The beginning of May is the start of the "Vide Grenier" season, which is Boot fairs to you. These are usually held in the streets of towns and villages. This one was in Soumensac, a village about 15 minutes drive from us, so Joan and I went for a nose around. The usual stuff, things that you don't want but are tempted to buy in case you may one day need. We actually spent a couple of hours walking slowly around, as Joan's knee was holding up well and bought nothing, but was vey tempted by this Mercedes Sport with hand controls and virtually no brakes at all, unless you want to wear out your shoe leather. Must have been a real fun thing for some young kid but as we have nobody that young to buy for, we left it were it was, shame really.
After the fair we went round to Le Jardin retaurant in Villeneuve. We had booked for their Roast Beef and Yorkshire lunch when we visited some weeks ago. The meal was very nice apart from one thing. The chef, being French, had taken upon himself to put cloves of garlic in the beef. When he came round to see if we all had enjoyed his meal, we had a long discussion about rare roast beef and NO garlic cloves, but did suggest he treated a leg of lamb that way in the future.
The weather is still very warm here so spent time in the garden, initially preparing as couple of beds at the back end ready for the Lilac Shrubs we had bought on Saturday. The only problem about working out here is the nosey neighbours. But at the end of the day, if you just give me a scratch between the ears now and again, I will stop snorting in your face and a carrot now and again also works.
The other problem in the garden are the rodents affectionatley known as those bl**dy moles. Our whole lawn area is made up of patches of stamped down soil were they keep popping up. Now I know that as a lawn it will never be more than a mown field but I thought that if the little bast**d would just go away I could at least try to seed these patches. I have been trying fior a couple of weeks now, with a product which translates as repel, but to no avail, they just keep popping up again and again. Yesterday evening was the final straw. We were sitting outside in the evening sun, having a pre dinner drink, when he or she started building one of the mole hills before my very eyes. I have now bought an exterminator, enough is enough. When you find a hill, you lift off the top, expose the gallery, take one of these things, which looks like a firework, light blue touch paper and stuff down the gallery, lit end first, then cover up. We await the result.
Joan and I had some good news today. We had, if you recall, booked to go to Cyprus in March, before Joan's knee got bad and we knew from experience that we had lost the Ryanair ticket and its value but had sent a doctors note to Pegasus airline in Istanbul, for the more expensive Stansted to Kyrenia end. I had sent a few e-mails and other correspondence to them asking for at least a partial credit against a future ticket. Well today they agreed that we get a full credit and just have to book directly with them for the next flight. Now all we need is for the specialist to make some sort of decision when we visit next Monday, then we can make a decision about going over.
The other interesting thing discovered today is getting travel insurance here when you are over 70 years old. those who know about this, will be aware that it is impossible via UK insurance to get cover once you reach that age. Well when in the bank today, I was discussuing this with Lionel, as part of getting our health cover, when he said if one of us had the banks gold credit card and used that to pay for tickets, there is no age stipulation. Guess what I just applied for?
Speaking of roses. We inherited some rose bushes when we moved in here and we don't know what variety they are, but they have a very strong perfume and are so closely knit together that they just have to be seen.
This evening, Joan nad I went over to Castillones, a village near the place we originally lived in. Kim and Paul, our firends from the Kismet restaurant run a monthly Haddock & Chips evening. Well have to say outstanding. We had onion rings and prawn tails as starters with a chillie dip followed by delicious haddock and chips. A real blow out, which is probably why Stewart and Barbara didn't want to come, they are on diets again after their Cyprus trip.
We got a call from Stewart this morning. He had been to a boot fair and found me a brand new machine for spreading this feed and weed stuff I have bought. He got it for only 5 euros, a real bargain. All I now have to do is cut the lawn again, wait 4 days and then get the spreader working.
Early start this morning. Joan had an appointment with the specialist for 9 o'clock. The result of this visit is quite positive, he wants to do what he is translating as wash out. It appears that her cartlidge is disintegarating so is a) not cushioning as it should, and b) shedding bits which he needs to remove. The plan then is to put in some sort of silicone to recreate the padding, which he hopes will last a number of years. The alternative is a knee replacement, which he wants to put off as long as possible.
