Monday, 31 January 2011

Alethea's Story

Alethea lives in Cyprus and is a friend of a friend. She is 35 years old, married and mother to a young son, she is also the creator of the brilliant website Parenting in Cyprus 

In 2008 she was diagnosed with a malignant mole. In 2010 it came back in her armpit lymphnodes, it was cleared with surgery and radiotherapy but has now progressed to brain metastatis, 10 tumours and invasion of skull tissue. 

Back in May 2010 Alethea started her blog - Me and Melanoma, her story starts with the day she found out.

Now she has found a doctor in Germany who can help her, but will need to raise 14,000 euros just for the treatment. She has been set up by her solicitors as a charity and the fund raising now begins. A facebook page has been set up with all the information, you can visit it here.

If you can it would be amazing if you could check out her site and make a donation, or maybe just leave a message of support.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Silent Sunday - Rain or shine?




Silent Sunday

A teenager in love?

I love you so much it hurts me inside, 
it breaks my heart and dents my pride.
I cry some tears you don't see,
You don't know how much you're hurting me.
Should I say and let you know
or should I let these feelings grow,
inside my heart so secretly 
and hope one day you'll fall for me.

This poem popped into my head the other day as I was thinking of posts for my Love link up, now, this is going to sound strange but I have no idea where it came from. I remember from my teenage years but I don't know if someone told me it or even if I wrote it!
There were a few things going round at school, and this could have been one of them although I'm a bit surprised I could remember it all straight off the top of my head, and it does sound like something my over dramatic teenage self my have come up with! If anyone has heard it before please let me know!


Somewhere there's someone who dreams of your smile,
and thinks that without you life isn't worthwhile.
So remember this always and never feel down, 
'cos somewhere there's someone who needs you around.


This one was definitely not written by me, I really loved it though and I printed it out and had it stuck on my wall for years. I used to write it on the covers of my books at school as well!


Saturday, 29 January 2011

Dear So and So

Dear New Radiators,

Welcome to our previously cold apartment, it's so nice to meet you, you gorgeous toasty warm black shiny things. I know we won't need to use you for much longer but rest assured we are loving your company at the moment and can assure you we will welcome you back on come November.

Yours, warm and snugly at last, Emma.

**********
Dear BBC Entertainment channel
Your schedule is RUBBISH, why do you think anyone would want to watch the same episodes of Eastenders, Doctors and The Weakest Link four times in one day. It's not even up to date Eastenders, and Last of the Summer Wine and Keeping Up Appearances make me turn over and watch Arabic television because they are that bad. Are you assuming we live abroad so have not seen proper BBC recently or is just a case of 'they aren't paying a licence fee so sod'em'. What about Top Gear, Doctor Who and QI for start?
And don't even get me started on the Cbeebies offerings!

Yours, missing some half decent programmes - Emma.

**********

Dear Readers,
I know it's a little early for the smushy lovey stuff but I'd love you all to come and share your love related posts with us all. It doesn't have to be profound, interpret it any way you choose! Also it's my first ever linky list and I've got no entries yet!

Yours (a little worried that it's not going to go well!) Emma  xx

**********

Dear So and So...

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Reasons to be cheerful 1,2,3

I'm loving this new weekly meme from Michelle at Mummy with a heart, because even if I think I'm not cheerful once I think about it I can always find reasons why I should be!

1. Yesterday one of my best friends called from the UK to say she has booked to come and see me in April. I was really pleased to hear from her and very surprised when she told me her plans - I even did a happy dance round the kitchen and drank a few glasses of wine in celebration!

2. I had an email from another good friend in the UK today who I haven't heard from in ages. I did send her one almost a month ago but I know what she's like for replying, it was nice to finally hear from her. I read and reread the email many times!

3.I had a lovely afternoon with 2 good 'Cyprus' friends and their children today, Leo was so excited when they arrived and was literally jumping for joy and running in circles with happiness. The kids play so well together and I love watching them together, well that and having a cup of tea and natter with the girls of course.

What are your reasons to be cheerful, have a think - I bet you can find at least 3!


Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy From the Heart

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Best of friends.....


