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When the sun goes down

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Cyprus is quickly entering summer snooze mode when the politicians take a break from being insincere with the truth and the government puts the country on auto-pilot.

The weather is becoming relentlessly hot, and there are only two viable options – stay in an air-conditioned space or venture to the beach.

Usually, the beach option always seems like a good idea until you realise the rest of the island has the same motivation.

Seeking the tranquil calm of the Mediterranean Sea is supposed to be a stress-releasing exercise, but not when you’re falling over people staking a claim to their piece of coastline.

And it wouldn’t be Cyprus if you didn’t treat a trip to the beach like an expedition into the wilderness.

Summer outings require enough food supplies to feed a hungry battalion with extra large ice boxes, camping equipment, accompanying furniture and BBQ if staying until the sun goes down.

These forays to a sandy location require a convoy of vehicles in a pre-dawn incursion done with military precision and planning.

So, if you are a spur-of-the-moment individual that relies on taking decisions on a whim, there will be no sun beds for you this summer.

Even exclusive beach hangouts for cocktail-sipping ‘influencers’ are turning people away.

Unsure where to go on vacation during the peak season – forget it – the hotel rooms are booked solid, and any vacancies come at a premium.

If you are as disorganised and plan-averse as I am, seeking to venture to foreign lands will also conspire to be beyond your pay grade unless you have friends with private jets.

Come to think of it, there isn’t too much of a choice at all, but that’s assuming you can afford the exorbitant electricity bill to stay cooler than Pirlo taking a penalty.

Alternatives

Although staying in may be expensive, going outdoors is also fraught with pocket-emptying alternatives.

As public transport is sporadic at best, using the car is pricey as petrol prices remain high while taking a family out to eat has become a painful experience on the wallet.

Interest rates have gone up;  food price inflation is high, while salaries have remained static, meaning purchasing power weakens with each passing month.

We all need and look forward to a summer vacation, but there is the brutal reality of getting less for more.

With higher mortgage payments, ridiculous rents and a narrowing of leisure options, many are feeling the heat, and it’s not from global warming.

The government says it has an action strategy to buffer the cost-of-living crisis; if it’s happening, I can’t see who’s benefitting.

What we have learnt from this fledgling administration is that it’s creative in the pledges it gives but spartan in policy detail.

It is robust in telling the public how our problems will be solved, but no proof is provided of how it will be done.

If you have a spare moment on the beach this summer – assuming you found somewhere – randomly peruse government announcements.

They mostly consist of state officials smiling at each other to discuss pressing issues of the day.

You get to know that they talked about the issue without any detail on the scale of the problem or specific steps to address it.

Announcements are not issued to inform; they are rudimentary PR vehicles for digitally-shy ministers to show they are in control and that there is no need to scrutinise their ability to do the job.

Everything is fine; bureaucracy as usual; stay calm for another five years.

Despite the efforts to stage-manage its image, this government has been underwhelming in its drive and tenacity to get things done.

The summer offers it a chance to recharge batteries while there are pressing things to do, like eating watermelon by the sea.

After the sojourn, we should be getting gas from Israel, have a European solution to the Cyprus problem and become a world-leading tech hub.

For now, if you’re looking for guaranteed entertainment, not fantasy politics, tune into Wimbledon, Formula 1, The Ashes, British Open golf, Euro U21 Championship, Women’s World Cup, and World Championship athletics.

Plenty of excuses to stay out of trouble, or you could even watch it on the beach.