April 2006

Saturday 1st April
The workmen here again and they look as if they are making a pretty good job of the wall.

I went off shopping to Atakara. It is always quite busy in there on Saturday mornings.

On the front of the Cyprus Today, a picture of Prince Harry outside �Roxannes� last night. He has evidently just completed a two week military exercise in Episkopi (the South) and wanted to savour the delights of the better part of Cyprus (the North, my opinion not his!) It was also reported that he may meet up with the British Residents Association this morning, so will still be in Girne.

Well, royalty in an unrecognised country!

The noticeable thing in Cyprus Today was the slimness of the Property section.

Two more premier matches in the afternoon, Chelsea 0 Birmingham 0!! Enough said I think.

Sunday 2nd April
I took Rosie for a walk and the brown puppy from the Cypriot bungalow just up the road, followed us home and jumped over the wall to play with Rosie. She does this sometimes and then goes home.  Not today! She stayed.

Gwen rang in the morning and was concerned about one of her cats Boris whose mouth was swollen and she could see some blood and he looked very under the weather. She wasn�t sure when a vet would be open but said she would ring after 9.00 am. She then called back when she had spoken to Pertev who was on call and he told her to bring him straight in. So, I went straight round there. The road to Gwen and Peter�s isn�t brilliant at the best of times but the whole length of it now has been dug up by Kibtek, laying new cables. What a mess and what an obstacle course but I managed to get round there.

On arrival at Gwen�s Boris had disappeared.  Typical. The pair of us searched high and low for him and then we found him under a hedge, of course he then ran a little way but finally Gwen caught him and into the cat carrier. Poor thing, he cried all the way to the vets.  It was painful. Gwen thought he had an abscess but on closer inspection Pertev discovered it was a snake bite. I think it shook Gwen, after all she had lived through Rosie�s episode with her snake bite. So, Boris had five injections and we took him back home.  Back along the bumpy road, not very comfortable for Boris. I stayed down with Gwen for the rest of the morning as I was intending going down there anyway.

The workmen were here again.

Back home for lunch and brown puppy was still here.  Mal kept shoo-ing her away and she just came back again. I was not too impressed when I saw her gnawing our wooden chairs outside!  Whatever we did, she was not going, she liked it at our house.  My thoughts were to put her on a lead and take her back home. I may be wrong but Cypriots own her and I had visions of her getting a good beating and being chained up, so I didn�t want to do that.

Mal then decided to throw water at her but she thought that was a good game but by about 4.00pm she went.

I had to collect Peter from the airport and just as I got in the car, puppy ran up the drive again. Well, Mal would have to sort her out.

Whilst I was out the Muhtar had visited and given Mal a blue metal sign with �2� on it, ready for the census.  This is now getting very organised as we now also have a blue metal sign on the Kibtek post opposite us with �Atalar Caddesi� on it. When our wall is finished we can put the number up.

Peter�s plane landed on time and so back once again along the bumpy road, a bit more difficult in the dark!

Boris had eaten so that was a very positive sign.

By the time I arrived back home, puppy had gone home and Mal had cooked dinner. He was not particularly happy as he had been watching the West Ham match and they only drew with Charlton (0-0).

The weather was beautiful all day and still very warm in the evening.

Monday 3rd April
Another very warm day and I took Gwen back to the vets with Boris.  Pertev was really pleased with him and the swelling had gone down a little, so no more injections. I know how relieved Gwen was.

Back home and Halil had been up to say that they had finished rendering the wall and would now wait until Friday, when it had dried, to start the painting. They are going to backfill after they have painted.

Well, at last I will be able to get my car up the drive, or at least try and see if I can.  The car is absolutely filthy, covered in dust, so now I can wash it.

Success, the car did make it up the drive although it is a bit of a tight turn to the last section up to the hard stand.

The retaining wall:

We still have a lot more to be done but we are getting there!

About two hours after the wall was finished and still wet, Mal took Rosie for her walk and thank you, whoever did this to the wall. Graffiti all over the section that faces the road, into the wet render.

We didn�t expect this here in Northern Cyprus.  We can�t imagine who did it but Mal and I are not happy.

Tuesday 4th April
In complete contrast to the last two days, the weather is cloudy, windy and also spots of rain.

Boris is doing well and along with this message, Gwen and Peter are housebound.  They can�t get out of their house because of Kibtek digging up the road! I knew it would come to this as it was bad enough at the weekend.

I popped to Serkos for some shopping and on my journey down the drive, discovered it is too sharp a bend to stay on the drive, hence breaking a small part of the concrete guttering.  We will have to tell Halil.

Mal had emailed the Olive tree project, saying that we were interested in some trees. Maria called round to discuss it. The first ones we want on our newly acquired land before, hopefully Mustafa starts building or they will not be able to gain access. I am sure we will want more when we have sorted the rest of the land out but in the meantime, two just behind our garden wall.

