Cyprus Mail

Doing what Brits abroad do best

The British retire to Cyprus for a quiet life, sitting on their porch they quickly become bored and look for something to occupy their time, and the devil makes work… so they end up turning their attention to their neighbours.  That’s what Brits abroad do best.

On our estate, we had one family so fed up of the damage to their car and property they just walked away to live in Sweden.  It would take another two years for them to sell their villa.  The problem for a while ceased, but it had not gone away.  It didn’t take long before boredom crept in again, so another neighbour became the brunt of the unwanted attention.

A car ‘keyed’, stones wedged under an electric gate, dog poop, glass and metal shards left outside the drive, the list went on.  New arrivals changed the characteristics of the estate, meetings were held with ‘us & them’.  One of these new arrivals thought it a good idea to involve the police.  In the fifteen years the police had never visited the estate; suddenly they were called or involved four times in as many months, as no less than eight solicitors’ letters passed between the residents.

Whereas once there had been harmony and helping neighbours on a new estate, we now had neighbour no longer talking to a neighbour.  And it took so little to set off the powder keg.  Envy and avarice of having new electric gates fitted, a bigger plot size, a better garden, cultivating a piece of wasteland which surrounds the estate, it didn’t take much for feelings to run high.

One resident sent a letter to the police accusing several other residents of name calling and using foul language, listing events going back years, none of which were a police matter, some she had never witnessed but had heard about.

This resulted in the police officer phoning the writer, telling her to grow up, to act in a more mature fashion, that such action belonged in a playground, whilst pointing out she was a visitor living in Cyprus, and in an area now becoming known to the police through stupid quibbling.  It was embarrassing to listen to the officer chastising someone old enough to be his grandmother.  And it was embarrassing to be implicated by association.

One neighbour having called the police to the estate turned to me and muttered as the officer drove away. “And this is only the beginning, you’ve seen nothing yet”.  The only comment missing was. ‘And my dad’s bigger than your dad’, although looking at his stature I would doubt it.

Were these people whose ages range between 60-75 years-old like this, immature and vindictive at work?  Did they act like this in their neighbourhood before moving here?  Or have they changed and now become so focused on other people lives that they look for a purpose to get out of bed in the morning?  An obsession that drives them with a sense in life?  Do they not look at themselves in the mirror and see what they have become?

What I know and it is sad, is that what was, in the beginning, a nice supportive community has torn itself apart over the last five years.  But I don’t know the answer to move forward other than to ignore those who are vexatious and cause grief.  From what I understand my estate is not an isolated example of the British in Cyprus.

Name and address withheld


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