I seem to say it often around this time of year - so I hope it's not a sign of age. But I really don't know where the time goes. Tonight the clocks go back an hour in Cyprus (and indeed everywhere in Europe) signalling the Autumn season with darker evenings ahead. It's just this week that the temperatures have dropped below 30C at midday and it begins to feel as if Summer might finally have come to an end.
A Facebook friend commented that, looking at photos I uploaded recently, it seemed as if we'd done a lot of eating in the past couple of weeks. This is reflected in the selection of pictures below... but it's not all we've done. Still, even in the hotter weather of the first part of October, I did find myself doing a bit more preserving, partly using my new dehydrator, and partly taking advantage of very inexpensive fruit from a local fruit stall. With 13kg plums to use, I made my first ever plum jam:
I hadn't tried it before, under the impression that I wasn't very keen on it. But I don't eat jam anyway, other than on rare occasions... and it made a change from my usual apricot and strawberry. I was surprised to find that it was actually extremely good.
A few days later Richard celebrated his 55th birthday, which has seemed like something of a milestone. He said he'd like to eat out, so we went to a new Mexican restaurant we had seen, not far from where we live. It has the not-terribly-inspiring name of Nuevo Mexico... a menu much like that we had previously enjoyed at Aztekas, and a rather garish Ikea-inspired decor. The waitress was excellent, the presentation of the food superb.... let down by lack of hotness, both temperature-wise and spiciness-wise. The desserts, however, were unbelievably good. We ordered two to share, including an out-of-this-world chocolate fudge cake:
Richard's second 'birthday cake', complete with candles, was a pizza cake created by friends who we had dinner with a couple of days later. The base was a giant chocolate chip cookie, the taste amazing:
Then on Friday for our cell group I made a couple of chocolate fudge cakes, decorated with dehydrated peaches. It was pretty good too, but vanished rather quickly with 16 of us involved. I didn't think to take a photo until we were half way through the second one - it tasted rather better than it looks!
And so to this week... on Friday we celebrated, in a low-key kind of way, 15 years since we first arrived in Cyprus 'for a couple of years or so'. It was a little cooler, and some of the plants on our patio looked a bit tired so we popped to the local plant shop and picked up a few bedding plants to brighten it up a little. At last I've adjusted sufficiently to feel it 'right' that bedding plants go out in October rather than April or May. Richard wore jeans all day and a sweatshirt in the evening, although I haven't reached that stage yet. But I did agree that we needed to put the thin duvet on the bed last night - and was thankful that I did. Night-time temperatures are down to about 17C.
Given the number of extra calories I have consumed recently, including rather a lot of 'testing' of the dehydrator, it's as well that I've now got into the habit of walking, fairly briskly, at least 5km with my friend Sheila, three times a week. Just occasionally, there's a wonderful bonus as when we rounded a bend in the path and were greeted with this:
Words could not begin to describe it, and the photo is totally inadequate - all day, my mind kept repeating the words of the song: 'All heaven declares the glory of the risen Lord'.