We have signed the contract and paid our 10% deposit. For anyone else who wants a rescued olive tree, as I said before the site is www.olivetreeproject.com. This is a really worthwhile project so perhaps some more of you would like to buy some trees.

The cost was 500ytl for the first tree and 375ytl for the second, so about �350 for the two mature trees, including all the transportation, all the work they have put into rescuing the trees and also the planting.

Villa For Sale in North Cyprus
Property ID: 40063101634924

Property Type: Villa

Location: Alsancak, Girne (Kyrenia) – Northern Cyprus

Living area: 1200 m2

Price: 875,000 GBP

Bedrooms: 5

Property description and specifications:
Don’t miss once in a lifetime opportunity to own luxurious Royal Villa!!! The biggest house in the island positioned in the perfect location of preserved forests of Alsancak. The Royal Villa personifies class, luxury, spaciousness and individuality. It combines the best of the modern comfort and internal finishes with the old style architectural designs. Only the highest standard construction materials and new Belgium technology of building were used. 1200 sqm palace in 4 donums of best Alsancak land.

Elegant construction and chic interior will become a perfect reflection of sophisticated and intelligent lifestyle. Thought down to the smallest details it will be one of a kind innovatively built and designed house on the island. Royal Villa is divinely positioned overlooking the magnificent Mediterranean Sea and surrounding indigenous Pine Trees on Alsancak hills. From the huge terrace a breath taking, panoramic view over the sea and the mountains opens. And in front of your lovely designed balconies, your pool or your private landscape garden blooms in typical Mediterranean style with pine trees, bushes and palms.

Beyond the garden let your eyes wander serenely over the supreme tranquility and spectacular views, surrounded by acres of unspoilt nature. All this is only a few minutes away from Kyrenia City, you will enjoy the quiet serenity of the mountain and unscathed nature while being just minutes away from sandy beaches, shops, restaurants and entertainment.

Thank you Julie for emailing this Estate Agents Advert for the �Russian House�.

It really has kept Mal and I laughing ever since we have received it. On the estate agents other info it also says 10 minutes from Girne!!!!!!!!  I don�t think I have ever got into Girne in 10 minutes.  Mind you I suppose with a house like that you would take the helicopter.

So, we are to be behind the Royal Villa, how grand. BUT who would pay all that money to be looked down upon by us on their roof terrace? AND as for tranquillity, I wish. Diggers, cement mixers up and down, development on the other side of the mountain which they don�t show, kennels and Rosie barking at them! And a builders yard to the front of them.

This is not all. Last week we saw a digger down below the Russian House.  Lena had evidently gone down there to see what they were doing and they were trying to prop up the land at their side as they have built the �Royal Villa� on the edge of a ravine.

Well, do any of you have a spare �875,000 and we could be neighbours?

On a lighter note, we have had rain today and a pretty dull day. Of course it rained I watered the garden this morning.

Wednesday 5th April
We continued our quest for two relaxer outdoor chairs.  This time we went to Őnders in Lefkosa.  Again the plastic chairs were very flimsy and so bought two wooden ones, which we were pleased with. On the way back from Lefkosa we took some more things to the Auction rooms, ready for the next auction on 16th April.

We had left Rosie with a hide bone to amuse her in our absence. When we returned she had �buried� it untouched in the side of the settee.  As soon as we arrived home, she rescued it and ate half and then went to bury the other half in the garden. We only realised this when she came indoors with a huge lump of mud stuck to her nose, mud stuck to her whiskers and mud all over her paws. About half an hour later, after I had cleared all the mud from the floors, she dug it up again! This exercise happened about three more times. Well, it kept her amused all day. The Dyson came out but started smelling of burning and seemed as though it had overheated. Oh no!

In the afternoon Peter managed to escape from the house, obviously Kibtek had cleared a bit of the road and he came to see us.

Boris is doing well after his snake bite, thank goodness.

The weather was dull again but early evening, a lovely puffy low cloud in the mountains.

Thursday 6th April
Mal started filling cracks on the outside chimney breast wall and getting it ready to paint.

Early morning Mustafa arrived with a digger obviously to start digging out the foundations for the first house he is building behind us. This went on all day.

Lena and Willy came over in the afternoon. Willy has to go for a hip operation tomorrow. We wish him well.

Friday 7th April
Mustafa�s digger was back again early in the morning.

A hive of industry this morning, as the cement mixers are also up and down the road up to the �elephant trunk� which is working on the first house in the village, which is above Julie�s house.

We rang Rhys in the morning as it was his 31st birthday.  Makes you wonder where all those years have gone. Lou and Rhys are staying at our caravan which has been shut up since January. Evidently it has not been empty we have had mice visiting! So, they have cleaned everywhere and found a vent in the floor which it looks as though the mice had �popped� off, so they are going to replace and seal.

