Hello, we were just passing!

October 4, 2009

When we bought this house we knew that , to some extent, we would be distancing ourselves from friends.  Living in Aradippou meant we were only a few minutes from the beach, from shopping in town, from the airport.  The new house is pretty much half way between Larnaca and Limassol so a minimum drive of 30 minutes to get anywhere, or to any one.

One of the risks of the move was that we could be isolated.  Well, if this week is anything to go by that won’t be a problem!

Having recently got back from England we’ve been knuckling down to getting the kitchen finished.  With that major project and some minor irritations (such as following up with Cyprus Airways regarding compensation for the luggage they choose to send to a different airport) and the usual household admin we’ve been kept quite busy.

On Tuesday this week we downed tools late afternoon, made a well-earned cup of tea and both settled down with a book. Not 10 minutes later we were surprised to hear the bell on the garden gate jingle as the heavy gate was pushed open.

Anyone home?

Came the shout, as a friend walked in, accompanied by a total stranger.  As coffee was made and the garden was explored they confessed that they’d been on a trip up to Agros and decided to drive back a cross-country route, via our village.  As they drove past the front gate they saw the car, realised we were probably at home and decided to stop and say hello.

So, we drank coffee and ate biscotti (bought for visitors because it never, ever goes off) … gave a summary of the progress since the last time the friend had been here … gave some background to the stranger on how we’d come across the house and what state it’d been in … gave a guided tour of downstairs … gave a guided tour of upstairs … and the garden … and the donkey track … drank more coffee and then waved them off on their way.

As they drove away we commented how nice it was that people were keen to see the house, and make such a detour to do so, but how we’d need to keep the place tidy if this was going to be a regular occurrence!

On Thursday, as we came to terms with the residual aches and pains of our Wednesday Pilates class, we were having a gentle morning.  The first cup of tea was still warm and cups #2 and #3 were a likely possibility before any serious work started.  Blame that Pilates class for the slow start.

Then the phone rang.

“Hello!  Are you up and about, only you said to drop by to see the house and we’re just up the hill.  Is it convenient?”

They had the good grace to say they were 15 minutes away, and then not turn up for a least twenty minutes which gave us time to dress, make beds and try and make us and the house vaguely presentable.

More coffee … more biscotti … more explanations and tours and donkey tracks … more discussions of rats … and cats and village life.  Then, an hour after they arrived they were on their way.  The beach was calling them and the house was calling us as we smiled wryly and pondered that old concern of isolation up here in the hills.

On Friday we’d just finished lunch when we heard the sound of tourists in the street outside, and then right outside the gate.  The gate had been left slightly open so there was just enough room to peak into the courtyard.  But, looking out through the study window we could see that this wasn’t enough for these folks; one of them pushed open the gate, walked into the garden to look around and then headed back out, pulling the gate to as she went.  In terms of cheeky behaviour it wasn’t the worst we’d ever seen but was fairly high up the list.

Curious to see who these people were we went down the garden and peered down the street to see a group of English people walking away from the house.  It quickly became clear that we knew two of the group of five.  The two had seen the house back in May, before we moved in, and they’d wanted to show friends the location but hadn’t been sure if we were in or wanted visitors, hence the cheeky look around the garden.

Having said hello to the group and been introduced to the three visitors it seemed churlish not to extend an invitation to look around.  Since the kitchen countertops were in pieces out in the garden we dispensed with the coffee but did the rest of the tour … the explanations … the Mad Alex stories … the kitchen design … the donkey track … upstairs and the views … the garden … the fruit trees etc etc etc.

Since they hadn’t been into the centre of the village we walked them down, via the donkey track, to the tiny church with the beautiful painted ceiling which holds just a single service a year.  And then we took them to the lace and silver shops and left them there to consider their purchases.

Meanwhile we walked back through the village to the house and restarted work on the countertops and discussed whether we need to increase the biscotti-buying in light of our unexpected visitors.

In Aradippou no one ever just dropped by, probably because navigating the village was such an issue; here, nine visitors, including four total strangers, in four days.  It must be something in the air, but it’s an unexpected benefit of being here.

Biscotti with your coffee?


One comment

  1. […] are a great fridge standy-by for when folks drop by unexpectedly … a little like biscotti Post-cooking Bruschetta with oven-dried tomatoes, smoked turkey & […]

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