November 2004

Monday 1st November
The first day of November and it is surprisingly warm.  We are still in shorts and T-shirts. We spent a lot of the day cleaning up after all the mess the gardeners left yesterday.  I have never known so much dust in my life and never had such dirty dusters! I am fed up with cleaning the leather settee and so have given up and thrown a cover over it!  Hopefully when the surrounding building works stop, and they stop destroying the mountain to our left in the front, it will be better.

We are both still swimming every day although the pool temperature has dropped to 22oC degrees.  That may seem warm but we think we have turned into hot climes wimps already!

Peter came and cleaned the pool.  This is also a constant battle against the builders’ dust but at least it hasn�t turned green again! One man came from Green Garden, put up two of the three arches, and painted them, hopefully with something like Hermatite! He then left.  We are still waiting for the third one and the pots.

Tuesday 2nd November
Sunny again! We love this, – November and still warm.  We began to watch Blue Planet on DVD in the afternoon as we had enough of the sound of the digger and then Stephen and his wife and mother arrived for a visit. They also bought one of their dogs, Alfie, with them. They seemed to like the new garden! They came to look at the garden as they are thinking of using the same people.  They were as unimpressed as we were with the paving in front of the door!

Mal rang Mena, our solicitor, and explained our land problems to her.  We have an appointment to go and see her on Saturday with Mustafa�s telephone number and any other relevant documents. I hope she will be able to help us in sorting this out once and for all! We also prepared the spare room ready for the arrival of Mal’s three sons tomorrow.

In the evening, we could hear a dog barking in the mountain to the left and so we went out with torch in hand to investigate. We thought he was stuck somewhere but by the time we got to him, he had obviously found his way out and so we couldn’t keep him.

Wednesday 3rd November
Mal cleaned the pool first thing.  Somehow, we managed to spend the entire day shopping, only stopping for our lunch at Caf� Dűkkan. We went into Fiskos to see if our fire grate had been made a guess what, tomorrow we are told!  We have been into the shop 4 times now.  It seems they forgot to order it twice! I hope that it will be here before the cold weather comes.

In the evening, we drove to the airport to collect Kerry, Tristan and Dominic – Mal�s sons.  This time the plane was on time. We sat up until 3.30am just chatting and drinking.

Thursday 4th November
After a very late night, or rather early morning, we were awoken to the sound of bulldozers and cement mixers.  What a welcome for the boys.  Having said that, Tristan was up early but somehow the other two managed to sleep through it all.

Mal and Tristan went for a walk in the mountains while I had my swim and around lunchtime Kerry and Dom surfaced.

Mal and Tris

In the afternoon we drove into Girne, the boys bought some clothes, and Kerry made a dental appointment. On the way home, the boys wanted to visit the Internet caf� so we stopped there.

Mustafa from Green Gardens came round and we reminded him about the pots and cacti that have not yet appeared in the garden and we showed him the wonky paving in front of the front door.  The look on his face showed that he agreed that it really wasn�t good enough. He said they would be back!

We went to Yenihans for dinner, our usual friendly waiter looked quite miserable, and I asked him why.  It was because he was fasting for Ramadan. It must be difficult serving all that food and not having any yourself!

Friday 5th November
The boys having looked through the guidebook said they would like to see castles and so after breakfast we set off for St. Hilarion.

St Hilarion, L-R Tris, Kerry, Mal and Dom

They seemed suitably impressed.  We think it is the most attractive castle here.  Then on to Bellapais where we walked around the abbey and then went into Kybele restaurant and had lunch. I also bought some more pelmet curtains for the house.  This time I got them at a discount, now the woman realises that we live here.  We arrived home about 5.15pm, after dark now the clocks have changed (same as in the UK) to find the Green Garden van sitting outside.  They had come to replace a large section of the paving but couldn�t do anything until we put on the outside lights!  They commenced work and continued until about eight o�clock.  Mal gave them a tip as they were working so late.  We also have the pots in place and it is now looking good.

After the workmen had left, we drove to Caf� Dűkkan and had dinner.  It was busy but we had a lovely meal as usual and there is a better selection of food here for them as the boys are all vegetarians.

