I had a pre meeting at The Hermitage this morning as a prelude to tomorrows ECM in church. As I am still not driving had arranged for Anne to meet me at Issie's DIY on the main road and then for Joan to meet me in town later for my 1 pm appointment with Dr Levent for a check up. On our way into town I got a phone call from the hospital to ask me to delay my appointment as he had an emergency. So now I have to await my check up until 6 pm on Tuesday next. Means that Joan is still doing all the driving for now.

Got back home at around 1 pm and the pair of us went to do a little shopping for ourselves and to get the latest Cyprus Today to see what is happening in the world around us. Well last week when you all changed your clocks by one hour and the TRNC stayed in line with Turkey's decision not to change we appear to have created a newspaper headline suggesting that people are in a daze. Tourists are now according to the newspaper confused, especially those crossing the border from the South, consequently the government has issued instructions to Museums etc to stay open 1 hour longer, in case people miss their planned visits. The major complaint seems to be that no specific instruction is given about the time difference when crossing the border. Personally I would have thought it was the job of the tourist guides to make their customers aware.

Last week I mentioned that the Esentepe mayor had banned water deliveries by tankers, he now admits that this was an inhumane action. He was trying to make the point that he was in charge and that he made the rules about water meter costs etc, he has however not backed down about costs. He is charging 2,000 TL + KDV for a new meter and 2,200 + kdv for pipework to connect to the new meters. We were clearly very lucky here in Lapta and area as our old meters were just replaced at no cost, the only difference for us is a price increase on the water, it is now 5.75 TL per ton.

The RBL Poppy Walk took place last Saturday and the 66 walkers managed to raise 3,000 TL between them, the same sum as that raised in 2015. A great start to the Poppy Collections around the island.

We have to get to page 6 before we find an important headline. "Settlement hopes low". A new opinion poll states that despite intensive efforts by the Presidents of both the North and the South, a staggering 85% of Turkish Cypriots believe that the situation on the island will only get worse. The suggestion is also that the level of optimisim is also low in the South, there is a suggestion that economic woes and unenployment are the biggest issues. Economists here in the North are also suggesting that the gap between rich and poor is also widening.

No good hiding over here. The TRNC police have captured an "On The Run" UK narcotics gang boss. It is reported that this Turk was a gang leader in Brentwood, Essex and was known for driving around in a Lamborgini. Well he has obviously been doing something similar over here and was arrested together with 6 others last week. I suppose the question now is does he do time here or will he be deported back to UK.

It has now been confirmed that there is a 10% drop in the number of tourists in 2016. It has been quite noticeable to us that there are less tourists around and the local retaurants have certainly felt it. The overall occupancy rate in hotels has dropped to 63% although some of the big 5 star hotels have done better, probably because of the casinos. A big investment is being made by the Torism Board during the coming winter, but I fear that people are still concerned about the political and war situations which surround us. Having said that we feel no danger actually on the island, but I suppose being only 120 kilometres from the likes of Syria, worries people.

Not for me to mention the actions of some in the UK in trying to get Brexit knocked back and making life extremely difficult for government, guess it is a case of the old rich guard managing to endeavour to turn around the will of the people. One would wonder what the referendum was really about and why the losers can't accept the result. Any way on a much more positive note, Liverpool have managed to regain their rightful place at the head on the Premier Table !!!!

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“North Cyprus – Once upon a time we had this dream of a deep blue sea and lazy days in the sun”

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