October 22nd

Mehmet came round and did a big window cleaning job for us, including the last three of the shutters that we had not managed to do. Joan had been working hard on trying to do them from inside and I had been out with the long ladder at the front. Looks much better now that they are all back to white after the strong winds we have been having  bringing dessert sand in with it.

We had a quick pasta dinner at around 5 p.m. today as we had booked tickets for the Kyrenia Chamber Choir concert in Bellapais Abbey. This concert was raising money for the SOS Children’s Village in Lefkosa. The concert was in two parts, the first being a combination of Folk Songs and something more Modern and after a 20 minute break, where The Kybele Restaurant took advantage of setting up an impromptu bar, we were then treated to something a little more Classical. The concert was organised by George Ward, who is our church organist but also the choir master.

Some of the choir with George conducting up front.

Some of the choir with George conducting up front.

The choir were supported by a pianist from Lefkosa who had brought his leading, award winning student, Erol Emminoglou, to play for us and there was also Lynette Oruc, a mezzo soprano who sang two solos.  A wonderful evening especially good in the acoustic environment of the Abbey.

A standing ovation and justly deserved

A standing ovation and justly deserved

This is not the first time that we have been to these choral concerts and always very enjoyable. George announced a date for a Xmas Carol concert in December, where we all get a chance to join in. Must get tickets.

 

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October 21st

Joan and about 5/6 of the ladies are still doing aqua aerobics in the sea, me I have wimped out it is getting far too cold in there now and noticeably nobody is using their swimming pools now. During the day it can still be pleasantly warm but we have finally succumbed to putting a big wool blanket on top of the bed at night, it will be time for the feather and down duvet next month maybe.

The pair of us did decide to go down to The Cabin for something to eat this evening and we sat outside on the sea terrace area, but by the time we left at around 10 p.m. it was getting quite chilly, in fact we noticed that we were the last to leave that area. Notwithstanding that the food as always was very good and in a conversation with the boss we managed to find out that he was considering staying open until the end of November, unless of course there is a major change in the weather and a reduction in the number of tourists still coming to TRNC for a late break.

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October 19th

We were planning another meeting at the Catalkoy villa today, but that was cancelled late this morning, so we missed church. Nice excuse for a leisurely English breakfast for once which of course means no eating again until tonight. So I have a chance to read the weekend Cyprus Today and let you know the bits I find interesting.

Petrol prices went down by 5 kurus yesterday, (about 1.4 pence) per litre, but according to a former Finance Minister, not enough, the reduction should have been at least an additional 25 kurus. Critics say fuel prices should be slashed in line with the global fall in petroleum prices. The government are suggesting that there may be further cuts in the coming weeks. Oh yes, speaking of fuel prices, I had said I would put pics of my new car on the site, so here goes. At least we are getting greater economy from this car.

A Toyota Auris, all black so gets dirty quickly !

A Toyota Auris, all black so gets dirty quickly !

And the inside, also black.

And the inside, also black.

There is still a strong possibility of strike action by air traffic controllers over Christmas and New Year. This would of course be disastrous for hotels and the travel industry. Many parties are urging the government to take action and talk positively to the union in question. The union is saying that they will strike because of, long working hours, poor working conditions and the need to improve safety and hygiene  within the building.

Increasing levels of discontent are pointing to the possibility of another early general election. One day we will have a government that goes the full term and maybe has the courage to make some strong decisions, even if not always favoured by the people. Maybe we need a Maggie here as the many, many unions have too much power.

A big central page article asking the question “Where did it all go wrong”. This of course refers to the Cyprus peace process. Cyprus is at war. A propaganda war. Tensions are high following the Greek Cypriot withdrawal from the talks, the two sides are trading blows, leaving the future of the peace process in the balance. The Turkish Cypriots are demanding an immediate resumption of the talks and say that the latest action just proves the insincerity of the Greek Cypriots, whilst the Greek Cypriots are attempting to wheel out the big guns, by lobbying the EU to impose political and economic sanctions on Turkey and there are ecven demands for the South to close the border crossings with he TRNC. A never ending saga.