Meet Leiarna, Leo's best girlie. They met last year before Leo could walk or talk and over the months they have become the bestest of buddies.  Every time we go out in the car he looks at me and asks "'arna?" 


They often seem to act like an old married couple, Leiarna will usually take two of any food offered to pass one to Leo, and she frequently tells him he is making a mess. They bicker over toys and have a bit of a fight but then hug, kiss and make up just as fast.




This post was written for The Gallery, this week's prompt is Children.

Listography - Things I wish I could do.

This week for the Listography link up Kate  is asking everyone what the top five things they wish they could do are. Now there are lots of things I wish I could do, some sensible, some not so much and  some not even a vague possibility but in no particular order, here are my top five.

1. Speak Greek fluently - This comes into the sensible category. I know some very basic and random bits of Greek. I know the alphabet which is a good start but not really a whole lot of help in conversation.  Leo will go to Greek nursery and school so I don't just want to know how to order a beer or ask where the beach is, I want to be fluent.

2. Swim - I can swim, if by swim you mean not drown. What I would like to be able to swim properly. I do a strange mixture of swimming strokes, a sort of front crawl with my arms and something like the breastroke moves with my legs. It works, just looks a bit odd!

3. Whistle -I don't imagine this would really change my life, or even particularly enhance it, but I've tried and tried and I just can't do it.

4. Sew - Lets hope I'm never in a situation where I have to a sew a button on in order to save my life, I can't really see why that would happen but I couldn't guarantee I would survive. My Mum has tried and tried to teach me to sew but I just go into some sort of trance and accidentally stop listening.

5. Time travel - well, this could be more likely than me learning to sew!

Photobucket

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Gallery - Mother Nature

We are deep in the depths of winter here in Cyprus, granted that is nowhere near as deep as other places but winter it is. Because of this we are getting a fair amount of wind, rain and every now and again some very strange and stunning skies....



These were taken just over a week ago by my friend, I was driving - trying to get home before the world ended it poured with rain or sand or a plague of locusts.... seriously have you ever seen skies like this?!




This post is part of The Gallery. The prompt was Mother Nature - check out other entries for more amazing photos.


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Versatile Blogger

The lovely Jenny over at Mummy Mishaps has tagged me for being a Versatile Blogger. Thank you very much!


The rules are.....
Thank the person who tagged you.
List 7 things about yourself
Pass the award onto 3 fellow bloggers and explain the rules
Pass on the 10 questions that I answer at the end of this.

So, here goes.....
1. My middle name is Joanne but as a child I wanted it to be Louise.
2.I have stood on the most eastern point of Europe (Cape Greko in Cyprus, the most eastern all the time the north of Cyprus is not recognised by any country other than Turkey)
3.I've just got my first ever tattoo
4.One of my feet is half a size larger than the other.
5.I was born on the 11th of the 10th (month) at 11:10.
6.I was born by caesarean and was delivered by the nephew of Christian Barnard (the man who did the first heart transplant)
7.I've met Richard O'Brien and got his autograph

Finally the 10 questions...

1. Why did you start this blog?
To record our new start in Cyprus and keep our family and friends up to date with our lives. Although I'm not sure that any of them read it (feel free to comment guys if you do!) with the exception of my Mum, (Hi Mum *waves at Mum*)  I now blog because I enjoy it and love 'meeting' other bloggers.

2.What kind of blog do you follow?
Blogs by other Mums, and ex-pats, I love reading other peoples stories of living in a new country.

3. Favourite make up brand
Virgin Vie, although I don't use it any more as I can't get it here. I'm not really that fussy on brands though and will use anything that looks nice or is a bargain!

4. Favourite brand of clothing
Haven't really got one, again I love a bargain so if I like it and it's inexpensive then I couldn't care less what brand it is. I really miss Asda, Primark and Matalan!

5. Indispensable make up product.
Mascara.

6. Your favourite colour
Hmm, depends on my mood really. Would have said red as it was my wedding colour, but have just got a big blue tattoo and loving that now!

