Cyprus Life – in pictures vs Fylde Coast Musings

Our new life in Cyprus began in early March 2004. Originally from a small mill town in Heywood, Lancashire (United Kingdom) we moved overseas spending a glorious 12 years in Limassol. Feel free to read my posts and view my many #photosofCyprus. However in 2016 we had to return permanently to UK due to family ill health. We're now living on the Fylde coast where the river Wyre meets the Irish sea in the north west of England. More places for us to discover as this part of the UK is not so familiar to us either.


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Seashells Resort at Suncrest Hotel, Malta: Review


My personal review (also posted on TripAdvisor) of our hotel stay at Seashells Resort at Suncrest Hotel in Qawra, Malta.

Our vacation took place between 9 March to 16 March. We were allocated 2 x Standard Rooms (3 people in 2 rooms) at the back of the hotel on Bed and Breakfast basis.

We were originally booked to stay at the Dolmen Resort Hotel travelling with Jet2Holidays on 9 March but due to the ongoing building work, we received a call just 4 days before our flight departed UK to inform us we were being moved to the Seashells Resort instead.
There was no other choice given to us – except another hotel in Sliema which was not a feasible option for us as friends of ours had flown out especially to meet up with us from Cyprus and were staying in Qawra too.

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Not being familiar with the Seashells Resort at Suncrest hotel, we were a little put out but having read the reviews and then finding our rooms had “city views” I was happy in the knowledge that the balconies on these rooms had full sun in the afternoon / early evening so that was a bonus for us.

We were on the 6th floor so there was little road noise – there was some building construction taking place diagonally over the road (clearing and digging down of the land) but this did not disturb us and finished at a reasonable time of day.

The room had everything we needed and really, our only complaint about the room facilities would be the choice of TV programmes as we’ve stayed at other Maltese hotels nearby which gave us a better satellite system with more English speaking channels. Also, although it was a very nice flat screen TV we couldn’t plug our laptop or HDMI cable into it so that was very disappointing due to the lack of programmes we could watch.

The weather was kind to us so we did get to sit and read on our balconies in the late afternoon but although the temperatures reached 18 degrees Celsius, I cannot understand why some people would need to use the A/C units in those temperatures. (These were comments made at the same time as our stay at the Seashells Resort)

Neither were we bitten or pestered by bugs / mosquitos as someone else mentioned and they usually make a direct bee line for me! Insects love to bite me!

We were on Breakfast board only and found the choice to be plentiful. Three of us travelled together in 2 rooms and we each had different breakfast needs with no difficulties in finding tables to sit at, cutlery, glasses or having to queue for hot drinks.
One problem with the hot breakfast apparently (my husband had a hot breakfast every day) was that the food wasn’t quite hot enough. However, there is a microwave midway between the breakfast buffet layout and he used that each day, along with numerous other hotel residents.

We were pleased the room safe is provided free of charge and that there was a small fridge in the room to keep water and milk (for our cups of tea) cool. We also liked that the bathroom was a large walk in shower rather than over a bath. Toiletries and towels were replenished every day as you used them. The rooms were kept spotlessly clean.

Our main criticism would be the hotel “entertainment” – each time we looked there was one guy singing and playing keyboards in what looked like a coffee shop (cum bar) stuck far away in a dark corner of the hotel reception.

Luckily, we ate out of the hotel each evening and found plenty of places for good food including drinks at a lot less than it would have cost us to upgrade to Half Board for the three of us. There are bars nearby if you walk up the side street in the direction of the bus station, about 10 – 15 minutes walk will take you to a large choice some with entertainment thrown in and drink prices vary from place to place.

We’ve been going to Qawra / Bugibba now for many years and are very familiar with the area so know what is usually on offer. We did find this time that there didn’t seem to be so many choices of stuff going on of an evening – even the hotels we have relied on in the past to provide it, didn’t appear to be doing so. However, we came across some different places this time and we had a great week.

We will return to Malta again in the future and would have no hesitation in staying at the Seashells Resort at Suncrest.

However, it may be that we’ve outlived our time in this area of Malta and that perhaps we will try somewhere else next time. We found that although the food we ate at various restaurants was good, there wasn’t much choice – many of the establishments were offering the same kind of menu variations unless you went for a specific type of food ie: Asian, Indian, Italian etc.

One other thing I should mention is that within the first hour of our arrival we visited the Cheeky Monkey Pub (which belongs to the hotel) across the road. My mother (aged 76yrs) walked into it just ahead of me and my husband and the next thing I knew she had fallen full length, landing on her back on the tiled floor and had banged her head against one of the bar stools. There is a step less than 2 paces of going through the door and is not really defined as it’s the same tiles as the main pub floor. The very large monkey which sits on the bar top caught my mothers’ eye as she came through the door and she missed the step completely. It shook her up very much and the colour completely drained out of her face – she was white.

Although the bar manager did come to see how she was and brought her a glass of water, we feel they weren’t that concerned – possibly because my mother does not look 76 years old! They didn’t even take her name or record the fall in an accident book but did say people had fallen before…..

