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Sunny Cyprus?
We have now entered the final chapter of our Cyprus posting, a few nights in a hotel before we fly back to the UK on Sunday. Amidst the chaos of the last few weeks the Easter weekend has been something of a target for us, the end of April is usually hot and consistently sunny and we imagined ourselves enjoying a couple of days on a sun lounger topping up our tan before we return to the UK.
I suspect this couple relaxing by our hotel pool today had similar plans – who would have known that while the UK basked in April sunshine, Cyprus would be struggling with rain and unseasonably cold temperatures? Still at least console ourselves that we haven’t paid to fly all the way here to experience it!
So with three days to go, we’ve now both finished work, handed back our quarter (after 5 long long days cleaning it to meet military specifications) and posted our final excess baggage to the UK. The dogs are in kennels till they fly on Sunday night and we are trying to decide whether its kinder to leave them there, or to visit them tomorrow and take them for a long walk… but then put them back in their pens just as they think they might be going home! Fellow dog owners what do you think?
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How to make a Canadian dog happy…

Whilst it’s a very springlike 17c at sea level in Cyprus, there was another fresh dump of snow in the Troodos last night, and one of our friends who works in the mountains did something he often does at this time of year, which is fill his truck with snow to bring down for the local kids!

A big mass of snow takes a surprising length of time to melt even at 17c (as we know well!) and whilst it stays frozen, the kids get to build snowmen and have snowball fights. Good cheap fun…

We met him as we were finishing our dog walk and instantly knew there was one member of our family who would be particularly excited to see the contents of his truck….

Truck full of snow 1DSC_0018
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I think she’s going to love winters in Scotland….

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Counting down
Curium ampitheatre

Somehow two weeks have flown by without an update! With only two months left in Cyprus we’ve been a little busy organising ourselves for our move to Scotland….

The dog’s flights to Gatwick are now booked, we’ve arranged our “march out” date from the house and the customary military “pre-march out” visit where the house is inspected before we leave. We’ve requested our preference of two locations to live in Scotland, arranged our removal date, started selling anything which we no longer need and filled in a hundred forms about furniture, cars and flights. This is the routine we go through every two years!

The last few months in any location are always a little odd, we’re stuck in limbo, not wanting to do as much as hang a picture or buy a large box of tea bags. I haven’t even done any sewing since Christmas as any new project will necessitate a fabric order, which is then just more stuff for us to move.

The weather however has been lovely and we are enjoying the sunshine safe in the knowledge we will be leaving just as he greenery dies off and the temperatures start to rise… I wonder what summer in Scotland will be like? Apparently in midsummer the days are very long…

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I can’t believe it’s Cyprus…
Troodos snow day
Macy & Bella
Macy in her element!
Tipsy & Bella
Yeah!

For a few weeks every year the peaks of the Troodos mountains are covered in snow. Only an hour’s drive from our house on the coast, the temperature plunges from 20c, to just above freezing and there’s a decent enough snow covering for a few ski runs to open and children to toboggan. Even the tourist shops open for a second season, selling knitted hats and snow boots alongside the more common Cypriot fayre.

Although the main square at Troodos was busy, (mainly with locals and their kids) further along the road we were able to park up near the woods and walk a little way down a trail and let the dogs run free. You don’t need me to tell you how much they loved it – just look at their expressions!

After snow balls, sledging and photo opportunities, we drove back down the hill to Troodos and had a traditional Cyprus lunch of Shefalia and chips whilst the dogs dozed in the car… Probably we should have finished the day with a dip in the sea (to complete the traditional Cyprus snow and surf in the same day) but the open fire and a cup of tea at home was calling!

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Best dog walk yet…
This morning we were treated to the rarest of Cyprus pleasures… a long off-lead dog walk. On lots of occasions I have blogged about the difficulty walking dogs here, which largely comes down to a lot of poison, local attitudes and it being illegal to walk dogs on all but one beach on the island. Our two dogs usually have to make do with two 30 minute mainly on-lead walks around our local area.
However today we were invited to join a local dog walking group who were doing a pre-planned two hour route close to the base in Akrotiri. There were 21 dogs and about 40 humans and with that many of us there was a certain degree of ‘safety’ in taking the dogs on the beach… not only was the beach remote, but it would have taken quite a few policemen to contain and fine all of us!
We had visited a limited section of this area before (definitely not the best bit) and so went along with very modest expectations, which were quickly exceeded. After two hours running backwards and forwards in the group, chasing other dogs and swimming in the sea, Macy & Bella were (perhaps for the first time) well and truly exhausted.
We brought them home, washed them and they have been dozing in front of the wood burner ever since. Normally there is no way they would allow it to get dark without reminding us to take them on an  afternoon walk, but today they haven’t stirred. Happy tired humans and animals all round!
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