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Showing posts from September, 2011

Flashback Friday

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When I was pregnant, I planned to have Leo sleep in a moses basket for some time. We borrowed a gorgeous one from my Mother in law, the one in fact that Aaron had slept in.  Leo however ended up sleeping in it for just a few days, he was a big baby (9lb 9oz making him the biggest of all of my Mother in law's 3 children and 9 grandchildren at birth)  and as he moved the noise of the wicker moving used to wake him up.

So at just a few days old he slept in his cot for the first time, he took to it perfectly and slept brilliantly even though it seemed like such a huge place to put such a little man, even though he seemed so much happier. It was lucky it was so warm at the time as from day one he hated being swaddled, covered by a blanket or wearing too many clothes - good job we ended up in Cyprus really!

Apart from various nights in a travel cot, a make shift cot / bed on a narrow boat and a suitcase on our first night in Cyprus, Leo has always slept in this same cot. At first the d…

What makes a house a home?

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A new house becomes a home when a well-loved picture goes back up on the wall, or when treasured possessions come out of the bubble wrap. When it gradually fills with all the things you know and love as they emerge from their boxes, things that were long ago packed away to make a very long journey across the world.

A house becomes a family home when there are toys scattered about, and fingerprints are on the TV (and doors, and everything else!)

And a nondescript living room becomes a proper 'big boy's bedroom when it is transformed from this...

to this...

Leo has finally got his bedroom finished, it's been a while coming but was worth the wait. Last year Aaron transformed what was an open plan living area into a bedroom and yesterday it was finished off. Leo now has a lovely bedroom, decorated and with a new 'big boy bed'! 
We surprised him with it yesterday and he was over the moon. Today he's been telling everyone he had a new bedroom and it has 'Mickey …

G is for Gravesend

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Gravesend, according to Wikipedia is a town in northwest Kent in England on the south bank of the river Thames opposite Tilbury in Essex.

This photo of Gravesend is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Gravesend, according to many people who live there is a bit of a s**thole. 
Gravesend, according to me is a place full of many fond memories (and some bad ones but we ignore those!) 
I lived in Gravesend from 1997 until 2003 and then continued to go back for the next six years after moving away until we eventually left the country. We met a fantastic crowd of people there and had more brilliant drunken nights out than I could possibly count, or remember!  It's the first place I lived when I left home to first live with Aaron, we had a great year sharing a house with two others, - all men, I was the only girl!  Looking back it was great fun but I could never do it again!

I later moved into my own flat in one of our 'not a couple' phases. Although at first I was unhappy I loved my little flat …

Games night

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Officially my idea of a brilliant evening includes lots of drinking dancing and coming home at silly o'clock in the morning but coming in a very close second is a good old games night, it's much cheaper, and you're not likely to lose your handbag and get sore feet. (although it doesn't guarantee you won't still have a fuzzy head in the morning!)
Saturday night was BBQ and Game night, and we had some games to try out courstesy of TACTIC games

First up was Dotto - a race against time to match the coloured dice to the patterns on the card.  On initially reading the instructions we thought it it looked a bit dull but how wrong we were!  It actually turned out to be mine and my Mum's favourite.   The timer is unpredictable so you have no idea who will get buzzed and it is hilarious as everyone starts getting a bit competitive, and addition of 'skip' and 'reverse' cards mean it can be your turn at any time!
We all loved it, it is aimed at age 7 and up,…

Silent Sunday

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Flashback Friday

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One of the things we are trying to teach Leo at the moment is how to ask for things without whining. I know whining tends to come naturally to a 2 yr old but we're starting to get there slowly, with a little prompting he has started to change the whine (you know the tone of voice!) into 'Peease can I have sausage and pasta peease Mummy' or 'Leo like to watch Thomas now peease Mum'

It only seems like yesterday that he was smearing food over his face (oh wait, that was yesterday) and learning that there was a lot more exciting things than milk.

I decided when he was very small that 'Baby led Weaning' was the way forward. I had a few doubts at first, and endlessly stressed about what I should feed him or whether I 'should' be pureeing and spoon feeding.  At the time I didn't have internet access which I found really hard, I'd previously spent a long time reading though the Baby led weaning site and couldn't use it when I needed it most.

