Tag Archives: Living abroad

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!

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A seasonal transition

As I have probably already mentioned, I am definitely a Winter girl. From the cosy feeling of wrapping up warm to the comfort of a cup of hot chocolate, you can’t beat it.

Which is why I would usually be dreading the long, hot, impending summer ahead. Not only does it relentlessly drag into October – even November, but during the thick of it you are forced to seek shelter in the shade or under the cool of the air-con, making it near enough impossible to get anything done. To make matters worse, the humidity quadruples the size of my hair and I feel as if I am carrying a Russian hat on the top of my head with me, wherever I may go.

Which makes me grateful that the summer is making a delayed entrance this year. The gradual transition has made me feel more prepared for the Summer ahead, and also more excited. Spring has spoilt us with showers, wonderful cool breezes and even some thunder and lightening. The mornings are perfect for sitting in the peace and quiet of our garden with a cup of coffee and a magazine*. And the idea of spending the upcoming summer relaxing by the beach basking under the sun, is enough to make anyone feel happy, content and stress-free.

* Definitely not applicable today.

A return to the blogging world

I’m BACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Following my withdrawn departure from the blogging world, I have decided to make a comeback to keep people posted about a few goings on out here in Cyprus, every now and then.

Although they might not be as regular as they were, I will still be dutifully keeping my fellow readers posted about life out here in Cyprus – as it is only right and fair. To start the month off, here is a small collection of images that I have compiled over the past few months. There is plenty happening out here in Cyprus at the moment, and, with a sharp eye and a little creativity, it is easy to while away your time doing something that you love.

Village life

Grazing goats

Various findings from the village

Traditional Cypriot wedding

Cats chilling out

Bright skies and desolate lands

Waterfalls in the mountains

Here’s to a good month ahead. Happy May!

Things I miss about England

Although I am enjoying my time here in Cyprus, it’s easy to have a moan every now and then about the things we hate about Cyprus, and more importantly, the things I love about England.

Freebies in magazines:

And why are magazines so expensive out here? I love a good magazine marathon but really have to limit myself each month due to their implausible expense. Even a typically cheap magazine like ‘Look’ is expensive, and we don’t even get any freebies due to shipping costs!

Paperchase:

Cyprus is yearning for a decent card shop with equally decent prices, combined with a variety of beautiful cards, stationary and accessories. Once again it has failed dramatically and the majority of cards on offer out here are of Barbie and Ken-esque models posing in old-fashioned clothes. I  refuse to purchase one of these cards and am grateful to Debenhams for being one of the only places in Cyprus where it appears you can buy any decent cards (funny how this is a UK retailer!)

The variety of shops:

The products, prices, accessories and styles in the UK are abundant and varied, whereas out here, we’re limited to designer brands or 1980s chic. How I miss H n’ M/New Look/Miss Selfridge/River Island (I could go on)…

Fish and Chips:

You can’t beat a bag of fish and chips and although we have a local chippy down the road (!) there is still nothing quite like enjoying this delicious delight on a cold winter’s night. Throughout the warmer months, my interest in fish and chips dramatically dwindles. Comfort food just isn’t what it used to be in the sweltering heat.

Boots:

No, not the footwear! Boots the chemist is possibly one of my all time favourite places to buy cosmetics and toiletries. They have every product under the sun from healthcare and pharmaceuticals to the latest mascara, and whatever it is you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it at a reasonable price (combined with some excellent deals and a decent points scheme). Although there are rumours that Carrefour will be supplying Boots products under their own branding, I’m still sceptical and don’t feel confident that there’ll be enough variety. Watch this space…

British music:

I’m yearning to find out the latest releases and struggling to keep up with what’s going on in the rest of the world, whether it’s for the latest releases, gigs or news.

Chocolate:

As a massive lover of chocolate but I really don’t enjoy my favourite treat when it’s travelled thousands of miles to get here and melted/re-congealed in the process. Not quite the craving I was hoping to satisfy.

And finally…

British people:

This is not a dig at Greek people. They are not ALL moody, miserable, judgmental and slightly backwards, but, from my experience, British people are always approachable and willing to help. Generally speaking, they are kind, humble, caring and helpful, and they are not prone to judge others on the incredulous level that Cypriots are oh-so-famous for. Plus, they are compassionate about animals, which is more than I can say for many of the people out here!

I could go on…

A traditional British delicacy

 

Survival of the Fittest

 

Baby Mumble

The bunnies have made it!

Despite what people said, all four of them have survived and are ready to depart the confines of their current home and flee the nest in their new homes…

Yes, I am more than a little heartbroken. One look at them will melt your heart and I can safely confirm that I have never seen anything more cute and innocent than these little furry bunnies. But we cannot keep them and I am grateful that we have found suitable homes for these little balls of fluff.

Rabbits are well known for being sociable animals, and therefore we encouraged the new owners to take them in pairs (which thankfully they did). Muffin seems to be adapting to their absence well, although I’m sure she is not only confused but feeling inconsolable as she comes to terms with her baby’s absence.

