Hot Day, Sofa Hunting and Biriani!

The wind from the snowy Turkish mountains disappeared today and the temperature ramped up accordingly. We were expecting the painter to start this morning so we’d cleared the two rooms largely but then ….. got a call at about 1045 to say he would have to start tomorrow instead!! Same the world over,eh???? Bit annoying but heyho. We did a few jobs – I put the dining chair cushions back around the poolside dining area, now that the painting of the loggia etc is done. Did some watering and I tried a Loquat to see if they were ready. It’s definitely a race against the birds. They’ve already eaten a couple of the ripest. Kind enough to leave the stones on the ground for me to see!!!! They are like plums…. a bit tarter but they’d be great in a pie, crumble or actually for pickle….. must try and salvage some this year. We have two fruiting trees so it ought to be possible.

Bob did a bit of mending of various things and he went down to the builders’ merchant(yapi) to get some stuff. We wanted to try a lower wattage light bulb in the wall lights to show off the gourds even more. The ones we put in yesterday were 20W white. He got a 15W yellow bulb.

After lunch we headed out to explore the furniture shops to the east of Kyrenia. We are looking for either 2 comfortable chairs or a 2 seater sofa for the dining terrace to be positioned in the middle between the sofa area and the dining area. I’ve long wanted more “lounging” out there, so we can admire the view from a number of positions. I had in mind a couple of “planter chairs”, you know, the wood and rattan type of reclining chair with long arms and feet up, that you see in India. However, no luck with anything like that. And although the terrace is covered by an awning woven between the beams, it still is exposed to weather, so the furniture needs to be appropriate. We saw a lot of hideous stuff, expensive stuff….. we did find 2 lovely antique chairs in an antique shop that we were very tempted by. But in the end we bought a 2 seater sofa in Genc in Karaoglanoglu. It’s an interesting design: a wooden frame with both ends being adjustable from flat to totally upright. So you can make it look anywhere between a conventional armed sofa, to a chaise longue, to a bed….. There is a futon like big cushion that goes across it and back cushions too. They will deliver on Monday. We bought it with brown cushions in the end because they were the ones that will tone best with our current red and ochre stripe cushions on the other furniture. However, everything will probably get re-upholstered over the next winter so we can mix and match better then….. Feel very pleased that we found something anyway.

Just after 8pm, Jami (Habibi) came up to the house with a big platter of chicken biriani for us and a container of home made raita. It is his speciality and he so kindly offered to cook for us. Well….. it was delicious – quite complex spicing, hot but not unpleasantly so… just tingling on the tongue. Not greasy like biriani can be but very moist. We feasted. Oh, and the raita was very nice too. Different to what we are used to in the UK and in Goa. Not as thick, and with a variety of vegetables, including chick peas, not just cucumber. We have plenty left over and it’ll be delicous with all sorts of things. I shall have to ask for the recipes.

We tried the yellow bulb and it was much better. The gourd lights showed up more sharply and the wall light gave out a more atmospheric light. We’ll get two more tomorrow.

A big pink moon over the mountains tonight.