July 27th

Hot, hot, hot and we have new guests in the Omac villa this evening so we needed to make sure everything was ready, arrival time supposed to be 2055 in Ercan, then collect the hire car and meet up with us at the end of the by-pass. Unfortunately the flight was 45 minutes late so that meant a late night all round.

We got them settled in around midnight, then came back home and finished the bottle of wine we had started at dinner. Well you need to have something to wash the night pills down with. Lets hope they are happy in there for the next two weeks.

Oh yes, there is yesterday’s newspaper to deal with:-

“AGA BUYERS TO RECEIVE THEIR HOMES”.   The lead paragraph says that a planned amendment to the TRNC’s citizenship regulations is set to provide a historic solution to one of the country’s thorniest property problems. Some 10 years ago, an English  guy named Gary Robb operated a developers business here and for some unknown reason was given citizenship. Must have been in the days when the government stationers still had a stock of brown envelopes. Buyers in the Amaranta Development lost hundreds of thousands of pounds and then Gary Robb was sent back to UK where he is doing time for drug related crimes. He was then stripped of his citizenship and it is this which is now allowing the current government to act. Unfortunately the homes were never actually built bot the original buyers may be able to salvage something out of the mess. Only time will tell.

The country’s first ever “Heist” took place this last week. Gunmen seized 3 million TL by ambushing a hire car being used to take the money from the Cooperative Central Bank to a branch in Guzelyurt. The bank is saying that the money is insured but they are conducted an investigation as to whether proper procedures were adhered to. Should there have been a police escort for example.

What news of the talks re integration between the North and the South. Not much I think as the Greek Cypriot leader stormed out of the meeting this last week. Apparently proposals by both sides were read out at the meeting, 17 by the GC side and 15 by the TC side. At a point where 7 of the proposals were to be agreed the GC leader said that things favoured the TC side too much and he stormed out. I think I said a couple of weeks ago, that the talks were dead in the water so maybe that was right. 60 years and still they talk and try to put blame on each other.



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July 25th

This evening Joan and I decided to go, on our own, to The Cabin restaurant. We made this decision after going there for Aqua Aerobics this morning. We had a lovely evening sitting down by the sea, enjoying a nice bottle of rose’ and some lovely food. The contrast between this place and the Silver Rocks is really noticeable. Attentive service without being over the top and this evening a guy playing sax, who was really good and not overly loud. Great evening and as he is booked for every Friday during the season, we shall be back. Slightly more expensive but then we did have a bottle of wine instead of a pint of John Smiths and a Vodka Tonic.

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July 23rd

Collected the new cat as mate for Smudge. He is an almost 2 year old neutered male and his owner needed to go back to UK because her husband needed major heart surgery.  Name Bono and seeks company all the time, probably because he has been left outside for last three months and just fed in the evening by a friendly neighbour.

Seems to have stolen Smudge's mouse.

Seems to have stolen Smudge’s mouse.

No doubt given time he will settle down and stop spitting and swearing at Smudge. At the moment of course he is confined to barracks for the next couple of weeks, with the occasional adventure out on a full harness.

Bet you can't see me here.

Bet you can’t see me here.

This evening Joan and I went to Silver Rocks for dinner, nice meal as always, but service there is becoming cr** since the ex-head waiter from The Lodge arrived and I recall telling the owner of The Lodge last year, that the guy was a waste of space. We waited over 30 minutes for a coffee so in the end just walked out and paid at the bar.

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July 22nd

Good news day, I think. Staysure Insurance have turned their decision and agreed that Cyprus is Cyprus and there should be no division between the North and the South for travel insurance. I had already asked them to refund our premium as I had obtained a quote from Bengo, which included USA. It surprised me to see that the premium was only £328.00 for annual cover against a new quote from Staysure of £1,055, for the two of us to include USA. Obviously the amount paid out against claims is much lower from Bengo, but at 76 years old does it matter.

