July 2006

Saturday 1st July
A very hot and sticky day. I watched the England match�.enough said they are on the way home. Why is it we can�t �do� penalties?!

My England flag is no longer blowing from the terrace. I did think of putting it at half mast but thought better of it! Back in the cupboard!

Sunday 2nd July
Gwen and Peter came round in the morning. Peter kept us amused with his tales of pool cleaning.  Enough said.

I watched the Motgp in the afternoon. Rossi did very well. He came from 12th on the grid to take second place and all that with cracked bones in his wrist and ankle.

Monday 3rd July
More water today, so I am ensuring all our tanks are full.

Rosie and I went to the beach for our morning walk.

Mustafa�s workmen were behind us all day, preparing the second floor.

Tuesday 4th July
The concrete mixer arrived for Mustafa.

The house he is building looks like a single storey from the road.

BUT from our garden, this is what it looks like!

At least it is past the end of our garden, so hopefully we will be getting our mature olive trees soon!

Rosie and I went to Gwen�s in the afternoon. Boris (one of Gwen�s cats) and Rosie are almost becoming friends, well, that is a bit of an exaggeration! But Boris doesn�t chase her any more.

Germany is out of the World Cup!

More importantly we have had more water and so all the tanks are full.

Wednesday 5th July

It was nice and sunny so Rosie and I went down to the beach.

Freddie was waiting for us and obviously wondered why he hadn�t seen us first thing this morning!

By the time we got back, the clouds were coming over and so I thought this was an ideal time to wash my dust covered car!

This is very strange weather for June.  I had just finished washing the car and it rained���������yes, real rain!!

And then it poured down and a thunderstorm as well. It rained most of the day. At least the garden needed it.

I am back to England tomorrow and it was hopeless trying to clean the floors with muddy paws in and out all day.

I can�t wait to see Mal but as usual sad about leaving Rosie.

Thursday 6th July

Rosie and I went for our walk. I don�t start any of the clearing up and packing until she has gone to the kennels. My last dog always got the miseries whenever he saw a suitcase coming out.

Thursday 6th July
The day I leave Cyprus to see Mal. I had very mixed feelings, I didn�t want to leave Rosie but have missed Mal.

I took Rosie to the kennels at 10.  I hate leaving her. I then went back and moved all the outside furniture in and cleaned up the house and then headed for Gwen and Peter�s. Peter took me to the airport.

I flew CTA and the plane left on time but there were a few empty seats. We landed in Antalya and there was a mass exodus from the plane which meant for the rest of the journey it was less than half full. This meant most of us had three seats each to spread out in. Just as well as prior to that we had very little leg room. I don�t understand CTA, their ticket prices are high and then they wonder why their planes aren�t full.

It was a good journey and we saw some fascinating clouds.

We arrived at Stansted on time and my taxi was waiting to take me back to the caravan. Mal was waiting and it was lovely to see him after 6 weeks.

Friday 7th July
Luckily the weather wasn�t too bad so I didn�t have too much adjustment.

Mal has masses of work to do and of course I wanted to talk to him after 6 weeks and he wanted to get on with his work, in quiet! I went to the shops and did my usual thing, looking round in awe at all the choice!

Saturday 8th July
Mal decided he had to have at least a half day off after all this time. We drove to Deal, had a wander round and then went for our lunch into the Kings Head which is on the sea front.

I had a whole dressed crab with salad and it was delicious!

We also went to one of my favourite shops in the town Mummery and Fudger BUT it was closed! What a shame it is a fascinating shop.

A nice warm sunny day and so after Deal we drove back to Sandwich and went for a walk down by the river and had an ice cream�..and watched the ducks!

At least Mal had a well deserved break after 9 weeks of marking exam papers!!

On the way back we stopped at one of the farm shops and bought some local new potatoes, cherries and strawberries.

Sunday 9th July
Back to work for Mal whilst I got the Sunday papers and cooked a roast!

In the afternoon we both went to visit Mal�s sister Marion who has just moved into a new flat. I also watched the Men�s Wimbledon Final, with a predictable win by Federer.

We both watched the football world cup final in the evening. At least Italy won but what a shame that is the last game for Zidane when he showed himself up and was sent off.

