April 12th

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.  Today was the day for the AGM of the British Residents Society.  For some considerable time now there has been some mud slinging going on between the current committee members and the old guard, who believe that there are some things going on that are against the society regulations.

Unfortunately some have been leaking info to the press, resulting in headlines such as “BRS in Turmoil” and the current committee members have responded by posting all sorts of stuff on the website, basically slating the old guard which is very bad news. In fact at one time, only three weeks ago I put in nomination papers for the committee, but when all this started going on I sent a formal request to withdraw my papers, I decided that I did not want to be part of this fracas.

Anyway at the start of the meeting, the Acting Chairman, acting because of the resignation of the previous chairman (both of them ladies as it happens) started slating some of the previous committee members and naming them outright. This caused much shouting and demands for her to withdraw the comments and to resign. The major crux of the arguments were because the new team believed that they where superior to the old guard, who had for years set up and grown the BRS to where it is today. The two final nails in the coffin were firstly the Acting Chairman openly using her Treasurers Report to be deliberately critical of the old guard and suggesting that they lied about the accounts and secondly when they lost the vote on the resolution that husbands and wives should not jointly be committee members, a situation that existed with the current committee. With that all of the existing committee resigned one by one, having said that they where only doing the job to benefit the members. I don’t think mass resignation reflects this statement, but the whole meeting was riotous and it was only a credit to Nigel Holman, the Honorary Secretary, that he managed to get some sort of order restored and the AGM brought to a proper close .

Anyway next Saturday’s paper will be interesting and in the meantime we will have to see how the next twelve months goes with old members back in the saddle.

Joan and I had collected Anne and David, Anne being the previous Chairman who had resigned some couple of months ago after a serious confrontation with another committee member, so after we all four went off to a restaurant in town for a stiff drink and a super lunch. Well earned we felt.

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April 11th

The Italian Veni-Vici restaurant here in Lapta was the venue for the gangs outing this week. It is not a restaurant that we frequent very often, the food quality is excellent and the menu quite extensive, but. As always we found the drinks to be expensive and particularly because Joan’s Vodka/Tonic didn’t seem to have much vodka in it and the tonic was quite flat. Pat said that her G & T was of the same quality, so they both switched to wine. At the end of the meal, most had something off the sweet trolley, an unusual thing for us all to do, but maybe just shows the quantity of the main course even though the quality is lovely. Probably one venue that Joan and I will not be back to very soon.

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April 8th

This morning I went to a “Manmeet” at the church. These are organised regularly and for varying reasons. The next one is a visit to the new dam and the pipework that is going on there. I have been there before but this time there is an opportunity to take wives and I know Joan would be interested.  Today’s meeting however was a talk by one of our own ex-pat residents. A guy who retired as a Chief Inspector in the Met. In fact one of the real live Sweenies. He talked to us about the changes in the police force, and in particular the Metropolitan Police, over the years he was in the force and eventually discussed the “Brinks Mat” robbery that we all have heard about. I had not realised just exactly what a huge value of gold bars had actually been stolen and the fact that virtually non of it has been recovered.

After the meeting we all went down to The George Cafe, on the high street for some lunch. A very interesting talk and a nice snack lunch. Why only a snack lunch? Well this evening we took John and Jane up to Charcos Restaurant here in the village. This is one of our favourite Turkish style restaurants and despite the fact that the menu hardly ever changes, it remains popular with many of us. Anyway John & Jane enjoyed and on this occasion paid for our meal, not the original intention but very nice anyway. Will have to think of someplace to take them to return the favour, before they return to turkey next week.

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April 7th

Joan’s turn to get road tax for her Peugeot today as she only realised that it had run out on 31st March over the weekend.  No major disaster for a few days and she was very pleased to discover that hers only cost £118.00, about 25% of mine. This amused her just a little.