I took my Dyson out again and we spent a considerable time with it in pieces, only to find that it has died. Goodness knows how I will manage to de � dog hair the rugs and car without it.

In the afternoon we headed off for the beach where Rosie improved her swimming technique!

But the thing she likes doing most of all is getting as smelly as possible.

She rolls in the smelliest things she can find.

As we walked back along the beach, we met a couple with their two golden retrievers (I think Golden Retrievers are haunting me!) They were lovely and have been brought over from the UK. Rosie thought they were lovely too and even let one of them chew up her ball.

When we got home Peter came to visit and then in the evening we sat down to watch the DVD �Broken Flowers�. It was a very slow film made worse by the fact that the film kept stopping.  This has happened a few times previously but we thought it was the DVD�s Mal had �burnt�. However, having sat there until almost the end when it packed up completely, Mal put it on the laptop and it was fine. We have cleaned the DVD player to no avail and so now, not only the Dyson but the DVD player as well has given up the ghost.

We decided to go on the Internet and back a couple of horses for the Grand National.  The two I chose were �Nil Desperandum� and �It takes Time�.  Both seemed quite apt names.

The cement mixers were pouring cement at the house next to Willy and Lena�s and this went on until 11.00pm! What a noise, seeing as we had all the doors and windows open.

Saturday 8th April
Did you all spot the �April Fool� from last weeks Cyprus Today? Prince Harry did not come to the TRNC!

I went shopping first thing. I should not have recommended the wine as the supply seems to have diminished.

Mustafa�s digger was here again first thing.  We think they have hit rock, not surprising as that was why our swimming pool is so high, because there is rock here too.

Our workmen were coming back to paint the wall yesterday, need I say, no sign yesterday or today.

Mal and I spent the rest of the day feeling pretty fed up as Mal has to go back to the UK for his exam board work.

A couple of times I suggested he start on the packing but he said as soon as he did that then it became real, so was delaying it!

Peter arrived with some post to take back to the UK.

We watched the football in the afternoon and as no one was showing the Grand National, went on the Internet.  Nil Desperandum was placed fourth so we won a few pennies back!

Mal wanted to rig up a connection between the desk top and the TV to watch a DVD but I told him he had to pack! He had to face the inevitable! So, pack he did.

Sunday 9th April
We got up at 3.00 am with a totally confused Rosie.  Why on earth were we waking her up at this hour? Mal was even more fed up now the time was here. We drove to the airport for the 5.45 am flight. Rosie came too.  Night time driving I have always taken my dogs with me.  I know if anything happened to the car and I was stuck on my own, Rosie wouldn�t let anything happen!

I dropped Mal off, we said our goodbyes and back home I drove. There was a lot of fog around Ercan.

Once we arrived home, there seemed little point returning to bed!

Rosie became very clingy with me, obviously wondering if I was going to desert her too.

Gwen and Peter arrived in the morning and remarked how quiet Rosie was!

Mal text to say he arrived safely, with only about half hour delay but more time taken with double passport checks at Stansted. Torin met him at the airport and took him back to his house.

In the afternoon I watched the two football matches, the first West Ham (Mal�s team) v Chelsea (Torin�s team).  Bet they had fun watching it together.

Then Manchester United�s victory over Arsenal, meaning I received a jubilation text from Rhys!

The grandchildren went round to Torin�s to see granddad and so I rang and spoke to them all. They had already watched one of the DVD�s Mal had taken back for them! I don�t know what we would do without Skype, it saves us a fortune in phone calls and the quality has improved greatly.

Rosie seemed very relieved after a day of moping that in spite of the fact Mal wasn�t here, she still had her evening walk, her raw carrot as dinner was prepared and her half a biscuit at bedtime!  What a spoilt dog!

Monday 10th April
Another beautiful day. I spent a lot of the day gardening. Rosie has her favourite place when I am gardening in the sun and that is lying under the pampas grass. It looked very attractive at one time but she has managed to squash down all one side of it. Her brown and white doggy friend came down and joined her under the pampas! Two of them squashing it now!

I also had a Skype chat with Bev who will be arriving out here on Wednesday. She is getting excited and now Bev and Gary are seriously considering moving out here full time. I also had an hour phone call to Mal! He then headed off to Birmingham for his exam meeting.  I often wonder how he manages to find his �sensible� head when he has to go back and work. Still, this trip is only a one day meeting and then filling his suitcase up to come back. I can�t wait for all the goodies!

It was still warm in the evening but I watched some TV and then became engrossed in a James Nesbitt drama that finished at midnight. It was about the best thing I have seen on BBC Prime since we have lived here.

Tuesday 11th April
The sun was out and so I took Rosie to the beach. As usually happens, I met other dog walkers there, this time a very nice lady with two dogs. Even her 11 year old dog was chasing all over the beach with Rosie.

