NEWS FOR MAY 2012
TUESDAY 1st MAY.
Today was the day when we planned to set off back to France and luckily the weather stated off really nice. We couldn't of course leave until Joan had fed the campsite hens their breakfast and visited the horse in the stable. The horse was clearly getting quite fed up of all the bad weather and being confined, as it was trying to eat its way through the stable door.
We did have a delay until the farm owner came back to the site and got his tractor to give us a bit of a help in getting off the field. With all the rain over the last few days, we had sunk a little further in and despite our efforts with straw out of the barn etc we were clearly just going to dig a bigger hole if we kept trying.
Eventually we got off the site about 11 o'clock and parked up in the Jumbo Supermarket car park to get a few essentials for the journey. Kitty and Arie drove round to the car park to say cheerio. Today would have been their mothers birthday, the first since her death, so they were going round to Co's to give some morale support.
We eventually set off in the direction of home at around 3.p.m. at we managed to get down through Holland and fairly well south in Belgium, stopping in an "Aire" just north of the border near Lille. One advantage of travelling in Holland and Belgium is that the motorways are not chargeable so it is possible to maintain a good average speed.
WEDNESDAY 2nd MAY.
We managed to set off at around 9 o'clock having had a good breakfast and planning to get a long way south today. They say about the best laid plans etc. We had only been going about 20 minutes when we stopped on the motorway, eventually turning off the engine and just sitting there for over 2 hours. When we did get going it was slowly for about 10 kilometers and we passed a horrendous accident spot with about 200 meters of the central barrier destroyed and lorries scattered all over the place. All in all I suppose we lost around 3/4 hours in our day but were thankful not to have been caught up in whatever happened.
We pushed on for some time and eventually pulled in to an official Aire, in a town south of Le Mans, which was situated between La Poste and the office of the Gendarme.
THURSDAY 3rd MAY.
Again we set off around 9 a.m. and made good time, stopping only for a spot of lunch and got home around 4 o'clock. We managed to connect up to our own electric and then get the car out to go and collect Smudge from the cattery in St Fois. She seemd quite happy to see us and was soon out through the cat flap and inspecting her territory.
SATURDAY 5th MAY.
Reg and Brenda turned up at about 1 o'clock, on their we through from their home in Portugal to New Romney in Kent. They had their two Yorkshire Terriers with them, so opted to sleep in their own motor-home out in front of our garages and just use us for batroom facilities, probably a good thing as Smudge took one look at the dogs and headed off out.
They were able to take the dogs for a long walk after lunch and then we all settled in for a nice dinner in the evening, of course washed down with adequate quantities of the local red.
SUNDAY 6th MAY.
I had booked to go to Le Cabri, near Duras for lunch, the plan being to take a walk around the reservoir with the dogs and then drive through Eymet, stopping to take a quick look at the town square etc, and then go the long way round to Duras. However, Goffey, one of the terreiers decided to roll in something very, very unsavoury and the stink was quite horrible, so we had to quickly drive back home, give him a shower and put them both in to the motor-home before driving off to the restaurant. . Pity really as it was anice warm day and we could have sat out on the terrace, with the dogs under the table. Anyway we had an excellent lunch and then came back to walk them again before settling down to watch the snooker.
Reg & Brenda are planning to set off early tomorrow morning so that they can call in at their regular vets near Angouleme on the way North.
MONDAY 7th MAY.
The weather is improving considerably now and so I was able to get the machine out and cut the grass. Unfortynately because we had some bad weather before going to Holland and now some warmer stuff, we have a considerable growth and it is of course wet underneath. Only solution was to cut and lay rows of grass around ready to hand rake and collect tomorrow, providing it stays dry.
You would never be able to call the grass we have here a lawn as really it is just a previous filed and the only thing to do is to try to keep it looking neat and tidy. That would be much easier if ti wasn't for the family of moles, who seem to live in tunnels under the grass layer. We are gong to try to get some of these solar powered devices that are supposed to give off sonic sounds that they don't like. Maybe it will chase them away in to the real filed next door.
WEDNESDAY 9th MAY.
THURSDAY 10th MAY.
FRIDAY 11th MAY.
Spent most of today unpacking all the garden stuff on and around the terrace area, as quite unbelievably the weather seems to have turned around towards summer.
Today it has been 27 degrees and the forecast is that it will remain so for some time..
MONDAY 14th MAY.
The weather has been quite lovely with temperatures remain in the high 20s all over the weekend. We have been eating out and even managed a BBQ on Sunday. We had bought a marinated spare rib in the supermarket and this cooked nicely with the addition of a couple of sausages that had been residing in the freezer.
Apart from enjoying this weather, which incidently is not as per the forecast, we have been actively working in the garden getting it ready for the rest of the summer, we hope. There was a huge great pile of wood chippings left over from the tree topping last winter and Joan has been having great fun with an almost permanent bonfire each day.
TUESDAY 15th MAY.
That will teach me to open my big mouth about the lovely weather. Today it has been overcast and quite cold but we can always find things to occupy ourselves with.
