And Summer is here…. Clearing Out the Man Cave!!

Absolute blinder of a summer’s day today! 28C and bright blue, cloudless sky. As per normal, we were working but we still enjoyed the feeling of warmth. Must get the watering system mended tomorrow as it will only get hotter from here on in….

Our first task was a long needed sort out of the “man cave” ie the big store room built under our swimming pool. It still contains all sorts of items left behind by the previous owners when we purchased from them in 2006, things we brought out from the UK in 2012 when we moved to Kent, things we’ve acquired along the way….. A LOT of stuff.

We had a good first go through and put a lot of items to the end of our drive in a local custom I call “giving them to the road”. Piling items there is a signal to passing traffic that the items can be taken away – help yourself for free. I must confess to absolutely loving this custom. You’ll hear a car or truck coming up or down the hill, then the screech to a halt, then the noise of shuffling items and then the car roars off. Our neighbours once saw a woman running down the hill with a fridge they’d put out to the road, quite unable to believe her luck. Our old junk — went really quickly. Even tins of old paint. There’s only a few old paintcloths, a pair of holey men’ trainers and a couple of other things left now. We have got some sellable items we’ll take to the charity shops but I love this re-cycle thing. And it is overwhelmingly Turkish Cypriot people who are taking them which is good because they’re having a tough time now due to the fall in the Lira. It’s great for holidaymakers, everything is so cheap, but not if you’re being paid in it .

Bob can go through again over the next few days to fine tune his cave items but at least we can move around in there now.

After finishing down there, I washed up our outdoor garden cushions and deployed them around the bench seat and dining benches in the under-trees dining area. It’s nice down there when the sun is so hot on the pool terrace and gardens.

I also returned to my chutney from yesterday and turned all of yesterday’s batch into chutney which I have to say is really really nice. More useful to me than the jam to be honest as I don’t have a sweet tooth. I have a picture below. I know…. Pictures of jars of chutney invariably look like pictures of jars of ….. trust me that it tastes really good, better than it looks….

I turned the second load of loquats into jam today and this was successful. I put 45% by weight sugar in and it reached a set. It was awfully sweet to my taste so I squeezed two lemons in and also let the halved squeezed lemons sit in it for the last part of cooking up. Gave it a bit of a tang. It’s been a great use of the loquats and I will do it again another year. I’m leaving some of each here for guests to try if they want.

Found a large wicker basket down in the cave, so I have washed it and dried it and will probably deploy it as a planter somewhere. Quite exciting having a turn out, you’ve forgotten half the stuff that’s in there, if you ever knew it was there in the first place.

Tonight we ate out by the pool – so lovely to be doing this for the first time this year. The views in every direction were just lovely. It’s so green this time of year – that fades as the summer goes on and the flowers are beautiful. I have the most enormous geraniums – well, in truth, I think they are more correctly pelagoniums…. anyway they are like great shrub bushes – nearly as tall as me, wider for sure. Just this brilliant blast of hot pink that blows me away every time when i think back to the pot plants they are in the UK.

I dipped a toe in the pool today. It was surprisingly warm. I would definitely have gone in today if I hadn’t been working. Hoping I will get some days to enjoy it soon. Anyway, tonight I made white fish on a bed of Mexican spiced and veg’d organic black beans. Yep…. it was spicey….. perhaps the pool would have been a good idea!!!!!

Absolutely gorgeous out there tonight. We are so lucky to own this little piece of paradise. It is so serene, such beautiful views in every direction. The moon was coming up over the western mountains, the sun was setting to the east……