35 years, quite a milestone. I have a photo on my desk here of Joan taken on our honeymoon, she really looks much younger but still with those startling blue eyes that I have always known. We were not planning to do very much, except go down for a swim before going out this evening to the St Tropez restaurant.
This restaurant has a reputation for fine dining and we have been there a few times during our time here and always found the food quality and the attention to detail to be superb.
On the terrace, on a table for two.
We enjoyed a bottle of Chardoney, some snails in garlic butter and Joan had kidney in a vodka / cream sauce whilst I had three small tornadoes steaks each with a different sauce. Absolutely delicious, all of it. This restaurant is highly recommended for that special occasion.
Those escargot went down well.
Three little steaks !
First day back and boy is it hot again. Joan’s car clock showed 42 degrees this afternoon, now I know why I went to Holland for a couple of weeks respite. Tomorrow is a big day for Joan and I, 35 years married, so this evening, as we had agreed no big fuss wanted, Joan had booked a table at The Cabin restaurant. She had told the very few of our friends who have not escaped the heat, which meant it was an evening out with 4 women for me.
She must have actually said something to Ilhan, the owner of the restaurant because when we got there he had set up a table right down on the beach.
What a lovely setting for dinner.
I always enjoy the Cabin Special Lamb when I go there and everybody joined me on this occasion, a great success, thoroughly enjoyed by all. Hopefully Joan and I will enjoy our romantic dinner for two tomorrow night at St Tropes, the French restaurant on the way into Girne.
On the beach with the restaurant in the background.
Travel back home day today, and maybe a good day to do it because it is actually hosing it down. Yesterday Theo started a short 3 day holiday so that he could sort out the back room that used to be used for storage of all the things Co had in his shop. This lovely big area is now going to be converted into a double bedroom with en-suite for Kitty and Theo to use. Before this can happen the roof has to come off, especially as it is made up of asbestos panels; and then the whole roof at the water’s edge side, be lifted by 30 centimeters. Tricky job, but an experienced builder friend is coming along on Saturday to do just that. I took some pics before I left, once Theo and I had emptied the space.
Lovely big area which is going to be a sort of utility area under the glass roof and bedroom to the left side.
The outside decking area.
The whole of this back wall is coming out, to be replaced with a window area where the bathroom is going and then a sliding patio door out of the bedroom. Later this year the decking area will be lifted higher from the water to give a nice sitting out area in the summer.
Kitty took me to the airport by 12 o’clock for my 1420 flight. Once I had checked in they informed us of a 1 hour delay, due to an air traffic go slow over France. This turned out to be much longer. We were loaded after 1 hour but then sat on the plane for more than another hour before getting a take off slot. I was supposed to have 3 hours wait in Istanbul, time to get something to eat, but this eventually turned out to be a rushed chicken burger and chips at the Mcdonalds, ugh. But at least I arrived on schedule back in Cyprus.
Coming in to land over Istanbul.
Start of a new week and today Malou goes back to school, so no more sitting out in the sun for lunch. I suppose we all realise that teenagers could not exist without their “Apple” phone and facebook.
Just another message before my lunch comes.
Because we have a so called free day Kitty is taking me into Alphen, I need to buy a camera bag for my new Nikon camera as I finally decided that the big camera we bought in Singapore, 10 years ago, was much bigger and heavier than I really needed to carry around, so bought a new Nikon Coolpix from Amazon and had it delivered to Holland. Seems like a good move, much lighter and easy to operate. There is a big electronics store in Alphen called “Media Markt” and there I was able to get exactly what I wanted for only 10.95 Euros, I was also able to buy a replacement charger for my tablet that doesn’t have that silly American, two flat pins, plug on it.
Back to Nieuwkoop again, via of course the Jumbo supermarket, the butchers and the bakers, part of our daily ritual.
Took a little walk along the Mei Path, which eventually crosses the lake completely, on the way I spotted Co’s old boat, the one Joan and I thought about buying but then realised that it would mean leaving TRNC for most of the summer. Not a lot of point in that really.
The new owners have not really started to clean her up much.
There are some lovely spots along the lake path, one of these floating gems is actually a B&B. There are more moorings available now so you could actually buy a boat and enjoy the lake.
Lovely place to wake up in the morning.
