Joan and I were invited to Alan Peak's 80th birthday party held at the Acmenya restaurant. Quite a crowd and very well organised by the guys at Acmenya, as always. Well done Alan, just another 2 years and I will join you with the rest of the octogenarians in the sun.

Today's newspaper focuses on the rubbish dump in Esentepe that has been burning since May 11th. Apparantly they think it was started by the sun striking glass bottles in amongst the rubbish. The problem is twofold. Firstly to put it out and secondly to prevent it sprading to the wooded ares surrounding. They are using bulldozers to carve out firebreaks and to cover the intense fire with soil waste etc to dampen down. Esentepe municipality are also asking for specialist help from Turkey. Lets hope they get it controlled quickly. 

As the above has been extensively discussed in the local press etc., Joan and I were quite amazed to be sitting out on our terrace today and smelt burning plastic etc. When we looked out we were totally amazed to see a rubbish burning fire on the land next to us, near a little house where a couple of ladies live. Becauase we could see flames we called the police, who came down quickly. When the police approached they were told that they were only cooking kebabs etc. Cooking meat on burning polystirene, I ask you !!

Another new 5 star hotel complex has been given approval, This one is behind the Girne Ampitheatre and is to replace a failed project. The place should be finished by 2018 and have 254 rooms, casino, spa, restaurants and the developer has agreed to clean up and the seafront area building gardens, shops, restaurants etc. One has to question how many 5 star hotels can survive on this island, especially if the North and the South continue to say lets make up !!!

Akinci, our President, says it is now or never for a Federal Cyprus. Personally I would think the never bit is nearer the mark. There seems to be no real progress and he admits that if they cannot find a solution now it will be very difficult to create the right conditions again. Any federal solution, must surely require the GCs to admit a large part of the blame and accept some real solutions to things such as the property issues, but nothing that has so far been reported indicates any movement in these areas. Even some of the simple things do not seem to be able to be resolved, such as freedom of telephone communication across the border. As soon as we cross the border our telephone links are cut off. This was supposed to be resolved about 1 year ago, but was further blocked, according to the GCs because of an EU regulation. Pull the other one.

 On a completely different note, I had occasion to visit the Kyrenia Medical Centre this morning. I have been feeling a bit under the weather of late and said to Joan that maybe it was time I went for one of these "Well Man" clinics. When I got there, Trisha the English lady who works on reception said just a minute and went to see Dr Levent, the cardiologist and he immediately gave me an ECG test, a heart ultrasound and sent me off to Alan's party with a load of wires attached, protected by a tight string vest. Cost of this immedaite treatment 380 TL, around £90. Please tell me where you get such instant treatment in UK like this. OK I have to go back Monday for blood and urine tests before meeting hime again on Monday afternoon, these will probably cost another £80 but I will get the test results the same afternoon.

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