I stopped in Serkos on the way back and a very wet Rosie sat on my seat while she waited in the car. Consequently I arrived home looking very scruffy with a wet bum where Rosie had plonked herself on my seat. As I got out of the car, Julie was there!  It is the first time I have met her. We only emailed each other and yet as Julie said, it seemed like we had known each other for years.  Rosie fell in love with her, perhaps it was the pig�s ears and bones that Julie brought her! So, we had a cup of tea and chat and then Julie had to leave.  She is concerned about �number 6� that she was having built. They are evidently now building a load of semis and a communal pool just behind and above her.  Wonderful! I know she is looking around for other places.

Julie and Rosie

I had another Skype chat with Bev and then Mal rang. He was getting ready for his meeting. Poor thing.

I felt a bit guilty as after he rang I went in swimming, now the pool has warmed up. It was lovely. He is working in soggy wet England and I am here swimming in the pool.

Peter came round in the afternoon.

Well, our poor pampas grass now has the sparrows stripping the feathery bits.  There won�t be much left of it.

I contacted Ali Semi about the two houses to the left of us and below, for Julie as she wanted to know how much they are. I asked how much and he said �200,000. I did ask if that was for the two but his English is not good and he said �three evleks�, so I presume that is for one. I am shocked if that is so.

I tried ringing Julie at the hotel several times during the evening and the last time leaving a message.

Wednesday 12th April
Julie obviously didn�t get the message and so I tried ringing again, no answer from the room.

Having sung the praises of Skype, Mal rang and I could hear nothing! We tried several times. If he rang me and I didn�t pick up the phone I could hear him through the speakers and if I rang him, he could hear me but I still couldn�t hear him. So, we kept ringing each other having a one way conversation!

I saw Lena and Willy is recovering well from his hip operation.

I received an email from Margaret, the chairperson of KAR, who asked if I would put the Dog Show on my website. I will also ask Mal to put it on his website.  Margaret also mentioned that dogs can no longer travel from South to North. In fact NO animals can cross the border.

So, the Dog Show as everyone would have gathered is no longer on 30th April (our census curfew day) but will now be held on SUNDAY 7th MAY.

It really is a great day out.  Even if you don�t own a dog here, please go along.  KAR need your support, just think of the 200 homeless dogs up at the kennels and the cats as well.

So here are the details, so no one has any excuse for not going!!

KAR Dog Show and Spring Fayre



Registration begins 9.30am Judging begins 10.30am.

Two rings with total 17 classes.

Prizes � Cups � Rosettes to be won.

Stalls selling bric-a-brac, books, cakes, Pony rides, BBQ.

Bigger and Better this year. Fun for all the family.
Please give them your support, the volunteers work so hard, so we should all do our �bit�!

If you do a have a dog here in TRNC, enter them in one of the classes.  Rosie entered last year.  She didn�t win anything but I was quite proud of the way she behaved.  It really is good fun. 17 classes this year so there must be something for every dog here.

Mal called again and between us we tried to adjust the settings for Skype but no success. It will have to wait until he returns.

Ali Semi called me about his two houses for sale and I explained I couldn�t get hold of Julie and I rang the hotel again. They obviously have not passed the message on. Ali Semi has had one of his workers there tidying the houses up and the land opposite the houses which every builder around has been using as a �tipping area�, he has put a notice up saying no rubbish to be dumped over the side there or a 500ytl fine. BUT to stop this he has also planted some trees there. So, someone cares about the environment here at last. Good on you Ali.

Thursday 13th April
Another lovely sunny day. I spent quite a while getting ticks off Rosie.  Not an easy job. I decided more �Spot on� needed.  As soon as she gets a sniff of it she goes mad and bares her teeth. But I persevered and once again ended up with half of it on the floor.  I think she believes she is going to have an injection and gets so angry. Maybe it is after all the injections she had following her snake bite but it is a real battle. I even wrote to a manufacturer asking if they made tablets to stop the ticks but no joy, they only have tablets for fleas. Ah, well the pleasures of owning a rescue dog.

Mals second day of shopping from the list I gave him and I think he has got out of the habit! I won�t go into the mistakes he made and the fact he got lost going to Argos in Biggleswade and had forgotten the Hammerite altogether!

He did walk round the local hardware shop in the rain, only to discover they had shut for Easter! Torin came home from work early and so drove him down to Homebase. Evidently he put it in his hand luggage in case it burst open in the case and at customs they said he couldn�t take it but he persuaded them that is was as flammable as a bottle of whisky and after the Manager being called and Mal telling him �his wife would kill him if he returned home without it�, they let Mal and his tin of Hammerite through! If I had known it would have been such a problem, I would have told him not to bother!