Chased up the Metal Mickey man today, as he had promised me a price to make a 2 x 1 meter table that I could fix tiles to and just allow to stand outside all year round. we had one when we were here before and the people who bought our old villa are still using it. Anyway he says it will be ready by Monday 14th and at a cost of 650TL ( about £185.00 at today’s exchange rate). A picture will follow when I have given it a coat of Hamerite and tiled the top. The Hamerite is best done now, as the metal paint they use here is not as good and eventually rust comes through and I would rather paint before I tile to make life easier.

 

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April 6th

Today John & Jane Diment are coming in to Omac’s villa for a couple of weeks, we understand that they want to consider a possible move from mainland Turkey, so need time to look around. Their arrival time is not until late afternoon, so Joan and I took time out to visit the Annual Kyrenia Animal Rescue (KAR) dog show, held at The Stumble Inn here in Lapta.

This was well attended and plenty of barking going on and clear signs of some well loved animals.

For lovers of small dogs!

For lovers of small dogs!

Anyone for a free brandy ?

Anyone for a free brandy ?

First, second and first in one catagory.

First, second and third in one category.

 

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April 5th

Joan went off to Lambousa Market this morning, as she was supposed to be on duty at the BRS stall to collect subs etc. When she got there, there were three others already establishing the stall so she was able to bail out and come home, seems as if they had got their system wrong. This meant that we were both able to go round the corner to Omac’s holiday rental villa and make sure it was ready for tomorrows arrivals.

After lunch, I went over to Lefkosa to go over the website with Omac and make sure he was happy with the structure etc before I did too much more work on it. All’s well thankfully so can just get it up and running now.

The Saturday newspaper is suggesting that Girne is going to have “Bobbies on the Beat”. Seems that finally they have realised that if policemen are visible on the streets it tends to reduce problems. According to the newspaper they have trained 52 policemen especially for this task to form the Preventative Service and Patrol Policing Unit.  Will be interesting to see if when we go down town we actually see any of these pairs, patrolling in their new uniforms, or maybe occupying seats in coffee bars.

Still the newspaper is reporting on the so called “Turmoil in the BRS committee”. The whole thing seems to have escalated into a back stabbing event and could make next Saturday’s AGM an interesting event. I was asked to stand for committee at one time and even put forward my nomination, but when things started to get this heated, I have to say I pulled my nomination as I did not want to be involved. Why is it that committees always seem to end up this way!

There are two big raffle prizes on offer this summer. A return flight plus 1 weeks half board stay at The Pia Bella hotel for two people is number one, with the second prize being two return tickets, Ercan to Stansted. Apparently 22,000 tickets have been printed and will be on sale during the summer, so as to catch many tourists as well. Now my quick calculations suggest that each ticket at 5TL makes a potential income of £31,000, nice if you can get it.

Interesting that there was a CELEBRATION in South Cyprus last Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the Eoka uprising which sought to rid the island of British rule and unite the island with Greece. The Greek Cypriot leader said that it was a day of honour for the heroes and fighters of the freedom movement. This celebration is taking place at a time when there are supposed to be serious talks about reunification. Begs a question to me?

When I got back from Lefkosa this afternoon, David our next door neighbour was a bit concerned about a recent arrival in his pool. The problem is that his pool has been drained because he does not want to incur the maintenance cost when he is not here. So the pool accumulates a fair amount of water during the winter time and this black snake decided to take up residence.

About 2 meters long and not too happy.

About 2 meters long and not too happy.

If you look carefully you can see that this one has a fairly fat middle section, so clearly had secured itself some sort of snack., probably one of the tree rats that we have around here. Fortunately these black snakes are non venomous but we would not be too happy if Smudge got anywhere near it. There was one of the pool men, complete with long pole and net at Mike and Judy’s place so he kindly fished it out and guided it over to the ravine area behind the villas.

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April 4th

I have spent some considerable time during this week trying to get a website up and running for our friend Omac Cin. He is the TRNC dealer for Dogtas Furnishings and is aware that many TRNC citizens, living in UK are buying property here for the future. He wants to get a slice of the furnishing market for these properties, so wants to offer the opportunity to buy through this website, pay in UK, but get the furniture delivered here in TRNC.