Saturday 6th November
We all went into Girne. Mal and I went to see the solicitor, to try to sort out our border and access problems.  While we were in there, the boys went to the Internet caf� and then did some scouting around to find where a nightclub was that they could go to tonight.

Mena the solicitor now has all the details and is going to make extensive enquiries at the land office, and see what she can sort out for us. She did say that on the Kocan, there is a space for �Right of Way�, which no one has filled in and no one noticed it until she did!  Not our last solicitor, not Hakan, no one! Mena is going to find out from the land office where it should be.  This will all take a while.  We also explained that we do not intend to pay Mustafa �7K and so will be knocking walls down, which will then make our house too close to his land.  Mena will also ask the Land Registry about this.  At least now we feel as if something is starting to happen, even though naturally we will have to pay for it, or Hakan.  I also understand that Mena will be contacting Hakan.  We have heard nothing from him for weeks.  He is lying low, we are sure, because he knows he has messed up!

We did all the shopping on the way home, including going into Fiskos to see if our grate is ready after 8 weeks and 4 visits waiting to collect it! Well, he said yes, it is now there and waiting for us outside.  I knew by the shape of it that it was not the correct one and told him so. I was then told that we didn�t give them enough measurements and so they chopped the back piece off! Well, I was not happy and insisted on seeing the book where the order had been written down and one of the measurements had been tippexed out! I did question why after going in to collect it 4 times why they hadn�t asked for the measurements then or simply rung us as they had our phone number. I was not happy and the guy could see that. He admitted it was all their fault and suggested we took one of the other grates to try and see if that fitted, or to bring the correct measurements in (which we had done in the first place).  Still, we took a grate home, which looked a similar size, and amazingly, it fitted perfectly! We will have to go in and pay them for it next time we are that way.

In the evening, we went to have dinner at the Green Valley Restaurant.  There wasn�t a vast choice for vegetarians so Mal suggested that the boys had meze to start.  A sure sign that winter is coming and the tourists have gone home – they were brought so much food! Then they had the main course and a few brandy sours and a sweet and coffee.  The idea was that they went straight along to Ca-Ca Beach after the meal.  Well, Tris had so much to eat that he just wanted to go back to the house, so that is what all three did!

Sunday 7th November
We had rather a lazy day. Gwen and Peter visited in the morning to keep us up with all the local gossip and Peter cleaned the pool.

It rained and we had a storm and the temperature started dropping. The boys played chess most of the day, it was too wet and muddy to go for a walk.  In the evening we watched The Terminal DVD which Mal and I bought locally (3 for 20 million, about �7.50) A good film but it appears we did not have the final part of the film, so we will have to return it!

In the evening, we watched the Man Utd v Man City game!

Monday 8th November
Raining again.  This is unusual! We all sat on the terrace watching the rain, reading, and doing different things.  In the afternoon Mal went with Kerry to the dentist on the dolmuş.  Tris, Dom and I just sat talking which was nice because we rarely get much talk time and so it was good to catch up on their lives. Tris is off to New Zealand on 23rd November.

When Kerry returned, he told us that he has to have an extraction and a filling and has another appointment on Wednesday. We all had dinner and then watched the DVD �Pay it Forward�.  I think we will have to boost our DVD collection for the winter!

Tuesday 9th November
Rain and storms! The garden was flooded, as the downpour happened so quickly all the outside seat covers were soaked and we all tried to grab something to take indoors. For some reason our mains water did not come on! The boys resorted to chess and of course, we had a power cut.  All the nice walks we had planned in the mountains were now out of the question.  Being positive, all the workmen around us were rained off!

Wednesday 10th November
More storms, more rain. We drove into Girne as Kerry had his dental appointment for an extraction and a filling. The rest of us decided to look around the shops and then meet him in a caf� when his treatment was complete. We did get as far as one of the gift shops and then the heavens opened.  After making our purchases, we went outside and stood under their awning but as we stood there, the pavement was joining the road in looking like a river! The rain was blowing over us and we returned inside the shop until it calmed down a bit.  Well, then we had the task of trying to cross the river, to return towards the harbour.  This meant we had to walk all the way to the top of the road, where the water was a little less deep and then cross and go all the way back down again.  When it rains here, there are no half measures as you can see!