In t…

Xpat Blog Hop - A bit of history

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I'm enjoying the Expat Blog hop hosted by Tales from Windmill Fields  which I have taken part in the last couple of weeks. This week we are invited to...

Tell us about a bit of history from your Expat country that fascinates you, impacts your life there, means something to you.


I live in Derynia, a very well known village in Cyprus as it is right on the Green Line, the line that partitions the island of Cyprus into the southern area known as the Republic of Cyprus and the northern area controlled by the Turkish Army. The Green line came into being in 1964 originally drawn up as a ceasefire line but then became impassable after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.   


Derynia is home to the Cultural Centre of Occupied Famagusta, situated at the road block at to the occupied area. It is where the all the demonstrations against the occupation take place and attracts many visitors from all over the world as well as students from all over Cyprus. From here you can take binoculars to th…

Living with Meniere's disease

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I am very lucky to have a wonderful Mum, we are very close, have always got on well and although over the years she may have driven me slightly mad (but that's including going back to live with her twice as an adult so it's not bad!) you cannot fault the way she powers on through any obstacles that come her way.

One of the obstacles she has to face is the fact that she suffers from Meniere's disease, a disorder of the inner ear


Meniere’s Disease (Syndrome)  equals  Tinnitus - Vertigo - Deafness
People say they: Have a fuzzy head, feel light-headed, feel woozy, have eye pains, noise or pressure in their head or ears, double vision or blurred vision. See moving objects and rooms spinning. Sickness, nausea, have burping. Feel they are in a virtual reality, have a sensation of not being in the room when they are, become forgetful and lose concentration. Have a drunken feeling, a staggering walk and veer from side to side. Bump into doors, have feelings of falling all the time an…

Silent Sunday

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We love cake!

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I'm not as good as I imagined I would be, finding new and interesting activities for Leo and I to do, the problem I think is the lack of patience  (erm, that would be mine not his!) so I've been putting it off really, the whole cooking together thing, but recently we made Choc Cornflake cakes and it went surprisingly well so encouraged by Jenny's 'I Love Cake' linky and competition I decided to take the plunge and do some proper cooking with him...

We went for the simple option and made Queen Cupcakes.

115g butter
115g caster sugar
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
4tsp lemon juice
175g self raising flour
115g currants
2-4 tbsp milk if necessary



Pre-heat oven to 190c,
Weigh out all ingredients before letting toddler loose in kitchen
Mix butter and sugar until you get bored then hand to Mum to mix  until light and fluffy,
Then beat in eggs and 1 tbsp of flour..
Pour in far too much lemon juice (when Mum gives you the bottle expecting you to understand what she means by …

Flashback Friday - Antiqua

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This time five years ago Aaron and I were in Antigua....


It was a lovely holiday, well except for the time I spent in hospital on a drip after getting concussion after fainting on the first night that is!. We went on great excursions, drank lovely cocktails and watched the sun go down every evening but most importantly....
My friend Sarah got married


Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary to a lovely couple!

Linking up to Cafe Bebe's Flashback Friday

Reasons to be cheerful 1,2,3

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Several weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to host Michelle's Reason's to be cheerful weekly link up, it's something I've often joined in with over the last few months so I was very excited and jumped at the chance.

In Michelle's words...

Reasons to be Cheerful 1, 2, 3 (or #R2BC as it is affectionately known) is a simple link your blog up which is open to everyone and particularly easy for a new blogger to join in... Go on, jump right in, we are all friendly here!
Last week I was being cheerful despite things going a little bit pear shaped, not much has changed since that post but we're getting on with it and trying to come up with a plan.  On the up side though it has been nice to have Aaron around more and it's been nice for him and Leo to spend this much time together.


This week we went to the local soft play place. I try to arrange a meet up there once a month or so through a facebook group I set up for Mum's in my area as there is not many places…

Up, Up and away....

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Today I crossed another item of that great 101 list of mine as I went parasailing with my Dad!