We did mention it to our tour representative who said he would follow it up and take a look himself. However, I do feel the hotel should also be aware of this and perhaps take more precautions at the entrance doorway to the Cheeky Monkey Pub.

Room Tip: High Floor with City View for afternoon sun and no road noise.


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Fylde Coast Musings – a voyage of #discovery through #photography


So, it’s a little over 3 months since we arrived back in UK after our 12 years sojourn in Limassol, Cyprus…. and boy, isn’t life different!

Firstly, the weather:
How crap is the Great British weather  😦
We’ve been terribly spoiled during our 12 summers in “Sunny Cyprus” where after 3 months in UK and looking back makes me think the sun must have shone every day. Okay, they reckon on average Cyprus has 340 days of sunshine and yep, I reckon that’s about right!

In UK however, completely the opposite – we must have 340 days of rain here!
Put it this way, for every sunny day we’ve had so far since our return it seems to be we get 2 – 3 rainy or miserable days….. we’ve just experienced 3 rather pleasant sunny days on the trot with a temperature of around 22 degrees Celsius. That was Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We were promised it from Monday but that weather forecast fell on deaf ears and it was cloudy until rather late in the afternoon.

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Today (Friday) we’ve woken up to wind and rain at around 07:00hrs. It’s still raining, still windy right now at 12:26hrs – with, get this…. a whole 15 degrees Celsius.
Photo: taken just now from my desk by the window…

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This weather pattern is due to follow for the next few days, or shall I say that according to my mobile phone weather app, we’re stuck with it until Wednesday of next week!

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As the saying goes “make hay whilst the sun shines” and that’s what we’ve been doing! We bought ourselves a little motor after about 6 weeks or so from our return. We’re sticking with the “Greek” theme here and purchased a sweet Kalos 1.4SX produced by Chevrolet. It’s already taken us on several journeys around our new locality.

The Kalos performs well, it even has air-conditioning (yeah, yeah I know…. we’re not likely to be using that much). Sadly, it’s a manual gearbox which is a bit of a dampner, for me anyway – but hubby is happy enough with that. She even has alloy wheels, Woo Hoo 🙂

Here she is on our drive…. we haven’t christened her yet. We love the colour!

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We’ve journeyed as far as Morecambe, Lancashire so far – but we have a bigger journey coming up at the weekend when we will make our way to Manchester for a friends’ birthday celebration.

Where we’ve been to date:

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Sunny Morecambe

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Bilsborrow near Garstang

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Owd Nells & Guys Thatched – Bilsborrow

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Eric Morecambe in Sunny Morecambe

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Marton Mere holiday park (a stop off in the middle of DIY shopping)

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Blackpool and The Big One

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Skippool Creek near Thornton Cleveleys

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The City of Lancaster

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The City of Lancaster

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Cleveleys and the RAF Red Arrows

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Glasson Dock

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Glasson Dock canalside

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Church at Glasson Dock

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Got my “Cemetery Fix” at Glasson Dock

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Loving It In Lytham

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Loving It In Lytham

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Windy Harbour caravan park – at the end of the M55

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Wrea Green

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Wrea Green

In case you’re wondering whereabouts in the world we now live – it’s a little place unknown to most people, unless you’re from the North West of UK. We’re on the mouth of the Wyre Estuary where the river Wyre meets the Irish Sea – directly across the river from Fleetwood, the village of Knott End on Sea, Lancashire.

Knott End on Sea

Putting Knott End on Sea on the map

High Tide on the River Wyre, Knott End on Sea (3)

Knott End Cafe by the ferry jetty

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Knott End View of Fleetwood

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Knott End Jetty – where the river meets the sea

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River Wyre and Fleetwood by the public footpath access across Knott End Golf Course.


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Time Is Running Out


This may very well be my final post about “Cyprus Life” although the pictures will still be there for many years to follow…. But, in less than 2 weeks time our Cyprus Life will have changed and it will be back to UK life for us 😦

Sad….. but needs must. My father is sick and as such hasn’t been able to travel to visit us in Cyprus since February 2013.

Here’s me (in the green/teal coloured fleece top) with my parents ahead of me in Limassol old town, close to St Andrews Street  during an “around town walk” on their last visit:

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My dad was showing the onset of his Parkinson’s disease then with that stoop over to the right side. Little did we know how quickly it would take hold of him….

Three years down the line and he cannot walk more than half a dozen steps unaided, finds it difficult to manage his wheeled zimmer frame and most outdoor activities all feature his new addition, a wheelchair.

June 2015 – me and my hubby took a holiday back to the UK and had 5 or 6 days to spend with my parents. We were fairly lucky with the weather so we did manage to get about a bit and my Dad was just about walking (with assistance) using his frame:

An afternoon watching the bowling at the local Working Men’s Club:

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Dad’s name on the list of Presidents Cup winners in 1994:

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Pilling Pottery tea rooms – another sunny day:

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We got a little “Blackpool time” to ourselves too:

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However, we were aware that things weren’t going to improve in both of my parents’ lives so we had to start doing some serious thinking. A few things were sorted out back home to make matters a bit easier for us all and then we started to mull over how we could make things work.

