June 2005

June 2005

Thursday 2nd June
This time I am going back to Cyprus with Paula as Mal is busy with all his exam work. I met her at the airport, Rhys having driven me there. The journey up was fine but we kept looking at all the traffic at a standstill going the other way. Poor Rhys took about 6 hours to get back home in the end.

We flew with CTA this time.  The seats were marginally better than those on Onur Air and when the drinks trolley comes round, the alcoholic drinks are free whereas you have to pay for them with Onur. We took off around 10.30 pm, thinking we would get some sleep on the flight.  No such luck, a lady a couple of rows in front of us decided to talk non stop the entire flight, so when the lights went down, she continued.  She didn�t even stop to draw breath! Everyone was moaning about her.  Apart from that a good flight.

Friday 3rd June
Peter met us at Ercan and filled us in on all the local news on the way back.

We arrived home at about 7.30 am and decided we would try and stay up and get our sleep patterns as they should be.

We unpacked, put all the furniture outside and then a little man appeared from Ali Şemi�s building and asked if he use the electricity (as agreed).  He then asked if we wanted some water from the well, as the swimming pool level had gone down, I said yes please. So, he was helping and filling the tanks up and topping the swimming pool. Obviously, too much water, the other side of the swimming pool where one of the pipes was, water was gushing out! In the end I had to ring Peter and meanwhile collected Rosie from across the road.  Lena came back and then Willi and then Gwen and Peter arrived.  Between Peter and Willy and the most helpful guy from Ali Şemi�s, they sorted the problem out.  Our original source of water seemed to be on all day and so from having very little water when we left we now have masses and so we also filled up the two spare storage tanks and at least if it all stops again, we can pump some out of there. In the middle of all of this Mal rang and had a giggle about it and said� well, at least you can learn what to do!� Eventually everyone left and Paula and I decided we wouldn�t have a sleep but that we would try and stay awake until night time or we would be all out of sync!

We did manage it but were exhausted by the time we went to bed.

Saturday 4th June
We took Rosie down to the beach and then stopped at the new Atakara supermarket which is before the main road and now our nearest shop.  That is convenient.  We just bought a few bits and decided to leave our main shop until next week. We didn�t do much the rest of the day.  I went over to see Willi and Lena early evening.

Sunday 5th June
Rosie woke me about 5.45 and tried to jump on the bed as I obviously only use half of it, she thought she could get away with it. After me getting her off twice I opened the patio door and let her out. She has fleas, so I treated her with Spot on.  Poor thing keeps scratching.

Gwen and Peter came up in the morning, really nice to see Gwen again.

Monday 6th June
We took Rosie out and then had to plan how we would escape out of the house, (Rosie shoots through the door before you have even noticed!) Don�t ask me how we did it but we did and headed off for Lemars to get a stock of shopping. We were looking for a good wine. The wines are no longer cheap here. We bought a few around the �4/�5 mark to sample and then saw some �Othello� wine, possibly the cheapest in the shop, a red and a white, when we opened them in the evening, they really weren�t bad for a �glugging� wine! They cost about �1.50 a bottle!

Back home and sat around chatting.

I did some weeding at the front and the drive, also dead headed a lot of the flowers.

The days seem to go by so quickly and little achieved!

Tuesday 7th June
We took Rosie out for a walk and realised again that the pool pump wasn�t coming on.  Down to the poolroom and the switch has tripped.  We are almost certain that it is when the workmen plug their tools in that it blows.

Mal rang only a quick call, where is the peg basket�!! This has now disappeared (so he says), convinced that someone has stolen it.  Personally I think he is so busy that he has forgotten where he has put it!

In the afternoon I went out again and tackled more of the 6 foot high thistles from the front of the house and the drive.  Paula did some of her homework. The prickles were even going through the gardening gloves and I am sure that is when I got a mass of bites on my back and shoulders.

We were just thinking about dinner when Peter arrived at 5 o�clock.  He stayed for two hours chatting.  We then had dinner and took Rosie for a walk. There are things not working on the computer here, mainly Skype, so Mal and I chatted for a while online and then we fixed it for him to take over my computer from over there.  He seems to be really busy.  It is such a shame he has to stay and do all this work but then, we need the money and at least he has retired from one job! Still better than being in the UK full time, so I suppose we can�t complain.

