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Christmas Message 2016

Published: 15 December 2016

Images from a Trip to Cyprus in June

  • Watching the sun come up from the villa.
  • Reveille at the villa.
  • The pool looked inviting at the early hour - but I managed to hold out until the Sun had a stronger hold on the day.
  • A tough looking sparrow hawk paid me a visit one afternoon.
  • Approach to the Villas from the Hill road.
  • Dave and his friend Pete enjoy a jest and a beer in the gloaming at the Armageti Taverna
  • Dave and Mags absorbed in the Sunday papers from the UK.
  • Karen came up trumps with the air tickets AND took a week off work to look after the dogs. She enjoyed the break and the time with the dogs.

LR - Joebaich, Puppy Elliot & Brodie
LR – Joe­baich, Puppy Elli­ot & Brod­ie

Merry Christ­mas and a Happy New Year

Here is wish­ing our friends and fam­il­ies all the best for the sea­son. Have a won­der­ful time!

Stay­ing Put

Liberty is good natured and tolerates Christmas
Good natured Liber­ty tol­er­ates Christ­mas

We will spend our first Christ­mas and New Year at home in over a dec­ade. We enjoy our trips away over these hol­i­days but have to stay put this time. Here’s why:

Reas­on #1 – Puppy

We have a new little Viz­sla. Elli­ot was born on 4 Septem­ber and is too young to go along on the kind of Christ­mas trips we make. Had he been a month or two older it might have been pos­sible.

Puppy Elliot
Puppy Elli­ot

Reas­on #2 – Brex­it

After the BREX­IT Ref­er­en­dum res­ult the value of the GBP plummeted again­st the USD by 15 to 20 per­cent. With less dol­lars to spend, tak­ing a hol­i­day would be at the expense of some work that needs to be done in the house. So, needs be as needs must.

Cyprus Trip

I did make a trip to Cyprus in June though. Kar­en came up trumps and donated enough of her air miles to fund a return busi­ness class flight from IAD to Lar­naca. I flew Aus­tri­an Air­lines via Vien­na both ways and enjoyed the ser­vice very much. By chance, I had watched Rick Stein’s BBC Long Week­ends” epis­ode about Vien­na a week or two before the trip and, with a little more read­ing, clued myself up on Aus­tri­an wines for the flight. The in-flight som­meliers con­tent to pour repeated gen­er­ous meas­ures of unc­tu­ous full bod­ied Aus­tri­an red to an appre­ci­at­ive trav­el­ler on the way out and again on the way back.

I hadn’t been to Cyprus for 30 years and so was inter­ested to see the changes and also the many good things that I trust will nev­er change.

One of my daugh­ters flew out from Lon­don to join me and we ren­ted a small vil­la in the hills halfway between Paphos and Pol­is for a few days. It was ideal and not at all expens­ive given the great loc­a­tion above the vil­lage of Mili­ou. The weather was per­fect and we relaxed and enjoyed the loc­al food and wine. I had inten­ded to ven­ture out to take lots of pho­to­graphs but it was a short stay and instead ten­ded to stay put and do noth­ing. The vil­la with its swim­ming pool and orange trees laden with fruit was a mar­vel­lous place to do just that. I got up just before the Sun broke over the hills to the East to enjoy the cool air with a cup of cof­fee and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. After that, it was easy to doze off again, recharge the bat­ter­ies and then just to linger.

Reunion

Dur­ing the trip, I was so very happy to be able to meet up and stay a night with my old pal, Dave Marks. He went to live on the island more than 20 years ago and did some­thing extraordin­ary. He bought an old ruin for a sum that didn’t dent his retire­ment gra­tu­ity too much. It’s in Lem­ona, a vil­lage in the foot­hills north of Paphos. He rebuilt and exten­ded it from the ground up. He added a new upper floor for bed­rooms and cre­ated a beau­ti­ful open plan area down­stairs. He worked mostly on his own and used mater­i­als from oth­er ruins he was able to scroun­ge. His solid tim­ber win­dow and door lin­tels come cour­tesy of a long demol­ished Brit­ish Army pier at Avdimou, for instance. I am sure that had Kev­in McCloud caught wind of it, with no exag­ger­a­tion, Dave’s pro­ject would have made the best ever epis­ode of Grand Designs.

Dogs

Varya’s Clan Gregor

Vizsla patiently waits for the rain to subside.
Greg waits for the rain to stop.

We lost our dear old Gregor, our 13 year old Viz­sla at the tail end of the Sum­mer. He was one of the nicest dogs on the plan­et and had the nack of walk­ing away from trouble before it star­ted. He didn’t get into a fight ever and I nev­er saw him curl his lip at any­thing.

He liked to sit in the pas­sen­ger seat of our SUVs and in the win­ter would paw me until I switched on the seat heat­ing. Some­times I would try to fake him out and only pre­tend to switch it on but he knew that if the indic­at­or light didn’t come on on the dash, the seat wasn’t going to get warm. The paw­ing would con­tin­ue until he saw that light, once he did, he would curl up and wait for the heat.

Kar­en shot this video of our three Viz­slas open­ing their Christ­mas presents in 2014. Gregor is the dog with the gray on his face and the rap­idly oscil­lat­ing tail. He really enjoyed occa­sions like that and didn’t let the brash 9 month old Brod­ie spoil it for him, his tail nev­er stopped wag­ging.

Gregor, Liber­ty and Brod­ie open their presents.

Viz­slas Gregor, Liber­ty and Brod­ie get their Christ­mas Presents (2014).


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