Friday, 30 October 2015

Polis Book Club, 2015

It's always great when an idea takes off. Ann decided to start a book club, and advertised it locally and on Facebook. Her friend, Pam, was interested and the first meeting took place in Saddle's in Polis with a whole three members in attendance. But ... as Helen, the owner of Saddle's pointed out ... these things take time. They held a meeting the following week and a couple of other people turned up. A book was chosen and a meeting agreed for the following month.

Lo and behold the numbers started to mount and, when they met last week, there were seven members present (including their first man). An enjoyable meeting was held and a second book was chosen. It was felt that more than ten members would make the meetings unwieldy and it may be that a waiting list will have to be created.

Saddle's in Polis is a lovely venue, and Helen is so welcoming. After some coffee, free muffins were the order of the day. Once the temperature drops, it will be inside and warm and cosy it will be. Anybody visiting Polis is advised to visit Saddle's, especially at lunchtime. Their crispy bacon rolls are to die for ...

Saturday, 17 October 2015

"Anything for the weekend, sir?"

It could only happen in Cyprus. Yesterday I was sitting in Miki's Tavern, enjoying a fresh orange juice, whilst Ann was at the hairdresser. She came across the square, and her hair looked great, and said she had been offered some British back bacon by her hairdresser. Maria also own King's Café a couple of doors down from her salon, and imports her bacon form the UK.

So, in addition to a super haircut, we now have a couple of month's supply of the most delicious bacon. I know it's delicious because Ann made bacon sandwiches this morning, and served them to me in bed with my morning coffee.

Today we belatedly celebrate our 3rd anniversary in Cyprus. There is a shoulder of pork in the oven, vegetables are prepared, I am watching the England test match against Pakistan on the TV (with the sound off) and Classic FM is on the radio. All that is needed is a glass of something cold but we have to stay up to watch the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals tonight and that means a late night. So it's all in the timing but I could murder a cold Keo right now. 

Life here can be so hard ...

Friday, 16 October 2015

Getting things done ...

This has been a busy few days and lots of things achieved. Life in Cyprus seems to come in waves for us. One of the joys of living here is that we do, by and large, what we want and when we want. There are obvious exceptions, like watering the garden. Fail to do that too often, and you end up with lots of dead plants.

With medical matters resolved, we have been focussing on the future. Long term plans for the house and garden (especially the garden as we live outside as far as possible), and ensuring we do things we should have done but haven't.

Making a new will, with the appropriate clauses - given the recent changes in the law in the EU - is high on the list of "must do soon", as is finally registering for tax in Cyprus. That will sever any financial ties with the UK, and which should result in a tax rebate of some size. My friend David, from Gracie Towers, is leading the way and his accountant is sorting his tax matters out for a very reasonable fee, and I think we shall follow in his footsteps. A pair of new front tyres is needed for the car and will happen in the next few days, once I motivate myself to drive down to Paphos. I can always comfort myself that, once there, the car goes into autopilot and ends up in Lidl's car park, where a few cases of Perlenbacher will be the just reward for venturing into the "big city".

This weekend will see the postponed 3rd anniversary celebration of our arrival here. A meal at home, cooked by me, will need to be carefully timed to fit in with the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals. Such excitement we could never have imagined in the old days. Cooler nights bring with them their own reward, although the days are full of sunshine and seasonal warmth. Perhaps we will toast that day in August 2012 when Ann and I finally pressed the "BUY" button to purchase one-way tickets from Gatwick to Paphos, which was one of those key moments we shall never forget.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

In praise of Paphos Hospital ...

Home Sweet Home and all is well. Treatment was 100% successful and the whole hospital experience (apart from the food) was first class. I did have to spend a night there so that I could be monitored and monitored I was, which was initially disappointing, but it seems this is very much part of the "belt and braces" approach there.

The hospital is often denigrated (underfunded, and overwhelmed by demand), and one of my friends here did have a very poor experience some time ago. But I have to say that I found the staff very professional, the I.C.U. ward was constantly being cleaned and sanitised (although that may not be the case everywhere in the hospital) and - apart from the food (Did I mention the food?) - there was nothing to complain about in the slightest.

A random thought, however. I wonder what the criteria are for student doctors there. When the consultant cardiologist made his rounds, he had a retinue of students in his wake. The students looked as if they had just come from central casting - almost all young women and absolutely stunning. It made my day ...

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Nothing to worry about ...

Tomorrow I head off to Paphos General for my cardioversion, which - hopefully - will correct an irregular heartbeat that has become evident recently. I last had this done in 2009 and all seemed painless enough.

The lovely Dr Agamemnon, the cardiologist at Polis Hospital, was advising me about the procedure the other day. "They send you to sleep, then PZZT, and that's that. When you wake up, all should be fine. If it is not okay, you probably won't wake up at all."

What gallows humour ...

So a few days to recover, but far longer to recover from England's dismal showing in the Rugby World Cup. Four years was a long time to wait for a World Cup, and a further four years will seem like an eternity.

Becky S. has somewhere to live, a new job and things are finally looking up for her. About time too as it has shown the Welfare State in Hastings at its worst this last twelve months. I seethe with rage at the way the government finds money to help asylum seekers and refugees and cannot fulfil its legal obligations to its own citizens. Charity begins at home, doesn't it?