In the evening Paula and I sat on the terrace and watched huge beetles hurtling themselves over the balcony.  Rosie was really fascinated, so we had to throw them back over before she squashed them! They seemed to get bigger and bigger as the night went on, and it wasn�t the wine that made us think that!

Wednesday 8th June
We both got up early and drove down to the beach.  We spent over an hour down there with Rosie who continuously ran in and out of the sea, hopefully getting rid of the last of her fleas!  On the way back we bought some shopping in Tempo and posted Paula�s postcards and then went to the gift shop in Edremit.

We stopped to get some petrol at Atakara petrol station, as it is our local one, you know, patronize the locals. I asked for 20 ytl of petrol and he was washing the rear window and I was trying to look at the pump to make sure I had the correct amount.  It looked as though he stopped filling when it was 15.90, so I asked Paula if she could see it and as she turned round he quickly put the pump back to zero! I just wish one of us had seen it definitely but it seemed very suspicious. Next time I will get out of the car. I was not happy as we used to hire our cars from there and they are really nice people but the guy looked as though he was there on his own.  I mentioned it to Peter and he is going to have a word with the owners. It does make me cross how they rip off tourists and that was even with local plates on the car!

Home again and had breakfast, discovering that the pool pump had stopped again.  We are now convinced that Ali Şemi’s workmen are the problem and that every time they put their plug in, it blows the fuses. When the little guy appeared Paula went down and explained to him.  He can�t speak English and she can�t speak Turkish, so there was a lot of arm waving about and numbers written in dust (plenty of that here).  He understood and wrote that we should have a 50 amp fuse instead of a 20. So, Paula pointed to him to tell him he had better sort it out then! He then said� �Su, ev�, in other words did we want more water for the house, of course Paula said yes and so he said he would sort it later.  So, we decided we had better water the garden, wash down all the muddy paths (from all the rain that they had last week), put another load of washing on, both have baths and hair washes! What other idiots would be standing out in the midday sun sweeping paths down, dripping in sweat, just so we can have a bit more water?! Well, we have been very low before!  At the end of all of this, we were exhausted!  Paula had a sleep in the afternoon. We waited for the water and nothing! Perhaps he meant another day.

I took Rosie out for a walk in the evening, had dinner and Mal and I chatted on Skype.  Sounds as though he is very busy!

Thursday 9th June
Rosie woke up at 5.45 and was full of life and I ended up shutting her outside as she kept jumping on the bed, which she is not allowed to do! At 6.00 I was wide awake anyway and so took her for a walk.

Paula did some of her homework and I caught up with ironing etc. The pool pump is not working again and checking on the switches in the pool room, the workmen�s plug has blown the fuses again, yet again we have pulled the plug and when they come up we will have to explain again.

In the afternoon we left Rosie at home and went to see Gwen. Peter was having his afternoon siesta, so we sat out on their terrace. When we came back I could hardly push the door open.  The heavy door curtain was stuck under it.  I panicked immediately, thinking Rosie had eaten half the curtain, but when we managed to get the door open, it was the curtain tie she had been after. She had pulled that down and in doing so, straightened the metal holder, which was a curly thing, now almost straight.  She certainly has some strength. She must have had a panic and had tipped her toy box up, pulled her blanket down from off the table (but hadn�t eaten any of that) and tipped her food bowl upside down. Thinking about it, the tie back looks the same as the ropes I give her to play with!  She than seemed as though she had the devil in her for the rest of the evening.  Paula cooked and made a lovely lemon and ginger chicken. We sat out on the terrace after dinner, still really nice and warm.  More huge beetles landed on the swimming pool terrace and we kept rescuing them and throwing them back over the edge before Rosie put her paw on them or gently put them in her mouth and brought them to us!

Friday 10th June
Up early again and we drove up towards Guzelyert and stopped just past Horseshoe Bay. We went on one small beach but it wasn�t marvellous, so drove a bit further and found a nice secluded beach but the road down was horrendous and so we left the car at the top and walked down.  There was a lagoon down there and for the first time in a long time we let Rosie off the lead and she loved it.

We stopped at the new Atakara supermarket to get milk and bits on the way home.  It certainly is handy for us to have the supermarket so near. About 32 degrees again today.

