Something Borrowed

His name is Bruno and he was home alone today.

So we could borrow him!

The park was a lush green paradise of birdsong and sunshine filtered through a million leaves.

Bruno enjoyed the smell aspects of it.

And some womanising. Oh dear!

Cyprus is so gorgeous!

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And apparently, smells fabulous too.

Writing for a Living

I write for money! Yes I do.

Nope, not for the Cyprus Mail. It’s there for breakfast and lunch companionship only!

I receive blueprints and pour over them like a woman possessed. Then begin frantic area research and note taking. In challenging cases, enlist a music streaming service.

What’s near the development?

What will the views be like?

How does one get anyplace?

Notes.

Start typing: architecture, design. Landscaping, layouts.

And all the practical stuff, try to be a bit more brief for goodness’ sake, it isn’t a bleeding novel!

Selling points? Hmm.

Introduction. (This is everything.)

Title options. Usually too long, grimace.

Chop! Mourn.

Okay? Off it goes.

Burst through school gates. Panting, so late, so disheveled and not bearing snacks it seems actually.

Usher people to Greek tutoring.

Sit in the car a bit cold. Fantasize of writing for fun maybe tonight.

Like lock my door, turn up the music?

Then, for goodness’ sake, write like there’s no tomorrow?

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Yes! Yes!!

Maybe tomorrow?

The New Normal: Day

10.00 Laptop most definitely will not switch on.

Contemplate the situation. Seems I kind of have a day off. Also seems I have no computer.

Feel sad.

Why is life with technology such an uphill battle?

10.01-12.00 Non-photogenic activities. (So I here’s my favourite plant Rosalie instead.) Feel obliged to unpack the joyous remains of a fun weekend by the sea. Not fun. Kind of gross. As is the laundry. As is blog writing in ugly housewear (way too hot to write elegantly dressed – otherwise obviously would).

12.00 Toddle off to the bakery to buy some good veggie protein with a village salad. Get told off for taking a pic of the bread shelf. Feel stupid.

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Feel stupid taking a photo of my lunch, take one anyway. And post it here. There it is.

13.30 Watch Sister Wives.

Don’t feel stupid. Haven’t got a computer and the seaside weekend was a bit consuming actually. And Mariah has recently come out as gay to her five fundamentalist Mormon parents. Five! Fundamentalist! Gay! Mormon!

15.00 Reunited with my tanned rascals on the school yard.

Gather all our courage and ask one boy’s mum if he could join us for pizza on Friday. He can! Oh their joyous little faces!

Oh the dawn of a friendship.

Oh my poor old heart.

The New Normal: Morning

The new normal. I think we are now living it because days are starting to resemble each other. So maybe I can now show you what life is like on a regular Monday and maybe it will still ring true after a year or two? I wouldn’t mind if it did.

6.40 Out of bed, to the command centre located at the fruit bowl. That’s where all important papers seem to hang out, uninvited. (Different devices also like to charge their batteries there, on top of the avocados. So rude!)

Try to make out my kids’ ever-changing school schedules, can’t see anything. Remember now have reading glasses, put them on. Husband bought them for me after my protests that I couldn’t see his work tweets when he stuck his phone in my face and asked for opinions. Such an amazing present. Can now admire his work tweets so much. Also have little reading lights on both sides. Like the headlights of a car. Can read things in the dark!

6.45 Finally up to speed about who has P.E. today and can start ironing uniforms. Do it on the bed because of the rush, accidentally iron sheets underneath into tight creases. Dang. Meanwhile husband has carried comatose offspring to sofa and disappeared. Don’t know what to do with poor floppy children. Only brought them home at 9.20 last night forchristssake! Weekend by the sea – fun during, painful the morning after. Put on Cartoon Network. Disappear into the kitchen.

7.10 Cartoon Network revived children. Hurrah! But they don’t like the butter because it’s not the same brand they they were used to in Switzerland. Lecture/encouraging pep talk about aquired tastes and angry daddies who detest being late for work. Pack third grader’s backpack, like every morning. I know I said I wouldn’t do it anymore! But 7.10! Butter dispute! Swimming after school! Brother has tennis! Angry husband alert! Where is the racquet?

