Saturday, 31 July 2010

Summer holiday?

To me, a summer holiday usually means beaches, pools, and wall to wall sunshine, this year I'm doing things a little backwards as I'm leaving all of that behind and going back to England for 3 weeks.  Apart from travelling with a 14 month old baby and without the help and company of AJ I am really looking forward to it.

I've been here for 8 months now and although it has flown by it does seem an age since I saw my friends and family. It's not going to be a relaxing break as I have so much packed into the time I am there, but when was holidaying with a baby ever relaxing anyway!

I can't wait to catch up with my friends and family, and for them to see how much Leo has grown, he is almost walking and is developing a real little personality now, so different from when we left last November.

Also (and  I know this sounds very shallow) as importantly I am so looking forward to shopping! I cannot wait to hit Primark, Asda and Matalan, and even shops I used rarely like Next, Dorothy Perkins and Mothercare as they are cheap compared to out here. I already have a long list of things to buy and this is causing me problems with my packing!

As Leo does not have his own seat on the plane I have a 20 kilo luggage allowance between the two of us, so I am trying to pack as little as possible to maximise space and weight for the journey home! This is not made any easier y the unpredictable English weather - although I know what I'm doing and where I'm going on different days, how the hell can I work out what I'll want to wear!    That'll be a good reason to shop when I get there then!

Listening to other ex-pats out here, most of them say they are "going home" when they go to England, for us we made a point since arriving to always refer to "England" rather than "back home" I think it helps you to settle in better as how can you ever feel at home when you keep talking as if it is somewhere else? I've been talking about my trip as "going on holiday" or "going back"

It will be interesting to go back, I wonder how it will make me feel? Will I feel like I want to stay or will I be glad to come home at the end. I think 3 weeks will be long enough and I will be pleased to return after doing all I've planned. It will be a busy but fun time and I know that "real life" would be different. I think that enough time has passed now from leaving and so much has changed in how my life would be if I was still there that I will be ok.  Maybe if I had gone several months earlier before I felt settled here it would be different.
I'll keep you updated.....

Thursday, 29 July 2010

It's Official!

We are now officially Cyprus residents!

We have our "pink slips" which for some reason are actually yellow, (I'm guessing that they used to e pink?) and that now enables us to claim child benefit and get medical cards so we can get reduced or free health care and prescriptions as a Cypriot would.

Contrary to what I had been led to believe it was a very painless process, although that may be due to having a screaming baby while they were processing our application. At our appointment with immigration Leo was due for a nap and wasn't best pleased about it, he was so loud and so upset that the very nice lady dealing with our application said we could leave our paperwork and just come back later for our forms!

I'm quite pleased we have sorted it all out just before my UK trip as when I return to Cyprus I really will be coming home.

Not only that but it means I have completed the first item on my 101 list

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Writing Workshop

After several weeks of reading posts for the Writing Workshop I thought I'd give it a go. I chose the prompt Storm.  It's a bit of a cheat as I did write this some time ago.....

Bang goes the gate, 
There goes the crate, flying down the lane.
Crash, Smash, Oh No! Now it's the window pane.
Lying in bed listening to the horrible wind, the horrible whistling wooshing wind, 
The wind that damages everything. 
Clang goes the dustbin lid against the trees, 
it's not just a normal little breeze.
The trees fall down like a domino rally, 
and the whistling wind down the alley.
The howling wind goes on all night, 
and then, Oh no! Out goes the light.
The banging and clanging soon will stop, 
and everyone will have a busy job.
The moaning, groaning horrible wind, that rips of tiles and everything.
The howling wind goes on all night, it's enough to give everyone a fright.
Crash, smash, a tree lands on my house, 
It goes straight through the window and lands on my mouse.
It rips holes  in the roof, that let the rain in, 
soon we'll be able to go for a swim.
The crashing, smashing horrible wind, 
the wind that damaged everything.

I wrote this in fact when I was only 10, it was for a school project just after the Great Storm of 1987. It was chosen along with some other pupils work to be displayed at Bromley Council "Trees for Tommorrow" exhibition.  it was read out by the mayor and they presented me with an engraved glass bell, one of four that were made for contributors to the event.

My Mum was then contacted by Muriel Searle who was writing a book called Bromley's Hurricane and wanted to include my poem!  I met Muriel at a book signing and got my photo taken with her, she signed my copy
"To Emma, poet of the hurricane"

It caused me great embarrassment at secondary school when it, and the accompanying photo was discovered by a "friend" but became part of my history and my Mum has had the poem framed on her wall ever since! So when I discovered one of the workshop prompts was "Storm" I thought it would be have to be rediscovered.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Five Year Meme

I've seen this meme on a lot of blogs recently and thought I'd give it a go.....

Where were you five years ago?
A long way from here, in more ways than one!
We were living in our first house brought together in Walderslade, Kent having been married for almost one year. I was working in a dull but bearable office job and we were just kind of bumbling along, no immediate plans for a baby or to move house, and certainly no idea that we would EVER move abroad!
It seems like a lifetime ago.