7. Your favourite perfume
My favourite is Jean Paul Gautier, the original one, although I've only ever had one bottle years and years ago. I always debate getting a bottle in airport duty free shops but I think it's always one of the most expensive ones in there. I usually wear Hugo woman or 1881 instead.

8. Favourite film
Tricky question - I'm not really a big film fan but if my favourite is the film I have seen the most it has to be Towering Inferno. I don't know what is so great about it but I watched it so many times as a child and now it's just a standing joke!

9. What country would you like to visit and why?
I'd love to go island hopping in Greece when I  can speak the language fluently. I would imagine it would be a lot better experience being able to get away from the tourist parts and be able to speak (albeit in a Cypriot dialect probably but it's got to be closer than only speaking English!) to the locals.

10. Are you a dog or a cat person?
Dog, definitely. I grew up with dogs  and AJ and I had our own when we brought our first house. One day I hope to have another one but it's not really fair to have one in a 3rd floor apartment.

I'm going to pass this award and meme onto Pixie's Mum at Doing it all for Aleyna, MummySquared and Kate at The Five F's Blog .

Monday, 17 January 2011

Have you got the January blues?

Traditionally I hate January,  it has always seemed like the never ending month. Most January's I can remember have seen me sitting in a boring dead-end  job watching the rain on the windows and waiting for the big bad month to end and pay day to arrive.

Apparently today is Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. Ah you gotta the positive thinking Brits haven't you!  I can see their point, the excitement of Christmas seems long gone, but the wait until pay day seems like a lifetime. Many New Year resolutions will have already been broken, and it's cold, dark, wet and miserable and summer is a long way off.

I thought I'd escape January blues out here in Cyprus but funnily enough this is the view from my balcony at the moment.....


It's not bad though, January is the worst month here it just gets better from here on in. February last year gave us some bad rain storms and we may have had some rain in March but that was it then until the end of October.  My mood has always been far too closely related to the weather so it's probably good that I'm here. 

The blues still didn't escape me though, I'm playing a waiting game at the moment, waiting for a cheque to arrive so we can sort out a million and one things that we have put off for months. I'm waiting to be able to buy a washing machine so I don't have to traipse downstairs to use my parents with a lively toddler in tow, I'm waiting for the new Slimming World to open so I can get on with losing my last stone, most of all I'm waiting for my parents to arrive as I haven't seen them since August. 

That was last week though, this week I've got lots of things planned and we are getting closer to all of the above every day. That's the secret to January, you have to run head first into the month, in fact you should plan in it December just so it doesn't take you by surprise!

Oh and I just found out that name Blue Monday was given to this day by Sky Travel (according to Wikipedia) so it's marketing hype anyway. A genius idea though as it's really stuck!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Silent Sunday



Silent Sunday

Reasons to be Cheerful

This week I'm joining in with Michelle at Mummy From The Heart new weekly blog hop.


I didn't join in last week as I was being miserable and couldn't think of any!

This week though I've cheered up so here goes.....

1. I've got a tattoo, I have already blogged about it here, but I love it. I was very nervous about getting it as I'm the worlds biggest wimp and it's quite large, also I was worried that I'd look at it afterwards and think 'What the hell have I done'. But I haven't and therefore I'm over the moon with it!

2. Leo is making me laugh every single day.  He is learning new words every day now it seems and is amazing me with the things he comes out with.

3. The sun is shining, and although it's still quite chilly spring seems closer and I'll be able to stop cursing our marble floors very soon!

Has that cheered you up too? If not check out the other entries......

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Dear so and so

Dear Solicitors,
Where the bloody hell is our cheque? I know nothing happens quickly/on time here but when you said at the start of October it should be with in about a month I then kinda expected it by the end of the year. It's FOUR MONTHS later now and we need it 3 months ago!

Impatient and skint Emma


Dear Leo,
I'm pleased that you love to colour, however 5.30am is not an acceptable colouring time, nor do I wish to be presented with crayons and paper whilst sitting on the toilet. Also please remember that you draw ON THE PAPER.
You are very clever and I'm pleased that you can now name the colours especially your favourite - PURPLE - although I'm not sure you have to shout this one at the top of your voice each time you see it somewhere, I think the passing woman in supermarket wearing a purple top was a little bit alarmed.