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July 20th

Peace and Freedom Day. Eight of us had pre-booked to go on the boat with Kantan and Tanya, when we got there at 10 a.m. there were another eight, Turkish Cypriots, who wanted to go out for the day but unlike us they did not want to stay on board for the evening flypast that is always the climax of the day. There had been parades, speeches and all the standard things that make up these special days, but we were very happy with the day’s sailing, swimming and lovely lunch served up.

In the late afternoon we came back to the harbour and collected another 10 of our friends and about 12 TRNC residents, then sailed out to just off the shore of The Dome Hotel just to watch the flypast from the very best place.

At 6 p.m. an F16 came over at very high speed and proceeded to give us an incredible display that showed off it’s ability and more than anything, the skill of the pilot.

A slower pass this time with wheels down.

A slower pass this time with wheels down.

It was very difficult to get pics when he was travelling at such high speed and also it was blxxxy noisy.

You can see the vapour trails forming over his wings.

You can see the vapour trails forming over his wings.

Sometimes we felt as if he was trying to thread himself through the rigging on the boat.

Yet another high speed pass and many times he was dropping fares for us as part of the entertainmeant

Yet another high speed pass and many times he was dropping flares for us as part of the entertainment

This was followed by a display by the Turkish equivalent of our Red Arrows, It seemed tame after the guy in the F16 but still a very nice performance.

A nice display, right over the boat.

A nice display, right over the boat.

I think these guys must have considered themselves a little out done by the earlier high speed guy.

This guy also wanted to come in lower.

This guy also wanted to come in lower.

All in all a lovely day out and we all felt it was worth every penny, but our new Chaplain wanted to renegotiate the wine as she felt that 50TL was too expensive. When you consider the audience these boat owners have and the fixed costs., I don’t consider £14.00 too much, but she paid up in the end. what she needs to do is go out on one of the other boats were they will charge her 75 TL for a bottle of Angora.



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July 19th

Lots in today’s newspaper about tomorrows 40 year anniversary of the intervention by the Turkish Army. We have booked a full day boat trip which will allow us to stay out on the water and watch the flypast.

At the same time as people are talking about the intervention the Foreign Minister is quoted as saying that the Peace Talks have collapsed completely. He said that there was no discipline at the negotiating table and the process had dissolved into mutual recriminations that were going to be almost impossible to overcome. At the same time Chambers of Commerce on both sides of the green zone are paving the way for peace by fostering dialogue and cooperation between the two business communities. Mr Fikri Toros, who heads the chamber on this side, said  the a stable future could not be left to the politicians alone to attain. Maybe this is a better solution than I have heard so far and Mr Toros has the makings of a brilliant idea, but a long term solution.

Whilst all this is going on I have to comment on and article by Colonel John Hughes-Wilson, that very clearly explains why the island is in this mess and where the fault lies, despite all the propaganda to the contrary. This is a very large article and if anybody really wants to read it I will endeavour to Scan it in over two pages and send it. E-mail me on info@frankandjoan.com.



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July 18th

Have since heard that Staysure have agreed to honour existing policies, but effective 18th July will not issue any further policies for Travel. Apparently it is the under writing department that is saying that it has nothing to do with passport holders but is dependant on where you live. EU or Non-EU residency.

This presents us with a huge problem as it rather prohibits travel to many countries or we have to be prepared to take a huge risk.

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July 17th

Oh dear a big snag has appeared for all us ex-pats here. Many of us have been using Staysure Insurance for annual travel insurance, in our case for the last three years and others we know have just renewed and also have at some stage been paid out for claims.

I called yesterday, knowing that our current policy is due to expire just 1 week before we go to USA and knowing also that USA was on the exclusion area of our policy. I wanted them to give me one  month of USA cover and then renew our normal annual policy. I was then told that there has been a change of policy and that as TRNC was outside of the EU, they would not cover us any more and where in fact going to immediately refund out £700 premium paid last February. This is a big shock as we know some who have just renewed and many here use this company. I have spoken to the BRS chairman and he is also going to take up the matter with them and at the same time went to Eshter Travel in Girne, as they have been promoting this same company on their website.