In the afternoon the guys at Extend Broadband rang to ask if Mr Channing was here. They had told us that they were going to change our satellite dish to improve our Internet connection. So, they arrived and installed the new dish but left me without Internet as it needed to be set up. About an hour later it was up and running.

I went swimming again and Peter popped round in the afternoon.

I went to bed earliesh in preparation for collecting Mal from the airport at 6.00. am. I set the alarm on my mobile and went to sleep. At 11.50, I thought it was the alarm going off and jumped out of bed. It was a text from Mal saying he was boarding! The plane should be on time.

Friday 14th April
My alarm went off at 4.30 am.  I had plenty of time to meet the plane, a cup of tea and Rosie and I were on our way.

I had only got down on to the main road when I received a text. It was from Mal. �I am in Ercan airport�!! So, although of course it is �not allowed�, they had a direct flight lasting four and quarter hours.  Of course they were not told until they were landing so no one collecting had been warned, but who cares when there was no stop over in Turkey.

I pulled up outside the airport and Rosie went crazy, she climbed all over Mal licking him all over! The case in the boot and Mal in the front passenger seat and then Rosie leapt on to his lap and just would not leave him alone, her tail wagging like mad.  The only safe way to drive with her like this was with Mal in the back with her!! I think she had missed him!

It was lovely to have Mal back, Rosie was not the only one to think so. He remembered the Hot Cross Buns, as today was Good Friday and also bought me a large Green and Black Easter Egg with two slabs of cherry chocolate either side, so the errors in his shopping were forgiven! He certainly knows the way to a woman�s heart!

The tin of Hammerite arrived in tact along with two glass tiffany lampshades and most of the rest of the shopping list was there.

Mal spent the rest of the morning restoring Skype!

We then decided as it is Easter, we would be lazy for the weekend and treat it as a holiday! So, we sat by the pool and enjoyed the sun for the rest of the day.

Mal was glad to be home.

I spoke to Bev and we agreed to meet them at the Bulletin Board �get together� Sunday lunchtime.

Skype restored, I rang my friend Paula, my sister and Torin!

Saturday 15th April
I took Rosie out first thing and saw Res.  I was telling her the saga of Mals shopping and then she told me she had bought a tin of Hammerite in the South yesterday!!!!!! Wouldn�t that have been easier???

In case anyone wonders why this was so important, our newest railings have gone rusty.  Marvellous workmanship once again.

Peter came round to see Mal and of course wound him up about getting lost going to Argos! As Mal always says he is �geographically disinclined�.

I don�t think I have mentioned for some time that there has been no sign of Halil and his merry men to continue with the work on the drive. Mal and I are now convinced that we won�t see him again. We think he has now realised that he should have backfilled the retaining wall before he laid the drive, obviously a JCB is going to crack it all. So, another problem we have to think about. Little point getting stressed, it is really run of the mill here!

We did very little in the afternoon.

We did try and watch a DVD in the evening, a very short way into it and we had a power cut. We sat reading with our head torches on.  They are brilliant. They were part of our Christmas presents from Torin and Karen, a bit of a joke they said but they are so useful. Torin uses one for fishing.

Sunday 16th April
Gwen and Peter came round in the morning. It is now Gwen�s turn to get the miseries as she is going back to the UK next Saturday!

After they went we went to the Silver Grill, where people from various TRNC bulletin boards were meeting.  A good idea to put names to faces. Bev and Gary were going as well.

We weren�t sure what time it started and so arrived at 1.00pm. We were the first! Next Nigel and Pat whom we had met previously at a homebuyers group. Then more arrived.  I thought there would be more people. Although it was impossible to talk to everyone there, I have to say what a lovely bunch of people they were. We have been to several �groups� that seem promising only to find �British Wingers� but this was very different. So, all of you that didn�t go, you don�t know what you missed.

A very enjoyable Easter Sunday lunch.

Mal had a suggestion that I ought to have a contact for my website, so when the Internet is behaving, he will do this for me. It has not been working properly since the new satellite has been installed! It quite horrifies me how many people look at this site!! It started as a record for us to look back on and then for friends and family left behind in the UK.  Dawn for instance (third picture down on the left) met Mal at Stansted airport and knew who he was! Sorry Neil (Dawn�s husband), I don�t know how you didn�t get in the pictures. They are a lovely couple. Bev and Gary were having a get together at their house afterwards but we felt we ought to go home and see what devastation Rosie had caused. What a surprise, she had buried her bone in the side of the settee and was asleep! As soon as we were back she started on her bone. Bev did however tell me that they had been to the hotel Julie was staying at and Julie left for the UK yesterday. I await an update.

Having been nice and hot this morning, rain in the afternoon, followed by a terrific storm in the evening and torrential rain (did I forget to mention that I watered the garden last night?!)

