Liz Sandbach has been a problem for us in Paphos since finding out she could buy a bottle of gin for under £5.
Everything started well on Monday morning. We all woke up in time. We got to Manchester airport ok. We even managed to work the Easyjet automated baggage check-in. The flight was uneventful and we landed in Paphos to be greeted by our illustrious chairman Bob Barker and our lovely landlady Nikki.
A short ride later and Nikki was dropping us off outside the local taverna where we began to get a hint of the trouble to come when we paid 7 euros for a litre carafe of wine. But we were good and were in bed betimes. Two of us even ran the mile from our accommodation into the local village, Polemi… but it was hot – even early in the morning. The runners walked back.
After a delicious breakfast and the unsightly sight of the runners throwing themselves into the somewhat chilly pool our illustrious etc etc chairman picked us up and took us into his local stamping ground of Paphos to see the sights and pick up a hire car.
Well, the car was rented in Bill’s name as the primary driver, but when Steph found it was the same as her beloved Mazda 3 Bill found himself elbowed out of the way. (And as at the time of writing has not even been allowed to touch the steering wheel.)
Following some sightseeing with Bob and Carol and a very pleasant lunch on the Paphos waterfront we hit the supermarket for some essentials.
That is when Liz discovered ‘Deluxe Best Seller Gin’ for the equivalent of about 4 quid a bottle.
And now the nature of our visit has changed from cultural exchange to potential cultural disaster.
Despite the wise counsel of Joan, Liz insisted on making two gin and tonics for anyone who would drink them (Bill) ahead of our dinner date with Bob and Carol at one of their favourite tavernas.
It was an excellent meal but it may be some time before Bob and Carol can return.
All was well by Wednesday morning and following coffee and cake at Carol and Bob’s we set off along the coast towards Limassol to see Aphrodite’s Rock and the archaeological excavations at Kourion. We were able to compare pictures which Joan had brought from several years ago with the present-day site and were all impressed by the ingenuity and scale of the theatre and the baths – especially the mosaic floors.
Tomorrow we meet with our compatriots in the Paphos Writers’ Group and we are beginning to wish that some of our real writers had been able to come.
Liz and Joan are working on masterpieces to read out at the meeting. Steph is planning how to prevent Bill getting a shot of driving ‘her’ car. Bill is writing this blog in the hope that Steph will add some pics and someone will edit out his mistakes before publication.
Tomorrow is another day in Cyprus. But what to do with Liz Sandbach and her bottle of cheap gin?
Wish us luck. We’ll need it.