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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July 12th

First Saturday back so first chance to see what the English language newspaper has to say to us.

Pets abandoned after registration laws enforced. A new law was introduced recently requiring mandatory microchipping and registration. This is not something that Turkish Cypriots are used to and certainly will not want to pay for, despite this it seems that 1,000 pets were chipped and registered last Monday, but KAR are saying that Municipalities are collecting strays and a truck load was taken to KAR last week. Kyrenia Animal Rescue will not change their policy of employing euthanasia to strays that are nor rehoused, such as they do in for example Battersea Dogs Home, so the problem is on the increase.

Whilst Joan and I were in France, local mayoral elections took place. Our man Fuat Namsoy remains but there have been some big changes in Lefkosa, Girne and Famagusta as well as some of the smaller municipalities such as Alsancak, our nearest town. It will be interesting to see what these changes eventually bring

Next Sunday, 20th July, is the 40th anniversary of Peace and Freedom Day, the annual event to mark the Turkish intervention on the island. Now here is an interesting story attached to this year. A 55 year old Turkish business man, who learnt to swim only last year, is setting off on Friday in a specially constructed cage and with support boats and plans to arrive in Girne Harbour after 40 hours of swimming on the 20th. He is the big boss of a major Turkish Holding Company and is hoping to encourage investment in TRNC. Brave man, on both counts.

The death has been announced of Desmond Lynes, a stalwart at St Andrews church and who was 93 years old. He had an apartment here in Girne, but regularly stayed at the Pia Bella hotel, where he was well respected and looked after. He was a lovely man and well known to many. Apparently he also had an apartment in Spain and had gone there to give power of attorney to a lawyer to sell this. The church community only found out about his death from an internet site, but a memorial service is planned, later in the summer, when most of the swallows have returned here.

Chaos on the roads persists. 17 people were injured in road accidents in a period of only three days last week. Two of these were in fact children, but despite these statistics the police still fail to enforce the laws about seat belts, child safety seats etc. Joan and I saw yesterday, a young child sitting in a front seat without a seatbelt and a very small kid standing between the front seats ready to be catapulted through the screen in the event of an accident. They will never learn here, and accidents keep being reported as “driver lost control”.

Feel sure we will have missed more of the same over the last three Saturday’s, but things don’t change much here and the talks on integration between the North and the South, hardly seem worth reporting, until something positive actually happens.

 

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July 11th

Decided to go to the twice weekly Aqua Aerobics class with Joan. It seems to be doing her a lot of good and she says it loosens the limbs up, so guess it is a good idea if I join in.  One big problem, I ended up in the sea, off The Cabin beach, with 20+ women. Anyway I managed to only turn over in the water 3 times during the hour to the enjoyment of all.

I have agreed with Joan to continue for 1 whole month, twice weekly, and see if it helps. I had tried doing weekly treadmill exercises in the gym, but that is no better than a decent walk and certainly in this heat not a good idea.

Speaking of heat. since we got back to temperature has been hovering around 40 in the middle of the day and it has been very humid with it. Also since we got back we have had the blockage in our waste pipes from the kitchen again and the plumber we employed does not seem able to clear up the problem. Hey Ho this is Cyprus !!!!

 

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July 8th

Went to collect Smudge this morning and bring her home again. I suppose she will once again eventually forgive us for locking her up and confining her to indoors for almost three weeks. She was in the next pen to Cheko, Charles and Yvonne’s Burmese cat and as Yasmin gives them the opportunity to meet with one another in a closed room they had become friends after a week or so.

Smudge has realised that Cheko will be first to the food if possible, so in that event makes sure she eats up quickly.

We put up with one another, just !!

We put up with one another, just !!

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July 7th

Back to TRNC day today. Our flight out of Bordeaux was not until 1420 so we had plenty of time for a leisurely drive down the Peage’ motorway, got the hire car back just after noon and settled down to wait for our flight.

Turkish Airlines are nice and comfortable with plenty of leg room even for me, but in fact at check in we were called and asked to change our seats so that they could seat one large family together across one row. The change gave us leg room seats in an emergency exit row, so I was soon stretched out and snoozing nicely.

The only one snag with this Bordeaux flight is that we have a 5 hour wait in Istanbul for the connection to Ercan. We arrived in TRNC and our car park man and car were waiting for us at 1 a.m. so by the time we got home and in to bed it was around 0330. Short night because tomorrow we have to pick up Smudge.

 

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