 

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October 18th

A quick trip to the Lambousa Market to collect our tickets for the RBL Poppy Ball which is a black tie affair on November 7th at The Savoy Hotel. Then after grabbing some lunch, sausage rolls bought at the market, we rushed over to Catalkoy to meet Omac’ at a property owned by the family. This lovely villa in about two acres of orchard grounds, has been rented out as a restaurant for a number of years. Unfortunately it has cost them a considerable sum to evict the restaurant despite non payment of rent. At the same time they have not maintained the property so it now requires a lot of money to restore.

A lovely Colonial Style villa ripe for restoration.

A lovely Colonial Style villa ripe for restoration.

 

The pool in the grounds.

The pool in the grounds.

 

Acres of fruit trees.

Acres of fruit trees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is such a shame that the restaurant people have done so much damage, even to building an extension that is now falling away from the building. Ostensibly the villa belongs to Omac’s father , but his idea is to control the restoration and then rent it out as a holiday let. Lets just say watch this space because it could be a lovely place to spend your holidays.

When we got back home it was to go and join everybody from this road, on Pat’s front terrace for drinks and nibbles. Well done Pat a nice idea and very enjoyable.

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October 17th

This evening the gang went to The Tamazan restaurant in Alsancak . It is some time since we went there but still enjoyable. We added two more to the gang this evening as Sally and Colin, our occasional neighbours from two villas further down the road, are over from UK at the moment. It is in fact 16 months since they last came over, they say because they had a business contract that needed completion.

At least they enjoyed the evening so maybe next time over we can include them again.

I have received a website comment from a Sylvie Corlett who read about us attending the new Pensions Regulations talk. She has offered this link for more info.http://www.savvywoman.co.uk/c7-pages/c7s5.php?art_id=1127 We are always grateful for added info on subjects. Thank you Sylvie.

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October 15th

At 10 o’clock this morning we set off to collect Barbara and her daughter Caron, to go to Larnaca Airport. Caron is going back to UK after 2 months here, to ostensibly “look after her mother”. According to Barbara it has been the other way around and she will be very happy to get her house back to herself.

We stopped off to do a little shopping on the way there as if you have to pay insurance etc to cross the border, you need to take advantage of the trip. We hit some real heavy rain on the way there and on one occasion saw a Nissan Micra aquaplane on the dual carriageway,  bounce across the central reservation, going through the hedges there, and coming to rest facing the opposite direction among the traffic on the other side. Either he or she, was very lucky that traffic was able to avoid them or there could have been a nasty head-on. I had only just said to Joan, “look at the speed some of these idiots are driving in this storm”.

Once we got closer to Larnaca, the sun came out and we were able to sit at the outside coffee bar before leaving Caron to wait for her boarding time. We heard later that she had been collected by her brother on the other side of her flight.

We had more heavy rain on the way back North, to such an extent that traffic was almost at a standstill on some occasions. This meant that we were very late back across the border, too late to collect Anne and David and take them to the BRS wine tasting event. We did all three of us manage to get there, part way through the opening talk on Pension changes, so were able to enjoy the onion bargees etc, provided by Kamares Restaurant and the wine from David at Wines of The World. Joan found a really nice Rose’ which she enjoyed so much that I was persuaded to buy her a 12 bottle case for only 117 TL. Calculated out at only £2.70 per bottle. A very pleasant evening after a very nasty drive.

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October 12th

” Cyprus Peace Talks in Crisis” the main headline in yesterday’s Cyprus Today newspaper. Not because of the footballer I mentioned earlier, although that just shows the general feeling of things and in my mind, one major reason why it will never work. If we merge the island together again, then both sides will be back where they were, pre 1974. This crisis is because the Greek Cypriot leader has announced that at a National Council Meeting, in the South, a “unanimous” decision was made to suspend the peace talks.  Why, well this is because Turkey has announced that it was reserving areas off the Southern Coast of Cyprus, to conduct seismic surveys from October 30 until December 30th.

The new man, put in to get the talks going further is saying that the situation is critical and he doesn’t know when, or if, the talks will resume. Mr Eide is saying that natural gas and oil could be a blessing or a curse. A blessing if a Federal Solution is found based on political equality and bizonality is reached,  if not a curse, as it would create more tension. Once again a major crisis created by two sides unable to accept that there are two peoples on this island and that both have rights which must be recognised.