So I have jointly, with Arie over in Holland, set up  http://www.north-cyprus-furniture.com/ a shopping site that will allow this to happen. The site is progressing well but the work is very time consuming as there are almost 1,000 products to put on, together with photos which have to be downloaded from the net and links to other products within a huge range. Good fun but time consuming. I am hoping to get all the products loaded before we go to Holland on 25th of this month so that Arie and I can work on getting the site up near the top of Google listings.

Joan went off to a Ladies Night at The Black Olive so I joined the gang for dinner at Berekets restaurant in Alsancak. This is a fairly recently established restaurant, in a previously set up corner building on the main road. The two previous owners did not seem to have made much of a success of the site, but we wre all full of praise for the quality of food and the presentation, service etc. As an example see the free fruit given us after our main courses, a lot of effort went into creating this.

Fruit with a difference

Fruit with a difference

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March 31st

Today is the day when I need to get new road tax for my Honda CRV.  Next time anyone says vehicle tax in UK is getting expensive, spare a thought for those of us here. Mine cost the TL equivalent of £460.00, I think that is around double the UK rate, but then Joan’s Peugeot 206 Convertible is only £100.00. Still seems a lot of money for very inferior roads and some of the worst driving standards we have ever seen.

This evening we went to the RBL branch meeting and then, together with Pat and Anne, on to The Blue Song for some delicious fish and chips.

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March 29th

More news about things happening in the UK in today’s newspaper. Story about a Turkish Cypriot found slain in his London home, and the story about a murder suspect who was hiding here in TRNC, he has been cleared of a murder charge but convicted of a drugs conspiracy and has got a 22 year jail sentence.

Interesting action in Turkey. Because Sunday is election day, the Prime Minister decreed that the clocks should not go forward until 3 a.m. on Monday morning. So for 24 hours Turkey has been out of step with the rest of Europe. Don’t suppose many really noticed.

Much being written about the North and the South and any possible reconciliation. A retiring UN envoy, Alexander Downer, suggests that the current economic crisis could aid the talks and any solution. He refers back to the fact that Southern Cyprus is close to being bankrupt and only a negotiated banking solution last year saved their bacon. He suggests that all the gas that is under the Med could be piped via Turkey’s existing pipe network to Europe, easing Europe’s reliance on the Russian gas. The headline from Tom Roche, who writes an Opinion most weeks:- ” Is that Gas I smell”

At the same time, whilst there was a conference in Limassol about reconciliation, a band of National Popular Front members crashed through the back door threw flares and other objects in to the room and chanted “Cyprus is Greek”. Apparently this is one of many incidents involving the National Front and because of the lack of a real number of police at the conference, the GC police chief has been sacked.

In Turkey, Twitter has been banned and blocked because the P.M. didn’t like what people were writing about him and his alleged corruption scandal. Now it appears that Twitter users here in TRNC are experiencing problems and fear that it is a backlash from the Turkish block. The government here is trying to assure people that it is only a technical hitch, but there is a fear that the Turkish influence may be greater.

Meantime we are still experiencing what can only amount to a heatwave for this time of the year, bringing more fears for a major drought situation in the summer. It is lovely to be able to sit outside for breakfast at around 7 a.m., but are we going to suffer for it later.

 

 

 

 

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March 28th

The whole gang went off to The Green Palace this evening. This has always been one of our favorite restaurants, especially for steak, but we don’t know what has happened there, maybe a new “go slow” chef, but we waited for more than 1 1/2 hours from ordering until the food arrived. It wasn’t because they thought we would drink more whilst waiting because Roger had to get up and go to the lady at the bar and ask, could we have another round of drinks. Strange because the service and food quality always used to be so good here, but many were saying that as this was the second time like this, it will be a long time before we return.

Oh well we still had a good evening in pleasant company and that is what really matters.

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