Archive for the ‘Cyprus’ Category

New Year dinner

January 1, 2017

Excellent sausages from butcher in Heighington.

Excellent red wine from Melissonas Hill vineyard.

Phileas Fogg travel app for Ayia Napa and Protaras

October 22, 2016
Phileas Fogg travel apps

Phileas Fogg travel apps

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded and had a play. I was not impressed.

Who wants an app that is advertising?

If being generous, a directory of generated content for which the contributor pays.

50,000 downloads has been claimed. Not true. 1000 downloads for Android. If we assume same for Apple, then a couple of thousand downloads.

But even if 50k, how many would see as worthless and delete?

The glowing reviews appear to be fake. No way is this a 5* app. And the names are all Greek, reinforcing impression of fake reviews

If assume a thousand downloads, five months May to September, that is omly 200 per month.

If nothing else, explains why no one has seen or heard of.

And of the thousand, myself and a couple of friends account for three.

Design is bad. Like something from the digital Dark Ages. And why lump together Ayia Napa and Protaras? These are two distinct areas and municipalities.

No mechanism that I can see for businesses to add content.

Very strange and suspicious someone going round selling content. Even more so a presentation, well actually hype, to which local businesses were invited.

Not the norm for apps. Spread by word of mouth or articles and reviews.

How would anyone learn of existence? From other businesses? Why would they direct to rivals?

To find places?

Let us assume at Windmills Car Hire. Do you say download app to find a coffee shop? Or do you say go to end of road, turn down opposite Nicolas Tavern to Fig Tree Bay, find on the left excellent Miyu Coffee, and next door excellent Nia Boutique?

Similarly, why would Windmills tell clients to find on app, when any information they require they can obtain direct by asking whilst in the office?

On the other hand to suggest follow us on twitter makes a whole lot of sense, as can then keep clients informed.

Categories are bizarre.

Coffee includes anywhere and everywhere serving coffee. Not restricted to coffee shops.

Fusion is Lemongrass, pan-Asian, all of everything, all of nothing, bearing little if any resemblance to the dishes the countries are claimed to come from. Fusion is not Olympus on the corner opposite Nicholas Tavern, they are Greek-Cypriot and international.

For Windmillls, maybe worth throwing away 75 euros, recovered with one car hire. For a coffee shop, a lot of coffees to sell.

Who is going to use an app to find somewhere to eat rather than simply walk down the street and see for themselves? Who is going to trawl through advertising? Who is going to trawl through advertising for Ayia Napa when they are in Protaras or vice a versa?

Businesses are already on the edge. Extra cash outflow is not going to help.

This will do nothing to halt let alone reverse the collapse of the tourist industry.

Far better is to establish a network of quality business. Find one get directed to others.

This travel app is something a kid could have knocked out over a weekend.

TripAdvisor does a far better job, with the caveat be very wary of fake reviews.

Real vs Money Incomes – the one thing we need to understand during deflationary times (with an illustration from Greece and Cyprus)

March 13, 2016

Yanis Varoufakis

deflation.jpgIn inflationary times, real income growth is always good news. However, in deflationary times, real income growth may well reflect a deepening recession (or even a depression). This is important to know lest deepening recession is presented as… economic recovery (as has been the EU’s wont in recent times).

How can real income growth reflect a deepening recession?

View original post 1,096 more words

Massive thunderstorm

September 22, 2015

During the day, 29C, clear blue sky.

This evening, big black cloud covering half the sky. Lightning every few seconds, then more frequent, less than a second between the flashes. And yet strangely silent.

I was sat on a rocky headland watching the display. Maybe not the best place to be.

Middle East dust storm

September 8, 2015
Cyprus dust storm map

Cyprus dust storm

Middle East dust storm across parts of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Cyprus and Iraq / NASA

Middle East dust storm across parts of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Cyprus and Iraq / NASA

Protaras barely visible in the dust storm

Protaras barely visible in the dust storm

visibilty reduced in the Syrian city of Homs

visibilty reduced in the Syrian city of Homs

We and most of the Middle East are in the midst of a huge dust/sand storm, people have literally died. — Canon Andrew White

Across the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, a dust storm.

In Cyprus, the figure speak for themselves:

  • Nicosia 1707mg
  • Larnaca 3242mg
  • Limassol 7649mg
  • Paphos 1250mg
  • Zygi 4670mg
  • Ayia Marina Xyliatou 288mg

Visibility reduced, temperatures soaring.

Several people needed treatment for respiratory problems in Cyprus and authorities urged people to stay indoors as a thick blanket of dust enveloped the island. Larnaca Airport closed and flights diverted to Paphos due to reduced visibility.  The dust was expected to start dissipating by Thursday, according Cypriot met office, but predicted it would take time before the situation returned to normal.

Israel’s environment ministry has warned the elderly, young and pregnant to stay indoors, as well as those with heart or breathing problems.

At least 80 people were taken to hospital with respiratory problems in Lebanon according to the state news agency.

Syria has suffered several years of drought. It is one cause of the civil war and the rise of ISIS. Farmers have moved to the city. Civil unrest, protest. Gunning down of peaceful protesters. Who in turn have armed themselves in self-protection. It has then escalated.

calima - haze caused by dust from Sahara

calima – haze caused by dust from Sahara

In Tenerife, Calima,  hot, dust-laden storm originating in the Sahara.