I did a bit of weeding in the garden and then we started thinking that we still haven�t had a refill of water.  The pool pump fuse blew yet again so we knew the workmen were using the electric. So, down to the pump room and pull their plug out. Meanwhile Peter arrived to clean the pool.  We said we were waiting for the workmen to come back up and then would ask for some water from the well to replenish our stock. Up they came so Peter took charge and he said he couldn�t clean the pool until the water had finished filling up.  The pump they were using in the well was run from our electric and that kept blowing the fuses too. Eventually I left them all standing there, watching the water fill the tanks and I went and took Rosie for a walk. I came back and they were still all waiting. Eventually it filled and the workman that Peter calls �the midget�, (which is why we can never see him above the wall when he replaces their plug!) left and he was given a bottle of beer for his trouble!

Peter then cleaned the pool and gave it a back wash which meant we started dinner at 8.00pm.  How the time goes.  Mal and I chatted on Skype again and Paula and I sat on the terrace in the warm with a couple of tipples, plus a few more beetles jumping onto the terrace.

Saturday 11th June
Rosie had a bit of lay in! I took her for a walk about 6.30, before the sun got too hot.  This time I went down the path in front of us, where we used to go but haven�t since the snake episode. Workers lorries have been down there and widened and flattened the paths, so no rough bits in the middle where snakes could be lurking! And of course, there is the shade of the bamboos and trees.  Rosie loved it going back to her old stomping ground, even though I can�t let her off the extendable lead. I watched all the time for any signs of snakes. Back home, had breakfast and then I went to get some shopping on my own and also some bottles water as we now haven�t had any Malatya water for over a week!

Paula and I both feeling lazy and because of the heat my intentions of tackling more prickles didn�t happen and we had a swim instead!

Peter called to say he had been to Atakara and seen Osman and explained what happened about my petrol. He was very upset and it seems they have been watching this guy.  It was the fact he cleared the pump that was the clincher as they don�t do that until the next customer comes. I have been told I will get more petrol when I go down next but it wasn�t the money, I am just getting fed up of being ripped off here and no one is going to get away with it anymore!  Not with me anyway. I understand the culprit is now going to be sacked. The Turkish Cypriots do not like thieves and Osman said that is what he is.

Although the sun is scorching today, there is quite a strong breeze up here, sending papers flying off the table.

We had dinner and sat out on the terrace in the evening sipping our wine, Othello which is 3.65 ytl a bottle.

We decided to go to bed early and so headed that way at about 10.30.  As soon as I got in bed and Rosie settled down, all the fireworks started at Merit Crystal Cove Hotel and were they loud.  I was just waiting for Rosie to start barking either at them or join in with all the dogs over at the kennels but she was as good as gold and went to sleep.

Sunday 12th June
Up early and down to the beach.  No one else was there even though it�s Sunday.  I expect they were all sensible and stayed in bed.  Rosie loved it.  We came back, had a shower and then went down to Gwen and Peters. Peter was out and Rosie ran around the house and garden like a mad thing, even Leo, the dog from the house behind decided to jump over the wall to meet her.  Peter and Gwen have five cats and it was so amusing to see their faces when they saw her. Henry just sat on his chair and wouldn�t move and spat at Rosie as she went past, so she did a large circle around him, the others came and spat and she stayed away but one ran onto the roof with Rosie running after him, but needless to say, not on the roof!  She had a morning of excitement.

We brought Rosie home and then went to Sunny Lane schools summer fayre but didn�t stay long.

In the afternoon Willi came over to sort the antennae out for his connection to the Internet.  Mal ordered it all in the UK as no one seemed to have anything here. So, Willi has his connection sorted out and came to do this end.  All very well, but it wasn�t until he tried to fit it that we found two male ends to connect.  Anyway, he is going to see if her get an adaptor here.  I am sure he will manage it better than I could as he speaks fluent Turkish. I also asked him about Malatya water and he has had none since last Saturday and said he heard someone saying �let the foreigners pay for it�.  Charming.  We are quite willing to pay for it if we get a proper supply. Poor Willi has had tankers for his water, so we are all clueless when or if it will be back on.  There is also a possibility of connecting to the new main water pipe they have laid by the side of our land.  Willi kindly said he would try and sort it out.  Apparently, the pipe is there but the water is coming from a water tower in Malatya and is being pumped from the waterfall but they didn�t have a pump.  It seems the latest thing is that they have a pump not but no electricity.  So organised!  Maybe one day. Meanwhile we are hoping when our supply is low again we can use the water from Ali Semi�s well. At least we filled our two spare stand alone tanks, so we can siphon those first!