Your very uncreative and artistic so very impressed Mother.


Dear Washing,
It's 17 degrees outside so why the hell are you not drying? How hot does it have to be for goodness sake? Do you not remember England, you used to dry there. I don't really have enough clothes for everything to take three days to dry.

Yours slightly under dressed Emma.

Dear So and So...


Friday, 14 January 2011

The Gallery

Yesterday I got my first (possibly last but never say never) tattoo. It is not yet finished and I had planned on waiting until it was all done for the tattoo blog post, but how could I when this weeks Gallery prompt was Body parts. 



Once I would have said this would be the least likely thing I would ever do, but apparently stranger things have happened, couldn't tell you what they are but it's what I've heard! I've spent my whole life hating tattoos with a passion but last year gradually came to the conclusion that I wanted one. Our friend Marc works at Blood Brothers in Agia Napa and he's very good at what he does, this played a big part in it as I knew he would do a fantastic job. 

AJ is a big tattoo fan, he came up with the idea for this one for me and Marc designed it. The ribbons behind the flowers are shaped into 29.05.09 which is Leo's date of birth.

I was really worried about how much it would hurt, it DID hurt but I survived and it did take just over 3 hours! When it is healed I need to go back and get it finished, the flowers need to be highlighted, it was just a bit too much to have it all done in one go.



Thursday, 13 January 2011

Listography

It's list time again, this week Kate asks us to share the Top 5 Places you have visited. I've always loved travelling so had to give this a bit of thought.


When I say travelling obviously I mean travelling to nice shiny holiday destinations not packing my life in a backpack and going off on a random journey round the world, I like the sound of that but only in theory!

1. Cyprus - An obvious choice as it is now our home. If you've been reading since the start of my blog you'll know we had spent  hardly any time at all in Cyprus before we decided to move here so it's pretty lucky it has grown on me so much! The first time I walked into Larnaca airport though I felt like I had come home.

Macronissos Beach
2. Cancun, Mexico -  (the Moon Palace to be more specific) This was our honeymoon destination and it was by far the nicest place I have ever stayed, it was a brilliant 2 weeks. We had a jacuzzi in our room, there were 2 swim up bars and the pool was a mile long, oh and I was with my new hubby!


3. Bognor Regis - No, I can't believe I'm following Cancun with Bognor either but I've had some of my best times at good ol' Butlins down there. Several holidays as a child and many adult weekends with good friends back in the "child free drink until you can't stand, sleep then do it all over again" days.


4. Isle of Wight - maybe another odd choice considering some of the more interesting and far flung sunny destinations but as a child I had some brilliant holidays there. There seemed to be so many interesting things to do  (Blackgang Chine and the Waxwork museum immediately spring to mind) of course there is a fair chance we had to find interesting things to do because it was raining but it always seems better looking back doesn't it!


5 Paris - My first ever city break, AJ surprised me with a trip to Paris for Christmas the first year we were married. I was surprised how much I loved it, not a big fan of London I assumed I'd feel  a similar way to Paris but we had an amazing weekend.  He took me on a bateaux mouche and we went to the Moulin Rouge which were both amazing. I'd love to go back one day.




Photobucket

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Reflection

It's amazing how a decade can go so fast, even with an extra year tagged onto the end!

I've been reading a lot of brilliant end of year / new year blog posts in the last few days and one of my favourites has been from Pixe's Mum at Doing it all for Aleyna She has been looking back over the last 10  years and reflecting on what she has achieved. 