Monday 10th July
Mal was going a bit brain dead and so he worked in the morning and waited for DHL to collect another batch of exam papers to return and then we drove into Canterbury.

We had lunch in a nice little caf� there; Mal of course spent most of the time in Canterbury, in Waterstone�s, looking for books whilst I did some more shopping.

We both like Canterbury, it is a lovely city and of course I know it very well as I used to work there.

Tuesday 11th July
Mal continues his work but in the evening we met up with Debbie (Mal�s sister) and Dave and Steve (Mal�s brother) and Shirley at the New Inn in Minster. We actually sat outside in the garden but buy about 10.00pm I was frozen! Mal was very disappointed in the mixed grill�. the main reason he goes there�..below their usual standard!

L-R Dave, Steve, Shirley and I

and Debbie������.

Then Mal decided he would drive us all home���

Wednesday 12th July
Mal continued with his exam work.

Thursday 13th July
Mal worked in the morning and then we headed north stopping at Ikea for our lunch and some shopping on the way.  Then we drove on to Torin�s house. The grandchildren came round and we all had fish and chips and a really enjoyable time with them.

Karen, Torin and Mal

L-R Sol, Tariq, Grandad, River and Torin

We then had to drive on our way on to Birmingham, as Mal had his exam meetings. Because we were late, the hotel actually rang us on the way to see if we were still coming! There were road works on the M6 again and our exit was closed so we had to do a detour and got lost!

Friday 14th July
Mal went off to his OCR meeting and I went shopping in the city centre.

Saturday 15th July
Mal had another meeting and so I went into the city centre in the morning but had enough of shopping so returned to the hotel at lunchtime, had my lunch there and then sat outside by the side of the canal as the weather was really nice.

Sunday 16th July
Mal was at a meeting all day again.  I shopped in the morning and then sat in the garden of the Business Centre and waited for him to finish his meeting. The weather is very good and reached about 32 degrees.

As soon as he finished we headed off for Stratford upon Avon. We love it there and is far more preferable to staying in Birmingham.  Mal�s Mondays meeting had been cancelled, so we actually had a day to spend together.  I booked at the Holiday Inn, not having stayed there before and really not expecting too much.  We were more than pleasantly surprised with a very swish room with a Queen Size bed. I had booked this on the Internet and it was only �60 a night and that included full buffet breakfast! A bargain! AND we had air con in the room.

We showered, changed and walked across the river to look for a restaurant to have dinner in.

We came across Edward Moons� Brasserie and had the best meal we have had in a long while. Excellent service and excellent food and if you are ever in Stratford, we highly recommend it.   We also had a jug of Pimms with our meal.  It seemed the right thing to drink on such a lovely summer night.

Edward Moon�s

On the way back to the hotel we stopped at the Pen and Parchment for a drink.

Pen And Parchment

We also looked at some of the barges on the river.  Mal has always wanted one.  Our first dream was our home in Cyprus, so who knows one day perhaps we will have one.

Monday 17th July
Mal had a �sort� of a day off.  In actual fact he worked for about an hour and then was free for the rest of the day.

Last time we were in Stratford we wanted to do the river walk but the weather didn�t allow it, so that is what we did today. Temperatures were up to about 31 degrees and so it was lovely.

We started at the bandstand.

And then followed the signs for the walk.

We bought a picnic lunch and sat by the river eating it.

In the evening we went to a Malaysian restaurant, Georgetown. The meal was good but we were not as impressed as last night.

We stopped at the pub again on the way back and sat in the garden.

Tuesday 18th July
We were up early, into breakfast and then drove back into Birmingham for Mal�s final meeting. I went into the City centre but I have had my fill of shops! Plus, the temperature hit around 33 and the city centre is not the best place to be.

As soon as Mals meeting finished we drove back to Margate, unloaded the car and went to the Churchill Tavern in Ramsgate for our dinner. After that we walked along the sea front and what a difference, it was distinctively �fresh�, wonderful.

Wednesday 19th July
Our last day in the UK and what a lot we had to do! All the final parcels had to be returned to the schools and so I set to filling out the waybills for DHL.

