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Published: June 15th 2017
IMG_0030Monday 12th June 2017
Clouds over the mountains, add some sunshine and it's a very humid day.
You know it's going to be a sticky day when you wake up and take a look up to the mountains and see the cloud just hovering over the top. Not very comfortable moving around as you can very soon be reduced to a watery mess, so best thing is to not move far at all! Today we will be mostly reading and relaxing, with nothing planned apart from awaiting a call from Ahmet our gate man who promised to call today to arrange to come up and take some measurements for our gates that we need making to prevent Kilroy making a break for freedom when he first comes home. We shall see if Ahmet calls, he may or he may not as is the way out here - depends if he remembers, is to busy or whether the coffee shop is calling for a game of cards! It can be frustrating at times, but you really just have to accept that this is how things work. Don't bother setting a time for anyone to call, visit or meet up as invariably they dont stick to it, often late and on occasions they turn up
Garden now looking good. Watering over the past few days has bought the plants back to life and now starting to flower.
before you are out of bed! If you plan to visit an office to sort out something you do have to double the time you think You may need. Often you will be offered a Turkish tea (chai) or a coffee whilst you wait, then it will be a general chat before eventually getting down to the business and real reason for being there. It takes time to get into this way of working but we are well used to it now.
Sarah decided to get out of the heat and took a stroll to the pool to test the water temperature, cool down and do a few lengths. John meanwhile was on phone watch in case Ahmet called #still waiting. The rest of the morning passed quietly before it was time to move into pool mode and have a couple of hours sat by the pool with a few others. Exactly 5pm and Ahmet calls, his English is not to good but his friends was better, he was asking where our place was. Rather than explain, Sarah said she would drive down the hill to the Ani Restaurant for the meet up and guide him in. After a
Part of the communal gardens near the pool.
few measurements and with the help of google translate we agreed a price and looks like they will be ready just after the weekend. A handshake and deal done. Just on 6pm and it was a little cooler so we set off for our evening stroll around the local area, checking out the new villa builds and watching the sun slowly go down over Girne town. Strolled back via the pool which for John was just to tempting - jumped in and cooled down. As Sarah had earlier pushed out 12 lengths and the pool empty John had to make sure he caught up. Then home for shower and a gin and tonic as a sundowner. Tonight's supper is chicken salad, dips and bread. Tuesday 13th June 2017
It's 7am, temperature 20C so time for a morning cuppa. All quiet around Buffavento Village with the just our feline friends strolling around and the sounds of cars starting up as people head off to work. We do feel for the young couple next door, they both work so it's a very early start for them as they take there 1 year old to the nursery then head for work
Our little place from the communal gardens
themselves. Ebru works at the Cratos Hotel but cannot drive so is dropped off each day by Orhan, who then heads to work himself. Ebru finishes work earlier than Orhan so has to walk home......it's about 2miles and all uphill. She is home in time to meet the nursery minibus which drops off their little girl around 4pm. As for Orhan, he used to work at the Cratos Hotel but was made redundant last year so it was a tough time for them. Fortunately he does have a job now and having been here a week we managed to catch up with him today. He is managing a toy shop in town and enjoys the work as it's very busy, but the perks are he says he gets to test some of the more sophisticated toys, such as model helicopters and drones.....he says they need a lot of testing so they can demonstrate to customers! They are looking to move into Catalkoy village which will be better for them, closer to Cratos Hotel for Ebru, an easy walk plus nursery a little closer as well. Orhan told us they expect to move soon. Hopefully we will still continue to see
These guys just chilling in the evening sun
Orhan and Ebru in the village as its only a mile away.
Cup of tea done it was now time to be active. We try and do some exercise each day rather than just lie around and it's best done either early morning or in the evening before the temperature rises and it gets to hot. So what to do....John opted for the pool and headed up to do a dozen lengths. No one around except the gardener busy working on the communal gardens and the birds in the trees. This time of the year the pool has warmed up and holds its temperature well so its no problem jumping in and pushing out a few lengths. Sarah in the meantime decided a walk was in order so set off down the hill almost to the main drag into town, before turning around and making her way back.....uphill all the way. Her Fitbit showed she had managed 6000+ steps so a good start to the day. John not wanting to risk his Fitbit in the water now wonders what 12 lengths of the pool is worth. Exercise completed and feeling good about ourselves, time for another cup of tea
whilst sat on the garden patio.
Weather somewhat strange, it's 9am and the temperature is 21C but sky cloudy and the mountain top cannot be seen - feeling slightly cooler and not as humid as it was yesterday but it's still shorts and t shirt attire. John did a bit of shuffling of furniture indoors to make a convenient spot for Kilroys bed when he eventually comes home to stay. Think we have found a corner he can call his own and be sent to should he be naughty, which of course we fully expect he will! Hopefully he is reasonably intelligent, will soon pick up the rules of the house and once he understands this is his permanent home will settle in nicely. Sarah set to task making homemade sweet chilli dip. So that's our own strawberry jam made and now the chilli dip, wonder what's next? Time for breakfast and after our morning exercise we felt that we deserved the bacon and eggs that were calling us!
Mid morning and a call from Ahmet our gate man, he wanted to call in and just confirm his measurements for one of the gates he is making for
A stroll round Buffavento village
us.....yep we are home all day so no problem. Five minutes later he rocked up in his truck, tape measure to hand. Sarah in the meantime decided it was worth altering a blouse she had bought back in the UK, seems it's a tad bigger than she first thought so that's a result. Rest of the morning was chilling outside, still overcast but a pleasant 26C.
