Yesterday my friend Dave Travis telephoned to suggest meeting for a drink. He has been really quite unwell for some months and it was great to hear from him. But he told me that Tatiana, a young Russian woman who had brought out some vacuum cleaner bags from the UK for us, had been killed in a motor cycle crash. She, and her Dutch husband Martijn, had been in touch with us through one of the expat forums to ask if they could help in our search for Miele vacuum cleaner bags. When they arrived in Cyprus, we drove down to Paphos to collect the bags and she refused to accept any payment.
Dave subsequently went to work for them, and they became very good friends of his. And so the tragic news hit him hard. Despite never having met Martijn face to face, we feel so sorry for him. Both he and Tatiana were members of RoADAR, as Dave and I are.
Further bad news today ... we had not heard from our good friend Savvas for some weeks and had not been able to contact him by telephone. I had popped down to his furniture shop in Polis on a number of occasions but it was all closed up. I went up to the house in Argaka, and all the vehicles were neatly parked outside but the house was unoccupied. In any event his wife telephoned me this morning. Savvas had had a heart attack on June 24th and has ended up in Nicosia Hospital, where he underwent an operation I am familiar with - a triple heart bypass. I went down to see her, to offer our help and just to be supportive. He is in intensive care and, although the bypass went well, is being treated for high temperature and a lung infection. Consequently he requires help with his breathing.
Savvas' son is a general surgeon in Limassol and visits frequently, and his daughter stay over in Nicosia for days at a time. His other son, who works in Athens, flies over to see his father as well. Androniki is bearing up remarkably well. She hopes the lung infection will be resolved and he will be home in two to three weeks. She was cheered when I told her how my triple bypass had changed my life for the better.
And so we are a little shell-shocked with this news. Ann's toe is getting better by the day but I think the last forty-eight hours has knocked the stuffing out of us. Let's hope for a better tomorrow.