December? Really?

The weather has been glorious this past week, sunny and temperatures around the 21/22C level during the day, about 17C at night. Really nice to be out and about in. It’s hard to believe it’s now December and not very long at all till Christmas.

We”ve been catching up on last tasks around the villa ready for the winter. Our new plants in the top border are doing well and Habibi has taken cuttings off lots of the ones we planted last autumn and put in there too. They should spread out and cover some of the spaces. Bob has been chopping up more wood for the garden wood oven and we really have a nice pile now of all different widths ready to cook up a storm next year. There’s nothing like home made pizza or bread made on the stone floor.

Modern technology has come to northern Cyprus and we have taken the steps necessary so that we can pay our bills over the internet. Previously we have had to rely on our local property manager to pay them for us in person so this is a really good improvement. We can pay for electricity, council tax (a hefty £160 per year), rental tax and another slightly mysterious council water tax of about 90p per month all online. Water is paid for by a card smart meter. You have to go into the council offices, pay some money and they put it on a card which you then insert into your meter to register the credit. We have a very large credit sitting there already so we probably won’t have to do that again for a year or two.

Have had some farewell dinners this week with our friends and last night we went to the Foreign Residents Association Christmas Dinner Dance. It was held at the Deniz Kizi hotel and we had a great night. There were several hundred people there enjoying an excellent dinner with drinks all night included plus dancing. As usual there was a prize raffle which as usual we didn’t win!!!! Father Christmas also made an appearance. It seemed so strange to be tucking into turkey surrounded by the lovely decorations when the weather is still so warm. Afterwards we stood outside waiting for our cab and admiring the stars which were many, midnight without a shiver…… The TFR are a jolly lot made up of something like 23 nationalites. They organise a lot of events as well as doing work for the community, working with the High Commission in Nicosia etc. Not stuffy at all.

We have two days left now, flying home on Wednesday, staying overnight in London, visa appointment for India on Thursday morning and then back to Kent to settle in for Christmas. Its going to be a shock to the system with wintry showers forecast. We turned our central heating back on today to warm the house up from the 9C it has been hovering at recently. Another wonderful bit of technology, the Hive, system that let’s us monitor and switch devices such as the CH on and off from the phone. Oh yes, and our Ring Video doorbell that often catches the postman delivering mail which we have paid to have held – kerrrjing that”ll be our money back please! – and also the Amazon courier who delivered my parcel 4 days early. We got a notification from the doorbell – LOLOL – and contacted our neighbour to take it off the front step (or as Amazon like to call it, “Reception”) and take it in for us.