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House for sale in Pachna village in Cyprus

After more than 12 very happy years living (part-time) in Cyprus, my parents are looking to sell their house.

The property is situated in the traditional working village of Pachna, in the foothills of the Troodos mountains. It is a 3 bedroom / 3 bathroom stone-built 2-story house located in the heart of the village.

I’ve enjoyed staying in the house numerous times. Indeed, my wife and I got engaged in Cyprus, and so it has many happy memories for me.

If you’re interested in buying a property in Cyprus, or are just nosy to have a look, the details are on this site:

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Contactless Cards Logo

Will there ever be a contactless debit card from Ulster Bank?

If you bank with AIB, KBC or the Bank of Ireland you’ll have been able to use their contactless debit cards for the last couple of years.

However Ulster Bank in the Republic of Ireland do not offer a contactless debit card. They have contactless on their ROI credit card, and they have it on their Northern Ireland debit card, but the bank have given no indication when it will be available on ROI debit cards.

It’s annoying for Ulster Bank customers, who can’t take advantage of the convenience of contactless payments.

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Will Virgin Media Ireland give us the TiVo?

With UPC confirming recently that it is to re-brand to Virgin Media over the next few months, it will be interesting to see if they also introduce one of Virgin’s products to Ireland – the TiVo.

TiVo Series 1

I had one of the original TiVo Series 1 boxes that was on sale for a couple of years in the UK from 2000 onwards. It was an amazing PVR and was much better than anything that Sky or the cable companies offered at the time.

It recorded shows from compatible set-top boxes, and learned the type of TV you liked to watch, and would pro-actively record programmes it thought you might like. The on-screen interface and remote were also intuitive and easy to use.

There was a small but active TiVo Series 1 community in the UK at the time, which included people who modified and upgraded their machines to increase the functionality offered. I upgraded my box to increase the record time from 40 hours to 250 hours, and to also install a network card to allow software/EPG updates over broadband. I also installed all kinds of software plugins, including one that allowed me to remote control the box over the internet – including setting programmes to record – something that, 15 years later, we all take for granted.

I loved that TiVo. Indeed, I was so attached to my TiVo that, when I moved to Ireland in 2007, I still kept it for a number of years – even though it didn’t work abroad!

Virgin TiVo

In 2010 Virgin Media in the UK announced that they were offering TiVos to their customers as one of their set-top box options, and today they offer two TiVo options for TV subscribers – a 500GB box and a 1TB box. Today’s TiVos are much more advanced that the old Series 1 that I had, and integrate the cable receiver into the box – allowing customers to record two channels while watching a third.

It would be pretty amazing if, as part of the Virgin Media re-brand, that TiVos were also brought to Ireland. They would be a very welcome replacement to the existing Horizon boxes offered by UPC, which have some known problems.

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Keeping within the lines

Have you heard about the current craze for adult colouring books?

They’re not, as more than one person has suggested to me, colouring books with ‘adult themes’. I think that’s an even more niche market that’s yet to be tapped. Maybe I should trademark the name Fifty Shades of Colouring?!?

The idea is to get stressed-out adults doing colouring in, and in so, improve their mindfulness (i.e. stop them stressing out about everything) at least for a short while.

And lest you think the idea sounds like the ramblings of a crazy person, this is a real thing.  Check our the online book charts. Adult colouring books have been occupying several of the top-10 best seller spots for months.

So what’s it like?

Well I decided to order a couple of books which arrived earlier this week. I then realised, because I’m not 10 years old any more, that I don’t have a ready stash of colour pens and pencils. So I had to go out and buy a set of pencils as well.

I was slightly nervous about having to explain myself to my good lady wife. Would she think I was bonkers, or having some kinds of break-down, if I suddenly announced that I was going to do some colouring in?  Well as it happens, she had already heard about the craze for adult colouring in, and was just as keen to give it a go.

It was a good job that I had ordered two books, as for the next 30-40 minutes (while dinner was cooking) we both sat at the kitchen table colouring in. And you know what, it was quite calming and therapeutic.

I found that I was quite a stickler for making sure I didn’t draw outside the lines – and to ensure that, I had to concentrate harder, and take thinks a bit more slowly – and as such, it just increased the mindfulness on this task.


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