Monday 17th April
In the morning I went into Girne to Ankara Travel to buy our next lot of tickets for the UK. They really are very helpful in there. I posted a Cyprus Today for Rhys, in Girne Post Office, the cost 1.70ytl. This is very strange as when I post it in Alsancak they charge me double that amount! I presumed it was because postal charges had gone up. Shopping on the way back.

We spent the rest of the day sitting by the pool reading and watching the football. Chelsea�s 3-0 win, I am sure makes them uncatchable.

Mal took Rosie for her evening walk and talked to Chris and Cynthia who are moving into a house just up the road (in Yesilyurt Sokak) and were waiting for their container to arrive. Their house is the new one behind the little yellow bungalow.

Tuesday 18th April
We are still having computer problems, intermittent Internet, no emails and obviously no Skype working. Mal had been in touch with them over the weekend and was told that something was hit by lightning in the storm and they were correcting the fault.

He rang them again and they have blocked his file sharing! Mal had plenty to say to them about that!  We are now back up and running.

We have decided that summer is here and so have taken all the rugs up.

Mal spoke to Chris and Cynthia again and offered our metal bin to burn their boxes in. BUT when Mal went to get it, discovered that it has disappeared when all the drive work was being done!!

Peter came round in the afternoon and in the evening Bev and Gary came to dinner.

Poor Bev was upset when she arrived as she had just seen a dog run over and killed and the driver just carried on.  How awful.

We had a lovely evening and the good news is that Bev and Gary have decided to go back, sell their house and move over here permanently.

Gary and Mal

One day Mal will have a �sensible� face on when I take a picture!

Later in the evening the subject got round to genealogy, so Mal showed them a few things on the computer!

Wednesday 19th April
We were very surprised this morning, the painters arrived to paint the retaining wall! Better late than never and Mal and I had decided that �never� was probably it. Halil came along to asking for the rest of the money minus �300.  Basically Mal told him he could have the money when he had backfilled the wall and then of course there is the matter of the broken gutter, which we believe will be broken even more when they back fill. We wait to see.

I know it doesn�t look much but we have our first lemon on our little lemon tree!

The garden is looking good.  The sage is in full blossom.

The silk tree is podding

..and even the jasmine which we had given up for dead has started climbing the frame. It still has a long way to go.

In the evening we took Rosie to the beach and it was lovely, the tourists had left and just us dog walkers were there. We used to walk our dogs in the UK along Minnis Bay beach and complain when it was tourist season!

What a life. How lucky we are.

Thursday 20th April
27 degrees today! We went to Amanda�s auction to see if anything we had put into the auction for Sunday had sold. We were pleasantly surprised to receive a cheque for �357.00!! Everything went!

Mal took some photos in the garden and is very proud of this one:

Mal has the new digital camera and I have mine that I dropped on the tiled floor last week, so isn�t performing quite as well as it should!

Gwen and Peter came round in the afternoon. It was such a lovely afternoon that Mal actually went in for a swim for the first time this year.  Well, the water temperature was 24 and a half degrees! The only problem is that Rosie chases up and down the side of the pool with you. I am sure it won�t be long before she is in there with us.

Friday 21st April
No sign of the builders again, perhaps they have given up the ghost this time!

Bev and Gary came round to say their goodbyes and brought their son and grandson with them. Callum, their grandson wants to be on the website, bless him, so here he is!

And one of Gary, Philip and Callum

They are going back to England tomorrow and Callum didn�t want to go!

We will see them all again soon as they will be coming out frequently until they move out here.

I also received an email from Lou taken at our caravan last weekend, Rhys and the grandchildren:

I do miss them.

Swimming in the afternoon.

In the evening we decided to go out and eat and give Bizim Han a try as we haven�t been there for a long time. It is next door to Burhan�s furniture shop. We both started with lahmacun and they were delicious as always. I had the Bizim Han Special, chicken, mushrooms and tomato under a bread topping. I did expect a bowl of salad and a plate of chips, to be put on the table, as they used to, but nothing. Mal had the mixed kebab.  A tasty brandy sour and an Efes and our bill came to 42.50ytl. Prices have gone up since our last visit but haven�t they all! We thought it was still good value.

An enjoyable meal and then back home for another brandy sour!

Saturday 22nd April
Gwen left for her week in the UK and text to say she had arrived safely but that it was seven degrees!

We spent a chunk of the day catching up on phone calls to the UK, making the most of when we did have Internet! It is still intermittent and not very satisfactory.

We watched the Chelsea v Liverpool semi final in the afternoon. Well done Liverpool! (I hope Torin doesn�t read this!)

Sunday 23rd April
I spoke to Torin on the phone who had plenty to say about Chelsea�s performance, the team that was put out, the ref, bad decisions etc etc!

So, now I think my families hopes are all on West Ham!

Peter came round in the morning and then took Mal down to sort some things out on his computer.

