like Christmas in terms of a gathering with loved ones and feasting. One thing we’ve noticed about it is that ATMs will commonly run out of money during the holiday because no one is there to load the machines. We’ll make sure we get our necessary cash out in the next few days.

Tonight we had dinner at Tervetuloa Restaurant just about 6 minutes drive from the house. We’ve eaten there quite a few times this trip – such a lovely fresh menu and incredible value for money. We’ve been eating there since 2006 and our first trip to northern Cyprus. It is a small/medium sized family hotel and restaurant and the lovely owner, Afet, has made some excellent upgrades there over the past 2 years. The food quality and value has remained constant over the years and you literally feast for about £10 per head. The meze that surrounds the entree dish changes all the time and then there is a small dessert, coffee and brandy. Tonight Bob and I both went for the lamb chops and they did not disappoint – very large and tasty, well flavoured. As an addition to their service, Afet has been making gourd lamps to sell and to decorate the restaurant. We already have one and had 4 more on order. The gourds are growing in the restaurant and they are now covering the eating area – amazing growth in the last few weeks.

After dinner we sat with Afet, who had finished our 4 gourd hanging lanterns. They are absolutely exquisite. We couldn;t be more delighted. Incredibly detailed work and so beautiful. We won’t hang them this time as Bob needs to collect some electrical parts from the UK. The autumn will be too late because they really are for summertime on our dining terrace. They will withstand a rain shower, but not the frequent rain of January or February. So, we’ll hang them next spring when we come. We will fit them like theatrical lights, on a plug in grid over the terrace. I can’t wait to see them……. Anyway, she lit them up for us so we could admire the designs and we were thrilled. We will have 5 of them hanging from the terrace beams over the coffee table and the dining table and at the same time Bob will replace the rather utilitarian over-door lights out there with hanging Turkish lanterns like we have over the table beside the pool. It will all look very magical and much more atmospheric. We sat chatting to her and her mother and auntie. The whole family is over from Istanbul for Bayram. It was very nice…. very authentic and friendly. Very Cypriot. It’s lovely here.