We did pop out to get some shopping and I used to leave the TV on the radio station for Rosie, so went to turn the TV on for the first time since we have been back.  Every station says �this is a subscription channel�.  It looks as though we have been cut off but they have our bank details and said it would be taken from that.  It appears not so I will have to go to Tektans and investigate.   I know we paid for the first three months in advance, so it seems about right.

We sat on the terrace again in the evening. Tired chatting to Mal on Skype and it kept cutting off.  I then decided to ring him on the mobile and spent the next two hours getting �network busy�. I finally reached him at 12.30!

Monday 13th June
I was up walking Rosie and thought I heard the sound of running water going into Willi�s tank.  I checked as soon as I got back to the house and sure enough, Malatya water had just been turned on. Well, off we go again, filling water bottles, turning on the washing machine and sorting out the submersible pump to water the garden again.  This really is hard work but a bit of a panic in case the water goes off again! By the time we had finished, the water was off and so didn�t fill the tank completely but at least we used quite a lot while it was running.

We then cleaned up.  After the winds at the weekend there is dust everywhere again, you can see the layers over the furniture! We waited for the workmen to arrive and they came about 10.30.  Anthony arrived with the guy who made the railings and he put the extra supports in, lifted the gates but didn�t secure the wobbly railing.  Anthony then asked him to paint them and secure them and he said he didn�t have the things here to do it.  In desperation, Anthony said he will come back and finish them off.  He just can�t get the workers, well, not the skilled ones if there is such a thing here anyway. The wood hasn�t arrived to replace the doors to the shed yet, so we are still waiting. Anthony is going to do that himself.

I had tried turning the TV on for the first time, just to listen to the radio and we had lost all the Digiturk channels! I didn�t know why but decided we had better take a drive to Tektan and find out. He was useless and said he didn�t know why we had no channels so we would have to go to the Digiturk office. Well, quite honestly we couldn�t face it as it was in Girne. Yarin(tomorrow!)

Peter came round late afternoon to use the computer and have a chat.

Dinner on the terrace and continued there supping our wine. We sat watching the cement mixers queuing up to the left of the house to go up to the building works.  This went on until 11.00pm at night!! We know they are not supposed to do this but then you have to call the Police and it goes on����

Tuesday 14th June
More weeding today.  It was unbelievable how big some of the thistles have grown.  I was trying to clear the front area where you have to walk down to the pump room.  So far, I have managed to clear the drives and the front of the house. It was a very prickly business even with thick gardening gloves on and hot work!

We had lunch and then decided we would take the plunge and head for Girne and visit Digiturk office. The girls in there were very nice but spoke little English. I said obviously we had been cut off as we owed them money but that we had been told it would be taken from our bank each month.  After all, the card number was on the contract.  I had been told by various people that they won�t take it from an English account, you have to go in one of the Girne banks each month and pay it etc etc. After a long, long time, one of the girls rang their manager who could speak pretty good English.  I explained it all to her and finally all was clear. The card we used had been renewed but they had the last expiry date on the contract and so wouldn�t accept payment! Now we were getting somewhere.  I paid the 83ytl we owed and the girl took all the details again from the card and yes, they will take it from the bank each month!! She was going to reconnect it today but I told her to leave it as she had told us we have two free months if we don�t use it and go back to the UK! As there had been so much complication already I told her to resume it at the beginning of August and start the payments from then.  After all we hadn�t even turned it on to watch anything.  We really only had it for the winter so it is not important. Another problem solved but never quickly! Back home, dinner, walk Rosie and out on the terrace. Thankfully tonight no cement mixers, just peace and quiet, of course apart from the kennel dogs!