Its something I've wanted to do with him for ages - would have to be us together as there is no way you'd get my Mum or Aaron up there! I had done it once before on my own, many years ago and although I did enjoy it, I felt really really sick!

Much to my disappointment I found out that I'm not good on boats (or flying 150metres in the sky) so I was really pleased to be offered a pair of Sea-Bands for review.

Sea-Bands are a drug-free way of reliving nausea, travel and morning sickness and they worked. They work by applying continuous pressure  by way of a plastic stud on an acupressure point between the two central tendons on the wrist. I put them on as I got on the boat and felt fine - although they did not get rid of the slight fear as the boat sped up and we were lifted high in the air!

Unfortunately I did not get any photos from the air, I guessed I would be too busy hanging o…

A happy moment

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There are hundreds of random happy moments in life, some are very obvious like a blowing out birthday candles or attending a wedding but some just pass by in the blink of an eye without really being recorded to memory to look back on in later years.
In 1995 I was 17 and didn't always realise how happy I was, I left college and didn't have any sort of plan. I worked in a supermarket and spent many hours with my friend Sarah sitting around chatting, often moaning about our un-exciting lives and trying to come up with a plan or find some nice men.  Ideas we discussed (with no real plan of doing them) were going to America to be au-pairs or getting a job on a cruise ship! Of course we did neither of those things, we continued going to the pub and generally being bored.
I've said for years that looking back 1995 was one of my favourite years, we had no responsibilities and we didn't go to college much so we pretty much just faffed around. I didn't appreciate it at the …

The A to Z about me Meme

As you may know, I'm a bit of a fan of lists, and A to Z lists especially so I wish I'd thought of this one am pleased to join in with Lauren from The Real Housewife of Suffolk County's new meme.  


Here is an A to Z of things about me....


ANORAK…Do you have a sad side?
I have a love of REALLY bad music, proper cheesy stuff that shouldn't even be allowed. Aaron says I have a bad music gene!


BODY…What physical attribute would you most like to change? 
I'd like a nice flat stomach again, I had one for a short while in between reaching my Slimming World target and getting pregnant!


CELEBRITY…Which one would you most like to date and why? 
David Tennant,  Why?   Why NOT?!


DEBUT …Tell us about your first ever blog post. What made you start blogging?
My first blog post was about the conversation Aaron and I had about moving to Cyprus.  I started blogging to record our move and how we got on with living in a different country.

ERROR …What’s been your biggest regret? That I spent so …

Silent Sunday

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Welcome to the world

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This post is dedicated to my lovely friend Claire, or more accurately her gorgeous new baby girl who made her appearance on Tuesday evening. I have been badgering her for weeks now to make sure I was on the all important "labour alert text list' as I obviously could not just jump in the car to see her and check all was ok. 
I am hugely impressed that not only was I kept updated, but they came from the lady herself, I passed all labour alerts over to Aaron during Leo's birth, and, not only that but for someone who doesn't 'do' technology actually sent me a photo of the lovely little lady. 
All this new baby news sent me running to Leo's baby photos and I came across this one.....
Claire was the first non-family member to come and see us, she brought us lovely presents - a cuddly lion (which I gave back to her as part of her 'baby shower in a box' as Leo had outgrown it and I thought it would be a nice touch for the baby to have a present from Leo) and …

Always look on the bright side of life....

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Some things in life are bad They can really make you mad Other things just make you swear and curse. When you're chewing on life's gristle Don't grumble, give a whistle And this'll help things turn out for the best...
I am married to possibly the most optimistic man of all time, many times during our relationship we have been in varying degrees of the brown and smelly stuff and each time I've worried or panicked about it he has assured me it will be fine. This includes the time we sat on a park bench debating our future, with a 10 week old baby, no-where to live in the UK, no income in the UK as he was self employed and had lost a big contract and a mortgage that we had to pay in a country we had only spent just over 2 weeks in. We had had a plan, and this was not it! We came to the conclusion that we were more stuffed than ever before, I laughed (in a slightly manic hysterical way) and Aaron said... "Trust me, it'll all be fine"   (it was, we suddenly took…

Xpat Blog Hop

I'm joining in with the latest blog hop I've come across this week - It's the Xpat Blog Hop hosted by Tales from Windmill Fields.  Every week she gives a topic, a top 5 perhaps or a question or photo related post and you link an old post, or write one to fit the theme.

