We've only got 3 days to go now before we leave first thing on Thursday morning. Tomorrow we want to leave free to have a day at the local beach and Wednesday will largely be taken up with closing up the house, packing, seeing friends for the last time and cleaning. So today we felt we had to make a big push to get all the small jobs remaining finished.
I am so lucky to have Bob. For many reasons, but one of them is that he is simply brilliant at diy. He can do almost anything: tiling; woodwork; painting; plumbing; electrics; mending things. He's really good at mending things. This trip he's tackled tasks as small as whittling a new spear for my Kenyan warrior wooden statue, to rewiring terrace lights damaged in a storm; building a cage around an a/c unit to keep out the pigeons, rebuilding from planks of wood an outdoor dining table, mending small leaks in the pool gulley; and fitting all the new small fitments to the bathrooms.
He is a genius and has saved us thousands over the years. It's tragic that schools have stopped teaching these skills and thus consigned generations of young men to reliance on paying tradesmen to do even the most minor household jobs.
Anyway, we went out and chose the fitments for the ensuite this morning and Bob has fitted them - towel rails, rings, toothmug holder etc. They look great. He also did a host of other small jobs. I helped where I could but generally my input was mopping all the floors (still a lot of fine dust from the tile cutting ), deadheading hundreds of geraniums, watering the pots.
We did fit in time for a haircut and shave for Bob at the local barber shop, Big Men. Always gives us a chuckle. He had the full nine yards today - haircut, eyebrows trimmed, ears and nose tapered, head and face massage, hot towels - the lot. Came to about £7. While he was doing that I went and got my feet "done". Pedi, toenails shellaced with a rather fab silver glitter polish. So very sparkly. Can't do a lot about my beat up feet but they did their best. About £17.
By the end of the day we were both knackered. I mean: It's hot too. So feeling in need of a cooling beverage. Which brings me to my next topic: alcohol.
It is fair to say that alcohol is very cheap out here in comparison to the UK. You can get pretty much anything you want. The local beer is called Efes. The most common form of Efes is a lager but they also do Efes Malt and Efes Extra Strong. Its cheap. A 500ml bottle is about 60p.
There are Cypriot wines but all are made (at the moment) in the south so not very available in the north. Many Turkish wines are available: Doluca, Yakut, Angora being very popular brands. They run from about £1 per bottle. All supermarkets sell wine and beer. You can also buy international wine brands in the supermarkets.
If you want something a little bit special, then we recommend visiting The World of Wines which is on the main road between Alsancak and Lapta. Turn left at the bottom of the hill and it is on the left after about a mile. They have a large selection of excellent wines from all over the world and are glad to advise in a friendly manner. We really like their South African Silver Boom wines. Delicious. Not expensive for the quality and they have all sorts there. Give them a try.
All sorts of spirits and liqueurs are widely available. We like the Cypriot spirits ie gin, rum, vodka, brandy. They are generally on the lower shelf of the supermarket under the international branded drinks. Honestly, in mixed drinks, they are indistinguishable and at about £3 for a 750ml bottle, a heck of a lot cheaper. Lord Jim is a popular local gin. The brandy is also very smooth.
So, we cooked in, some pork souvlaki washed down by nice cold Efes. Then watched Guardians of the Galaxy which we have on dvd, which was greatly enhanced by the Cypriot brandy. An enjoyable yarn. Rubbish really but oddly likeable.