By Heidi Trautmann
On the weekend of May 15 and 16 the Five Finger Restaurant was not its usual self with its cozy atmosphere and red checked table cloths, it had become a beehive of activity, early on Saturday morning before the Show opened. I had been invited to do the judging of the handed in art work so I arrived early myself. A short glance told me that the judging would not be easy at all.
There were also some other judges invited: Ken Hearn as the chairman of the judges; Hatice Kerimgil and Fergal Suken for the children’s competition; Eileen Anderson for bakery and home produce; Cath Crompton for handcrafts and cards; Brian Anderson for flowers and vegetables and Olkan Erguler for photography.
Compared to last year’s response there were more than double the entries. The guest room of the restaurant was packed full with the art and handcraft work displayed on shelves and tables. While we judges were doing our work, Alex and Libby Main, the restaurant owners and one of the sponsors were doing the last preparations, and their help and advice was incessantly requested by the many participants and exhibitors who had their stands in the yard and garden… some pins please, a ladder, a frying pan….until Alex Main locked the door, so we could finish our hard task to decide on the three winners for each category. I had the splendid idea to introduce some “highly commended” prizes which allowed me a little more freedom.
There were some nice prizes to be won by donators such as by Maureen and Tony Hutchinson with two tickets for a nature walk with them; Brote Tourism for a return ticket for two people to Istanbul; Highline Air Tours donated one ticket for a tandem paragliding experience and one ticket for a fishing trip; The North Cyprus Scuba Centre for two trial dives; Sail Cyprus.com for a boat trip for two; and finally Fit Kids Gymnastic Centre have donated a free membership for one month for two kids.
The organizers of now three Flower Shows are the Northern Cyprus Gardeners’ Forum, an informal group of people who enjoy gardening. The members of the Forum meet on the third Thursday of each month at the Five Finger Restaurant at 2.30 pm. The Flower Show is the result of their meeting. They are indebted to a long list of sponsors and each of them were sponsoring a special competition category: they were Commercial Insurance, Ardic Garden Centre, Hudan, Magic Touch, Cyprus Today, Brote Travel and The Five Fingers Restaurant.
Shortly before noon, the moment when the mayors of Ozankoy and Girne were supposed to come and open the Flower Show, I entered the yard greeted by the entertainer hidden behind ceramic pots, who was to lead through the day and events, and told the guests who had already come in by the backdoor, where what specialties were to be found and what goodies would be watering our mouths. There were some stands with young plants ready to be planted, fruit stands offering fresh juices; I had a drink made of melon and oranges, delicious! Some stands with Cypriot cuisine and I tried some of the typical delicacies offered; in the back of the garden where many guests were already enjoying their first drink of the day, I found Suzee as always active with pots and pans. Behind other stands the exhibitors were busy displaying handcraft, books, CDs and their flea market ware they hoped would interest the visitors soon filing in. Several stands for charities and lotteries with loads of prizes. What I missed were the flowers.
The Kibris Liners in their costumes were waiting in the shade to be on show in the early afternoon and as I read in the progamme, Turkan, the Belly Dancer was to show the ladies how to seduce their men. On Sunday the initiators had organized plays and activities for kids. Unfortunately, Libby told me, the village people who had wanted to participate could not do so in the end because some village Market Day was planned one month later.
The month of May is the right month to visit such Village Shows, to take the family out and meet friends, spend the pocket money and have a nice freshly made meal from one of the stands under shady trees.