We had a total of 67 parcels; the caravan living room was full! Mal went over to the office and came back with a further 6 enormous parcels that had to be sorted out and also some exam papers that hadn�t even been marked! Talk about working up until the last minute! By the evening we managed to pack for our return to the TRNC! Of course then we had to clean up the caravan,

Thursday 20th July
We were up at 4.30am and our taxi arrived at 5.30am to take us to the airport.

The check in desk was open when we arrived and all I can say is all the staff we talked to at the airport were grumpy. Mals theory was the heat!

We posted the last of Mals exam paperwork.  I think I predicted he would be posting the last at the airport!

Our CTA plane left quarter of an hour early and yet again the plane was only half full, so we spread across three seats.  We stopped at Antalya and the plane emptied out to leave about 12 of us on board. In spite of the fact we were ahead of schedule, we had a longer stop at Antalya which meant we would land on time in Ercan.  The plane filled up and we had the 40 minute hop to Ercan.  Peter was waiting for us and drove us home. Gwen and Peter had put all our furniture out on the terrace, ready for us. We sat for a minute and then went over to collect Rosie.  As usual she went crazy when she saw us.  We took her home and she ran around sniffing everything to see where we had been and we gave her a hide bone, so she went running round with that in her mouth.  I think she was pleased to be back home!

Mal and I then jumped in the pool and sat down to a jug of Pimms!! The first time in 11 weeks Mal has had a chance to relax! It was so good to be home.

Friday 21st July
I unpacked and sorted the house out and then went shopping.  Mal spent the entire day sorting out computer problems, including trying to fix the Skype phone.  At least I was relieved that he couldn�t fix it straight away and was as stumped as I was when I was on my own trying to sort it out. Not only that as soon as Mal turned the computer on it was bleeping, failure of the memory card! BUT he tried cleaning it and it worked�phew!! The same problem as always here, dust in everything.

We are doing well with the water situation as it was on quite a lot during the day and have managed to refill most of the tanks.

Peter came round in the afternoon.

In the evening we sat in the peace and quiet on the terrace.  We are so glad to be back and in spite of Rosie�s initial running around everywhere, she has settled back down again even to waiting by the fridge as I get dinner ready as I always give her a raw carrot! What a creature of habit she is. I bet she missed her carrots.

Saturday 22nd July
At last Skype has been resurrected! What a relief as I have spent a fortune on phone cards. So, I rang Torin as it was his birthday. I also rang Rhys, Paula and my sister!! I am making the most of it.

I went and bought Cyprus Today.  They forecast 38/39 and sun all week. About usual for this time of year but it is a far nicer heat than we had and they are still having in the UK. Because of the position of our home, we have a lovely gentle breeze out on the terrace.

Mal cleaned the pool.  It was quite nice that it is no longer my job!

I watered the garden as we had water.  Gwen and Peter have been looking after the pool and garden in our absence, very good of them.

Sunday 23rd July
We were up early and took Rosie down to the beach. She loved it after two weeks in the kennels and she met lots of other dogs to run round the beach with and of course she ran in the sea and went swimming.

The guy in the picture talking to Mal was telling him that turtles have been laying eggs where they are standing. Hopefully none of the dogs will dig them up!

Gwen and Peter came round when we got back and so we caught up on all the gossip.

Most of the afternoon was spent swimming but Mal still trying to sort out the laptop. He also spoke to Lou and Rhys about their website so that he can update it for them. (www.A1embroidery.co.uk)

Another nice relaxing evening on the terrace with our drinks, remembering what life here is all about!

Monday 24th July
Rosie and I went out for a walk and then I hosed down the terrace to keep the dust down.  Rosie loves it and chases round after the hose until she is soaking wet and then runs round the garden, so mud everywhere again! I shouldn�t ever expect a clean house with a dog here. Bless her.  She enjoys it.

I caught up with my emails whilst listening to Breakfast with Wogan.  After three weeks he is back from holiday.  I have missed his humour.

Mal is now in book writing mode so I guess he will spend his day doing that.  I started on the garden, cutting back the masses of sage and making some kind of shape of the bushes. Of course the ground is solid and the flowers are looking quite sad.

We enjoyed another evening on the terrace reading our books in the peace and quiet.