Afternoon at Sirena Bay

May 28, 2015
Sirena Bay

Sirena Bay

Sirena Bay

Sirena Bay

Alight at bus stop for Crystal Springs Beach Hotel on Paralimni-Pernera road.

Walk down road alongside villas to coast. One way to Crystal Springs beach, the other to Sirena Bay.

The Crystal Springs beach has been re-engineered. You cannot re-engineer beaches. You may think you can, but you cannot. Beaches are a complex interaction of coastal erosion, wind, tides and currents. Re-engineering a beach in one location, has unforeseen consequences elsewhere on a coast.

The spoil from the re-engineered beach has been dumped at the side of the Pernera-Paralimni road, where it is an eyesore and environmental hazard, with dust blowing everywhere in the wind.

Sirena Bay is one of those places where one can easily spend an afternoon.


October 1, 2014


Sunrise at 0710 this morning.


May 17, 2014
ghost town of Famagusta sealed off behind rusting razor wire

ghost town of Famagusta sealed off behind rusting razor wire

ghost town of Famagusta sealed off behind rusting razor wire

ghost town of Famagusta sealed off behind rusting razor wire

The ghost town of Famagusta, as seen from afar from Dherynia.

The Turks invaded Cyprus in 1974, what is known locally as the Cyprus Problem.

The island is divided, Nicosia is divided, Famugusta is a ghost town, sealed off by barbed wire, the occupying Turks are still there.

The world wrings its hands, and does nothing, UK, the guarantor of the independence of Cyprus, did nothing, was complicit in the invasion.

There is a solution, and the solution is simple

  • kick out the Turks
  • reintegrate Turkish-Cypriots back into society and not treat as second class citizens

Turkey has recently been ordered to pay millions of euros in compensation. If nothing else a warning to Vladimir Putin, as he attacks and occupies and annexes parts of Ukraine (under the pretext of protecting Russians). Turkey used the same pretext, as did Adolf Hitler when Austria was attacked, occupied and annexed.

Almost daily, Cypriot politicians bleat a solution is in sight. They have been bleating since 1974.

There is a glimmer of hope. Young people from both sides of the island set up an occupation camp within the barbed wire of Famagusta.

Laiki: The bank that brought down Cyprus

April 4, 2013


Cyprus v Iceland

Cyprus v Iceland

A lot of rubbish mainly smear tactics by the EU, has talked of Russian dirty money. If you want to talk of Russian dirty money, look to London, the cesspit of criminal and casino banking.

The problems in Cyprus is the RBS story all over again.

A reputable bank, that makes its money, as all banks should do, by lending money and making money on interest on loans, goes for massive expansion, casino banking. Massive investment in Greek government bonds, which went pear shaped. There was also massive dodgy loans in Greece.

The employees of the bank were let us say encouraged to take out massive loans to buy shares in the bank’s shares that are now worthless. They were also discouraged to sell their shares only to learn once the bank had collapsed and their shares worthless, the very same people who had pressurised them into buying worthless shares, had sold their shares.

And who are the people with deposits over 100,000 euros? These were Cypriot businesses. One law firms estimates they have lost over 20 million euros. Many Cypriot businesses are now facing bankruptcy. Many, even if they have not lost money directly in the theft of money from accounts, have problems as there is now no means to processes credit card payments. Suppliers are demanding payment in cash, staff want payment in cash.

Laiki Bank was a reputable bank until Greeks bought a minority share, then a controlling share. That was when its troubles started, massive expansion, especially in Greece, billions in bad loans in Greece.

And what of the Russians? Many got wind of what was about to happen, and moved their money before the crash.

The real woes of Cyprus date from joining the EU and being forced to join the euro (all new entrants had no choice other than to adopt the euro). Overnight Cyprus lost control over its own economy.

Cyprus then went on a massive house building spree. In the area of Paralimni, Protaras and Ayia Napa there are rows and rows of near identical housing as far as the eye can see. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon, farmers found they were rich beyond belief if only they sold their land. The net result was Cyprus, in an act of crass stupidity, sold off its best farmland. Even before the crash many of these houses stood empty.

RBS was bailed out by the British taxpayer (though should have been allowed to go bust). In Iceland the banks were allowed to go bust. Cyprus should have followed the Icelandic example and let the broken banks go bust. Instead, Cyprus is going through a lot of pain, not to help Cyprus but to prop up the euro.

Banks that are too big to fail. And if they are allowed to fail they cause massive economic damage as we are now seeing in Cyprus.

In London there has been a failure to break up the banks. They have to be broken into smaller banks, they have to be split retail banking from casino banking.

The Greek takeover of Laiki, with corrupt politicians and regulators turning a blind eye, was nothing less than yet another Ponzi scheme. The ones left paying the bill, Cypriots, and especially bank employees (who not only have lost their jobs but invested on borrowed money in worthless bank shares), business people whose business now hang on a thread.

Cyprus still has a tourist industry, but even it has been going into meltdown. Here too, mistakes have been made. Cyprus once a quality holiday destination has gone down market into the gutter, attracting the bottom end of the tourist market, the drunks, quality hotels turning themselves into little more than wedding factories.

CyprusAid 2013, a free concert that took place in Nicosia. Those who attended were asked to bring free food for those worse off than themselves.