We then had our Sunday roast (beautiful pork from Lena�s daughter) and settled down for the big event of the day!

WEST HAM v Middlesborough. Do I have to say West Ham are through to the final. It was a very tense last 10minutes and then Mal dancing round the room, I think not quite believing they had done it and then the phone calls and emails from fellow Hammers supporters.

What excitement!

I know it�s an old West Ham shirt, maybe along with his share in West Ham, he will now invest in a new shirt!

Later we watched the DVD �Memoirs of a Geisha�.

Monday 24th April
We both did some boring things in the morning (like cleaning the pool) and then went to the beach in the afternoon with Rosie.

It looks as though the beach we go to, they are extending the bar and eating area. Last summer they started charging to use the car park but they haven�t yet this year. It just means everyone parks on the side of the road instead!

I rang Torin in the evening as he was having an operation on his face and neck (following his accident two years ago!) Sounded like a lot of cleaning out and stitches. He said it was Ok but obviously not very pleasant and he didn�t feel too bright. At least that is over until he has to have the stitches out. That is when I miss not being round the corner, as old as they are. At least he is OK.

Tuesday 25th April
We never enjoy going into Girne, so made a list of everything we had to do and decided to get it all done in one go. We left at 8.00am, the best time to go, then there are not queues everywhere.

First was to pay our land tax.  This should be paid by 30th April (we didn�t know this until Peter told us!) As usual we knew where to go but they had half the road up and so we had to keep doubling back! When you go in the building it is the office just up a couple of stairs and on the left. You also pay car tax in the same building. Well, we were astounded at our bill and really had a struggle finding the money, small enough that was!  For a year and a half we paid the grand sum of THREE ytl. It really doesn�t seem justified having three people in the office to collect this small amount. We were the only people in that office.

This is the office

It is the white building on the left hand side. In spite of the census we couldn�t find the street name!

Next on to Kibtek (electricity office) to pay our monthly bill which is the highest bill we have had yet, probably because they have added a surcharge for the fuel increase and also the tax has gone up. No queues!

On to the insurance office to pay my car insurance which runs out on 4th May. We were seen straight away again! They couldn�t find the paperwork and then he said �well, it isn�t due yet�! However we handed the money over (130ytl) and he gave us a cover note and assured us the certificate would be ready the next time we called �but it doesn�t matter when�!

On the way back from Girne, we went to the bank, no one else in there!

Mal then went into Eco Logic to enquire about wind powered energy, about �2K for 1kw per hour.  For solar electric it was about �3,500 for 1kw per hour.  For batteries to store 7 kw of which only 50% can be used about �2,500.  An inverter to deliver 3kw per hour another �2K. None of this included installation.  This is not economically viable for us now.  Had there been anything like this on the island when we had to shell out our �10K to have electricity brought to our house, that would have been a different matter. Now of course with the houses going up around us, they are all tapping into what we paid for! That�s life.

Next stop shopping at Lemars and then on to Tektan to enquire about vacuum cleaners. We took a fancy to the one they were actually using in the shop, not the two they had for sale! That was fine, they would get us one for tomorrow at a cost of 140ytl (for cash!) It is a bit like a Vax. No hope of a Dyson here!  Although we have taken the rugs up we have to de-dog hair them and clean them before we store them away!

Back home and Peter was there waiting for us. The people who live behind him have two dogs whom they left in their compound outside and one of the dogs was bitten by a huge snake that got into the compound. Obviously it was taken to the vets straight away and we wait to hear how it is.

Late afternoon, Mustafa came and spoke to me and said someone had dumped a load of builders rubbish on his land and did we know who had done it. The only vans we have seen are his delivering metal rods etc, so I couldn�t help. He said he was going to get in touch with the Police but I can�t see they will do much! It�s not exactly major crime league.

We watched Villa Real v Arsenal in the evening.

Wednesday 26th April
We heard Peter�s neighbours dog is OK, so that is good.

Mal fitted the two wall lights in the winter lounge.  He is getting very good at this DIY! He had also managed to get them back from the UK in one piece.

We went to Tektan in the afternoon to collect the vacuum cleaner.  It was a very half hearted drive there because we just had that feeling!

We arrived, well; no it is not here yet, come back in an hour! Mal just turned tail and said �forget it�. They then said �we will deliver it to you tomorrow�. They took our telephone number and address.  We will see.

In the evening we went to Lynn and Stuart�s and we had a barbeque. Very nice it was too and it was nice seeing them.  They have been having a lot of visitors over the last few weeks.

Poor Stuart was suffering from hay fever quite badly and this was his solution!

We are very cruel to laugh at his expense but we thought the colour suited him. After a lovely evening we went home to watch West Ham beaten by Liverpool!

