April 22nd.

Joan to the hospital at 2.30 today. This for her next meet with the surgeon, as it is exactly 2 weeks since her surgery he looked and decided that the stitches could come out. A great relief for her as it meant she can gradually start to get some exercises with her shoulder to get full use back eventually. The surgeon still says will take another two to two and half months.

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April 21st

Quick nip across the border with Joan, because the trousers she bought in M & S last week are too tight. I think that she was too tired that day to try them on and with only one arm it is difficult anyway. Just goes to show I suppose that sizes on the labels do not al;ways tell the truth.

We had to get back as I had a Council Meeting in the Hermitage at 4.30 pm. this was to formalise appointments after the Church AGM last Sunday. So now I am officially wearing the ball and chain of the Treasurers job. Reverend Wendy had decided that what she would do is have a small Eucharist service in the Cghapel attached to the Hermitage, her home for the period of her contract. This was to welcome all the Council members, both old and new before we went on with the business of appointing people in positions. Short meeting, followed by a couple of glasses of wine and nibbles.

I got home at 7 pm, collected Joan and we then went to Veni Vici for our Tuesday evening meal together, something of a tradition now.

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April 19th

Today, after church, there was the AGM of the Church Council. Quite well attended and my appointment to the council went through. Lots of discussions about various items but at the end of the day some long winded speeches by some. Anyway after it was all over, Joan and I joined others at Rafters restaurant for Sunday lunch. We haven’t had a Sunday lunch, with Yorkshire puds for a long time so it was very enjoyable. They came up with a cubed chicken dish for Joan and her one handed eating, which she said was very enjoyable.

Because of the meeting the day was a long one so we did not get home until 6.30 pm, in time for an extra glass of wine before an early night.

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April 18th

Newspaper day again, but interestingly it is also election day here tomorrow, for a new President. As ex-pats here can’t vote it really only is a slight interest to us in case the new incumbent makes a worse mess than all his predecessors.

The main headline today, suggests that the BRS might put up a fight on our behalf against the expat NHS law.  I wish them well but fear that as the UK government refuses to recognise this part of the island they might be fighting a tough battle. All of us here are very aggrieved that we should have to pay something like 150% of UK cost having spent years paying in to the system. The ironic thing is, should the North jopin with the South, then we would be part of the EU and entitled to NHS help and it is only a 20 minute drive away.

The Turkish Parliament speaker has suggested that the TCs are living in an “Open Prison” because of the embargoes laid on them. In particular he referred to the referendum on the  UN Annan plan in 2004, when the TCS voted yes to accept the plan and the GCs voted no. The end result was that the GCs were accepted into the EU but the TCs rejected. Strange logic.

At a recent workshop on drug abuse, the deputy Prime Minister suggested that the “Drug Barons” in the TRNC should be sentenced to death. Drug use here has grown over the last 15 years and just as anyplace else in the world, it was difficult to combat without extreme measures. The death penalty seems a bit harsh, but if it did work, would be a good lesson for other countries.

Road deaths are being reported again. This last week it was two dead and 22 injured. The bike rider and his passenger both died when he lost control at speed in the middle of Kyrenia at 4 am on Sunday morning. It is reported that the bike split in two and they both died instantly.

For those of you who remember Asil Nadir, recently tucked up in a UK jail for fraud I believe, his mother who still lived here on the island passed away on 17th of the month at the grand old age of 95 years.

Sad day for Liverpool and in particular, Stephen Gerrard, they lost to Aston Villa today. Equally sad was the goalies boob in the Reading/Arsenal game.

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April 17th

Joan had got over her traumatic experience at the doctors yesterday so asked me to take her up to the council offices to talk to Tolga there about the new water meters. She has been asked to put together a report that can go onto the BRS website telling how these things work.