The last picture shows a very considerate boy racer, who took pleasure in driving round and round the streets seeing how many people he could drench.

We eventually arrived at the caf�, a bit wetter than when we started out.  When Kerry arrived we all went to Girne castle and by this time the rain had stopped but thunder was still rumbling around the sky. These pictures were taken when the rain had subsided and so you don�t see the whole impact of the flooded pavements or the road!

Girne Castle

Tris, Dom, Kerry and Mal

After the castle, we drove home in torrential rain, stopping at the supermarket and Fiskos to pay for our fire grate and to buy some curtain poles.  As we arrived home, Peter was sitting waiting outside in his car. He came in for a cup of tea and we had the worst and closest storm yet.  It sounded as though the lightning struck something outside and of course, the power went off again! It had tripped the electrics but we had the pleasure of yet another power cut.

In the evening, we drove to the farmhouse for dinner. Let�s just say that their cocktails had quite an effect on the boys and we are probably banned from there now! I think a look at Tris�s face may show the effect of the cocktails!

Thursday 11th November
More rain and the thunder still rumbling around the mountains. Our plans were to go dog walking but it seems a bit too wet and muddy. Instead, we drove into Gűzelyurt (Morphou as the Greeks call it.)  We had a pleasant surprise.  The last time we visited it seemed a bit like a ghost town and now as it seems it is not going to the Greeks, it appears to have gone more up market and yet the prices are cheaper than the tourist area of Girne.  It is the North West part of Cyprus and is rich in underground water and so is the most fertile part of Cyprus.  We toured of the shops, having just missed the market as it was closing up for the day.  We then wandered down to a restaurant, sat outside, and had lunch.  At last, it was nice and sunny again.  We were going to have dinner out but instead decided to eat at home and then we watched DVD�s!  We had great news, after Torin�s accident, which is now over a year ago; he has been offered a job.  It sounds as though all four interviews for the job were tough and he managed to get through them.  I hope that this is now the full road to recovery.

Friday 12th November
We were up at 5 and drove the boys to the airport for their journey back. Only two more days and we will be back again, returning to the UK ourselves!  It is just a shame that it was raining so much while they were here and so they didn�t get to see much of the island but at least they went home healthy!

We drove home and then went into Girne to get some last minute things including a necklace that the clasp had come off and which they fixed back on for me. It was a treat to be able to walk down the High Street without having to paddle.

We have been far too long without email and Internet access.  Mal had been investigating and we made the decision to go and talk to Ayza Net. We called in and the �main man� was out, so could we call back at 2.00pm. The girl in there had a tiny puppy they had found that morning and was trying to drip feed it.  It was so tiny and didn�t even have its eyes open yet.  I have to say I was very tempted but we are going back to the UK on Sunday, so it would be impossible.

We went off to Caf� Dűkkăn for lunch and bought a wooden wall hanging in their sale (they sell pottery and have an Art Gallery).

Back to Ayza Net and we signed up for it to be installed on our return.  We must have been in there an hour at least, so by the time we got home, the sun had gone down.  A pity as it reached 27oC today and we missed most of it. No rain!

An update: this is the side garden �Before�

�and after, what a transformation!

The paths look a bit grubby after all the rain! It does save on the watering though!

More updates:

The left hand picture is the �Russian House� in front and below us.  The right hand picture is the start of the houses on the left hand mountain in front of us.  We are just hoping that cement mixers won�t be arriving until after we leave!

In the evening, we went to the Green Valley for dinner.  What service! There were just a few locals in playing cards in the corner and no one else eating now it is winter – the service is brilliant!  The food was excellent too and then came the masses of fruit and the traditional �on the house� coffee and brandy!  We were full!

Saturday 13th November
Gwen and Peter came round in the morning and as this is our last day, it was down to finishing the washing and cleaning, packing the outside furniture away and going in for our last swim. The pool water was 19oC and seemed cold but was OK once you swam!  It really seems weird to be going back to England after all this time but of course, we are looking forward to seeing all the kids.

Sunday 14th November
26oC, we shall miss this! We were up early and Peter drove us to the airport.  It was Onur Air. The plane left on time and we had a good flight.  No complaints at all.  It’s a lot colder in England but at least it was sunny when we landed