Posts

Showing posts from February, 2012

Greek 4 Kids - Our lessons so far

Image
As you probably know I'm in the (slow!) process of learning Greek and since Leo started to talk we've been trying to teach him what we know.  He knows his colours and numbers in both languages along with a few random things in Greek but I still would like him to know more.  I know he will pick it up at school, many British children here go to school knowing no Greek whatsoever and apparently get on fine but I'd like him to have a reasonable idea of what's going on when he gets there and not struggling through trying to work out what to do and what everyone is saying!

My biggest reason to learn Greek is due to Leo - I intend to be able to read the letters that come from school and know what he is talking about when he comes home!

For some time I've been a big fan of the 'Greek 4 Kids' blog and was really pleased when the classes were launched in Protaras earlier this month.  Aimed at children age 3 and up (3 ish - Leo's not 3 until May!) the classes are…

Carnival and Green Monday

Image
Today we went to Paralimni, our local town to watch the Carnival parade - our first since coming to Cyprus. I love that the Cypriots know how to party, and therefore Carnival is a season rather than a day!  It is held in the 10 days leading up to Lent in several main towns around the country (and in particular Limassol).  Carnival is also influenced by Ancient Greek traditions where celebrations were held in honour of the God Dionysus.

Leo was not impressed while we were there, I think he was a little overwhelmed by the crowds and he kept saying it was too loud. He did however say when we got home that he had a lovely time at 'the canibal!'   There were certainly a whole lot of people there - I was amazed at all the people on all the roofs around the main square!



Tomorrow is a bank holiday in Cyprus 'Καθαρά Δευτέρα'  (Kathara Deftera)  Clean Monday, or  Green Monday as it's more commonly known.  It is a feast day which is always 7 weeks before the Orthodox Easter …

Flashback Friday - Week 2

Image
Last week saw the return of Flashback Friday - a photo link up inviting you to dig deep in the archives and wallow in a bit of nostalgia.  I was pleased to see that I'm not the only one who likes to reminisce and that we had 7 bloggers joining in.

I hope you'll all come back next Friday, and maybe we're find a few more joining in along the way. To help you out I decided to give you a theme each week - feel free to interpret them as you see fit!

This week the theme is Home.

Your childhood home, your first home, maybe somewhere you spent so much time as a child it became your second home as just a couple of ideas for you.



If you want to join in, choose your photo / photos, write your post and come back on Friday to link up. The linky will stay open until the following Thursday for you to add your posts.  If you're linking up please visit as many of the other posts and see what they've come up with too.

If you wish, you can grab the code for the  badge to display on y…

Project 52 - Spring's on its way

Image
Spring is on it's way - there was actually a lovely bit of warmth to that sun this week when you got out the wind!


Surprisingly winter can seem like a long time in Cyprus, especially if you are two! Although shorter in length than in the UK, there suddenly becomes a lot less to do when you don't want to go outside. Add to the fact that Leo refuses to wear a coat it really cuts down your options!

This week we ventured out, finally exploring somewhere I've been meaning to go since we got here over 2 years ago!   Landa Beach, in Agia Napa is a lovely little golden sandy bay - especially at this time of year when you can actually see the sand and not a mass of holiday makers! There is a large picnic area and a playground (well, some swings, a see-saw and the words steepest slide) and a nice paved beach path taking you along to the next bay.

As usual with our outings we were not out long, just over an hour (including two sandwich breaks!) before Leo refused to walk anymore and …

Sunshine on a rainy day

Image
One thing we do see a lot of here at this time of year is rainbows, I think I've seen more in Cyprus than I've seen in my whole life, it might not rain that often but when it does the sun is not usually far behind so it's a quite a common occurrence at this time of year.

Leo loves seeing the rainbows, and we often see fantastic ones from our balcony. He doesn't understand that they don't always appear and is disappointed when they don't, I explained that you have to have sunshine and rain, and there was no sun that day, so we made our own.



We painted a plate, I'd like to say he did but as ever he did a couple of brush strokes and then wanted to watch me!  I did just about manage to get him to allow me to draw round his hand though for the 'sun's rays' - I think it would have been a bit odd with my hands!   When the plate was dry 'we' stuck the hands around the edge, the sun was going to have a smiley face but Leo informed me 'that w…

Flashback Friday - Week 1

Image
It's back,  My favourite linky and it's now hosted by yours truly, thanks to Cafe Bebe who has kindly passed it over to me, Thanks Karin!

