Shooting Star

The word asparagus comes from the ancient Greeks, who used it to refer to all forms of tender shoots picked and eaten while very young.

Tassos takes on America!

THE ETHNARCH leaves for Boston today after a three-day stint at the EU-Latin American countries summit in Guadalajara, at which he explained the Greek Bananiot ‘no’ vote to the leaders of countries that do not matter, such as Chile and Colombia, and dissuaded them from recognising the pseudo-plantation.

The mespyla mystery

Mespilus, mesle, medle, medlar (or just loquat)

Patroclos might be interested to know that mespyla come from the Latin mespilus or mespilum, which became in Old French mesle or medle, coming in to English as the medlar. The variety grown in Cyprus is the Japanese medlar, better known as loquat.
Paul Bramshaw, Paphos

And Yeni Dünya in the local Turkish dialect…

From Patroclos’ excellent description, I take it that mespyla are Eriobtrya Japonica, in plain English known as loquat. In the local Cypriot Turkish dialect this fruit is called Yeni Dünya (New World).

Thanks for teaching me a new Greek word.

Özer H. Raif,

Who am I supposed to believe on V-plates?

I have sympathy with Geoffrey Smith’s view (letters, May 25) that V-plate “advice from customs was available” in plenty of time to avoid knee-jerk reaction. However, this advice was not crystal clear – and appeared to vary. In desperation, I went to Nicosia and took the highest advice open to me.

Comment – DISY rebels betray their party’s key principles

HYPOCRISY, populism and irresponsible sloganeering have always been the main features of Cyprus political life. How could the gang of DISY rebels, who are standing against their party in the Euro elections, be any different? In fact, the gang is proving to be an upholder of these qualities and a champion of political incoherence.

The view from the south

THERE are mixed emotions among shop keepers on the Greek Cypriot side of Nicosia, following rumours that the barricades cutting Ledra street in two could be removed to allow movement to and from the north.