It seems ironic that some Turkish Cypriots, who have a Cypriot passport, having been born on the island prior to 1974 can get cover from this company, whilst British, with British passports living here as ex-pats can not get cover. Reckon it’s time to keep the pressure up on them. Meantime we have no cover.


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July 16th

Had this brilliant idea after yesterday’s aqua aerobics, lets go to The Cabin Restaurant for dinner tonight. Now Joan had no complaint about that as an idea, in fact after the builder and plumber had spent almost two hours trying to clear our blockage we were happy to have a shower and go out to eat.

At the moment it is only the kitchen sink that we cannot use, so the loo and showers are still in bounds. Good thing really as we could get a bit smelly in this heat.

Well have to say that The Cabin was close to getting 5 stars in my book. The service was very quick and very friendly and the food more than enjoyable. OK, there were not many people there when we got there at around 8.30 but nevertheless it was still a very pleasant experience and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone. We both had Green Lip Muscles in garlic butter as a starter and different lamb dishes as a main course, a bottle of Italian Merlot and coffee with brandy on the house. Total cost £38.00, I guess cheaper than UK prices and we sat out in the fresh air.

Today I have spent on the internet, planning our trip to US of A for Joan’s 75th birthday next March. We are going via Istanbul to Las Vegas for 4 nights and then on to San Fransisco for 5 days, before going to meet up with Norman and Randy in Tucson where we will all endeavour to celebrate Joan’s birthday together. Just have to get in touch with the insurance company now as they can get difficult about USA.

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July 13th.

Sunday and a visit to church for us followed by meeting up at The Kamares Indian restaurant with Anne and David Challis for lunch.

A couple of personal items which we feel are if interest. Many have asked often about little “Benji” the terrier who we spotted being put out of a truck many weeks ago. Joan asked Sharon, who has adopted him, for an update and we received the attached from Benji himself:-


“Do you remember me?  I am the little Cypriot Terrier who was thrown from a truck along the Lapta Strip and fortunately rescued by Joan and Frank.  I found my wonderful “forever home” with my new Mummy & Daddy Sharon & Rob.  I have lots of new playmates including my best buddy a Pointer dog called Rocky whom Mummy & Daddy rescued too.  Plus lots of cats to play with.  I think I’m a cat as I sleep in the cats beds, play with the cats toys and sneak next door to Auntie Beryl’s to nick some cat biscuits when I think no one’s looking :-)   I absolutely love my new life.  I am taken out for long walkies in the mountains but because I get covered in burrs and grass etc. Mummy takes me to the dog groomers for a nice wash and trim (although don’t tell anyone but I am not too keen on it at all and would rather stay scruffy and smelly!).  I love it when Mummy goes shopping and allows me to jump in the car with her for a nice ride but that’s not so much these days because it is far too hot and she would never ever leave me in a hot car.  I am a typical terrier and bark at just about everyone and everything, my favourite thing to bark at at the moment is the Ice Cream van, oh and those rotten old wind chimes Mummy insists on hanging everywhere!  BUT Mummy & Daddy wouldn’t swap me for the World.  I know I am truly blessed, I am most certainly truly loved.  Woof! Woof!    Benji xx”

I am watching you with one eye, whilst the opther is looking for food!

I am watching you with one eye, whilst the other is looking for food!

Who's a lucky boy then?

Who’s a lucky boy then?















Before we left for France, Joan and I received this photo of our dear friend Co, who so sadly passed away. This is a guy who we have known, together with his family since the early 70s. He was a very well respected member of the community in Nieuwkoop and will certainly be badly missed by us.  RIP Co and so sorry that you had such a bad time of it during the last couple of years.

Hard at work as a Smythy, his original trade.

Hard at work as a Smithy, his original trade.

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