Last night the three of us went down to The Red Lion in Alsancak, This pub has been taken over by David from Wines of the World. He originally tried to run a Thai restaurant called The Mandarin off the road up towards Achmenya restaurant but unfortunately his lack of experience showed up and he was not successful. We three met up with Steve and Lyn, two old friends of Norman's, and the restaurant was their recommendation.

Have to say that the food was superb and a real change from the regular Turkish restaurants. Would recommend to anyone who likes their food to be a little different and just a bit spicey. The restaurant can be found on the road down to the Deni Kisi hotel.

This morning Joan and I did the usual trip to Lambousa market, bought some fresh strawberries and a couple of jam doughnuts for Norman and I with the morning coffee. Afterwards we nipped in the shop for a copy of the Saturday newspaper.

The main headline today is "Scramble to Save Skyline" Finally planers from two of the local Municipalities are getting together to try to protect the Northern coastline from yet more mass development. residents are finally standing up to be counted in their claim that greedy developers are ruining the Northern coastline and that further high rise development must be stopped. I still wonder at all the development that is going on and the supposed continuing talks to re-unite the island, to me the two things don't gel.

Another fine example of the two sides being able to get together. The Greek Cypriot leader called off talks planned for yesterday, "why" a row over a dinner protocol. Apparently Mr Anastaaiades, backed by all the Southern political parties claimed to have been deceived by the UN, which had messed up over an invitation the Mr Akinci, president of the North. They claimed that the occasion had been aimed at upgrading the TRNC and undermining the "Republic of Cyprus" a UN member state. If they can't agree to dine together in the company of UN and other important people then what chance do they have of resolving important thjings such as the property issue. Stupidity goes a long way amongst our politiians especially when they can't resolve simple issues, how the hell are they going to agree on the major ones.

Another example of inability to resolve serious issues is the argument over the cost of Turkish water. This week the municipalities are claiming that water cost could increase by 10 times, ministers in government are suggesting that water will cost 5 TL per ton. It is not excpected that every municipalty will charge the same for water but I ask you, WHY, after they have been building these dams and laying this pipeline for almost 5 years, are we only now discussing the "how" do we get this high quality water to the people and at what cost. Why, in such a small country, do we not have a centralised water board that supplies eveybody at a centralised price.  

How about this one. One gambler at a local casino won 4.5million TL at around midnight on April 29th. The casino is saying it cannot pay out or more to the point, it will not pay out, because they claim a machine malfunction. This is doubted because in the first instance they had confirmed the win on the night, but only now are wriggling. There is a chance that they could have their licence revoked. Interesting situation, but not for the lady who is excpecting to be better off by £1 million +.

Anybody remember us having to use Gecitkale airport whilst Ercan was being expanded, well there is a call for it to be reopened for training and cargo flights.  There is only one major snag, Some government in power allowed electric pylons to be erected in 2005 in line with the end of the runway. What did I say about government stupidity?    

Another interesting government proposal. It has been established that 60 % of the cars on the road do not pay road tax. Government is now suggesting that if they put a levy on petrol and diesel to recover what they are now losing, this would bring in more money for taxation . Grand idea. Does the government realise that in order to get road tax, you need an MOT certificate and valid insurance, so what chance that people will try to miss these two things out. Maybe a better idea would be to get more police off their coffee stools, out on the road and stop vehicles for inspection on a regular basis. We rarely see traffic police out on the road doing what they are paid to do, promoting road safety and catching law breakers.    

Finally, to finish the week off we went to the Black Olive for an evening of horse racing in aid of Turtle Watch. There was a meal of chicken and chips, a raffle and finally horse racing on a TV screen. Unfortunately the weather had taken a turn for the worse so the event was moved indoors, which rather cramped us all in. Never mind, the food was good and the evening raised over 1,000 TL for the cause and we all three enjoyed ourselves.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

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