Tuesday, 30 April 2013


You can see the British legacy all over the Greek part of Cyprus. They drive on the left, use our power plugs, many signs are also in English. Every now and then you come across some leftover from the past:

This old Standard Vanguard parked in the central square at Polis has featured on these pages before. I think they keep it there as a shabby tourist attraction. (They must welcome shabby tourists, they let us in).

But round the corner and out of sight you can find sights like this Austin Cambridge van. 

This isn't placed on view as a curiosity. It was used for shop deliveries at one time and has merely retired to the shade.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Balcony Seen

"A lovestruck Romeo sings the streets a serenade 

Laying everybody low with a love song that he made" 

Well if Juliet stepped out onto this balcony she would certainly be in dire straits.

Sunday, 28 April 2013


Take a large but wealthy family, one with many properties. Imagine an older member of the family dies and one of the houses falls empty. It is inherited by the children jointly.

They can't agree on what to do with it or who should have it. As a result, no-one lives in it.

No one lives in it for decades and decades. It gradually falls into disrepair and is now in danger of collapse.

 It is stories like this and scenes like these that give rural parts of Cyprus such a unique feel.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Two sides

Two sides of life in Cyprus.

Here's the modern hotel with solar heating, nice swimming pool, a bar and free WiFi. All the essentials for modern life.

Down the road in the local town there is the traditional Cypriot barbers shop. 

No WiFi here. In fact I wonder if there is electricity. The locals wander in for their weekly shaves courtesy of lather and cut throat razor.

Friday, 26 April 2013


Generally a photograph should be rectangular not square, and the subject should be to one side roughly one third of the way across. If it is a person they should be looking or walking in to the image not out of it. These are the rules* that long suffering photographers must obey.

However, rules can and will be broken.

*As defined by the Her Majesty's Arts Police

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Better weather

It wasn't all thunderstorms in Cyprus. Here we find ourselves in the port of Lattki, or Latchi or some equally odd collection of Greek characters. This resort benefits from the microclimate also found next door in Polis, when the local hills may be covered in cloud all day, it is quite often a clear sunny day down in the bay.

So, what better place to leave your old wicker chair* outdoors all year round then?

*I quite like this chair. I will call it Alan.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Under a Cloud

Greetings dear reader. Your genial host has been absent in the sunny perfection that is Cyprus for a short holiday. I returned with several rolls of film featuring Cypriot life observed which I hope will prove interesting.

Let's start with the weather: 

We have visited Cyprus in the spring for ten years and have always been impressed by the lovely climate. It's like a Mediterranean version of California, but without the infrastructure, the technology and the gross national income. Every morning seems to promise a perfect day and every evening a joy to behold.

However this impression was rudely shattered this year by an unpleasant looking cloud. "I don't like the look of that cloud" I said. 

Lo, it turned into a good sized thunderstorm for much of the night. The next day we found the mountain roads covered in fallen rocks. Exciting times.

Look at this picture taken from a similar spot a day later.. This is more what we expect, yet another gorgeous sunset over the Akemas Peninsular to accompany an evening meal in the restaurant.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Standard, Regular, Ordinary

Imagine trying to sell a Standard Vanguard these days. What kind of name is Standard anyway? It's like calling a car the "Normal" 

Hmm. The Standard 2000 GXL Ghia - Limited Edition

No. It still doesn't work.

Friday, 5 April 2013

The Garden Room

So what does money buy? Does it buy happiness or health or a long life? No not really.

However it can buy you a large mansion and a Garden Room with quite a bit of style. 

This rather large circular room added to the outside of Basildon Park overlooks the garden and must have been perfect for the occasional soiree two hundred years ago.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Working class

We do love our class system in Britain. That which divides us also holds us together.

I have worked all my life, so when I took the BBC web site Class test I was rather taken aback to be judged firmly Middle Class. 

How our family history has changed. In three generations we've gone from Journeyman Brushmaker in the back streets of Halifax to Cowman to Middle Class technocrat apparently. 

What was I up to yesterday at work? Cleaning the windows and scrubbing the floor...

PS. That woven bucket is rubbish.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Uphill struggle

I have said billions of times before: To slowly go to work in the mornings is literally like wading waist deep through warm porridge.

Work to live or live to work? Yeah. Right. But wait, what would I do if I didn't work? Would I party all day? No, I would hang around on street corners asking for money from passers by. Such is miserable modern middle class Britain.

Ah, another pointless rant to brightly help your day along from the English Department.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Bank Holiday

We, the British, take our Bank Holidays seriously. The content of the holiday is not important, what we did or will do doesn't matter.The pivotal factor is of course the weather....

Here you find me crouching on the grass in near freezing temperatures at Basildon park waiting for the wind to turn the deckchairs inside out. 

Nothing says cold and unpleasant day, or disappointing Bank Holiday more than a deck chair blown inside out.