I was 22 as the new millennium dawned and that seems like a lifetime ago, as you can probably imagine my life is now very different. Over the years I think I've achieved quite a lot...........
  • Realised I can live on my own and survive
  • Travelled to Cuba, Mexico, Antigua, Ibiza, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Menorca,  and Cyprus :)
  • Worked for nearly three years in a Travel Agents (hence the previous point!) 
  • Been a bridesmaid
  • Got married to my lovely hubby 
  • Had a gorgeous baby boy
  • Brought my first house with my hubby
  • Sold first house and brought an apartment - a penthouse apartment with sea views no less!
  • Emigrated to Cyprus
  • Met Richard O'Brien (Rocky Horror Show creator)
  • Met Timmy Mallet and got hit on the head with the big foam mallet! (ok, maybe not such an achievement!)
  • Took an evening class in Learning Greek
  • Stayed in one job for over five years.... previous best was almost three!
  • Lost four stone in weight
  • Came second in the Slimming World regional finals for Woman of the Year 2008
  • Completed a course in Wedding Planning (now just need to do something with it!)
  • Started a blog (and got 88 followers so far!)
Wonder what I'll be saying in 2020?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Cybermummy Sponsorship Opportunity


As I started getting into blogging last year, it came to my attention there was an event that everyone was talking about... Cybermummy . After I erased the somewhat disturbing images of metal women stomping through playgrounds waving wet wipes at everyone (yes, must stop watching so much Doctor Who) I realised it was the UK's Premier Blogging conference devoted to parent bloggers.

I didn't give it much thought at the time, I had just started blogging regularly and I hadn't yet realised what an amazing community it actually is, also it didn't occur to me that I was really a part of it. Now a year on blogging is very important to me and I would love to go
The problem being is that I am in Cyprus, and obviously Cybermummy is not!

So, I am offering you a sponsorship opportunity, I would love to attend to represent A matter of choice and You.

What I would like from my sponsor.
My ticket   £100
My flights  £210
One night hotel stay   £70

Total £380

In return you will benefit from the following,
Advertising in the form of a button in my side bar until 1st July 2011   (value £200)
Two posts dedicated to your product or service with links to your website (value £150)
Links in all blog posts mentioning Cybermummy 2011  (value £100)
Sponsors hashtag in all tweets relating to Cybermummy event  (value unknown)
Badge to be worn by me at Cybermummy event  (value unknown)
Exposure to the parent blogging community and also Ex-pat community in Cyprus and around the world. (value unknown)

Total £450 +

If you are interested please comment below or email me at emmamartin77(at)hotmail.com 

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Me and my boy - our year

2010 was the year of Mummy & Leo, it was our first full year together and our first year in Cyprus. We had a great time, met lots of new friends, played on the beach, in the park and spent lots of time in the pool. We laughed, cried and sang 'Row Row Row your boat' a million times.

When I spotted the 'Year in Pictures' Meme at Mummytips  I couldn't resist joining in because not only do I love my photos but it is also a competition to win a ticket to Cybermummy 2011. (and I'd love to go to that!) I made a photo montage in honour of our year.


Click to play this Smilebox collage

Listography


Last week Kate from Kate Takes 5 started a great new link up. Last week was The Top 5 Good Things about having kids.  This week she is asking us who our Top 5 Famous Dinner Party Guests would be.

I've often given this a bit of thought as it's a popular question in magazines and random pub conversations. So here goes.....

1. David Tennant - haven't got to think about this one at all!  I LOVE David Tennant.  I wouldn't care if no-one else showed up the dinner party, and I wouldn't even eat all their food to save it 'going to waste' (Well I probably would, but only after David had gone)

2. Michael McIntyre - he's my new favourite comedian, and I think would make a great addition to a dinner party, I love anyone who makes me laugh and he would have me snorting unattractively into my wine. (Hmm, maybe not the best way to impress No.1)

3.John Barrowman - yes, I do have a huge fascination with Doctor Who and Torchwood, but John would be a great guest. He's charming, attractive, a born entertainer and would definitely make the evening a party!

4. Davina McCall - Best have a girlie in there somewhere, and Davina would be my first choice. She seems like a great person to have a few beers with (although I don't think she drinks, but she's mad enough not to look out of place in a drunken crowd.)

5. Derren Brown - he fascinates me (and scares me a little bit!) he would  make for great after dinner entertainment. (while the food goes down that is just before John, Davina and I start dancing and being stupid) We saw him live a few years ago and he is amazing.

I imagine lots of people will come up with some very sensible answers with fascinating historical characters or politicians for interesting and intellectual conversations, nice idea in theory but bugger that it's my dinner party and I'll get drunk and laugh till my sides split if I want to!

Who would you choose?

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