December 2002

Friday 27th December
After a very  hectic time of moving and Christmas etc, we left Birchcroft at around 9.15am.  I thought it was far too late, considering the Christmas sales were on. We got stuck in a jam on the M2 with a 4 mile queue to Bluewater but with a bit of welly we managed to reach Stansted at about 11am. We parked the car, caught the bus to the airport and checked in straight away. We then did a bit of shopping before going through to our boarding gate.

Mal bought a PC notebook to try out.  Perhaps I should mention at this point that you can purchase an item from Dixon’s at Stansted (tax free), if it is not satisfactory then you can return it to any branch of Dixon’s within 90 days and you will be given a full refund.   This is the third time we have tried this, the first was a world radio that really did not work well in TRNC and the next time a palmtop, which Mal decided this was no good because the keyboard didn’t work and the version of word was not good.  Duly, we returned them to Margate and they refunded our money. However I digress, Mal had with him his USB key Christmas present.

Didn’t have too much time to spare as the plane left on time. Stopped at Izmir.   North Cyprus is 2 hours ahead of us in time. We arrived at Getikele at about 10pm, local time. Bought cigarettes, £7.50 for 200.  Lira is about 2.64m=£1.  It seemed a long journey to the Hideaway but when we got here we were taken to our Connoisseur garden suite, room number 1.  Really nice and all the heaters were on ready for us.  We didn’t even unpack but went straight down to the bar and had a brandy sour and an Efes and were given toasted sandwiches. Back to room, unpacked and got to bed about 1.15 am.

Saturday 28th December
We didn’t wake up until 10 am so, in frantic rush, we threw some clothes on and caught breakfast before it finished at 10.30. We also had to hand our tickets to the rep (should be 10 am).  We managed it, as our rep was sitting in the bar.  Good breakfast with a choice.

Booked in at reception and met the co-owners Alf and Oya (?).   Said that if there was anything we needed just to let them know.  Back to the room and played with the laptop a bit, bathed, showered etc and lazed for a bit!

Mal then decided to get the real show on the road and start things moving as soon as possible.  He called Guy who had some fairly good news (but we never hold our breath).  The executors have now paid their death duties (apparently is the word that Mal is using). Guy is going to Nicosia on Monday to get the final piece of paper, which is the proof of the payment of the duties and Guy is going to pay the rates (which had previously been paid by John Torris!), they are £3 (oh no they weren’t and oh no he didn’t), and we are going to reimburse him.  We will see Guy on Monday.  Next the phone call to Hakan.  We explained what Guy had said.  He told us that once the paperwork has been received and we have paid the tax, then Selcuk fills in the forms for change of ownership and the transfer of the deeds into our names.  This should take about 7 days but Hakan knows people in the Land office and he may be able to speed this through (!!!). We have to ring Hakan on Monday morning to arrange to meet him in the afternoon to sort out the orientation of the land.  So, at least now we have (apparently) got things moving. Perhaps Sunday can now be an easy day.

Mal suggested that we went to find a rental car but I thought it was better to leave this until Monday (or we will never walk anywhere)  So, we decided to walk down to Karalanawhatsit where we bought some food and drink and then walked back.  The walk was fine until we got to the last little bit uphill when it really pulls on the muscles on the back of your legs.

Later we ate in the poolside bar and then had a few drinks, pretty good Brandy Sours.

Sunday 29th December
We seemed to spend most of this day just spacing out, I think the last few weeks, with moving and phone calls over here chasing the documents caught up with us a little.  We did have a short walk behind the hotel and managed to find somewhere to have dinner but that was about it.  The pair of us kept nodding off, recharging our batteries for the onslaught ahead.  It was a cloudy, rainy day anyway, so we felt we hadn’t lost much.  We did speak to Alf to see if he could get us a hire car.

Monday 30th December
Batteries recharged and ready to go, out hire car arrived at 9:45am, from Pine Bay.  A new Corsa for £15 a day, including CDW.  Then went to have breakfast just as the rain came down with a vengeance.  As we left the restaurant Manuel (our name for him, so use your imagination) came chasing after us with an umbrella, courtesy of the hotel, but we were assured that the sun will be out tomorrow!

We called Hakan and mutually agreed owing to the weather, that Thursday would be a more favourable day to go on the land for the orientation.

So, we drive into Girne and to see Selcuk. He just says he is waiting for the ‘piece of paper’, yes we all are but, having spoken to Guy on Saturday, this should have been in our hands by this afternoon at the latest so the next step was to go and see Guy.  His office has now expanded since our last visit, obviously the volume of prospective purchasers!  Guess what? He hasn’t been to Lefkosa with ‘the man’ to get the piece of paper we need as ‘the man’ was too busy doing a job.  This we could understand had we not been waiting since September 26th for this piece of paper. A ‘debate’ then ensued between Mal and Guy, trying to establish why he has not yet paid the death duties on the land.  According to Guy he is an ‘untidy man’ by which we understood to mean that his affairs were no way in order and after all what incentive was there for him to sort this out, he has our money so what is the rush. Guy then told us they would be going to Lefkosa tomorrow.  At this point, Mal said he didn’t believe that the man had any intention of going and sorting it out and in fact he was now thinking of calling it all off and getting our money back and £5,000 compensation before it all drags on for another 2 years or so.  I was a little taken aback by this but what can we do?

We then went along to Stringers and talked to Julie, who was astounded at what had happened, saying that it usually took 2 weeks (that is what we thought too). Julie then asked us if we had held any money back, no we hadn’t, were advised by Guy and our (his) solicitor, that you pay the money and then checks are done and then the land is yours.  Simple. We then started looking at what ready built properties they have on their books, some of which Hakan was building for them.  This now has to be considered.  Julie very kindly said that she would speak to their solicitor this afternoon as she was seeing her anyway and see what options we have.

A little disheartened we drove up to the land and remembered why this patch was our dream, we clambered up the muddy ‘driveway’ and even in the rain it looked lovely.  All we could hear was the birds singing and nothing else, OK there were clouds at the top of the mountains and we were getting wet but we are still holding on to that dream.  What do they say?  Nothing worth waiting for ever comes easy but having just gone through a 5 day gap between exchange and completion (on Sevenscore) the week before Christmas and threatening three times to pull out, we had hoped for a little more luck with this.  Our October holiday was wasted with visits here there and everywhere and we are really hoping we are not going to have the same happen again.  Well we won’t, something will have to be done this time.   We will be seeing Stringer’s entourage tomorrow as they are all here at the Hideaway and we have already had a disclaimer from Julie for what she may say or do or the way she may behave (New Years Eve).  We will just have to catch her at the beginning of the evening to see what the solicitor said. Let’s hope that the New Year brings us the news we want to hear.

Mal  has just got the contract out to check it and is says ‘it is a condition of this contract that the property is freehold and at the time of completion is free of any encumbrances……a breech of this condition will constitute a breach of this contract……………….giving effect to clause 7 of this contract. (clause 2).  Clause 4 says ‘Within 14 days from the date of decision of the council of Ministers granting permission for the purchasers to buy the said property, the transfer of the title deeds shall be effected’. Clause 7 says ‘if any of the parties to this contract fail to comply with their obligations (they) will pay to the other party £5,000 as agreed damages as well as the court expenses.’  Our conclusion now is that the fella is refusing to give us the paperwork and he is now in breach of contract (but we discovered later that taking him to court would take years, and probably would still fail – makes you wonder why we bothered with a solicitor).