...but I wish we weren't!
We spent an amazing week with the Wades, in a beautiful villa, perched on top of a hillside, overlooking an infinity pool which seemingly spilled into a canyon below and the Mediterranean ocean in the distance.
The weather was fantastic the whole week. It only rained once, and that was overnight. The temperatures were in the low 30s Celsius the entire week, but because we were close to the ocean, the air wasn't sticky.
The days were spent either lounging around the pool watching aquatic high jumping (a future Olympic event, no doubt):
...or at one of a couple of beautiful, sandy beaches within a short driving distance from our villa, building sand castles in an ever more heated competition between the girls and the boys (please don't forget to take the poll to your right):
Occasionally we would give the swim wear a rest for a quick excursion to one of the many antiquities around the island:
...before we'd return home to watch the sun set over the ocean from our villa:
As soon as it got dark outside, we'd hit the restaurants for a different flavour every night. We had Asian, Italian and even British pub food (Benjamin's favourite, because they had chicken nuggets!), but mostly we enjoyed local Cypriot dishes with a couple of fantastic meze dinners:
In sum, we had a wonderful week, and we returned to Norway late last night, relaxed, fairly tanned (especially those of us of non-Scandinavian origin) and happy.
[In retrospect, I now see that things had gone too smoothly. I mean, c'mon - all flights on time? That never happens. The Universe was not in balance. The pendulum was about to swing the other way.]
So this morning, we wake up to an email from our house sitting friend Cyril containing the following pictures (sadly with no pointing fingers this time):
Remember our leakage problem? Before we left for Cyprus, we had arranged for our insurance company to have an assessor visit our house, review the damage and provide a quote for any required repairs. We were still debating whether to even make a claim, because we were unsure of whether the cost of the repairs would be sufficiently high to warrant the resulting increase in our premium (don't you love that about insurance companies?).
Evidently, the insurance company decided to make that decision for us and take matters into their own hands! Without any efforts to contact us, and without consulting our friends staying in the house, walls have been torn down and plans are apparently being made to replace the kitchen cabinets?!
Excuse me, Mr. Insurance Agent and Mr. Contractor, I realize you are both...ehem...men...but how many women do you know who'll just let you redo their kitchen without any input?
So now I've done what I do best: I have instructed Mike to tell the insurance agent off! Big time! I have given him a play-by-play description of exactly what he should say when. The conversation has been scripted with no room for error.
Knowing full well that he will do it his own way anyway. Which will clearly be the wrong way, and my - untested - way infinitely better.
My plan (and Mike's, too...I think) is to ask the insurance company to halt all work (with a few pointed questions about why the work was started in the first place without a little something called permission ) and provide the quote that we requested.
Then we will decide what the next step should be. Our poor friends are now living in a construction zone with missing walls, which is hardly what they signed up for. We may just get the walls fixed in the dining room and bedroom, and then get the missing wall in the kitchen drywalled temporarily, until we get back to Canada in the spring. These are all things we will have to figure out in the next few days.
This has been a rude awakening after a week in Paradise. So right now, I am going to pour myself a very large glass of red wine, sit on the couch and wish myself back to...