A van, which had not been used for 6 years, was driven without insurance, road tax or MOT, last week and was involved in a fatal crash. Apparently this van “strayed” on to the opposite side of the road and collided with a school minibus, causing the death of a 69 year old man. How does something just stray on to the oppsite side of the road, if not a mechanical fault, then the use of a mobile phone springs to mind.

A new, radiation free scanner, has been installed at Kyrenia Medical Centre. The first in Cyprus allowing scan results to be made available within hours. A major advance here in TRNC.

There have been mixed reactions from Greek Cypriot businessmen about the use of bases in the South to launch airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq. British jets are flying out of the British base at Akrotiri and French warplanes have been given the green light to fly out of a Pathos airbase. There are fears that it could effect the tourism industry and there are fears that it might even make Cyprus an IS target, in return.

Away from the newspaper sensations, Joan and I were invited to join Roger and Gill at The Cabin to help them celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary. Last year they spent their 50th in Istanbul so this was a slightly less exciting event, but whatever, 51 years is one hell of a long time, makes our 34 look a bit small.

5! years. They are to be congratulated, lets hope they enjoy many more.

5! years. They are to be congratulated, lets hope they enjoy many more.

We had a slight dampening to the proceedings. The drinks waiter succeeded in pouring a whole pint of Efes lager all over the table and both Joan and I. We had to be mopped down and move table.

 

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October 9th.

Pick up the cats and settle them back home. Also Andrew came round as he had sent me an interesting article out of last weeks Cyprus Today. This story is about a Greek Cypriot professional footballer who signed for a TRNC, first division team. For this he has been branded a “traitor” in the South, in a campaign joined by various groups, newspapers and political parties. Apparently, hundreds of people marched to the poor guys house in protest at his transfer and police had to erect barricades to prevent people storming in. This is at a time when the politicians are saying that we could soon reach an agreement and live together as one Cypriot people. I can think of a few unprintable words that sum up the idea.

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October 8th

Travel back to TRNC day. We had done our best to get the boat cleaned up, probably so that Kitty and Arie can persuade somebody else to buy. The guys who inspected the boat to make it back into tip top condition, need close to 10k euros to do it. It is their opinion and I have to agree with them, that the boat needs sandblasting back to the bare metal and then a lot of work to get a really good finish. It is a great shame that it has been left just moored up, for so many years, as Co and Henny were not fit enough to enjoy it.

Joan and I decided that to spend that sort of money to bring it up to the high standard needed would mean that we would need to spend at least three months of every summer living on the boat, a lovely idea but don’t think it is sensible. Flight costs, 3 months cattery, mooring fees, insurance etc would all add up. I also discovered the slightly longer version of the same boat for sale, in fantastic condition, for only £14,500, see below.

This one has been beautifully restored, both inside and out.

This one has been beautifully restored, both inside and out.

We left Schipol almost on time, but lost lots of time at changeover in Istanbul. A good journey, but we did not get to bed before 2 a.m. We had both really enjoyed our visit back to Holland and will always find time to go back and visit, maybe we can hire a boat for a week and enjoy it that way.

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October 5th

Joan and I walked to the other end of the village this morning to visit our old neighbours, Jan and Lien. As always they were both pleased and surprised to see us. They were super neighbours in the days when we lived here but but now both are in their early eighties and clearly slowing down. after drinking their coffee and chatting for some time we went off to fulfill a promise to another Dutch friend, who lives here in TRNC. Trix Doelman, who recently lost her husband Hans to cancer, had asked us to visit her sister, who lives in Nieuwkoop and assure her that Trix is so very happy here that she will not, for the time being, be persuaded to return to Holland.

I think that the family thought she would immediately want to go back to Holland, but clearly they don’t understand that many of us really enjoy the lifestyle here and have no real wish to move back. Joan and I tried it by going to France, but then realised we were happiest here.

Today being Sunday, Kitty, Theo and family generally spend some time in a lakeside pub, called “The Praathuis”, for Joan and I it is only a 5 minute walk so we were happy to join them for a few beers and a burger and chips for dinner. Basic stuff, but saves cooking.

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