Monday, 28 March 2016

A Tale of Two Easters

One of the strange aspects of living here is that the Orthodox Church celebrates Easter at a different time of the year to the Anglican Church. This year Easter is celebrated here from 29th April, and is the most important festival of the year for Greek Cypriots. Many of the Cypriots we know do not eat meat during Lent, and there is an unearthly calm at the butchers' shops. And then, in the days running up to the Orthodox Good Friday, you would think the end of the world had been announced. The amount of meat bought is simply staggering.

We are gradually being drawn into the mysteries of ten pin bowling, and "strikes" and "spares" are part of our everyday vocabulary. Last Wednesday we played again, and Pam struggled to find "form" as the soccer pundits say on television. I played two good frames and surged into the lead until I was put back in my place when Ann came good in the final frame with two consecutive "strikes" to clinch that frame. All good fun and it makes for an entertaining time.

We took a run up to Kato Pyrgos yesterday and what a lovely drive through the mountains. We had a wander round the town and were amazed by the size and grandeur of the church there. No expense spared and it dwarfed the buildings around it. We did not go right up to the green line, with its minefields and bored UN troops. When my dear friend Dave Travis took me up there a couple of years ago he drove straight through the Greek Cypriot checkpoint with a wave and I had visions of the Turks opening fire on his car. But he was only kidding and we turned around and drove back into "our" part of Cyprus. If anything symbolises the tragic situation of modern day Cyprus, it is this "border" area with its troops and camps and observation posts. On one groups of hills there was a Greek Cypriot observation post, whose job it is to observe the Turks, a Turkish observation post (to do the reverse) and a UN observation post to check on the two factions observing each other. What a waste of time and money.

Ann picked up an eye infection a week or so ago, and the ointment prescribed has not really done anything. So back to Polis Hospital this morning and - no doubt - she will be sent to see a specialist in Paphos. When? The same day or the next day. For all the critics of the health service here, waiting days or week or months to see a specialist does not seem to happen. And, if we have to go to Paphos, it will be an opportunity to pick up some Perlenbacher in Lidls. Every cloud has a silver lining.

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