Later on after an easy lunch the three of us went across to the lakeside pub. Lots and lots of friends of Kitty and Theo there so the beer kept flowing well. They might be small glasses but still quite potent. Eventually the three of us had something to eat and to soak it all up. Wouldn’t want to spend too many Sunday’s in that company.
Saturday was another nice warm day so we were able to sit out at the back, on the pontoon area and enjoy the sunshine. Stitch was out there with us too and when a large dog was walking on the pathway on the other side of the water, he got so exited that he ended up falling in, Kitty had to grab him quickly as he was going underneath the decking, will it teach him a lesson, probably not.
Stitch, playing on the decking, just before he fell in barking at another dog.
The small waterway at the back of the house is a lovely place to sit, on the decking. Kitty has had a price to lift this decking a little higher, re-use the existing timber, but with some more added and so make a terrace area across the back of the house.
This is the view which stretches out towards the village.
Apart from the daily trip to Jumbo supermarket, the bakers and the local butchers, we sat quietly out here, with the odd beer and enjoyed the day.
Every year, here in Nieuwkoop, they have a Hut Building competition for the kids. This has been supported for years even in the early 80’s when we lived here. It is just a great fun thing, supported by volunteers and of course parents. The kids get together as friends and build there own design and also on the last night, they get to hold a sort of market to sell unwanted toys etc and then they get to “sleep” in the huts they have built.
Some of the hut designs. Great fun every year.
Kitty walking around amongst the huts.
Kitty of course knows so many people here in the village, having grown up here, that we spent some time talking to Mums and Dads, who were checking upon the kids, before their sleep over. We had coffee but avoided the chips and burgers as we had already eaten.
I have been very lucky with the weather over here so far so apart from going to the supermarket etc with Kitty and Malou, who is still on holiday until next week, we were all three able to spend our lunchtime out at the new beach area created on the lakeside.
The play area and restaurant, which they plan to take down at the end of the summer.
They have cordoned off a whole area of the lake where kids can swim safely and added the restaurant where people like us can come and lunch in the sun.
We actually had to move inside as we were inundated with wasps.
They have a quite extensive evening menu, but first they need to get the local council to find that wasps nest and destroy it. It is just not possible to sit outside at the moment.
Having said that, the rest of the area is very nicely maintained and laid out, considering the size of the lake here in Nieuwkoop, I am surprised that nobody has come up with this idea before.
A view of the area from the moorings for day boats.
After a great nights sleep, probably as a result of yesterday’s travel, I got a chance to have a look at the work they have done on the old house, also my new camera arrived from Amazon in UK, so I was able to practice by taking a few shots of the changes. Kitty and Theo have switched the lounge and the old dining area around and by knocking out the wall to where the old office was, they have almost doubled the sitting area in their lounge.
This used to be Co’s old office, but now is part of the lounge.
What was the lounge is now a large dining area.
The kitchen has not moved but some of the units have been replaced.
They have had to replace the CH boiler as the old 16 year ago fitted one, decided that it had been there for long enough. The following area is at the back of the main house and used to be Co’s shop area. They are going to replace the roof, put some dividers in and create a bedroom with en-suite. The roof comes off next week, whilst I am still here, should be fun.
Look forward to seeing the results of this part of the rebuild.
Today is the day when I travel over to Holland to stay with Kitty and Theo and to see what changes they have made to Co & Henny’s old house, by the lake in Nieuwkoop. Joan is staying around in the hot weather and will be keeping herself busy with her classes and regular swimming. No doubt I will get regular up dates during my 10 day stay here.
The journey started off quite slowly as there was a computer problem at Ercan airport and they were having considerable troubles at check-in. Anyway I managed to get on a plane to Istanbul and made sure that my hold baggage had a special label on it that said transfer, so fingers crossed, I will see my suitcase at the other end.
Because of the problems at Ercan, we were late taking off which gave me a very tight transfer time to the flight to Amsterdam, but I made it and had pre-booked a seat in row 1 so that gave me lots of leg room and a window seat out of the way. The flying time is only 3 hours I had an almost new book to keep me occupied, backed up with a chicken sandwich and small bottle of white wine.
Kitty was there to meet me and I had the chance to meet up with the whole family and enjoy a Bami Goreng meal made by Kitty. Amongst the family is there new puppy, called “Stitch”,
“Stitch”sixteen weeks old and full of mischief.