As I finally find time to sit and write, only because I woke up so early and am enjoying the peace and quiet before everyone else wakes, I hope to be able to add to my blogging diary! This week has been so full on, yet truly inspiring for me, that there has been little free time, beyond later in the evening with a glass of wine… blogging lapsed from the first day! and now it is the last…
Our hosts, Martin and Panayiota are such lovely hosts. Martin is larger than life, so knowledgeable, about the local flora and fauna, birds, neolithic sites… you name it, he has knowledge, and he collects branded coffee cups, brightly coloured vintage clothes and zoomorphic branded roof tiles. Panayiota, whose name derives from the Greek epithet of Panagia or Panayia (“All-Holy”) for the Virgin Mary, and she is an absolute delight. Married to a Greek Scotsman, she lived in Glasgow for many years and has that keen sense of humour. She is also very talented in the traditional Lefkara lace, and seems to be related to so many people.
We started off the week with a tour of the village by Panayiota, who explained a lot of the idiosyncrasies of the architecture, that they are generally constructed around a courtyard to keep the house cool in the summer… with a big front door. Of the ones that we saw open, they look so inviting and a the perfect place for a party! And we visited a few smaller churches, to look at the icons, and where she told us about some of their traditions – such as when it is their child’s names saints day, they would bake a special bread and share it with the congregation after the service.
A couple of things that, at first, look a bit weird, but then with explanation, you understand, there were wax heads and bodies by the altars, and in one small church dedicated to a saint whose “thing” was eyes, there was a collection of silver eyes. All of these were offerings or tokens were for someone who was ill or needed divine intervention.
After lunch we headed to Martin’s house, which is his place of teaching as well as his home. With curios and items on every wall, it is quite a fascinating place… especially his collection of cups with cafe/coffee/logos on (more about that later). And we got going on the adobe brick making.
This involved stomping about in a pit of clay / soil / liquid / straw until all the bits of whatever were broken up until it became a sludge. This was then filled into the metal brick-making moulds (mostly by our hands), the mould pulled away and the bricks left to air dry. The moulds are made by tin-smiths in the Turkish side of Cyprus.
these are existing ovens in Martin’s garden