Thursday 27th April
In the afternoon we went to Ledra crossing point to meet two of Mal�s sons, Kerry and Tristan.  They were on holiday in the South and wanted to come and visit for a couple of days. They warned us they don�t want to stay for curfew day! Who does?!

On the way back we called in at Tektan and our vacuum cleaner was sitting there, so we paid for it and left.

We brought Kerry and Tristan back home and sat out on the terrace catching up, having a few beers.

Mal had a phone call in the afternoon from a �third party� regarding our builder (of our house that is!) It seems Hakan may be finishing the rest of the work on our house. That will be good.

We ended the evening watching the Middlesbrough game.

Friday 28th April
Not as warm today and quite cloudy, so the boys (including Mal) went for a walk up the huge mountain behind us. He met �chicken man� on the way who told them the route right up to the top and also told him that the old school is opening up next week as a caf�/restaurant/meeting place. It is just up the road from us and has been renovated and just sat there for a year with nothing happening to it.  I then saw the Muhtar�s wife planting a garden outside so presumed something may be imminent.  It will nice to actually have something in Malatya.

We had a late lunch on the terrace after the �boys� four and a half hour walk. I think the three of them were a bit exhausted, they ended up in Lapta and then walked back.

Kerry and Tristan are both vegetarians, a concept they are not totally �au fait� with in the TRNC. But I found an advert for the �Ottoman House� in Zeytinlik and they advertise �Vegetarian Menu Available�.  This sounded promising, better than the usual offer of �we can make you an omelette�!

So, in the evening we drove to Ottoman House. It is a very nice place and very welcoming. However, it wasn�t exactly a vegetarian menu, but a choice of TWO vegetarian dishes. They chose one each so they could taste a piece of each.

They took the orders for the drinks and then brought cold mezes, all vegetarian so that was fine. Two of the hot mezes were meat which they put on all four plates even though we had told them Tris and Kerry were vegetarian. Still, Mal is always looking for the �extras�!

Mal had the Ottoman House special steak, which arrived with tinned tomatoes on top.  No excuse for this with fresh tomatoes being so plentiful and cheap! He was not impressed. I had sea bass, which was very tasty and fresh. The boys had a fairly average meal.

We weren�t offered a sweet but had Turkish coffee and brandy �on the house�.

The bill came to 128ytl, which we thought was a good price seeing as that included three rounds of drinks. Mind you, I was only drinking 7 Up as I was driving.

We came back home and a few more drinks and we sat chatting until the early hours.

Saturday 29th April
Another sunny and warm day. Mal had some money to use up on online betting so Kerry had a go at the poker and we had a couple of bets on the footie. I predicted Manchester United would win 2-1.  How wrong can you be?  Well, I was hoping.

Peter popped up for a visit and was then going on to watch the local football game.

Rosie never misses a photo opportunity! This was the one she behaved in!

We had lunch and then settled down for the big game. Needless to say. Chelsea won the cup, Rooney was injured (not good news for the World Cup) and Terry was not looking too promising limping through about an hour of the game. Tris was hoping Chelsea would win (tactical thinking as he is a Liverpool supporter).

When the game finished we drove the boys back to the border to continue their holiday in the South. It was lovely to see them. Tris was trying to get back so he could watch the Liverpool game somewhere in South Nicosia!

Gwen travels back from the UK today and had a text to say she was on her way.

We have left Rosie about four times this week and she now seems to have got the hang of being left without eating books from the bookcase, so that is progress. The pigs ear always helps.

In the evening we watched the Birmingham- Newcastle game.

We are ready and waiting for census day!

Sunday 30th April
(Curfew from 5.00 am to 6.00pm!)

Well, census day and Rosie was waiting for her walk! The best I could do was to walk her up and down the drive and around our land (for fear of being arrested if I went any further.)  She was not impressed!

Gwen and Peter text to say that they had been �done� in the morning.

What a lovely day, total peace, no traffic, no builders just the sound of the birds who were not confined to their nests.

At 11.00 am we did see a police car driving into the village, obviously checking out that everyone was obeying the curfew.

The newspapers told us if someone hadn�t visited you by 4.00pm then you had to ring the district offices. No one had! Were we surprised?  We tried ringing Girne, engaged! So, we rang Lapta. Mal just told them 2 Atalar Caddesi and they didn�t ask where so we didn�t hold out much hope.  We then had a phone call from Willy across the road who said they hadn�t been done either but the Cypriot bungalow just up a bit had!

At 6.00pm on the dot (in true British style so as not to break the rules!) Mal took Rosie out for her evening walk.

At 8.30 pm they arrived and took 5 minutes to complete the questionnaire. Mal mentioned Willy and Lena hadn�t been visited but they said they had gone out, so we are now wondering how accurate this census is going to be!

I am sure anyone who wanted to avoid it could have done.

Well, it was an experience anyway. In fact we thought it would be good to have a curfew every Sunday, it was so quiet!