Monday, 18 June 2018

Villa Moving!

So it was time to vacate our current rental villa. Unfortunately, despite loving the villa, the owners have sold up so we had no option to move.

After much searching and assistance from several agents, we found a suitable property only a few kilometres down the hill in Emba.

I had contacted one of the local removal services companies and they had been out and surveyed the move, and estimated that we could have everything moved down to the new villa in 1 day.

I was a little bit sceptical of this, considering it had taken a 40' container and a team of guys 5 days to pack it up when we moved from Qatar to Cyprus. I appreciate that there would be no export wrapping, but still thought it would be tight.

Anyway, 8.30am on a Friday morning, the team arrived from Peter Morton Removals and got to work.

When we moved into the Tala villa, the removal company that did that, used a forklit with basket to carry everything from the street, up the driveway and then over the various balconies into the respective levels. These guys carried everything by hand from the villa to the van. It didn't help that it was a baking hot day with clear blue skies and glorious sunshine! The guys earnt their pay that day!

By early afternoon they were really starting to fill up the lorry, and had started to move some of the random stuff down to the villa using a smaller van. By late afternoon they had packed up everything and taken the load down to the new villa, and started offloading.

I had decided that I would disassemble the beds as I had built them and stripped them and rebuilt them once already, when we arrived in Qatar, left Qatar and arrived in Cyprus, so knew how they went together and which screw/bolt went where.

By around 6.30pm, everything was down in the new villa, the removal guys disappeared, and we got on with the unpacking and rebuilding. They did however, rebuild the baby grand piano, which they disassembled, and then took 8 guys to lift down the outside stairs at the Tala villa. That was really the only thing we were concerned about, but safe to say it survived!

We were down at the new villa dealing with the first load, when the 2nd crew up at the old villa were finishing off, so were there when they left, so they had accidentally left a couple of boxes and some stuff lying in the garden. We went back up to the old villa just to make sure it was all secure and lights off and picked up the last few small bits and bobs.

By around 11pm, we were absolutely pooped, having rebuilt the 4 beds again, and emptied a significant number of the boxes it was off to bed.

We had one slight issue, I had booked the internet WISP provider (Cosmos Wireless) to come at 3pm and reconnect/reconfigure us at the new villa, and they arrived on time, however, despite keeping the internet routers etc. aside so that I had them, they [removal guys] unfortunately managed to pack the dish in another box which was now buried in the lorry. The WISP technician agreed to fit another temporary dish to get us going and then he would come back at a later date and swap out with our original dish once we had located it. The internet service, despite using the same provider access point was much better, as we weren't getting the same level of interference from Melissouvonos.

We had arranged with the old landlady to meet and hand over the keys a couple of days later. After a check round the property, it was handover and final goodbye to the place!

And hello new villa!

The dog is absolutely delighted with the new garden, it constantly goes out, patrolling the boundary fence and rummaging in the bushes, chasing beasties etc.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Solar Spiral Pool Heater

Below is a very quick look at the home made solar pool heater.

It was made with approx 140m of 16x1.5mm black irrigation hose, rolled into a spiral and attached onto a frame. In total there was about 117m in the spiral, and the rest allowed me to move it around.

Important to carefully unwind the reel of new hose onto the spiral as not to twist and get all knotted.

Hose fed onto the spiral and wound round by turning the spiral and securing each rotation

Finished spiral

The pump filtration jet acted as the source, and had enough pressure to circulate around 120litres/hour of water. It was attached to the jet using a champagne cork, drilled out and barbed hose fitting inserted. once put into the jet, the jet nozzle was pushed to the side to clamp the cork.

As you can see in the video, this gave a temperature rise from 27.7c to 36.4c on a slight wispy hazy sunny day. When the sun was out of a perfect clear sky, I did see the temperatures rise to around mid 40s.

This coupled with the solar pool cover I had purchased the previous year meant that by mid April, the temperature of the pool was already over 25c and perfectly usable by the end of the month.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Spot of DIY at the villa

There were a few things needing sorted at the villa, so I decided today was a good day for them.

Headed out to one of the DIY shops looking for bits and pieces and as usual, stumbled on a few other you do!

First up was a grate for the fireplace. There wasn't one in the fire when we moved in, and there was one sat on the shelf on the shop. I had a mental image of the size required, but hadn't actually measured the size required. Turns out this one fits perfect! The partly burnt log is left over from the last time I had the first lit.....

Next up was the central heating timer. The exiting one had those little plastic risers that you pop up and down to determine when the system goes on and off. A few of them were missing, so you couldn't have the system off from about 10:30pm to midnight should you want to. The shop had a direct replacement that I could have put in, but they also had a digital timer for the same price. This would mean that we could set a different program for the weekends etc. should we desire.

It was fairly straight forward to install, as it was simply live, neutral and switched live wires.
Old timer with missing bits on the bottom left

New Timer fitted.
There was a security light fitted above one of the garage doors. It didn't work either, it was a halogen type and either the lamp had gone or the sensor was duff. I replaced it with a new LED spotlight and sensor. I didn't want to drill more holes in the wall to match the new mounting arm, so drilled holes in the new arm to match the old holes. The terminals in the old wall plate were also completely corroded, so replaced them while I was at it.

Old light

New Light
We had also been searching for a while with somewhere that have fabric bean bags, we had found some in the home furnishings shops previously, but they were ridiculously priced (over 100€ each),  we spotted the ones below in the DIY shop, they didn't have them the last time we were there, but had some now, but only a couple in stock, so took them and ordered another couple. The kids playroom is starting to get comfier, just need a thick rug now and maybe a couple of throws for the bags!

That's all for now folks!

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

[TripAdvisor Contribution] Muse - Early dinner and beautiful steak!

Popped in for an early dinner with the wife and kids.

Arrived around 6.30 and the restaurant was very quiet, it was a Tuesday! Service was very good, the food was excellent and in particular the fillet steak. Cooked to perfection, or at least cooked to how I expected it to be for requesting a medium rare.

As the meal progressed, we did notice it start to get busy, and by the time we left, it was starting to really fill up.

Definitely be back here.

Review can be found here:

Sunday, 7 January 2018

[TripAdvisor Contribution] Suite48 - Spot of lunch after coastal walk

Located on the coast, Suite48 offers an ideal location to grab a bite to eat after being for a long walk along the coastal path, or perhaps a long walk after you have eaten to burn off the calories!

The restaurant was relatively busy, with a steady stream of people coming and going, we arrived around 1pm and managed to grab a table for 8.

Food was very good, the I had grilled chicken which was cooked just fine. Service was a bit chaotic, but don't know if this was normal or not or they were just having an off day. It wasn't bad, just had room for improvement.

Be aware of the chocolate pudding, we thought it was brownie, but this lump of chocolate cake the size of an iceberg arrived and was no way it was going to be demolished. It was served with a small scoop of ice-cream, but could really have done with more to help the brownie/cake down.

I could have easily sat there all afternoon and slowly drowned in cold beers, but alas, had things to do. Definitely be back here again.

Review can be found at: