Monday, 16 August 2010

West Wittering


The annual Mums Camp took place two days before the girls were to fly to Japan. This year we were newly added to the throng and were thrilled to be going. (Me more than the girls...all that fresh air, camping, beaches etc sounded fantastic.) There were 6 mums, 12 girls 4 boys and 2 dogs....The weather was hot, but windy and on day one, we all braved the water. Food was cooked on disposable bbqs and then the mums had a few relaxing glasses of wine while the kids ran around/listened to music in their tents and behaved like children. Bliss. The inflatable bed John bought me lurched around under me all night, it was like wrestling with a walrus and being in a sleeping bag meant no balance, so it was touch and go that I did not land on the girls who were asleep either side of me.
Day two was equally sunny and the plan was to swim most of the day, play rounders and have fish and chips for tea. At about 2pm John rang as he had just collected the girls' tickets from the travel agent to discover their flight was at 2pm the next day...Ihas planned to collect them on the morning of the departure...just as well he did it for me....As we still had packing and last minute things to take care of, we decided to go home. It was a bit sad, but we had fish and chips at the restaurent in town as compensation and an amazingly stress free evening getting ready.

The girls left for their long flight on time and are in the last days of over three weeks with their Dad and grandparents in Yokohama.
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Thursday, 12 August 2010

Summer holiday for two - Northern Cyprus

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John and I went on holiday together to Northern Cyprus where it was hot. A heat wave in fact, the hottest temperature it has been there on record. It was 46.6 in the shade! It was, despite the heat, an idyllic island where the pace of life makes you feel as though you are really living. The heat means that things move more slowly, but the people had a lovely serene approach to life. It was wonderful to see the men sit under trees, play backgammon, talk and smoke. Women too, in the doorways of their homes, in their shops, sitting and waiting for life and customers to come to them. It was nice not to be harassed to buy all the time. It happened in the harbour where restaurants compete for custom, but a simple no thanks usually got the response of 'OK mate, maybe another time'.
Nicosia is the capital, the only divided capital city in the world. There is a 'green zone', a UN buffer zone between the two halves. Since the war in 1974, the Turks have owned the north and the Greeks the south.

We stayed near Bellapais where Lawrence Durrell lived and wrote his book 'Bitter Lemons'. His house is there on Bitter Lemon Street, painted a pale yellow; and the restaurant where he wrote much of the book, is there still. It is 'The Tree of Idleness' and is opposite the old Abbey, now used for music concerts for artists from around the world. We had two meals in the restaurant and Turkish coffee and baklava there on our last afternoon.

Click on the collage to see closer images of the visit. More later.