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Brandy Sours by Bryan Hill – Review

By Margaret Sheard …

I downloaded the new book by Bryan Hill entitled Brandy Sours and have spent some happy hours reading this very entertaining story of life in Cyprus for Bryan and Irene Hill for a 7 year period and their adventures through all the ‘red tape’ as well as happier times exploring the island and making friends.

Bryan will be doing a book-signing on Wednesday 21st March at the Best Seller Bookshop in Karakum from 11am to 2pm and we look forward to meeting him there.

Back to the book – Bryan has said it is a very “tongue in cheek” account of his time here and there are many who will be able to relate to the various trials and tribulations he experienced.  I certainly could!  The length of time obtaining a Kocan is one instance, although I don’t think I had the hassle Bryan and his wife experienced, but it also took many years before I had my final full Kocan.

Although Bryan applied for and was provided with a landline telephone (eventually) it was out of service more than it was working. When I arrived here I was advised it was a waste of time, I would never be allocated with a landline, so I didn’t bother to apply and have relied totally on a mobile phone.   Nowadays, we see most people with smart phones when out and about and the social media is used to a great extent, so maybe a landline isn’t as essential as it was years ago.

There are some restaurants mentioned which are close to where I live, some very good, some not so good, including one now long gone which had very low tables and chairs for some unknown reason!   It is so nice to read about places which are so familiar to us.

Many of the trips Bryan and Irene went on, whether by themselves or with a group, are well known to many of the long term residents of North Cyprus and reading the account of these trips brings back many happy memories we have also experienced.

One thing I found very readable was the brief historical information which Bryan managed to write in a very informative and yet amusing way, which made it very easy to understand and digest.  A nice change from the rather dull accounts in some of the traditional history books.

All in all this is an excellent read, very amusing and light-hearted and yet showing the difficulties which sometimes have to be faced by expatriates when dealing with the ‘system’.    In the almost 15 years I have lived here, I must say that the process of residency and other official documents needed, has become a lot easier to deal with so there has been some progress and it is still a lovely life here in the TRNC if you can rise above the frustration sometimes felt.

I would certainly recommend Brandy Sours to those who like a good book to read.

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