Before we left the UK - two years ago this Thursday - we were both concerned that we would have enough to do in our retirement. Well we have never been busier, and life is getting busier by the minute.
Some time ago we both decided we would like to do something for the village of Argaka, where we have chosen to make our home. The recession is biting and many Cypriots are suffering from this, with food kitchens in Paphos. The problem is that the Cypriot equivalent of the Welfare State stops totally after six months, and after that you are on your own. Unemployment is rising fast, and many of those in employment (especially in the state sector) have had their salaries severely cut back. According to local Cypriot friends matters will get much worse before they get better.
In conversation with the owner of The Fly Again Irish Bar, very close to us here, we asked what we could do to help the needy in the village. A cunning plan was hatched, and the end result was that Ann would run a bingo night at the pub each Friday, and I would run a quiz night in parallel with that. Money taken to play bingo and enter the quiz would be split between cash prizes for the winners, and a fund for the needy of Argaka. Additionally a "Curry and Film" night would be held once a month on Tuesday evenings. Tickets at €8,00 a head would include a traditional curry and a chosen film on the pub's big screens. Of the money taken, €3,00 a ticket would go to the fund.
We needed a name for the enterprise and decided that, if Bob Gelfdorf could have Live Aid, we could have Argaka Aid. The first night will be this Friday. I trust this will be a roaring success as it would be great to put something back into a village that has made us feel so welcome. We have been rushing around advertising the events, putting together questions and Ann has been honing her bingo-calling skills and also how the pub's version of "Play Your Cards Right" works. Think of Bruce Forsyth on speed and that's what may happen on Friday. Think of us come 8.00 pm this Friday.