Settling In


So… a good sleep…. and it was fabulous to wake up to brilliant sunshine and the view down to the sea.  It just cheers you up to look out and see that….

Had one of my favourite breakfasts.  Local thick yoghurt, local honey drizzled over, some of those fabulous strawberries on top and just a sprinkle of Bob’s Dorset fruity muesli for a bit of crunch.  And of course, a first cup of double shot espresso from the amazing Pavoni machine, still going strong after what must be at least 12 years.  Eaten in peace with just the birds to keep me company…

Then, Bob was up and we measured up for the new curtains and blinds in the last remaining rooms for us to refresh.  When we bought the house, we bought it lock, stock and barrel.  The previous owners left us everything from furniture, paintings, ornaments…..  Over the years, we have steadily upgraded and refreshed each room.  Luckily the furniture was of particularly good quality, all from Harrods, so it has lasted well.  The upholsterers out here are amazing, so if you have a good skeleton chair or couch, they bring it right back for you, as good as new.  We have picked new blinds and curtains for the kitchen, hallway and two bedrooms.  We went to Mermaid Fabrics on the other side of Kyrenia.  They are amazing.  A family business of Turkish Cypriots who lived in London for a lot of years and then moved home.  They still have a business in London.  Their store is an Aladdin’s Cave of fabrics… and trimmings…. thank heavens they have expert staff there to guide you and what could – should – have been a very complicated order, was made relatively easy.  I just had to pick the fabric and they helped work out the amounts, the trim and all the rest.

Everything should be ready by the 31st, so that will be fantastic.  All set up for the summer.  They have made all our curtains and blinds so far, re-upholstered chairs, outdoor furniture….. we’ve always been delighted, so we are very confident this will be a good result.  Pictures to come, of course, when it all gets rehung.

We stopped off in Kyrenia on the way back to buy a local sim for our phone.  We get one from Telsim and the package costs 80 ytl (about £13) for around 30 days use, calls and data.  We can renew it at that point.

We then did a naughty thing..….  the Telsim shop is right in the area of Kyrenai that is full of kebab shops….. and we were hungry…. so we indulged.  Two lovely warm pittas stuffed with lamb and vegetables and herbs, plus salad and the drinking buttermilk they love.  It cost about £2 each.  Huge.

Came home and relaxed by the pool all afternoon.  Habibi, the gardener, came about 4pm, and we walked around together and looked at the plants and made plans for what should happen this year.  He’s so brilliant.  Takes loads of cuttings… grows me extra plants…. tree surgery…. hedge trimming….   Our garden has never looked so good.

We put all the watering lines on and walked around inspecting them for leaks and blockages.  Found one leak which Bob will mend, along with the list of other small jobs that always await us after a long gap between visits.  It doesn’t matter where a house is, there are always jobs…. of course Marion gets anything unusual attended to immediately, but small jobs that are just routine generally wait for our twice yearly visit.

Tonight we ate in.  In a few weeks we will begin to welcome friends out to stay with us and no doubt we will eat out a lot.  So, while we are on our own, we tend to eat in, say 5 nights out of 7.  Tonight I cooked up some white fish fillets, cooked in an oriental sauce with green beans and a local leaf vegetable that is rather like spinach.  Afterwards we polished off more strawberries and some melon.

After dinner we caught up on some English tv.  We have satellite tv here in the villa but you can’t get Sky domestically.  Well… you can… but you have to have a 1.8m dish and as I don’t want the house to resemble Joddrell Bank, we decline.  So, we have the next best thing which is still pretty good.  However, for those programmes too good to miss on BBC etc we attach Bob’s Ipad to the smart tv and watch it like that.  The wifi speed is pretty good.