By Bryan Hill …

With retirement fast approaching, I thought ‘Is this all there is?’… we were not ready to just drift into old age.  We wanted ‘a big adventure before dementia’ so my wife Irene and I took a leap into the unknown, sold our house and business in Devon and moved to TRNC where we lived for nearly eight years from 2004 until 2012.

Our house was located on the boundary that divided Bellapais, Ozankoy and Dogankoy, on the tree line, with a backdrop of the mountains and wonderful views along the coast.

It became obvious that if we were to maintain regular contact with friends and family, then we would have to look beyond telephone calls and post because of the unreliable services.  Equally, internet facilities were not without frustration which when combined with the time difference, further reduced the opportunities.

Life quickly proved to be eventful and for the first time in my life, I kept a journal from which a blog evolved and which I updated every few days. I anticipated that over time, interest would diminish as life became more routine, but that didn’t happen, and I always found something to write about. The blog continued to have an enthusiastic following until we returned to England.  Such had been the positive response, I was encouraged to write a memoir in full length paperback form and as an e-book, which has now been published and has received flattering comments, particularly from ex-pats who will probably identify with some of the escapades that we found ourselves in.

It has been written with a tongue-in-cheek approach and contains an abundant selection of our hilarious and sometimes scary brushes with the law, military, politicians and above all, the bureaucracy that impacted so much on everyday life here in Cyprus.  I have also included a light-hearted brief history and some of the legends and folklore which are equally as fascinating, and sometimes, more believable than the reality of life itself.

I believed it would resonate with Cyprus residents and approached Deborah Burdess at MC Best Sellers Bookstore in Karakum. Having read the book, Deborah agreed to stock Brandy Sours and invited me to do a book launch at the store.  We were delighted to accept, and this is arranged for 11.00am until 2.00pm on Wednesday 21st March for a book signing session.

Such is the interest that has been generated, that we have also been approached by Denise Phillips to be interviewed for her weekend Bayrak Radio show ‘The Main Event’ and to appear on Can Gazi’s show for BRT2 TV show which will be transmitted over the same weekend following the book launch. It promises to be a busy, enjoyable week but hopefully still give us time to catch up with much missed friends, visit old haunts and enjoy some Cyprus sunshine.

Brandy Sours will be on sale from Wednesday, March 21st and the e-Book is currently available from Amazon, Google and Apple.

Despite the research and due diligence that we undertook before we made the decision to retire to Cyprus, nothing could have prepared us for what was to follow.  Had we known, I doubt we would have dared to have done it, but we are so glad that we did.  We would not have missed a moment of our time here and the friends that we made, for anything.