Thursday, 29 November 2012

Our Last Pickleball Session at the Imperial Beach...

Today, November 22nd, is my brother in law Richard's birthday and after some discussion with Mum we think that maybe next year is a big birthday (if not apologies Richard).  It is quite hard to find gifts over here so I have to rely on the internet which does not normally let me down but it is a challenge finding something different.  

I know that like me he is very keen on photography and that he and my sister Kaye are keen on travel (having just returned from a safari) so I thought a subscription to some sort of magazine might be the order of the day and I stumbled across a travel magazine by National Geographic.  The photographs are guaranteed to be fantastic and hopefully provide some inspiration and maybe the features will help them chose their next destination.  

I just have my fingers crossed that the subscription goes through ok and that the magazine arrives regularly - I am guessing that he probably won't get the first one until sometime in the new year.  This now leaves me with the conundrum that is what to buy them for a Christmas Present!!! I only buy for Kaye and Richard as Matthew, Elena and Michael are deemed to be grown up enough now!!  I understand that Matthew is taking a trip back to the UK from Dubai over Christmas so I bet Kaye is very excited about that.

We had a meeting down in Emba this morning so John and I set off early.  It has been a very big week here in Cyprus in terms of the bailout requested and the terms which have needed to be agreed with the Troika (The Troika is currently made up of the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).)  There have been differing reports as to the progress made or lack of it and with time running out it looked like the Troika were going to walk away from Cyprus with nothing resolved.  It was generally agreed that without the bailout Cyprus would be in real trouble but on the flip side the conditions imposed by an agreement could well see the same sort of civil unrest as has been in evidence in other parts of the EU.  After years of banks, businesses and individuals living on the never never they are all going to have to be accountable and it is going to be a bitter pill for some to swallow.

We have subsequently learned that progress was made but negotiations are not yet complete in spite of the local paper heralding that the deal had been done.  We hope this is a positive sign - either way as I said difficult times could be ahead for all.  

It would appear that the crash will have touched any number of countries in one way or another and that when finally it is over things will never be quite the same again.  Maybe the lesson that will be learned is that we all have to operate within our means and that our attitudes towards debt and credit will change - I can remember a time when the only debt anyone would ever have would be a mortgage if they were lucky enough to be able to afford one and I am not that old (yet).

It was a sad day today as we played our last game of pickleball at the Imperial Beach Hotel.  Mum has been coming here for years and it was a lovely venue however over the last few months it has become increasingly apparent that the hotel no longer wanted us to use the court for one reason or another and with the hotel closing for refurbishment from now until May we would have had to have found another venue for that period even if they had allowed us to return once the refurb was completed.  We had thought it might have been rained off as the weather had been quite miserable but the gods smiled at us and we managed to have our final game.  There were only four of us, Tom, Jeff, Mum and I and we had a good old work out.  Tom has managed to find us an alternative venue in Emba which will be indoors so that will be interesting - having said that when Mum first started to play and we joined in when we were over on holiday that was indoors and we managed fine.

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