Tuesday 25th July
I was woken at 4.40am by Freddie, the little brown and white dog from the village, whining outside the door! I let Rosie out and went back to bed. I couldn�t get back to sleep and so gave up and got up!

I watered the garden and did a bit of gardening and we went for our walk, Freddie joined us and then went home.

It was about 38 degrees and quite humid so not the sort of day to get all the jobs done (any excuse!) It is still a bit like being on holiday!

We went to bed and Rosie decided she wanted to stay outside. After about half an hour I called her in.  She came but then started howling to show me something.  Lo and behold another strange dog had arrived and was running up and down outside our railings. This time, a black Labrador looking dog but with no collar. It was very timid, we left it there and Rosie came in.

Wednesday 26th July
This morning two dogs waiting outside for Rosie but not as early as yesterday. Luckily the black dog has not discovered the way in over the wall. However he decided to do the whole walk with Rosie and I.

I then went to Atakara as Mal wanted the Cyprus Times. I went out to find black dog lying under my car. He is obviously yet another stray.

Cyprus Times yesterday ran on their front page, a whole article on Gary Robb with some detrimental accusations about people in high places and Gary Robb saying he had been �set up�. The article said the story would continue today.  Today�s paper�.nothing! Instead the front page held the story of the Santa Fe Director who had been shot 6 times in broad daylight in Girne on Monday.

Thursday 27th July/Friday 28th July/Saturday 29th July
Enjoying the sun and being back home and just relaxing, apart of course from Mal still fixing computers and contemplating whether to buy a new hard drive etc!

Sunday 30th July
Gwen and Peter made their Sunday morning visit. Our water has reduced to trickling through most of our taps and we just presumed that things were scaling up because of the hard water. Peter then threw light on what we hadn�t realised�..taps here have an attachment at the bottom which should be removed regularly and cleaned.  Please note anyone else who is as stupid as us! So, Mal and Peter went round cleaning them all. We now have water gushing out of every tap, it splashes all over the windows, everywhere! We must now remember we have full pressure returned. What would we do without friends like Peter and Gwen?

We have been without any water coming from our supply for four days. Willy, across the road had organised for our pipe (his and our supply pipe) to be sunk underground because of the workmen driving over it and also cutting it.  So, job done and Mal paid Willy his contribution toward the cost. We have water again and the household tank is full.

We decided this will be our last �rest day� and it is time to get on with everything that needs doing around the house.

I did watch Eastenders in the evening, the first time we have put the TV on. Instead of 4 evenings during the week, BBC Prime is now showing two on Saturday night and two on Sunday night.  Most inconsiderate.

Monday 31st July
Neither of us slept very well last night in spite of having the air con all night. It was very hot and still but even so we got up early and took Rosie to the beach. We met some other dog walkers down there as usual.

Rosie does have fun down there! But on the way back was sick all over the car. Wonderful.

This is the day we have decided to start sorting things out, so we had a long discussion and came to the decision that we had so much outstanding we will use Stuarts� professional services (www.compass-cyprus.com) and ask him to organise the finishing of the drive, with or without Halil.  After all, the �drain� is useless and will still flood the road, the �retaining wall� has not been backfilled and so retains nothing etc etc. Job number 2, to compile a complete snagging list for us and job number 3, to get our house on to the deeds.  Mal and I have made so many mistakes that we feel we need an �outsider� to help us.  After all, when we organised the first garden, we forgot to enquire how mature the planting would be�.no, nothing was mature and it goes on as you will already have read in the past.

We have every confidence in Stuart to carry out a professional job. Well, the pair of us have made a bit of a �pigs ear� of things so far!  We just hope others have learnt by our mistakes.

Next I rang Cahit at the Olive Tree Project (www.olivetreeproject.com) to check on the progress of the two trees we had ordered. Of course, the problem has been endless mature olive trees just being wrenched up and killed, then when they had some available, we were in the UK. So, all is well there.

Later I went to �Friends Reunited� as I had been told there was a message on there for me. It seems an old classmate has bought a house in Karsiyaka!!  Small world. He is coming over next week.

Mal then made decisions concerning the two computers and has asked Bev to bring hard drives and things over with her when she comes, the week after next.

A lot of decision making for one day!