Wednesday 15th June
Up early and I went out on my own walking Rosie. Malatya water was running again, so I decided to water the garden but from the spare water tank as that water has been stagnant for a while. It was very hot even early in the morning. After that I continued cutting down the weeds and thistles to the pump room.  Some had grown so quickly that I just couldn�t budge them so I had to take a saw to them.  They had stems like trees.  I will have to sort out the roots another day.  By 10.30 I stopped as the sun was beating down and I was dripping! Anthony arrived to come and make three new doors for the lean to. He ended up spending the entire day here, dripping from the heat of the sun.  He made the three new doors and We just kept thinking, it is all very well doing new doors but what about the sides and the tiles on the roof that don�t cover the ends. He worked all day in the hot sun.

Thursday 16th June
Rosie walked in the morning and then Anthony arrived to carry on with the shed. By the end of the day, he had completed the woodwork.  Not only had he put new doors on but he also covered the sides with another layer of wood which was much improved so that the shoddy carpentry was completely covered and now we have a double layer at each side. Anthony explained he just can�t get the skilled workers here and you tell them one thing and they do something else.  I suggested that no one here had spirit levels and he said yes they do but they just don�t know how to use them!  A vast improvement.

Peter came up early evening to see we were OK. He also bought us a tub of profiterole ice cream, as Paula had cut Gwen�s hair.  That was nice of them.Dinner and sat on the terrace in the evening

Friday 17th June
The dogs in the kennels seemed to have barked all night which meant was really unsettled, so not a good nights sleep and it was the hottest yet overnight.

Anthony arrived in the morning to complete the shed.  Poor thing I did say that it would have been quicker to have taken the whole thing down and start again instead of trying to repair the bad work.  However I have to say it is a vast improvement and actually looks like a shed now.  He has even put catches on the doors instead of just the locks.When Anthony went off for his lunch we had a swim.  The temperature today is 31 degrees in the shade.

Paula went to bed in the afternoon and even Rosie was quiet because of the heat!

Anthony was supposed to bring the guy to complete the railings but he didn�t come with him, so Anthony returned on his own in the afternoon and cleared up all his tools. He said he should be bringing the railing man tomorrow.

Quite a lazy day. Paula and I went off early evening, collected some shopping and went to Bizim Han to have dinner.  The prices are still very reasonable.  We had lamacan and then chicken şiş, two drinks and Turkish coffee and the bill came to 21 and a half ytl, a little less than �9!

Back to Rosie and managed to get a short walk in before it became dark, which is about 8.30pm.  The insects biting well! They have come because of the increase in the temperature.

Saturday 18th June
Up early and at 6.30 the sun was already very hot. Dressed and we took Rosie to the beach. It was lovely we bumped into some twenty something�s who had camped on the beach overnight.  They asked us where they could go for a �full English Breakfast�!

Back for breakfast and then Anthony arrived looking much the worse for wear. He explained he had been down the Harbour drinking until 4 this morning! But true to his word, he had brought another welder back to complete the gates and railings.  This time a much nicer man who didn�t have an attitude like the last one. It is worrying though, they stand here doing the welding and wear no goggles.  As you pass the building sites it is obvious there is little Health and Safety.

So, at last both the lean to and the gates and railings are complete.  A very relieved Anthony took the money I handed him over and said he was going back home for a shower and back to bed. Serves him right!

Chatted to Mal in the evening, who is getting a little fed up with all the work, poor thing.

We managed to get in a late night water of the garden just as it was getting dark. It gets dark about 8.30pm

Sunday 19th June
Up early after about four hours sleep.  The kennel dogs were barking all night and every time Rosie settled down, they started again and then she started. Trouble is I like sleeping with all the doors and windows open.

Very bleary eyed today because of it. Gwen and Peter came for a visit and Gwen brought some plants for the garden. Peter cleaned the swimming pool and back washed it.

After he had gone, we discovered that the pool pump wasn�t working.  I then went indoors and heard water and discovered the WC in the bathroom was leaking.  I really couldn�t face any of this today and so decided to leave it until tomorrow.

Lunch, swim, dinner later, Rosie for her walk and early to bed to catch up with some sleep. Whilst we were walking the mobile rang and it was Rhys. Ange and Rhys had collected Mal for a break as it was Fathers Day and taken him to their house for a barbecue, a few beers and cards and presents. How sweet of them.  They all sounded as though they were enjoying themselves. Thanet Air Show had been on and so they had all sat and watched it from their garden. The grandchildren told me all about it.

