OK, I know that it is 10 days since my last posting and I only have one feeble excuse, “Man Flu”. I have been streaming with it and now my ribs ache from the coughing, but almost cured.
December 9th was a lovely sunny and warm day and as it was Arie’s last day on the island this year, he just wanted to relax and sit in the sun looking like a typical tourist in his shorts and a T-shirt. We were also conscious of the fact that tomorrow morning we had to be up and about before 4 a.m. in order to get to the airport on time for the early flight out at 0710 hours. Guess Arie has enjoyed his trip here and we will for sure see him again in 2013, but probably when the weather is much warmer.
December 10th. Ugh 4 a.m. is an ungodly hour to get up but at least Joan and I were back home by 0800 hours to have a late breakfast. The rest of the day we spent making a list of things we needed to do before Xmas. The most urgent was to find somebody who could make the cupboards we needed to go down in the new utility/storage room so that we could gain some breathing space here upstairs and clear all our stuff out of Pat & Bryan’s. The problem here is that many see the Brit’s as being easy meat for the quick buck and is quite amazing how you can frequently half the first price they come up with. We decided in the end to approach Zafer, our builder, who has been around for some time and made frequent use of many of the islands carpenters. Hi immediately contacted a good cabinet maker, who I also knew from earlier days but had failed to contact because I believed that his price would be more than we wanted to pay. But after a long conversation with Zafer he came up with the best price yet, it just shows that it is best to use your known contacts.
December 11th. Before making a final decision we went over to the South as there is a big Ikea there but we came to the conclusion that we were better off with our man here in the North. We did however manage to buy a nice set of cupboard innards for the tall kitchen cupboard, which makes our storage so much easier.
Because Joan is not very tall having to use wall units for storage can be a bit of a challenge so this makes it that we can easily see everything.
December 14th. The end of another week with the builders in, but they are progressing rapidly and I guess by the end of next week we will be able to start making use of the huge room and Joan will be able to rescue her Christmas decorations from Pat’s store room.
Oh yes, almost completion means we have bought a Christmas present for both of us, a new dishwasher to go in to the upstairs kitchen when the washing machine goes down to the new utility area. Phew, that should let me off the hook in the evenings!
We went to the Victorian Evening held at St Andrew’s Church Hall for a sing along and a Pie and Peas Supper. A fun night and good home made food by some of the ladies, must remember that one for next year also but need to find a top hat and frock coat before then as fancy dress was optional.
December 15th. Saturday again so we went to the Chateau Lambousa weekly market, bought a couple of home made Cornish Pasties for dinner tonight, how’s that for lazy, just warm them up in the oven and serve with some Heinz beans, then sit with your feet up and watch a film.
This weeks newspaper suggests that there is some illegal car hire going on. Over here if you see a car with red number plates then you know it is a hire car, but the legal car hire companies are suggesting that many people change their number plates and then make money out of them in peak season and of course they are under cutting the legal car hire companies. They also want to reduce the number of days that cars hired in the South can be insured for here in the North, which will hit those coming in to Larnaca. Can’t imagine that the Greek Cypriots will take that one lying down so we will need to see what happens.
Finally the Nicosia strike of refuse collectors seems to be over. An agreement has been reached to pay all the social security due and back pay including that due during the strike period. In order to fund this deal the Nicosia Municipality has borrowed 90 million Lira from a local bank and in return the union bosses are saying that they are to support actions against some workers, especially those who just draw salary and never attend work. this municipality is like many others companies here, so overstaffed that nobody notices if people just don’t turn up. When CTA, the countries airline, went bust due to major over staffing, this municipality took on all the staff without having work for them. Beggars belief really but is just the way it is here, if you are already in debt then just borrow a few million more.
Another example of this had just occurred in the South. Orphanides, a supermarket chain has gone into receivership with debts of more than 200 million euros. 140 million of this is owed to banks, 85 million to suppliers and a further 10 million to other creditors. How are companies allowed to build up this much debt without somebody, especially the banks coming down on them much earlier ?
I am quickly realising that nothing has changed here since we left. Saw a notice the other day that another Boutique is about to open, this one is to be called “Insanity”. A very apt name !
December 16th and 17th. Missed church this week as the flu really took hold over the weekend and we were planning to go and do our Christmas shopping on Tuesday 18th, but this was not on either, however by today I seem to have broken the back of it so with luck will be fit and well for Christmas.
The boys put the finishing touches to the painting today so now apart from windows and doors, which are due tomorow we seem to be almost complete downstairs.
We have two entrance ways in to this room, one from the undercover car parking area which leads directly to where we will put the washing machine and dryer.