Where do you want  to be in five years time?
Still in Cyprus, and still in this area but possibly in a different property, although I love this apartment and I would desperately miss our lovely view I feel it will be too small as Leo grows up. We have no plans to have another but "never say never" and if we did it would definitely be too small.
AJ would love to have a villa built but  I cannot see that happening within 5 years!
What I would like though is to be running our own business, as to what that business will be doing I'm not yet sure!

What are five things on your to-do list today?
Mop the floor, it's on the list EVERY day with a 1year old!
Go food shopping and restock my almost bare cupboards
Start thinking about what to pack for our UK trip
Have a another shower, had one this morning and felt like I needed another within 1/2 hour!
Take Leo for a swim in the pool.

What are five snacks you enjoy?
Pringles and dip, currently Tzatiki but I do miss Tesco's Caramelised Red Onion Houmous!
Biscuits, love lots of different ones but you can't beat a good old Custard Cream
Bananas, strange as I once hated them with a passion but "taught" myself to like them!
Cornflakes, I know that's supposed to be a breakfast but who cares!
Scotch eggs, not seen them in Cyprus so far - will have to eat loads next month on my trip back.

What would you do if you were a billionaire?
A billionaire???? I'd be confused with a million!
Well, I'd do the obvious and pay of our mortgage and help out family members, save some, go on a mad spending spree etc. etc.
I would have a villa built here in Cyprus for us but I definitely would keep our apartment  too. I would let friends and family use it and  give it to Leo if he wants it. If /when the Cyprus problem is resolved then this will be very close to one of the best beaches in the world and well worth keeping hold of.

I would buy a narrowboat to stay on, on our visits to the UK, I got the narrowboat bug from AJ whose family have been going on the for years, in fact it is one the the things I really miss about England!
I would do lots and lots more than that obviously but I've never been one for imagining having that much money really, if I think about it too much it just depresses me!

I'm going to tag a couple of my favourite bloggers - apologies if you've already done it as it been around a while.
It's all about the photos
Toddler Awesome
Hot Cross Mum

Monday, 19 July 2010

101 in 1001

I first came across this idea over at Toddler Awesome since then I've seen it around several times and after finding the Day Zero Project I thought I'd do my own.

The Challenge
Complete 1001 pre set tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria
Tasks must be specific (i.e no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

I'm in the process of creating my list, you can see it here.  Any other ideas for me?

Sunday, 11 July 2010

One day.....

One day Leo will sleep through the night, and get up later than 6am
One day he'll learn how to speak and ask for things rather than randomly screeching while I try to guess what he wants.
One day he will know how to sit down so will not shout whilst holding onto the sofa because he has dropped his toy.
One day he will walk and we can go out exploring without him eating sand, twigs, drinking sea water trying to crawl over gravel etc. etc.
One day I will not be saying "No" a million times a day to him.
One day I will not be worrying about him climbing on furniture, destroying things or throwing toys over the balcony.
One day I will not watch Cbeebies or "Wheels on the bus" constantly. 

But, one day I'll be worrying about something else just as much or maybe more so.
One day I'll wonder what happened to my funny little chatty toddling man and have forgotten the broken sleep and early mornings.
One day he will not want to sit on my lap for cuddles or laugh his head off while I blow raspberries on his belly.

Today, we got up having had little sleep due to a new tooth coming through, I got weetabix in my hair as we had breakfast, and have been poked in the eye and screeched at many times already, but we have had snuggles on the sofa and plenty of laughs and giggles already. The sun is shining and I'm going to enjoy this day while it is here.

Monday, 5 July 2010

The Gallery - Holidays

 This photo was taken on the last "proper holiday" that AJ and I took, before the arrival of Leo. It was taken from a cliff side restaurant at my all time favourite beach - Konnos Bay in Cyprus.

Funnily enough I was there again last week,
You see our last holiday was an unusual one, we had come to see the progress of our new apartment and explore what would be our new village. This was in July 2008 almost two years ago to the day.

Yesterday we took Leo to meet some friends at a local pool, it is on an apartment complex but is open to non-residents. It is also where we stayed back in 2008.

It's a very surreal feeling still to go back (and we regularly do - it's a lovely pool for babies!) and sit among the holiday makers and to know that we are not cramming in the sun and the cocktails in a panic before our 2 weeks are up.  (or was that just me back then!)

Are we on a permanent holiday? Of course we're not... AJ works long hours and is usually knackered, and I'm at home with a 13month old baby, I pay bills, do big food shops, washing, cleaning, cooking, ironing  (no, scrub that I don't do ironing!) getting very little sleep etc. etc.

But we do go swimming in our pool, and meet our friends on the beach and I'm writing this on my balcony at 8.30pm and it's probably still 30 degrees so some could argue the point.

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