Having said that, from what we see, she appears to be pregnant again… and if this is the case, then we will have to brace ourselves for another round of furry little numbers in the near future. At that point, Easter will be over so the rabbit’s future could be in jeopardy (not that I would ever dare cook them). Rabbit and hare is such a popular dish out here, so I will have to keep an eye out for any prying eyes (human or otherwise), to ensure my little sweethearts remain alive, kicking, and well.

Mother and babies

Muffin with baby Gloria

A protective mother

I can’t live without

Every now and then we take a look through our handbags or make up collections and realise that there are a number of products that we simply cannot live without. Using them time and time, it is fairly evident that these are staple pieces in our cosmetic wardrobe, playing an important role in our day-to-day health and beauty regimes (obviously this is not really relevant to my male readership, but who knows maybe there could be some inspiration for a gift idea listed below?)

Particularly here in Cyprus, the change in climate has meant adapting to a different routine to ensure that my skin is well and truly looked after, and these products have become an indispensable part of my beauty regime.

Here are a few products which I simply cannot live without:

Elizabeth Arden’s amazing skin protectant balm:

Elizabeth Arden's amazing skin protectant

This product is brilliant if you suffer from dry skin, chapped lips and nails that are in bad condition. I also applied it to a few scars that I had and they have definitely faded. Amazing! I always carry this little pot around in my handbag and love its smell and texture, and I’m more than fully aware that I’m extremely behind in discovering this classic skincare product.

Evening Primrose Oil:

A miracle in a bottle

As far as I’m concerned I can’t live without it, and I’m discovering more and more people who swear by it every single day. Evening Primrose Oil is a natural remedy that has so many benefits there isn’t enough space on this page to list them. Described as the most sensational preventative discovery since Vitamin C, I started taking EPO to relieve discomfort from PMS, and have never looked back. I swear by it and won’t go for one day without taking a capsule. Harmony and balance in a bottle (as recommended by my mum – mother’s really do know best)!

Givency’s Eye Lifting Gel:

Givenchy Lifting and firming de-puffer Eye Gel

I doubt I will ever find the perfect cure for reducing those hereditary dark circles underneath my eyes, but that certainly hasn’t stopped me in my quest for a cure. Givency’s Eye Lifting Gel is an instant eye sparkler; it , tightens this delicate skin area and leaves you feeling bright-eyed and refreshed. Definitely a positive investment for an immediate refreshment.

Sudocrem; Antiseptic Healing Cream:

A great relief from rashes, cuts and sores

Most mother’s with newborns swear by Sudocrem, and this is most definitely a product that I have been using since a young age. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop using it any time soon, since it is the perfect remedy for bites, stings, rashes and sores. Thanks to Sudocrem I rarely have to visit the pharmacy upon being bitten or stung during the summer months, as I just apply it to the pained area before bed, and leave it to work its magic overnight (also great for spots). A little gem in a pot!

Cargo Lash Activator:

A great mascara that enhances eyelashes

Praised for its lash-enhancing formula, the makers of Cargo claim that this mascara can boost your lashes significantly, after just 30 days of use. I can’t figure out if my lashes were already this long before I started using this product, but I’m fairly certain that they weren’t! Topped with a more defining mascara (such as Max Factor Masterpiece mascara), this product works wonders in giving the illusion that your lashes are lengthy and luscious, opening up the eyes and giving you a naturally youthful appearance.

Soltan 8-hour sun protection face cream:

A moisturising sun cream for the face SPF30

Though I rarely used suncream whilst living in the UK, I will not go for a single day without applying it out here, even during the winter months. The sun is so powerful and has so many damaging effects that it is not worth exposing your skin to UV rays without being protected, particularly the more delicate and sensitive skin on the face.

So there you have it: 6 products that I simply cannot live without.

What products do you swear by?

Maria’s Animal Sanctuary

My lifelong dream has always been to open up my own animal sanctuary or animal-friendly zoo, and doing so here in Cyprus would be the perfect opportunity to promote awareness of animals and teach people a thing or two about compassion towards these innocent creatures. That way, I would also avoiding the persistent confines of the office, whilst doing something rewarding and meaningful with my day-to-day life.

Naturally, the foundations of this dream zoo would include the following animals:

Muffin and Fluffy, with their 2-storey mansion on wheels:

The four new additions to our family, Carlos, Mumble, Gloria and Betty, who, at just 2 weeks old, seem to have been successfully brought into the world by their mother, Muffin (fingers crossed still!):

Lucy Junior, also known as Mango, who has just been neutered to stop her from falling pregnant and might have to wear one of those cones on her head as she seems to be messing around with the stitches at the moment…

Then of course there’s the animals that have come and gone throughout the past year, who undoubtedly have already been mentioned in my blog, and would no doubt be a part of this zoo, including Carlos, Betty and the bunnies that didn’t make it last time (rest assured they are hopping around in rabbit heaven with Popcorn, Jerry and Rupert)!

Ultimately, this dream zoo won’t be opening for a while, unless I miraculously win the lottery or suddenly have a dramatic change of career. Until then, I can only hope that some worldly saint  decides to fix the state of affairs that are currently unfolding throughout Cyprus (and hire me as their assistant), to help all the stray cats, dogs and other animals out there, who need our love and support.

Until next time, anmials lovers and haters!