Early afternoon and we decided to take a little drive out up to the village of Arapkoy which is about 3 miles away on the top of a hill. Our old army friends.......with the emphasis on "old" (They read the blog!) bought a place up there earlier this year so we thought we would check all was ok and send them a few pictures. We may have influenced their decision to buy when they stayed with us last year and we took them on a whistle stop tour of North Cyprus. Pleased to say their villa looked lovely. Drove into the village centre and stopped off at the local shop/coffee shop for a cold drink, it was like an oasis with a lovely sitting area and garden full of fruit trees laden with
Stroll completed and pool looks just to inviting - time to cool off.
pears,lemons, apples and peaches plus a grape vine which by September will have loads of grapes. After our pit stop we headed downhill but pulled off and did a little off roading as we wondered where a few tracks would lead us, then eventually on the main drag into town. Decided to call in at China Bazaar for a couple of hooks and also pick up a BBQ kettle.......this is a must have item which heats up the charcoal quickly before placing the coals in the main BBQ stand. A wiggling drive home thro Ozankoy and Catalkoy villages checking out the properties and lovely gardens. Back home and it was time to put up our Cypriot wooden bread board.....mounting it on the mezzanine wall in the lounge. We bought the board a few years ago and have now finally got around to putting it up properly. Job took a little longer than first thought as the ceilings and walls were not level.....as is the way of a Cyprus build but eventually job done and now time to relax on the balcony with tea and cake, whilst watching the goats wander home.
Early evening so time for an hours stroll
Sarah's home made sweet chilli dip.
down the hill and around the local area before returning home to prepare supper. A strange day weather wise as its been markedly cooler with the clouds hanging around most of the day and the temperature probably only getting up to 25C. Not complaining tho as it is still pleasant enough to sit outside this evening and watch the sunset. Wednesday 14th June 2017
Up reasonably early as today we have a few jobs to do.....pay road tax for the jeep and then onwards to the weekly market for a wander around. As there are major roadworks happening on the main road to town we were prepared for a slow drive, however surprisingly the traffic was moving smoothly. First stop was the money exchange, rate had dropped a little from last week at 4.53TL to the £ mainly because of the election result but still at a respectable 4.45TL. Then into town to the municipal buildings to pay the car tax for the year. Unlike the UK you pay your tax the month after it runs out......ours ended in May. There has been an amnesty on unpaid road tax which like the UK is linked to the MOT
Plenty of these old cars all over the island....this is a vintage Ford Zephyr
as many don't bother with an MOT or tax! The amnesty runs out this month so there has been a clamour to get an MOT done and pay the road tax before the police clamp down -err not sure that will happen as everyone out here seems to be related in some way to a policeman. It was reported in the papers that there were long queues at the MOT testing station conveniently situated next to the main police station in town, some of those in the queue were complaining at the time taken.....moral is get the MOT done when you should have! There is talk of doing away with the road tax and adding it to the cost of fuel, good idea but not sure it will ever happen. Arrived at the municipal buildings to the usual car park chaos, the rule is just abandon the car, block people in and hope you get out before they do. We were anticipating a bit of a wait as is usual, but no we were in, documents checked and tax paid and out the door in 7 minutes, all surprisingly efficient. Onwards thro town to the market and having parked (abandoned)
Garden cafe at village shop in Arapkoy
the jeep we wandered around. It's a real locals market with clothing, hardware, carpets, fruit, veg, cheeses, eggs etc. First stop was our carpet/throw man to buy a couple of throws to place over our very cream coloured Poang IKEA chairs. Then it was fruit and veg followed by a tea break at one of the market cafes with a nice piece of carrot cake. The cafe also offers a photocopy service which is useful when you arrive at the police station to apply for temporary residency and need lots of copies of every piece of paper......but that's a job for next week. Refreshed we then picked up some chilli, basil,and thyme plants and headed back towards home via a roadside flower seller for a couple of geraniums and the supermarket for vital ingredients for tonight's supper.
Home to find the electric off - that happens occasionally out here. Unpacked shopping, plants planted and now time to relax. The morning started brightly with no clouds around but by midday they had returned to the mountain top however the temperature was still showing a pleasant 27C. A quiet afternoon just chilling before supper prep and then off to the Club
Flower basket village shop Arapkoy
Tropicana for the Wednesday quiz night. Joined Gary "I am in charge of writing the answers", Bruce, Amanda, Brendan and Beryl and spent the next hour racking our brains answering the questions. Didn't win the quiz, but we are doing better and "if" we had gone with one of our answers to a question instead of dismissing it we would have won easily. Oh well never mind we are not far off a victory. Anyways it's not all about winning it's about the good company - but don't tell Gary that! The stand up bingo went better with John winning and a nice 190TL to take home.....paid for the evening and plenty left over for a meal out another time. So that's both of us having won the bingo on the quiz night, just need to win the raffle next time!
Quiz done we were home by 8:15pm, supper cooking - chicken putenesca with linguini. A bit of tv and off to bed. Thursday 15th June 2017
Awake just after 6am, so time for a cup of tea and catch up on UK news before donning the walking gear and heading off for a stroll. Cloudless sky
Peach tree village shop Arapkoy
at the moment so let's see if it stays that way for the rest of the day as apart form our morning exercise we don't plan on going very far, maybe a few hours by the pool. We headed uphill and out onto the bondu track towards the mountain and the goat pen about a mile away. Then a short scramble uphill to an unused road which meandered downhill towards the outskirts of Catalkoy village, before crossing the ravine and heading uphill to home. A nice 90min wander all done by 9am and time for more tea and breakfast of granola, yoghurt, fruit and honey - how healthy are we!
Rest of the morning was hard work as we settled down to reading mode, before staggering up to the pool for the afternoon returning back home at 6pm. A quick scrub up before it was time for some nibbles and a cold drink whilst sat out on the balcony listening to the cicadas chirruping. As the sun began to set it was time for sausage, beans and mash and then some tv. Been a tough day.
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