Yes... I know....... it's horribly early to be thinking of this. Although I have to confess I am someone who buys Xmas presents throughout the year and then puts them away in my Secret Cupboard. We have had a Secret Cupboard in every house we have owned. Everyone knows exactly where it is of course but no one other than me would ever dare look inside it once about January 8th has passed......
So, today, which by the way was gloriously sunny and about perfect at 27c, we had to go down into Kyrenia to run a couple of errands and somehow or other we ended up doing a bit of Xmas shopping. I blame Bob. We took the cobbled street down to the harbour because we had to call at a chandlers to enquire about marine plywood for a friend who wants to build a boat out here. You know who you are!!!!! And then we continued on down to get a coffee...... passing a small craft jeweller.... I wonder how much their gold chains are, says Bob, whose 25 year old chain gave up the ghost this year. Let's go in and look. Inside were wondrous things. It turned out that the jeweller comes from a family of jewellers who have shops in Cyprus and Istanbul and also sell via Harrods! He showed me pictures of himself in various magazine ads. Not what we expected..... His two daughters - we swapped photos and compliments - have just graduated from St Martins in London, in jewellery design. Richard Gere was in at the end of July with his girlfriend (luxy yacht came in for the day! but apparently he comes every year over from Antalya) and the owner showed me the ring he bought her. 26 decreasing diamonds in a circle. I could have it for £3500. I hope the girlfriend realised that this must be like a cracker ring to Richard..... It was gorgeous though. We didn't buy it. But we did buy Bob a new chain for Xmas so that he can wear his shipwreck piece of eight again. Gold here is so much cheaper than in the UK. Less than half the price by weight. We also bought another very small item. Also not for me.
Two Turkish coffees later we wandered on and turned up a street leading up from the harbour that we haven't taken before. In nine years! Full of lovely, lovely shops. All sorts of Aladdin's lamps and pottery. And a wonderful Turkish Delight shop. Turkish Delight here is so amazing in comparison to the stuff you get at home. It's not sweet, gelatinous gunge that gets stuck in your teeth. No. It's generally nutty, not that sweet.... scented with fruit juice or rose water and all freshly made. Good job it gets eaten so fast. A recent guest took home 16 boxes and is steadily munching through them. Makes a great present for the office though. There are two quality shops in Kyrenia, Several in Nicosia in the covered market area and one in Famagusta. So do stock up when you visit.
Then, we went to my favourite handbag shop on the hill high street. They have shoes too. The guy makes much of the stock himself and he can make and copy anything down to exquisite detail. You can pay hundreds for bags that would cost thousands. Or you can pay very little. £40 will buy you a fantastic leather bag. In the front of the shop he has second class copies which aren't actually leather, although they're not bad looking. Most of the shop stock is leather though. I have bought bags from him before that I still get complimented on at airport security LOL or from friends. Anyway, I bought a couple of things in there. Leather. Very, very good. Not for me.....
Staggered back to the car with our booty. Quick call in at the supermarket to pick up a few supplies. Like charcoal for the bbq and gin and brandy for our evening cocktails. You know.... essentials!!!! And at about £2.50 a bottle, possibly the best bargains of the day. At last. For me!
Spent the afternoon around the pool. Tonight Bob is cooking Oriental fish in a parcel.