When he said the earliest date for the op was May 31st, Joan said, "but we have booked to go to Iceland", he said go then and I will operate on July 12th. It seems that she has to use crutches for at least 1 week after the op and then have 4 weeks physiotherapy and the time between the proposed date and our flights on 21st June was not enough.
When we got back I got out the tractor in the early evening and cut the lawn, so next Friday is the day for the spreader. Also the best news is, it is now 6 days since I stuffed that firework thingy down the mole hole and since then not a single mole hill. Fingers crossed that I have killed off the little pest.
Spent most of the morning on the internet and Skype phone. We have decided that as Joan can fly again we should take advantage and reschedule our Cyprus trip. Pegasus airlines very kindly gave us full credit on the cancelled booking and no charge for flight change, apart of course from the value of the higher summer rate prices. So we have booked to go on May 19th until 2nd June, just shows that there are some advantages in being loyal to the one airline.
Everything now booked apart from the hire car, but we will get an answer on that in a couple of days. Looking forward to seeing the old gang again and maybe I will be allowed out for "Boys Night Out".
. MAY 14th.
Sunday and traditional Boot Fair day, so Joan and i went to Miramont to see what was around. The fair was spread out over about three long streets and of course contained lots of overpriced rubbish. The French seem to have this concept that if they are going to offer it on a boot stall then it has to be worth lots of money. It is usually possible to beat some of them down and you know when you have reached the limit because the French gets quicker and suddenly not a word of English.
Joan insisits in using her mothers old kitchen scales, you know the sort, a scooped out bowl on one side and a tray for weights on the other. Well, we have always only had lbs and ounces weights and have had to convert recipe ingredients. Well today, on one stall we found a complete set in grams. They were solid brass and a little negotiation secured them for only 18 euros. Now she is a happy bunny.
Preparation week, because on Thursday we are off to Cyprus. Late afternoon flight out of here then an overnight job to Cyprus. Margaret and Norman are picking us up when we get there and Andrew, bless him, has organised a car hire for a rate of £15.00 per day all in.
We have heard that our Russian friends, Igor and Zalina are there for the first part of our visit, so we will be able to catch up with them as well. Guess the rest of the visit will be played by ear when we get there.
We had arranged to go out for lunch today with Stewart, Barbara, Steve and Vi to the Camellia in Aurac-Sur-Drop, one of our favourites and of course the lunch lasted from midday until 3 o'clock as usual. Lovely.
We were ready in plenty of time for Ian to collect us and take us to the airport. The usual pushing and shoving to get on to the Ryanair flight, but I refuse to pay the extra cost for priority boarding as all the extras from this "CHEAP" airline already amount to an extra flight cost.
We arrived on time at Stansted and knew that we wanted to get checked in a.s.a.p. so that we could go through and eat before catching the Pegasus overnight job to TRNC. The Pagasus flight leaves at 23.59 and is the last flight out of the night on Thursdays. We found that Stansted was almost fully closed at this time but Wetherspoons keep their bar and kitchen open especially for this flight, so we were able to eat and drink before boarding.
I got about three hours sleep during the night and Joan quite a bit more, so when we landed at 0730 local time we were reasonable refreshed. Margaret and Norman were there to meet us and take us round to Steini's apartment.
First morning so we were able to walk down the road to Green Garage and collect our Focus automatic and then proceed immediately to the bank, which was one of our main reasons for being here. We needed to negotiate a cash card each to allow us to withdraw in Europe as and when we need, without having to travel over here especially. The problem here is the time it takes to sort out these things here has not improved, so we were almost 2.5 hours in the bank and have to go back next Tuesday to sign some final papers.
After all this we went shopping and then back to the flat and finished our unpacking. We quickly went round to see Barbara as she is going off to Russia tomorrow with the BRS club and will be back the day before we leave.
