The new house

September 29, 2009

So, the new house.  It’s in a village about half way between Larnaca and Limassol, up in the hills slightly.  Despite being just 20 minutes to the sea, the extra height means that the temperatures are a little cooler and the humidity is a little lower.  Combined with the peacefulness of a small village it is a rather different lifestyle to the bustle of Aradippou with its population of 10,000 people.

The house itself is an old cottage which has been added to a number of times.  Best estimates are that it is a little over 200 years old.  The previous owner bought an additional piece of land which allowed him to create a small private walled garden and, more importantly, reverse the aspects of the house.  It also allowed direct access to a small road around the edge of the village.  However, the change, still, causes some confusion for us …

“When you said you’d put the thing outside the back door did you mean the old back door or the new back door?”

The old front door (now at the back of the house) opens onto a donkey track which leads into the centre of the village. So, to save our sanity we happily refer to it as the donkey track or pomegranate door in recognition of the tree which grows right outside the door.

As well as walling in the garden the previous owner, Mad Alex, partially renovated the property.  We believe he was responsible for adding the upstairs floor but we could never actually get him to admit that, probably because the title deeds are so shockingly out of date that they bear little relationship to the house.  On the, ever growing, to-do list is yet more bureaucracy as we try and get the current deeds updated.  At present they suggest that we own a ruined room and a tree.

Some days that has felt worryingly close to the truth.

When we first viewed the house Mad Alex suggested it needed “a little re-plastering, and a coat of paint“.  This in a house that had birds nesting in the upstairs room, 22 kittens born to the local tribe of feral cats he had adopted and a single electrical socket in the kitchen.

Clearly we and he had differing opinions of what makes a property habitable and as he disappeared into the sunset with his cardboard boxes of cats we brought in the builders.

20 weeks later we have;

  • New windows and doors
  • A downstairs bathroom turned into a utility room and a cloakroom
  • The entire existing kitchen ripped out
  • Downstairs re-wired entirely
  • An external staircase removed
  • Downstairs re-tiled throughout
  • Upstairs & downstairs re-plumbed
  • New shower room created
  • Floor in the en-suite bathroom lowered by 4 inches
  • Upstairs concrete slab floors removed, re-tiled throughout

The builders are long gone but the house is still a work in progress.  Decorating the entire house from scratch and building our first ever kitchen was work we aimed to do.

The most pressing job on the list at the moment is getting the kitchen to a properly usable state.  The units are built, most of the countertops are cut and ready to be fitted.  Space has been cut for the sink and the hob, but things have been held up by a quest for the right tap.

Most Cyprus taps don’t have enough depth to penetrate the non-Cypriot countertop we’ve bought.  Most non-Cypriot taps available here don’t have the third feed that we need for the (periodic) mains supply.  However, three taps on we may have a winner.  If so, we can finally have running water in the kitchen and stop BBQing in the garden – some 10 weeks after we first moved in!

In the meantime, some kitchen progress photos.

Kitchen part way through the re-wiring

Kitchen part way through the re-wiring

Kitchen, from the same angle, part way through the build

Kitchen, from the same angle, part way through the build



  1. Hey, great blog…but I don’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please :)

  2. Hi there. There’s now a pair of RSS Feed options over at the bottom of the right nav, under the Search box. Thanks for the query!

  3. […] October 25, 2009 Parts of the garden are still a mystery to us.  Before he left Mad Alex gave a rudimentary overview of some of the plants but it was far from complete and, as we’ve […]

  4. […] main, or front, door is to the left of the downstairs window in the first […]

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