7.30 There they go. Phew! Follow their departure from the balcony to be absolutely sure.

Then coo at balcony plants. Give water to whoever is looking a bit rough. Coo some more.

Worry about lost youth. Reading glasses! Talking to plants! What next?

Panicky fit of ‘what happened to my youth?’: Put on sneakers and cap and rush out for sporty walk. Should probably run but use 2009 knee problem as excuse as always. Happily stroll around taking pictures with my phone instead.

As always.

Love it.

This unflattering shadow was harrassing me all the way

Getting a bit hot around 8.20.

But what flowers!

What views!

What trees!

And what a light.

Our block of flats in the background
Our balcony is the one with the moving box peeking down, of course
Someone pretty next to our entrance

9.05 Back home quite sweaty. Type a message to my client asking if they need any writing done. Remember computer refused to start on Friday. Stop typing.

Have breakfast and shower in peace.

The Barbecue

One thing my husband really misses about life in Cyprus is the long and leisurely Sunday barbecue with extended family. I say extended but here, aunts, uncles, cousins, their spouses and kids and even these family members’ in-laws are family, just family from next door or wherever.

Family who brought him up, who grew up with him, and who joined the family later but are just as welcome.

To make the barbecue, it is necessary that several men spend Sunday morning staring at it and talking to it down in the courtyard. Maybe other measures are required, too? I wouldn’t know as I like to steer my vegetarian person a bit clear from the smoke.

My kids, on the other hand, are very successfully being introduced to the art of the ‘souvla’ staring and talking (or whatever is involved). They, too, spent hours under the lemon tree this weekend and came upstairs smelling of tradition. I think it’s brilliant. They are out of the house. They learn to cook. I can blog. Perfect!

For the women, it seems only the eldest generation is expected to make a real contribution to the common table. Perhaps because we, the 30 and 40 somethings, are considered children (which we are, of course – this is the Mediterranean and we will only maybe reach adulthood after we become grandparents).

Or perhaps it’s because we are lousy and uninspired cooks and no-one would want to risk having to taste any creations from our useless hands? No, that’s probably just me and my hands. I haven’t actually asked why we are excused. I just gratefully and silently wonder.

Once the barbecue is ready and everyone has been lured in by its intoxicating aroma, there are easily a dozen or more hungry folks flocking towards the kitchen. There is so much food you could quite easily feed a large Finnish wedding party with what’s on offer.

And it is good! So good.

By the time dessert rolls around the littlest member of the lunch party is nearly asleep in his high chair. Politics and football, schools and christenings, work days and trips and the rain yesterday. Everything has been talked about and the food was great and so it is an excellent day.

A good Sunday.

Trying to See It

Woke up too early to a thought: Maybe this is the day!

It wasn’t.

Brushed and combed, the kids met year leaders and did their very best. We await. Bite our nails and wait.

Carefully hopeful, D and I met estate agents and looked around people’s homes trying to see it, see us, see something.

Of course we couldn’t.

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But late in the evening, we slipped out the door once more. A little freedom, a little meze! Music, sweet hookah steam and a tiny ridiculous caraffe of white and suddenly, everything of course, will turn out fine. Just fine!

We are back in Cyprus and everything will soon again flow.

The Roundabout of No

Woke up to a sublime, fragrant morning and ran out of bed to do stuff.

Back and forth in the morning rush hour, I am being reintroduced to the exciting, unwritten geography of the Cyprus capital.

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You see, life in Nicosia is kind of a big hide and seek where the locals live somewhere and the foreigners can’t find the way there until the party is finished and all the wine is gone.

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It’s played so that instead of a street address, the participants are given a list of landmarks – both existing and long gone – that all the good Cypriot folk know and no silly old xeni like moi will ever learn. But my good man is trying to share his wisdom, bless! He has such faith in my capacity!

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I promise I will give the unofficial geography a shot.

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But Kalispera traffic lights? That means good evening, for heaven’s sake!

The roundabout of ‘no’?

 

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