Sunday, July 02, 2006
It was a great day! Galatia came and picked me up at 10:30 am and I was in the centre of Lefkara by 11:30 am, it's really not far from Nicosia, although it's just a different world.

First I went to the museum, to get there you just go along Leonardo Da Vinci street, then Museum street - note that, while the street signs are bilingual in Cyprus, the English translation is often fairly creative:

You want to see some of the street names in Nicosia, we have Tzon Kennenty (he was the brother of Rompert, you know), Lount Tzortz (this is Lloyd George) and Tzortz Vyron (George Byron) amongst others. The French names seem to come off worst, I can't remember how Honore De Balzac goes, but it's horrific.

The Museum is an old restored house, the Patsalos mansion, built around a courtyard. There is no photography allowed, and you have to put your handbag in a locker before you go in, but I did take this picture of the courtyard from outside:

The Lefkaritika embroideries are upstairs in the main house, and there are some very old and beautiful ones, enormous bedspreads and hangings. It is not a big museum, and, apart from theLefkaritika, there are two or three furnished rooms, those are lovely, and some displays about the history of Lefkara. It is so interesting, embroidery made Lefkara into probably the most developed and prosperous village of Cyprus - even in the early 20th century, there were doctors, schools and cultural associations.

The museum doesn't have any postcards of the embroideries, but they do sell the book about Lefkaritika by Androulla Hadjiyasemmi (I think that's her name), both in English and in Greek. It's the only one and fortunately it is very good, it has pictures of all the embroideries there, and a lot of how to diagrams.

From the museum I walked downhill to the main area where the shops and restaurants are, there are some lovely little lanes to wander through:

There are about three streets of shops, this is a typical shop:

Note the signs on this one are in Russian and German as well as English. The chair out the front is for the lady who will sit there embroidering and calling out to the customers to come in. They all speak perfect English, and a lot of them not bad German as well - which I found out yesterday, as they all assumed a plump blonde lady with pale skin would be German. I'm always getting mistaken for German, even in Germany, but honestly Mummy's family came from Germany to Denmark in the 18th century, so you would have thought the German genes were somewhat diluted by now.

Of course I got the full treatment, they will do anything to get you inside and buying! I could have had dozens of cold drinks and so on. I was quite fair and said I was there only to look, not to buy, I had bought before, but still I got the whole sales pitch! Most of the shops have only a selection of handmade lefkaritika, there is a lot of machine stuff and a lot of that stuff that comes from the Far East and makes me sad about how much people get paid. I think the best shop is the one that has the "DMC Handcraft Centre" sign outside, she has only handmade lefkaritika and none of the other stuff. It is not cheap, but, as one lady told me, it takes two weeks to make the centre for a wooden tray. A long table runner will be anything from £40 to £100, depending upon the design. You could get a small piece in a not too complex design for £20, and, for the really poor, there are coasters with a single daisy, I think they were £2 or £3.

I had lunch at a coffee shop called Adamos, it wasn't bad, but I think I would recommend the Lefkara Pavilion (think that's the name), the restaurant with a terrace opposite the school in the main embroidery street, for anyone who plans to go there.

Village life is quite amazing, I heard loud shouts of "karpouzi, karpouzi", and thought, I know that word, it's watermelon, then lo and behold, this truck arrived:

It was a man and his wife, who came to sell watermelons, all the little old ladies who were sitting outside on their chairs bought one. He weighed them in a plastic rubbish bin, with a sliding weight:
It's not the best picture, but I think you can just see the bin and how he is holding the weight. Then his wife would take the watermelon into the house for the old lady, they were weighing about 14 kilos each, I could hear this.

The other interesting thing that happened there was I heard the police siren and along comes the police car, followed by a wedding procession on the way to the church. The first time it was the bridegroom, and then 15 minutes later, it was the bride. I don't know if this is the custom in villages, I must ask the locals tomorrow......... Galatia arrived to take me home at the same time as the bride and her police escort, so I didn't get to go down to the church again and photograph the arrival, that would have been fun.

I got home about six, and of course had to have a little sleep. But I got up later, and, while I was watching "Bridges of Madison County" (for the second time and I liked it more this time), I finished the 2006 Collectors Heart:

Today I didn't get up until 10, since the film finished at nearly 2am, and I've just been to get newspapers and have something to eat. The temperature down the road was 38.9 at 11am, so it will only get hotter. The forecast was for 37, but you can count on it being a lot hotter than that, I usually think it is about five degrees hotter. In fact, here they don't even pretend the weather forecasts are accurate, and they only do the next day, nothing beyond that, I find this refreshingly honest.

This week I don't know how much time I will have for stitching or anything else apart from work, it could be even worse than the last two weeks.... Marlon's training course begins on Monday, and I also have a helper coming for a week, a guy who used to work for the company and has just rejoined. He's going to do some of my outstanding testing. He is also going to the Russia project, so he will have a nice little foretaste of D's management style. It will also be interesting to get his views on how well D speaks Russian. He told us he was fluent and spoke it like a native, but then, as BB from London pointed out to me, he probably thinks he speaks English fluently as well. Sometimes BB says things that Big Boss should not say to the staff, but I guess he has reason to know that I am as closed as an oyster when it comes to repeating that sort of thing within the company.

Nicky will be back tomorrow, thank goodness, I am looking forward to seeing him again....... I hope things will go OK between him and Leo, I couldn't stand it if they don't. I have really missed Nicky this week. I like David and Alec, of course, but Nicky is special, I really wish I had met him years ago.
posted by Ally at 12:06 pm ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 5:05 pm, Blogger AnneS

    What exquisite photos of Lefkara - I adore the one of the front of the Museum, just wonderful :D Have to say, going from what you've written over time, I soooo wish you and Nicky would hook up ... :D

  • At 2:04 am, Blogger Heather

    I've never been to Cyprus, but this place looks wonderful.