On our last visit to Blackpool and my parents’ home at the end of January 2016 we spent a week solid just looking at properties in the Blackpool area. We found one quite by accident on our third day, even to the point of having an offer accepted and a surveyors appointment booked – only to be let down late on a Friday afternoon by the vendors who decided instead of cancelling the second viewing from someone else as they had promised, they chose to accept a higher offer.

After that it all went a bit skew wift and steadily downhill for us as we were just starting to relax thinking we had it all sorted and having the best part of our 2nd week to spend time with my parents…. but, no – the greedy  vendors (Antony Mullany and Patrick Kane) had thwarted that for us too 😦

One positive outcome though was that all the other estate agents told us we were better out of that particular area of Blackpool so in that respect, it sounds like Grasmere Road in FY1 had been a lucky escape 🙂 Unfortunately, it didn’t solve our problem of being able to find a place we could call our own and to spend a little time there as necessary until we were in a position to implement our move.

The next couple of days were a bit of a blur and the weather went a bit grimmer to boot so after traipsing around Blackpool south and looking at yet more properties in areas that weren’t familiar to us – we took the brave decision to look “over the water”.

View from Fleetwood Ferry jetty – over the water…..

Fleetwood to Knott End

This was something we’d always said we didn’t want to do as public transport was not so easily come by and we didn’t want to have to go to the expense of buying a car at the outset. We always thought Over Wyre may have been a bit too low key for us but, it was familiar and not only that, a lot safer than some of the streets we had come across during our house hunting along North shore in Blackpool. On top of that, property prices were higher than those we had been looking at and we weren’t even sure we could find anything within our budget!

So with a little trepidation we entered the property search and  were pretty surprised when three houses popped up – one just under the budget and two others which were higher but not entirely out of reach. A visit to the parents’ house on Sunday morning came as a bit of a shock to them when we dragged my Mum out to help us seek out the said three houses.

One was already marked up on the For Sale board with Under Offer so that one went out of the window straightaway. The other was a stroll heading away from the centre of the village and when we did find it, we realised that although it was very nice and in fabulous condition – it was just too small for us.
The other….. well, we couldn’t locate it and the estate agents office was closed.
(I can’t understand why the majority of the estate agents closed their offices on Sunday) :-/

Anway, we started again…. back to the estate agents window and peered closely at the property details seeking out any noticeable features we could find.

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Bingo! Walking back up and down the road, we eventually found it… no For Sale sign, which is why we initially missed it 😉

Luckily, we managed to catch the vendors in a little later in the afternoon and a deal was struck. Estate agents were contacted first thing on Monday morning and we even managed to salvage our previously cancelled survey appointment on the Grasmere Road house and re-jigged it to the new one. Things were finally looking up!

Tuesday afternoon: survey was completed and we were eagerly sitting in the bar at the hotel we were staying at in Blackpool, awaiting a phone call and an emailed report.

The phone call came – all was good!
The survey report (all 30 odd pages of it) eventually came through the email about an hour later…. yes, the WiFi was very slow!

The house was going to be ours!

The rest has been a few fraught weeks of waiting and cajoling the relevant bodies along but we now have a Completion date. Our shippers are booked and our belongings will be packed into our container next week.

The dogs have their flights all booked, rabies vaccinated and their travel passports are almost complete:

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We’re all booked too! The dogs really have no idea what’s happening, all they know is something is up and “stuff” keeps disappearing into boxes. All we hope now is that their journey all goes according to plan as our “old boy” Indie is getting on in years  – he came with us to Cyprus back in 2004 when he was a year old so he’s now 13yrs, a bit wobbly on his back legs and a lot greyer than he used to be.

Indie as a puppy back in 2003:

Indie 2003

When we arrived in March 2004, we walked into a totally empty house knowing full well we would have to wait around 7 days for our shipping container to arrive. Luckily, we had a couple of friends (Louise (taking the photo) and hubby Sean) to share the experience – and the house with, to help pass the time. The first thing we needed was something to sit on and eat off…. a patio table set was the immediate purchase because we knew it would be something useful for the coming summer. We still have it – and, it’s coming back with us!

This was our first night “at home” in Cyprus (it was bloody freezing):

Cyprus March 2004

Our new local area: to the right of the golf course (see image below) is the banking of tidal river Wyre and at the bottom (off the picture) is the Irish sea.

Knott End Golf Club - and our new house

Knott End Ferry to Fleetwood

Look who’s coming with us!

Here’s “Ruby” 🙂

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And the old boy “Indie”

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Bye, bye Cyprus – we’ve had some great times!

Cyprus street April 2014

If you want to see some of the fun times we’ve had along with the friends we’ve made and the places we’ve explored – take a look at my thousands of #photosofCyprus on Flickr