This week...
List 5 things you wish your expat country had and they don't . And 5 things your expat country has and you wish they didn't . (it can be less or more than 5 if you wish)




I wish Cyprus had Primark / Asda etc..  15 euro for one baby grow in the local supermarkets, that says it all really!   or actually if they all just delivered (with sensible delivery charges!) that would be fine. I realise it would be a bit depressing if the local area turned into a standard British high street but I do miss the availability of cheap clothes and kids stuff.

Organised baby/ toddler activities - I've had a moan about this before but there is a major lack of organised activities for babies and toddlers …

The shoes of summer

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I have an unusual confession to make, not only do I not like clothes shopping..... I hate shoes...and unlike clothes I don't even really like them if someone else did the shopping for me!  I own a fair few pairs of shoes, I think less than Aaron though, and I never even wear most of them.  I've got a few nice pairs but I hate wearing shoes that hurt and I'm more rubbish than ever at walking in heels since having Leo than I was in the first place.

I have spent most of the last two years in cheap flip flops, (a very good reason to move to Cyprus that hadn't initally occurred to me!) and it seems Leo has developed a similar tastes in his attachment to these....


With the exception of maybe two occasions Leo has worn nothing else since about April, you cannot get him into anything else for love nor money (or chocolate!)  It's fine, they sort of go with most outfits and my life is too short to get into discussions about which shoes to wear.   The thing is how MUCH he lo…

Summer's still going strong!

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There is much talk at the moment in real life (well, my real life friends on facebook - does that count?) and in the blog world of the whole 'back to school/end of summer thing'.  I realise this is not going to make me very popular but this is kind of passing me by a little bit.....

Summer has been here in Cyprus for a long time, not just due to the fact it hasn't rained since early May (Sorry I did warn you!) but that the schools here break up for the holidays somewhere near the beginning of June and they still haven't gone back yet. (ah now you're glad you are in the UK aren't you!)  For me, as a stay at home mum with a preschooler it makes no difference anyway.  So my summer is here to stay a while longer.

This year has been a much more enjoyable summer time, I even have a tan - last year although I developed a bit of one I'd previously got more tanned on week long holidays! Although I have only sunbathed once this year we have spent a whole lot more tim…

Silent Sunday

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This is what happens when the owner of the pub realises it that Leo is upset that Mummy forgot his crayons and colouring book!

F is for Friends

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The hardest thing about leaving England for me was leaving behind my friends. When the idea of moving to Cyprus first came up I couldn't even think about it, leaving the girls I had known for years and shared so much seemed unthinkable.

I was not looking forward to telling them at all but they were very supportive overall. Some just buried there heads in the sand and pretended it wasn't going to happen and some were very interested and wanted to know every single detail.They all said how much they would miss me and how they wished I was staying.  I was always known as the organiser, most events and meet ups seemed to be arranged or instigated my me and I was usually the one to make the first contact. This often got to me and many times I vowed to do nothing and ring no-one until they rang me  but inevitably after a while I caved in and contacted them.  Sometimes I wondered if they were just being polite as surely if they liked me as much they would be more enthusiastic or mayb…

Vodka induced poetry released on the world

 I’ve come a long way since the day you broke my heart, Yet it seems to me that we’ve never been apart. You’ve helped me through bad times and shared in the good,  Which is why I love you a little more than I should.
You stopped yet caused an ocean of tears, So many memories in just a few years. You helped me grow and become who I am, Made me laugh many times like only you can.
Yet you caused me a great deal of pain, We moved on, then you did it again. I welcomed you back like only I would, Which is why I love you a little more than I should.
I wrote several random poems as a child, mainly for school but as I grew up I could only write them if I was depressed (and usually being over-dramatic) This one I wrote in my flat, probably in my pyjamas whilst drinking vodka and eating toast, I can't remember the year but it was probably around 2001. 
If you read the story of Aaron and I, (the condensed version - I don't think cyberspace would be big enough to contain the full story!) then you …