Wednesday, 20 March 2013


For various reasons, I'm a bit fed up at the moment.

I've been working hard on my next walking holiday.  I'm going to North Cyprus, which I don't know very well, for a couple of weeks.  Today I am supposed (according to my arbitrary timetable) to sort out my backpack.  Where are my essential bits and pieces?  All put away safely somewhere no doubt.  I have to go through my first aid kit; I can't believe it's all still in date.  And I suspect I've nearly run out of blister plasters!  Then there's the clothing.  All this winter I've been mooching around in sweaters and fleeces.  Now I need lightweight T's (I've just checked the weather in Kyrenia and it seems to be in the 20s at the moment : ) ).  And lots of hiking socks; I know I put those somewhere sensible last autumn.  And what about water bottles, torch, spork, etc.

But I haven't quite got round to that yet.   I have a good idea of where I want to go while I'm there and what I want to see, but I have no maps.  They just don't make them.  I think the area has remained a little sensitive ever since the Turkish invasion of 1974.  You try Google maps for Cyprus and see what I mean; the whole of the north is one big green blob.  Perhaps it is just grass with no roads or buildings?  But it's a shame, isn't it.  I have absolutely no interest in military activities; they can conduct war games underneath my hotel window all night if they like and I'll just stay in bed and, during the day, I'll go somewhere else.  Actually, Cyprus is so small and accessible to tourists and Turkey so vast that I can't believe they'd choose to do anything sensitive militarily on the island.  But, on the other hand, one thing they desperately want is tourism.  So why not make it more tourist-friendly?  All I want is to know that I'm walking towards the Crow's Nest Pub and won't get lost and stumble into a minefield or a tank trap.

I've ordered my currency.  I don't think, by the way, before you say, that N Cyprus is at all affected by the problems with Greek banks in Cyprus.  Anyway, nothing I can do.  I just have to take cash and hope it isn't suddenly devalued to toilet paper while I'm there or that Germany doesn't invade to impose on the spot taxes.  I've drawn up my timetable for walking.  I've made a list of variables to check out while I'm there, pub opening times, nearest fish restaurant, receptionist's phone number, etc.  So I ought now to be ready.  But still I feel unsettled.  It's all wasted if I don't find the footpath.

Then - bridge.  Something has happened.  I have been reading up on safety plays and leads, because I am weak in that area.  At least I always seem to help the opposition with my play.  But the more I study, the worse I seem to get.  I have heard of golfers (like Rory McIlroy at the moment) losing their technique, or footballers (like Fernando Torres over the last 2 years) having off periods, perhaps it's like that.  And one day I will storm back.  Or perhaps I should switch to canasta?  But it's depressing at the moment.

Then there's the weather . . .  No need to say any more about how miserable that is.  Actually the sun came out a bit today and I have just been out the garden planting some new shrubs.  Last autumn we became so fed up with some ground cover plant that the previous house owner had put in that we dug it all up.  We had seemed to spend most of our time in the garden during the summer trying to control this bloody thing.  It spread all over the flower bed like warts.  So two back-breaking days later, we had dug up several trugs of plants and several more of roots.  The roots were like a sponge all over the flower bed to a depth of about a foot.  The bed then needed a few extra inches of earth to compensate, then we left it fallow for the winter.  But of course the neighbourhood cats thought it was wonderful.  So I have just spent a most exciting afternoon burying several tons of cats' poo and turning the soil for planting.  I did get a few small shrubs in though and even a few daffodils.  None of my bulbs came up this year - killed or delayed by the cold I suppose - so I stuck in some ready sprouted plants.  But all that effort has just made me think I should have been sorting out my walking gear instead.

So I suppose I'd better get off now and stop putting off sorting out my kit.  I'll just go and have a cup of tea first.  Then maybe I'll go and watch television for a little while and listen to the discussion on today's budget announcements.  That should cheer me up.


  1. I've never really fancied visiting Cyprus. I've visited quite a few islands in the Med. I love Malta, and several of the Greek islands, notably Kefalonia and Santorini, are beautiful places. But Cyprus just never really appealed to me. My main holiday this year will be in the later half of April when I'll be meeting up with Joanne ans we'll be flying out west to tour Arizona. We'll fly to Las Vegas, pick up the hire car and then head to Arizona. First stop will be Lake Havasu, to see the old London Bridge, then head east along the old Route 66 to take in several well-know sights such as the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Great Meteor Crater, and Walnut Canyon. I'm looking forward to some desert heat after the never-ending miserable British winter!!

    Can't give you any advice re Bridge, I've never played the game.

    1. I think it's still on my bucket list, but riding Route 66 was a plan at one stage. Not sure if I'll ever make though now. Enjoy. Lots of pics please (and love to Joanne). Cyprus is a bit of a Brit holiday camp in season and there are many Brits living there (as you will have seen recently), but I'm hoping the north is less so. I'll let you know.

    2. Route 66 is a wonderful trip but if you can't go, just watch the Disney movie 'Cars' with your grandsons/daughters. It is very close to the real thing. Towns decaying and yet it is still a fun trip. We only did half of it but enjoyed every day in our RV and found wonderful campsites.