Well, we're here again! Back for around 5 weeks to oversee the installation of the new bathrooms and have an early summer break.
We arrived last night and our trip was "eventful" to say the least. Firstly, the good. We flew out from London Heathrow on Turkish Airlines who we like very much. We generally fly with them when we come to Cyprus and often when we go to India. We like the short stopover at Ataturk Airport to stretch our legs and we like their service aboard, especially the food. This time we decided to spoil ourselves a bit and we used our Miles and Smiles miles to upgrade our outbound seats to business class. This gave us access to one of the executive lounges at Heathrow too so we started the journey with a lovely breakfast washed down with champagne. Nice start. The plane was really great. A brand new 777 and business class had flat bed seats and all the bells and whistles. More champagne. A really excellent 4 course lunch. Most pleasant. The only problem was that we had a very tight connection in Istanbul, just an hour, and the flight out of Heathrow was an hour late..... oh well, we resigned ourselves to missing the Cyprus connection and spending a pleasant hour or so in the utterly stupendous Turkish Airlines business class lounge - It's unbelievable! However, when we landed a man was waiting for us (and others) at the gate and we were rushed the 200 yards or so to the waiting Cyprus flight. It was like one of those film scenes where the Secret Service have to rush the President out after a security scare!!! "What about our luggage?" we kept asking. "No problem, we check"... came the reply. I had a bad feeling. However, first the ground staff manager and then the chief steward came down the aisle and assured us that our luggage had been loaded onto the plane. In fact, they did it twice.
Of course, when we got to Lefkosa airport, it wasn't there. We trailed off (with another couple) to the Lost Luggage office and filled out forms and lodged a search. "They will come on the next flight" we were assured. We had a hire car waiting outside so we decided not to hang about till 2am. Lovely Gunray car rental were still waiting for us even though we were by now an hour late. They escorted us to our car - Ford Fusion and we were soon on our way. Light of luggage.
All we had was our small cabin bag which contained my camera, valuables, a bag of chargers, laptops, kindles etc. We had literally the clothes on our backs and no toiletries. I felt really stressed. We got to the house and felt cheerier. Marion had it looking really beautiful and had stocked the fridge up for us, so at least we could drown our sorrows in a cold Efes and some nice Chilean white wine. It was too dark to see much but the garden looked to have grown.
This morning it was lovely to push back the curtains and see the sun on the sea and the mountains. I had a quick shower and put on my travelling clothes again. Nice. Not. Then the airport rang and said the cases had arrived. We opted to go and pick them up rather than wait for their taxi at an unspecified time. So, drove back to the airport and we were taken back to the luggage belt area where it transpired that only 2 of the 3 cases had arrived. The one with all my clothes, most of Bob's clothes and all our toiletries had not been found yet. We had to open one of the bags for customs - and they confiscated a gunsight Bob had brought out for a friend's air rifle. You can't buy them as a separate item here. Anyway, the man was perfectly nice about it, but it's prohibited and that's that. We are now probably logged as international gun smugglers.
Came home and spent time loading the tinned and packaged food cupboards and putting away what stuff has arrived. Began to make a spreadsheet of all the items I could think of in the suitcase for insurance purposes. Then, about 3 pm they telephoned from the airport to say that the case had been found and that it was coming in on the 8pm flight tonight. A slight battle over whether we would get it tonight, yet to be resolved.
Had a look around the garden which is looking fabulous after Habibi's winter efforts. Everything is really blooming. We've had a lot of oranges and grapefruit At the moment we have 2 large lemons on the little tree growing behind the bbq. I will take pictures. The pomegranate tree has grown so much but that fruits in the autumn. The almond has also grown and has almonds on it which is exciting. Finally, we have Mirabelle plums on the tree in the orchard. I must admit that when I bought this tree, the nurseryman was trying to tell me what it was but he didn't speak English and I didn't speak Turkish and I thought he was saying it was a Medlar. It is only now that the fruit has come that I realise it is a Mirabelle. Anyway, they are delicious.
Bob went down the hill to the supermarket to get some fresh food in and some gin.
So, after a bit of a strange start, we are settled in.