Tonight I put on the air conditioning and shut up everything and Rosie and I slept well.

Monday 20th June
After a good nights sleep, up early and Rosie and I went for a walk before it got too hot.  Paula managed to find the problem with the swimming pool pump, a tiny button had fallen off the timer whilst it had been switched in the off position. The loo next and that was taken apart and sorted!

Bit more weeding and then lunch.  Paula was doing her OU work. A quiet afternoon and then in the evening the wind got up and started banging things around.  It was still very warm though.Rosie and I went for a walk and on the way back, stopped to talk to Lena and Willi.

Tuesday 21st June
Rosie and I went for our usual walk and then Paula and I went to Bellapais.  The shop Paula wanted to go in was still shut so we had a drink at the �Tree of Idleness� and waited.  They didn�t come and open the shop, so we had a look at the others and then bought shopping on the way home.

Peter arrived in the afternoon, dinner, sat on terrace watching the world go by! Of course Rosie and I went for our usual evening walk and we went quite a long way up the mountain.  They seem to have cleared a lot of the paths, I think they have done this to have them as fire breaks.

Wednesday 22nd June
More weeding until it became too hot and then swimming. Rosie and I went for our walk in the morning and the evening.  Still quite hot in the evening.

Thursday 23rd June
Rosie and I went down to the beach, it was nice and breezy and she loved it. More weeding but at least I have cleared all below the swimming pool so when Rosie�s balls go below the railings, they can be retrieved without any fear of snakes. Also down by the pump house is all clear. I took Rosie for her evening walk and then Paula and I went out to the Farmhouse Restaurant in Alsancak. We haven�t been there for a long time.

We started off with cocktails as these are half price between 6.30 until 7.30.

Paula and I both had King Prawn Tempura to start and then Paula had cod and chips (!) and I had char grilled swordfish.  Mine came with a plate of salad and a plate of chips.What with the batter for the starters and the batter on Paula�s cod and then the greasy chips, it all seemed a bit �greasy�.  The swordfish was huge and I ended up taking some home for Rosie.

Friday 24th June
Well, very strange we both work up with a �funny� tummy! Think it was possibly all the grease from last night.  I did get up and do Rosie�s early morning walk, a bit of weeding and felt so tied and not well.  Paula didn�t get up until 9.30 and then went back to bed and I went and had a lie down on the bed as well. Neither of us was that bad but just not right and very tired. Strange. We both slept. Couldn�t manage much to eat all day.  Peter came round early evening and Rosie started playing up and had to be shut indoors, so she looked for all the mischief she could find.  She was trying to bury the potatoes out of the veg rack in her bed, was moving round things in carrier bags and goodness knows what else. Not pleased that she was shut away but she will keep jumping up at Peter and he doesn�t like it. He does his fair share of winding her up�.�where�s the cats Rosie� etc and so she targets him now!

Mal is back in Birmingham so I managed to ring him at the hotel instead of the usual �network busy� on the phone, which seems to go on for hours nowadays. I think he has had enough of all the work and it is getting to him.  It doesn�t seem fair when I am here. We went to bed and for some reason Rosie decided she would bark after the light went out but I was too tired to get up and investigate!

Saturday 25th June
Usual early morning walk for Rosie and I. An email from Mal, after a weeks glorious weather in the UK and the hottest London day for 46 years, it is now raining and thunderstorms.

I drove down to Atakara supermarket to get some shopping whilst Paula stayed here with Rosie, to save the agro of the �Great Escape�!

Sunday 26th June- Wednesday 29th June
Much of the same until it was time to return to England.

Thursday 30th June
Peter took us to the airport and the flight was on time.  Unfortunately, in the seat next to me was a London Cyp who started drinking his bottle of Raki.  He was fine to begin with and started chatting away to us. As the journey continued he became more and more inebriated. In the end I don�t think he knew what he was doing and went to have a cigarette in the toilets.  The air hostess found out and started shouting at him. I couldn�t believe he repeated this performance a second time. This time he was sent to the captain. Meanwhile he continued talking to Paula and I and it really was becoming quite embarrassing. By the end of the flight he was wandering up and down the plane and completely forgotten where his seat was. In the end security removed him from the plane. An eventful journey! Rhys and Mal met me at the airport and back to Margate.