Friday, 11 August 2017

it never rains but it pours

Today was a very frustrating day on a hot day when it doesn't do to be frustrated!  When I say it never rains but it pours I mean it figuratively of course as we are in the middle of our Summer (although rain is forecast at the weekend by way of thunderstorms).  Anyway I digress - this week both our cars have been poorly suffering from heat exhaustion which is not good and even worse when you read up on the internet that this could be a sign that the head gasket is on its way out - still they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and we choose to ignore this and hope that it is something less serious and therefore less expensive.

To be fair John took Kenny down to an electrical mechanic in Polis because the cooling fan would only work if you had aircon on full and you gave the fan a hefty thump.  Although there are loads of Kembara, Terios and Cami cars on the island their spares appear to be as rare rocking horse poo.  Car parts Andreas, as opposed to MOT Andreas keeps telling me to sell the car and then I point out to him that if I did his pension fund would take a hammering.  He had quoted John €100 for what turned out to be the plastic housing for the fan so god knows what the fan would cost and really the car isn't worth throwing lots of money after it.  John had managed to locate a second hand one from Diamond Auto Spares down in Paphos for €50 and had decided to get it and fit it himself.  He had phoned yesterday to ascertain it would be there today and he was told that it would be.  John had also found an engineer with many years Peugeot experience down on the Coral Bay/Tomb of the Kings Road so after the radiator flush in Polis didn't seem to have sold the overheating problem he decided to take it there.

So we set off early and dropped the Pug off where it had to sit and cool down before the guy could look at it so we knew we had several hours to kill before a verdict would be reached so our plan was to pick up the fan, call in on Mum and Dad and then have a spot of lunch before learning the Pug's fate and crying over our bank balance.  Fools, this is Cyprus where the best laid plans and all that!  We parked up in the Old Town to pick up the part.  John took ages which should have set alarm bells ringing - he came back to say it wasn't there and that drippy girl had asked us to wait whilst she located it but it would be about half an hour.  I didn't mind because it gave me a chance to investigate the 'Old' Town now that so much of the refurbishment has been completed although completed in the loosest possible Cypriot sense!  Old Town is now something of a misnomer!

I don't know if I like it as it is now all pedestrianised and sanitised - great for visitors but the streets were devoid of them this morning.  The area has lost some of its character and the haphazard nature of the parking and driving.  It is safe but a little soul-less although there are some interesting business and cafes springing up and a couple of establishments that weathered the awful storm of the refurb and are still remarkably there.

A case in point is the lovely little Tea Room Boo-Tea-Licious which is run by Simone Swift's (Swifty from Rock FM Radio) lovely Mum Kathryn who has struggled to survive.  She caters for all tastes and so we decided to support the little (wo)man and have a drink and sticky there.  I chose tea - it was Yorkshire day afterall and John opted for a coffee milkshake.  The cake (two slabs of each flavour each) were deeeeeelish!  John had the very spicy ginger which had a good old kick to it and I had the slightly tart lime drizzle - one piece would have been enough - two was a bonus!

Next door is my lovely friend Marie Huntrod's shop Rainbow's End which is full of all sorts of craft goodies.  Lots of lovely things but John was absolutely blown away by Marie's pastel pencil work.  I am a mere mere novice compared to her.  One study of a leopard eating a kill was so lifelike that John was convinced it was a photograph.

Marie tends to do a lot of pet portraits but I was particularly taken by a pencil drawing of a baby which was so beautiful.  If you are interested in learning more then go to the shop or check out her website Pets in Pencil and click on the People Portraits Gallery where you will see what I mean.  She is one talented lady.  We didn't buy anything today sorry but intend to return with John's family and let them have a look round for themselves - maybe our god-daughter might like to choose herself a gift.

I took a stroll up towards Kennedy Square, John opted to find a shady spot as his knee was aching (physio tomorrow).  I learned from the Yeovil Historian Jack Sweet to look upwards when walking around a 'refurbished' town/city to see something of its previous history and so I did exactly that - when you look up you are treated to some fabulous facades and a taste for what the Old Town used to look like.  This is at the top of a modern bank and I think it looks beautiful.

I walked up to the top - not as far as where Peggies Cafe used to be and slowly walked back taking in the sites.  Visitors will love it as it is so much easier to get around and there is no need to take your life in your hands as there is no fear of some nutter mounting the pavement to park as close to a shop doorway as possible.  Many of the old dusty shops selling material or suitcases have disappeared but we did see one or two traditional type ones.

I am sure that given a couple of months we will forget all about the 'old' Old Town and embrace the 'new' Old Town - I just hope that the footfall increases and the businesses there survive.  There is still a lot of work to do and apparently the holiday reps are warning visitors against visiting which is such a shame.

Anyway back to the day - we gave said auto car parts more than the requested half hour and should have known that this was merely 'fob-off' time because when we returned said sulky receptionist had relinquished all responsibility and was hiding in the back office and the 'Boss' informed us that he had sold ours earlier and the one he had left didn't work.  He was completely unconcerned with the typical shrug of the shoulders and 'what can I do' expression.  We were unimpressed and John was fuming so we decided to go to Mum's and pick up John's Mum's suitcase so I could wash her stuff before she comes over.

En route John suddenly asked me if I remembered when he had the CRV's fan fixed at some dusty little aircon place run by 'Chris Cool' - I have to say I have no recollection of that but apparently he did a good bodge job which lasted and we were just about to go by so John decided to ask him about Kenny.  Chris Cool is a Cypriot whose command of English seems to extend to 'no problem' 'a couple of hours' 'about xxxx euros'.  John asked him if he could fix the fan showing him the tap required to encourage it to spin.  CC looked inside and declared 'no problem', it would be 'a couple of hours' and would cost 'about 70 euros' which seemed a good shout as a dodgy spare from Diamond Autoparts was going to be 50 euro and then had to be fitted.

CC was going to call his wife to take us where ever we wanted to go to waste our couple of hours but we decided to walk back down to the Old Town and grab ourselves a drink and a pitta in one of our old haunts which we called The Garden and which looks nothing from the outside but opens up into a lovely cool courtyard.  It hasn't changed and the prices don't seem to have changed and the man running it certainly hasn't changed.  We were early but in no rush as the grill had only just been lit so we settled down and grabbed a cold drink and whiled away the hours.

We walked back to CC through bits of the town we haven't frequented in ages because it has been inaccessible.  We were devastated to see Andreas's old Farmer's Union cafe was gutted - we used to love it there when Andreas's father was alive.  As we were surveying the carnage Andreas pitched up and John spoke to him - the cafe is simply being updated - let's hope that it won't be anything too modern.

On arrival at CC he uttered his other English phrase S'dun (it is done) and that it had been 'no problem' and would cost 70 euro - BARGAIN.  We just needed to test it out in the Saharan-like conditions of downtown Paphos to make sure that the temperature gauge needle remained horizontal which it did.  Phew!

Mum and Dad were not at home having gone out to lunch at SiDaYes in Coral Bay so we quickly went in and grabbed Janet's suitcase.  Fred managed to partially open one eye to check what was going one before closing it again quickly.

We returned to find out the fate of Pug - Pug was in bits but it wasn't the head gasket which was a bonus.  Pug would remain in hospital until declared fit but fingers crossed it doesn't look like it is going to be as costly as we first feared.  Good news as we approach what is going to be a busy and expensive time with visitors.

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