The local councils have all agreed to install new style water meters in all properties. these are causing some confusion because they are operated by a smart card, similar to a credit card, which you have to put into the meter in order to register your water entitlement and to get water. Of course all the local people, who for years have avoided paying their water bills, will have to have credit on the card before they get any water into their tanks, This will be interesting to find out how they manage to cheat these contraptions. The problems that arise are added costs, which normally appear on our water bills, such as rubbish collection, public health costs etc and of course the annual property tax (rates). That is Joan’s task, to explain to all the ex-pats, how they have to get their smart cards and pay all other charges.

This evening I had agreed to go to the Blue Song with most of the rest of the gang but before that to take Joan up to the Black Olive, because all the exercise ladies were up there for a swap night and a Chinese meal. She enjoyed all the chat and the food and managed to get a lift back down to me at Blue Song around 9.30.

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April 16th

Had to take Joan back to the Medical centre for 2 p.m. today, but she had a call whilst I was out at a meeting, to delay the appointment until 4 p.m. We got there on time and found that Dr Kalgie was doing a knee replacement operation and there must have been complications because we had to sit it out until 5.30. The reception told us there would be a delay on arrival, so we were able to walk out to a local coffee shop and sit in the sun for an hour.

The Dr reckons that Joan is doing very well, but he lifted her arm so very high that she said he really hurt her this time, more when lowering the arm after the lift. Anyway we got home at around 6.30 and I butter fried a couple of pieces of white fish fillets, served them up with just a little spinach and she enjoyed that.

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April 15th

Took the girls, Joan and Barbara, across the border to do some shopping. Long day for Joan, she wanted to go, but was very tired when we got back. I think this is mainly because holding your arm up, even in a sling, is very tiring. Anyway we at least had lunch over there in Ikea so no cooking for me when we got back and Joan managed to buy a pair of very slim jeans in M & S but she didn’t try them on so we will have to go back to change them.

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April 14th

Malcolm, the current treasurer for St Andrew’s Church came round this morning as from next Sunday 19th I am likely to be taking over the job, unless somebody objects. Like all committees there seems to be lots of controversies about all sorts of things so interesting times are ahead. I first have to get a thorough understanding of the huge excel spreadsheet which makes up the accounts and then get contact withh all those who have input to the funds of the church. Historically the church has been well off in earlier years but expenditure on maintenance etc has eaten into these funds and the congregation is reducing as more people go back to UK, great care is needed to ensure that overspending is controlled and also to ensure that all revenue is properly recorded.

I will also need to find out were the diocesan offices are across the border as many meetings occur over there. Guess I will need contact with Malcolm for some time to come.

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April 13th

Joan needed to visit the doctor again today just so that they could redress the wound and let him check that she was doing the physio exercises he told her to do. He seemed quite pleased with progress but reiterated that it will be close to three months before she is completely recovered. Next visit will; be 4 0′clock on Thursday, guess I am going to be lots of driving up and down to Girne for a little while.


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April 12th

We did not go to church this morning, Joan is not yet fit enough for an early morning rise and rushing off to church. So I had a chance to look at yesterday’s newspaper. Me thinks that they were struggling for any real news as the main headline, suggesting TRNC was breaking boundaries, refers to a cricket match set up between a team in the South and a team from the TRNC.

More important in my opinion as headline news was the shock strike by Ercan air traffic controllers. This strike was only for 3.5 hours but timed to hold up 2 x Turkish Airlines flights, 2 x Pegasus flights and an Atlasjet plane, total 959 passengers. the delayed departures got underway at midnight. There was an emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers which imposed a 60-day strike ban on the Air Traffic Controllers Union, until June 4th. The tourist side here are very concerned about the effect as the peak season approaches. It appears that, after numerous strikes last year, the government signed an agreement on issues that included, working hours, safety, promotions and the employment of more controllers. The controllers union say that the government have breached the terms of the agreement. Another example of last weeks comments about a useless government, incapable of organising anything.

Not much other important news except to look at what the Turkish government is capable of, both Twitter and Facebook were blocked for some time on Monday. That’s what everybody is worried about government authoritarianism.

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