Sunday, 27 September 2015

Panic in the ranks ...

Watching England v Wales last night and it was sad to see England players running around like headless chickens, committing the same offence at the tackle (and being penalised over and over again by the referee) and that was what led to their ultimate demise. The England forwards seemed to lack energy and drive, and seemed lethargic. By having two defensive and heavyweight centres on the field meant that the trump cards in their back line (Brown, Watson and May) never received the sort of ball they needed.

So "Quo Vadis?" ... an early exit from their own World Cup seems more than likely unless Wales implode against Australia. But how many times over the years have the England soccer team needed to rely on the results of other teams, rather than their own endeavours? It looks like another tense Saturday evening next week.

We spent a delightful evening in Polis on Friday, enjoying the entertainment and stall that the municipality laid on - although the buffet at €5,00 a person was a little steep. Well done them. It was good to see so many people participating. There must have been nearly two thousand people sitting down to eat and wandering around the various stalls. We ended the evening at Miki's and enjoyed a cool glass of something to relax us after the earlier excitement.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Who's a clever girl then?

We have had our two rescue cats, Honey and Jaz, for two and a half years now. They are meant to be sisters but we have a sneaking suspicion that they are mother and daughter. Certainly Honey treats her "sister" like a child and their interaction is priceless. About six months after Honey learns how to do something then Jaz manages the same. Honey found the way onto the roof of our bungalow shortly after we arrived, and it took Jaz months and months to manage the same thing. When Jaz comes back from her night's entertainment, Honey almost always cuffs her across the head as if to say "Where have you been?"

Last night we were sitting out on the terrace in the blessedly cooler weather when Honey appeared beside us. The windows and doors were all open but the fly screens were pulled across. Honey obviously wanted to get into the house (probably for even more food) and we could not be bothered to get up and open the fly screen. So, in full view of an appreciative audience, she opened the fly screen herself and in she went. We were astonished and delighted in equal measure. I closed the fly screen and ten minutes' later she reappeared at the door and gazed at us in a quizzical fashion. We watched as she opened the fly screen from the inside and promenaded in front of us.

So I suspect that by next Spring Jaz will have caught on and the fly screens will never be the same again. But can they learn how to shut the screens? I somehow doubt that and so that will be one more job for us ...

Monday, 21 September 2015

Whether the weather is promising or not?

You can't help loving the British and their ardent interest in the weather. Yesterday in Argaka we had terrific thunder and lightning and inches of rain. I know it was inches as the pool was literally overflowing. What did we do? We sat on the terrace, with very little on, and laughed and enjoyed the rain. Quite mad and I seem to remember doing the same thing last year.

We had switched all our electrical devices off, and so missed the second half of the Singapore Grand Prix. Does it matter? In the grand scheme of things I don't think so, but I shan't be as laid back and forgiving if I miss a second of England v Wales (or Japan v Scotland, come to think of it). We like to think we have our priorities right.

The news from mainland Europe and the unending stream of migrants and refugees fills every news broadcast, and the governments of the EU plan to have emergency meetings. Now? No in a couple of weeks time. Fences are going up and borders are being closed and, unfortunately, the open door of the Germans, and to a lesser extent the Swedes, is acting like a magnet drawing those iron filings faster and faster, in greater and greater numbers, towards a safe haven.

Of course the Germans have an ulterior motive with their ageing population and - reportedly - six hundred thousand job vacancies. Compassion and a desire to do what they consider right is also a factor, but I wonder whether these countries will start categorising these migrants into useful and not so useful. Who knows? What I do know is that the present torrent of migrants and refugees cannot continue, especially in the way it is formulating at the moment. Answers on a postcard to ...

Thursday, 17 September 2015

My Heart Bleeds ...

What a tragedy is being played out across Europe and we hate every second of it. Refugees, migrants, possible terrorist infiltrators and fences going up across Europe. And I cannot believe that the scenes on the Hungarian border will be the last we see. Fortress Europe may well become a reality.

What the decent and caring people of the wealthier parts of Europe feel will conflict with the demands of security and self-interest that many people will feel. There is no obvious answer and there is only desolation and sadness for the displaced millions who tramp northwards.

And we, in our own little bubble of sadness, look outwards and feel that it is too much to contemplate. But, we must look outwards, and continue to be a part of the western world's response to a tragedy of global dimensions.

Ironically we ignore all the tragedies occuring in other parts of the world, focussing on what is foisted  upon us by the BBC and others. So much for independent thought.

On a lighter note, we both look forward to the Rugby World Cup and England's first match against Fiji tomorrow night. What a change of focus! We worry about the future of the world, we mourn for our friend Dave, and we look forward to a rugby match. We are confused ...

Monday, 14 September 2015

Air Conditioning ...

Today was, we hope, when summer's fierce heat dissipated somewhat and we were able to venture forth in the afternoon, sit in the gentle breeze and enjoy a cold glass or two. Our Cypriot friends tells us that this summer was not a really hot one, but much more humid. And so, do we use air conditioning or not?  The simple answer is ... use it when you need.

We have used air conditioning in our bedroom for the last six weeks and would not have slept comfortably without it. But we have also found, as our house faces South-west, that - to avoid hot, sweaty times - that air conditioning is vital in the late afternoon and early evening. As someone said, there's not much point in having the system unless you use it when you need it.

We are gradually coping with the sense of loss following our friend Dave's untimely death, but it is affecting us more than we realised. We see his widow, Pam, regularly, and enjoyed a lovely lunch with her and other friends on Saturday. But, my goodness, life is hard.

Tomorrow I collect Pam from Paphos, as her twin-cab was crunched  by some cretinous expat in Paphos who decided to ask whether they could settle the matter without bothering the insurance companies. Was she insured? Was she hell?

Tough times ahead but I did hear that my long-awaited Cardioversion would take place on 7th October. The lovely Doctor Agamemnon rang and confirmed my appointment at Paphos Hospital. And our friend, Pam, immediately offered to take us down. What price friendship?