Lucy.

It’s an achievement in itself for a cat to reach the grand old age of 19, but even so, I was more than a little heartbroken when I heard the news. She became something of a family heirloom and we were even beginning to believe that she was going to live forever. Although I’ve lost my fair share of pets in recent years, I have to say, the news about Lucy is probably going to take the longest to get used to.

 

A snapshot of Cyprus life

As a Native British Cypriot living in Cyprus, I am constantly faced with different thoughts and opinions from varying people, about their views on Life in Cyprus. From the ubiquitous complainer to the consistently happy sun worshipper, Cyprus really is a mishmash of places, faces, beliefs and outlooks. And as more and more people enter the island for their fix of summer sun, I have assembled a collection of common observations, from people who have been here only once, to those who holiday here habitually:

‘Cyprus is very expensive, in particular for basic amenities, such as a simple food shop; to shoes and clothing’. I have to say I do agree with this standpoint, however I think it is important to acknowledge just how lucky we are when it comes to maintaining a home in comparison to many other places. Council tax? TV licence fees?

‘The best beaches are in Protaras and Ayia Napa’ (exclusive of the North). I absolutely concur (very beautiful), but the beach front amenities are also more limited there (coffee shops/bars and restaurants). Although the beaches in Limassol are nothing special, we are definitely spoilt for choice with the above.

‘The people are so miserable’. I don’t like to over generalise, so no comment here

‘Limassol is the most English speaking region’. Yay thank goodness! I’m pretty sure this is true and am truly grateful that this is the case. I’m not too sure I would emerge from a trip to the hairdressers with a smile on my face if it weren’t…

‘People are a law unto themselves’. As I see it, this is very true. People pretty much do what they want, when they want. This can work for you and against you, but whichever way you look at it, we do have a lot of freedom here.

‘The lifestyle is great’. Cyprus is fundamentally what you make of it. There is so much freedom out here that you can mould it into the life of your dreams, coupled with some obstacles along the way.

-And finally: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Animal cruelty is a colossal issue in Cyprus and seriously needs to be addressed by the government in order for Cyprus to be considered a ‘forward moving’ nation.

This, combined with other very pressing issues that also need to be addressed.

Summer Eats

So the summer is well and truly upon us, and as we bask underneath the blanket of sunshine sipping a frappé, I thought it was fitting to collate a pick of the best eats for the current warmer months:

Summer Salad: Throw in peach slices, strawberries, kiwi or pomegranate (or a selection of the above) to a green salad mix for a fun and refreshing summer twist. For the dressing, mix honey, mustard and vinegar together and drizzle over for a refreshing, bitter-sweet eat.

The above can easily suffice as a main dish, however if you’re feeling particularly hungry, a great complement to the salad is a simple fish dish.

Take a fresh, whole fish (fresh Sea Bream is very delicious), score the skin in 4 – 5 places on both sides of the fish. Season the insertions with salt and pepper. Season the middle of the fish. Season further with your choice of herbs including oregano, chilli, garlic and thyme. Drizzle olive oil over the fish, spritz generously with lemon and place under the grill for 25 – 30 minutes. Serve alone or with salad and a slice of bread to soak up the juices. Yummy!

If you have space for desert (I always do), my first port of call is always something decadent and chocolatey, but I know this isn’t to everyone’s liking, especially not in this heat, so I’m going with one of my mum’s favourites, lemon posset mousse.

Whist 250ml of double cream until thick and soft. Pour 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice and continue to whisk, Stir through 25g sugar. Whisk together. Take cocktail glasses and sprinkle some crushed biscuits (of your choice) into the bottom of the glass. Spoon a decent serving of the mixture on top of the biscuit. Sprinkle some more biscuit over the mousse followed by a topping of your choice (I added a cherry for a splash of colour) and voila, a simple, delicious dessert!

All that’s left is to invite your guests!

Here’s to a safe, happy and healthy summer ahead.

Sprinkle with biscuit for the finishing touches

Little things that make me Happy

It seems that life can get a little hectic at times. As we get caught up in the rat race that is life, we tend to forget or ignore the little things that pass us by from moment to moment. Be it the smell of food cooking on the stove that instantly makes your mouth water, to a much needed hug from a close friend… these are the little moments that complete our day and make it wholesome. I believe it is important that we focus on the little moments that evoke a smile, to remind us that sometimes, the things that seem so important at the time, are actually insignificant in the greater scheme of things.

Here are a few of those moments:

-Running into the sea on a hot summer’s day

-Watching our cat Lucy as she plays in the garden. She is so funny and entertaining and has brought us endless joy and laughter

-When people say thank you when you give way to them in the car (a little rare out here, but appreciated nonetheless)

-The feeling of removing conditioner from my hair after leaving it in for 20 minutes

-Hoovering… Some might say weird; but I find it therapeutic

-Spending time doing absolutely nothing

-Hearing one of my favourite songs on the radio, from start to finish

-Making a complex recipe from scratch, with positive results

-The feeling as I drive home after a Body Balance class

-A full 8 hours sleep. *Beautiful*

What are the little moments that make you Happy?

A visit to Pissouri

So far Pissouri has got to be one of my favourite places to visit in Cyprus. It’s colourful, picturesque and brimming with character. The bright flowers that surround the area give it a whimsical, romantic that make you feel like you’re on the set of a film! The little narrow streets of the nearby village were filled with laid-back locals watching the world go by. We stopped off at the Columbia Beach Resort for an afternoon of rest and relaxation, and discovered a tiny little chapel which was simply stunning inside. It looks so traditional from the outside, but when you enter, you witness an amazing little chapel with incredible, awe-inspiring artwork like I have never seen before. It’s bright, colourful and simply magical. A visit to Pissouri is a definite must!

Maria in Maldives

After our wedding last year we were incredibly fortunate to travel to the amazingly beautiful Maldives in the heart of the Indian Ocean, for a week of rest, relaxation and pampering in paradise. And paradise it was; soft white sands, bright blue skies and crystal blue waters, filled with colourful, tropical fish.

We were spellbound by the beauty that surrounded us. The huge, tropical trees were brimming with amazing fruits and the sound of wild birds singing constantly surrounded the island. It was calm, peaceful and picturesque. That being said, as beautiful as it was, the island was absolutely tiny and had little more to offer than alternating between lying on the beach or swimming in the sea. Sounds like heaven. And heaven it was, though it made us realise that this is exactly what we have on our doorsteps here in Cyprus, every single day of our lives. Okay, so there aren’t the waiters offering summery cocktails, or the opportunities to spot wild dophins on a speed boat tour… But there is the gorgeous weather, the amazing food and the beautiful beaches (minus the sharks), as well as the entertaining visions that are compelled upon us on a daily basis (think CYPRIOTS).

I don’t plan to visit the Maldives again, however I do feel incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to that part of the world and get a feel for the people, culture and lifestyle of the Maldivian people. It is so important that we see as much of the world as we can, to embrace opportunities, open our minds and broaden our horizons.

 

Misc.

Happy father’s day to a wonderful dad who will do anything in the world for his daughters. Wish I could be there in person to celebrate. You are the best dad! XXX