Monday, 3 December 2012

Monday - Banking and Police...

I don't know if you can see in the photograph but when we got up this morning it was only just over 10 degrees outside - now for us that is chilly and means that during the course of the night it had dropped even further - winter is well and truly on its way but fortunately we have been spared too much rain so far thank goodness!  Still we now have our trusty sandbag at the front door!!

We were up at the crack of sparrows because we needed to go down into Polis and catch the bank as soon as it opened because we wanted to open up an account in John's sole name and then change our other account so it would be in my sole name.  There are a number of reasons for this - not least that if you have a joint bank account and someone dies it can be difficult for the survivor to get their hands on money whilst probate is being sorted.  Not that we are expecting anything to happen but better to get it sorted now.  On our way down to the bank we stopped at Glykkis so John could pick up some DIY bits and pieces - it was all quiet on the Western Front - this is rush hour in downtown Polis!!

Our branch of the Alpha Bank has moved from the Square and is now situated next to the roundabout.  When we enquired about parking we were told that there was parking underneath or failing that park on the roundabout because everyone else does!!!  We arrived just before it opened at 8.30am.  We knew that we would have a battle on our hands as we wanted to move our money from the Kissonerga Branch up to Polis as it is much more convenient now that we live in Droushia and the bank manager in Kissonerga, George, keeps accusing the Polis branch of stealing his customers even though it is our decision.  Note to prospective residents in Cyprus - open your bank account where you want it to be!!

Whilst in the bank I reluctantly paid up my €50 speeding fine and was presented with a printout that told me where and when and my speed etc and on the bottom the points I had been awarded.  Imagine my shock to see two points awarded for my misdemeanour on Friday and three points from a fine given almost exactly a year ago.  I was stunned because I have only ever been stopped over here that once.  The bank couldn't help me and told me to go to the Police Station which was probably going to be a bit of a trial if there was a language barrier.  On the way in the car I wondered whether there had been points on my UK licence which had been transferred to my Cypriot licence when I got it in December but I had a copy of my old UK licence and it didn't have any points on it.

We found a very nice policeman on the front desk called Benjamin who spoke excellent English - he didn't see the problem in having five points on my licence - he said I only needed to worry when I got to eleven because once you get to twelve they take your licence away I think.  He seemed to be quite impressed that an old girl like me had been caught for speeding anyway!!!  Anyway after some investigation he found out that the offence occured on the Mesoghi Avenue in Paphos on a Thursday night - mystery solved because this was actually John's speeding fine which we collected one night on our way home from the quiz we used to attend - he had no idea he had been given any points because at that time we still had our UK licences and nothing was said when we got our new Cypriot ones and there was nothing put on his licence to tell him.  Apparently this was issued by the Ministry of Transport rather than the Police so it wasn't going to be easy for the points to be transferred from my licence to his and I had been given the points because my  name comes up first on the car log book!!!  Benjamin told us that we would have to go to the Ministry of Transport to sort it out and I just looked at him forlornly and said that it would be a nightmare because from previous experience they don't seem to speak much English on the counter there so Benjamin took pity and rang and spoke to them on our behalf.  After a long long conversation he said that they would 'try' and sort it out but as it happened a year ago he wasn't hopeful and anyway the points would disappear from my licence in 2013 - not much of a comfort but at least he tried!!

John dropped me off at Art - they are still working on the wall around the Dead People so I walked from the corner and took the opportunity to photograph the work they have done so far.  It really is a marvellous job and gives a much nicer outlook for Klaus and Sheila when they are looking out of their kitchen window.  John and I would so love to have a wall like this running around the boundary but (a) we don't think the existing concrete plinth is wide enough and (b) it is likely to be very expensive!

I have now started my new project which is to try and recreate the picture on the placemats at Sheila's.  This is going to be much harder than I had anticipated!!!  My previous two pictures had been created from photographs and were a much more faithful representation of the flowers than this was going to be as the style is much looser and 'impressionist'.  It took me all morning to get the smudgy orange background behind the lily looking anything like the original.  I made good progress but got in a right old mess with red/orange pastel powder all over the place!!

After a break of a couple of weeks I was back at Greek this afternoon.  It was a lovely drive down to Sam's apartment in Prodromi and I was mindful of the speed limits all the way!!!  Everything looks lush and green at the moment - it really is a lovely time of the year as there are all sorts of shrubs and flowers in bloom.  Sam has been discussing how I want to move my lessons forward - I struggle to remember things from previous weeks as I don't get much opportunity to practice.  Now I have the basics in place I want to be able to concentrate on meaningful conversation - like asking for things at the deli counter in Paps!!

This was my journey home - traffic jam caused by goats crossing!!!

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