WEDNESDAY 16th MAY.
Opened our eyes this morning to blue skies and sunshine again, so it was back out in the garden all of the day. Hopefully I will be able to get the grass cut again before the weekend and then finally again next Wednesday, just before we leave for Cyprus.
FRIDAY 18th MAY.
For some time now we have been debating what to do with the grass banking between us and the holiday villa next door. The banking is too steep to get up with the tractor mower as there is a danger of it tipping over and I don't wnat to be on it then. So we have been hand cutting with big shears and a strimmer. A laborious job just to keep the banking neat. Well today we finally took the plunge and invested in a rotary petrol driven mower from the local Bergerac Garden Centre.
SATURDAY 19th MAY.
I had put the new mower together when I got home yesterday so this morning was dry so we were able to try it out. Great, we naow have the banking cleared and should be able to keep it neat and tidy, also I used it around the edges of the main lawn area and it was very quick and easy, so with a few dry hours this afternoon I was able to give the whole a short back and sides.
Our problem is of course that in less than 1 week we will be leaving for Cyprus and you can bet it will grow furiously whilst we are away. The weather forecast for the next week is not promising so just had to sieze the opportunity.
This evening we picked up George and James from the village and we all four went over to Lauzun for oneof Paul and Kim's Haddock and Chips evenings. We all came back to our place later for coffee and drinkies, this suited the driver well, but it was around 1.30 a.m. before we went to bed.
SUNDAY 20th MAY.
Oh boy, did it rain last night. It absolutely chucked it down and about 6 a.m. Smudge came in crying. She was soaked right through to her skin nad not very happy. Considering the time we went to bed, we were not that happy either.
We used the day to prepare for our trip and got a nice piece of braising steak out of the freezer to make a lovely meal for this evening.
MONDAY 21st MAY.
Last few days before our
THURSDAY 24th MAY.
Smudge to the cattery this morning which did not impress her but she has been there before so she will settle quickly.
Back to home to do the packing and then off to the airport at 4 o’clock. We flew first to Stansted and arrived on time and having checked our bags in to the Pegasus flight we went through to the Weatherspoon bar and had ourselves a meal. In my case, an All Day Breakfast, just could not resist.
Which ever way you look at it, the flight is a long one. Normally I can manage to get some sleep but this time there was a young Turkish lady with a screaming babay about 10 rows back so we were very glad to land in Istanbul, were she got off. We eventually got to North Cyprus at 0715 local time and were met by one of Tony's men who took us to collect our hire car. We managed to stop off in Kyrenia at just after 9 o'clock and kick our local mobile into motion, as it appeared to have been cut off and then checked in at the hotel.
We are staying at the Green Holiday Village and you can see from the above pics that we have a great upstairs apartment with a lovely view of the mountains over the hotel pool. Looks inviting and is supposed to be 21 degrees. Guesss I might put a toe in later.
As it is now in effect Friday, Joan and I made a quick visit to Yvonne with all the cold meats we had brought for the band concert party on 30th. Early evening we went down to the Ravine bar and had some of their fish and chips before takingto an early bed night to catch up on lost sleep.
SATURDAY 26th MAY.
Went around to see John this morning, who is recovering from throat cancer treatment. He is currently in remission and despite a huge weight loss looks really good. We found out that it is blood doner day at the hospital in Girne today, so a quick trip was needed there so that Joan could give them an armfull, mine they don't want any more, too many pills.
we stopped off to see afew more old friends during the day and then had a nice meal at The Lodge in Lapta.
SUNDAY 27th MAY.
Early rise this morning to go to church followed by coffee afterwards which enabled us to meet more old friends.
We then went round to Pat & Bryan's for a spot of lunch, together with Anne. This turned out tto be a late lunch followed by a swim in their pool, which meant that we did not need to eat later, so just wtached some TV in our room and then had an early night.
MONDAY 28th MAY.
Visited the bank this morning as we need to move all our money over here in to one account as on Wednesday we have a solicitors appointment to renew our wills here in TRNC. As per usual this takes time here so about two hours later we were able to escape and visit Mel & Sue, who bought our old house and then Roger and Jill. We also managed, together with Roger, to organise a Lapta Layabouts meal out for this coming Thursday.
This evening there was an RBL event at the Waterfront. This was a curry evening followed by a very interesting talk from a Historian who specialiised in the history of Cyprus during the 2nd world war. It would appear that Cyprus got off quite litely as it managed to fool the Germaans in to thinking that there was a gathering force on the island.
WEDNESDAY 30th MAY.
Thiss morning we were down aat the Kyrenia Court House to claim back our old wills and to replace them with new. it is amazing to see tht they still work with heated wax and a seal on the envelopes.
This afternoon we were collected by a coach to go to Shakespeare House in Nicosia for a band concert with the RAF College Band. This was proceeded by a picnic meal to which we had all contributed, hence the smuggled meat from France. Judges came round to look at our tables and to select the best, which unfortunately was not ours. despite this a grand evening was had by all and you can see from the pics below that we enjoyed the evening.
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