Finally we went to bed around 9.p.m. after grabbing a quick dinner. Sleep is going to be a problem around here, there must be 20 to 30 screaming kids living in these blocks now and all they do is shout and yell, kick footballs at the flat walls and bang doors as hard as they can. I suppose during the week will be Ok as they all go to school until around 1 p.m.
Our friends, Zalina and Igor, from Moscow, are also over here at the moment. Joan originally helped them to furnish their apartment and they had asked if we could show them the way to Omac Cin Plaza in Nicosia. Suited us fine as if you recall we were minus one door for our kitchen cupboards and we were hoping that Omac could re-order and get the manufacturer in Turkey to send to us using DHL. We just await the cost.
After spending some time in and around Nicosia we then returned and arranged to meet Anne at the Silver Rocks restaurant. Anne is heading off to Egypt on Wednesday next so we needed to get a chance to catch up with all her news.
Joan and I went back to the bank as arranged and now finally everything is organised so Andrew can collect our cash cards and post them on in a couple of weeks. We then went to see the boys at Ronnies Furnishing as we still require two extra dining chairs and again they should be able to use DHL to get them to us.
We then went for lunch at The Hut, in Lapta, which came justifiably recommended. We needed to have a lunch today as I have been invited to join the "Boys Night Out" this evening down at the Ravine Bar and wouldn't want to be drinking local beer on a full stomach.
Yesterday, Anne suggested that, as she is going to Egypt, together with her friend Shiela and returning on the afternoon of our leaving day, we would be doing her a great favour by living in her villa, feeding her two cats and enjoying the luxury of a private swimming pool and her lovely courtyard sitting area.
No contest really, so we were busily packing and listening to the women screaming at one another across the car park area of the flats, thinking this was our last night trying to sleep in this place thank goodness, when Joan heard a lot more yelling and raised voices. looked over the balcony to see what the problem was, only to see a tiny kitten being swept off the balcony onto the driveway area were all the cars came round to the apartments.
We immediately went down, picked up this tiny little bundle and drove in to Girne, to the vets practice that we used to use, they said they would look after it and try to find a suitable home. I think they knew that if we had still been here it would have gone home with us. We should know by now that the local people have absolutely no respect for animals and this is normal treatment.
Lovely to be sitting in Anne's villa in the peace and quiet and to be able to use her pool without competing with dozens of kids. Nice sunny day to relax and then an evening out with the gang. Most of the old Lapta Layabouts enjoyed dinner at Acmenya restaurant in Alsancak.
This evening we were invited to Roger and Jill's for dinner, together with Pat and Brian. It is nice to get all these invites from old friends and we look forward to being able to have them visit us in France over the next couple of summers.
Lovely meal and enjoyed by us all.
Sunday morning so an early rise to get to church on time. It is looking very black out there so maybe we are going to get more thunder storms today. The original idea was to meet Mike and Ebru from Homefront Furnishing for lunch and as we had not heard about the venue from them, Joan called and was told that Mike was in bed with food poisoning, so that was the end of that idea. Remind me not to let Mike pick the restaurant next time.
We stopped off at the butchers on the way home and bought some lambs liver so that we could do a delicious dinner of liver and onions for the evening. Late afternoon we popped over the road to Ian and Carole for a beer, as Ian is going back to UK tomorrow morning as where he is still working on the North Sea rigs, he hopes only to the end of this year.
Joan and I went off to Lara Beach, on the east side of Girne and it had been expanded quite a bit since the days when we used to use it regularily. A nice day lying around on sun beds and reading, but have to say that the sea is still very cold for this time of the year.
In the evening we went to Charles and Yvonne's for dinner. Many of these visirs are quite like old times and always great fun.
Lazy day around Anne's villa then Joan went off to have lunch with some of the girls whilst I went and sat with a good book at The Hut and had a lunch of tiger prawns in chilli and garlic. This was followed by me going to "Boys Night Out". This time at the new Jessic bar and restaurant. Whilst the boys enjoyed a few beers Pat went round to Joan and they sorted out her blanket crochet work, probably over a couple of wines.
|Powered by ABG Solutions|