The idea is simple, find a photo from time gone by, it can be a year ago or much longer and then share the picture and  relive the memory. From next week I'll help you out and give you a prompt to give you a starting point but for now I'll leave it up to you.

I'm going back to my baby days, as they were taken at the same time as the photo I used for the new Flashback Friday badge.

Summer 1978...
I love the expression on my face, it seems I wasn't impressed about Mum walking away while I had my picture taken!

Obviously I don't remember the day, I don't personally remember the place either, but I know it was taken in the communal garden of the flat we lived in at the time.  We moved out when I was two.

Mum always said how happy she was when we moved and had our very own garden, and front door. We lived on the 3rd floor.…

The Wide Mouthed Frog

Image
Many years ago in our first house on one of our many late night (undoubtedly slightly drunken!) conversations with our housemates and assorted friends, we came to swapping random and probably quite silly jokes  - someone mentioned the 'Wide Mouthed Frog' and although most knew the punchline no-one could remember the joke for the life of them.    I have no idea why but I remember laughing hysterically at Aaron's delivery of the punchline, despite never the fact I had no idea of the original joke.

It became a standing joke - just the line 'Ooh, you don't see many of those around do you?'   and still years on we didn't know the rest of it. ( See, this is what happened without Google, in writing this post I searched and found it here)

Moving on to a couple of weeks ago, I saw that Bloomsbury have published the book for children!


After all these years, we just HAD to have it!

It was a huge hit with Leo, sat enthralled through the entire book and then rolled arou…

A green and pleasant landscape

Image
When I saw this weeks Gallery prompt  Landscapes, I initially thought of the huge selection of landscape photos I've got, taken in the last couple of years since we've been in Cyprus.   While trying to choose one from the collection of sea shots. beach shots and balcony views (which I have a surprising amount of considering it doesn't really change much!)  a photo from a long time ago suddenly popped into my head.




I took this back in the early 90s, we were on holiday just outside of Ryde on the Isle of Wight and this was the view from the front door of our holiday chalet.  When we got home and collected our photos from being developed   (as much as I love digital photography, I really do miss the excitement of collecting your photos and looking through them in the shop as you can't wait until you get home!)  I was really pleased with how it had turned out, I was even more pleased when my parents got it enlarged and put it on the wall with some of the landscape shots m…

Life is a Journey - Old School Portrait

Image
Continuing with playing catch up on the 'Life is a Journey' prompts from Save Every Step, the next prompt is Old School Portrait.

The official school photo was always taken around by birthday, in fact in some of the early photos from Primary school you can see my 'birthday badge' -  you got one if your birthday fell on a school day.  Looking back at my school photos, some are obviously better than others, the early ones are cute and the last one is not too bad but there are some in the middle which are not so good!


I even voluntarily printed these pictures to put on the wall at my 25th 'School disco' party!

I've recently got all my childhood photos in digital form as my Mum has scanned them all in, I've spent ages now (although not as long as she did!) backing them all up and storing them online, I'm very excited now about having easy access to them all and having a play around with editing and collage making (my new favourite obsession in case you…

Project 52 - 'The Tootin' tube!'

Image
A cardboard tube can be many thing but they will now always be known as a 'tootin' tube'.... that is a tube for tootin'!   Just like Thomas..... 'Toot TOOT'


Flashback Friday returns!

Image
Flashback Friday is coming back!


Last year the highlight of my blogging week was Cafe Bebe's Flashback Friday and I was very sad to see the end of it, so I'm very pleased to say that Karin asked me if I'd like to take it over, of  course I said yes!
I love old photos and stories, from as long as I can remember I badgered my Mum into showing me the family photo albums again and again and I love to see other peoples photos and hear the stories behind them.  Flashback Friday is a way of sharing those moments, ones that you probably would have blogged about if you'd been able to.  A way of remembering the little things that often get forgotten about through the years and a way of bringing those old photos to life for yourself and maybe the next generation. 
Next week I will be opening up the linky and I'd love you to join in and share your photos, it can be a picture of you as a child, your parents, or even your Great Grandparents, from last year or from much further b…

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother - Book Review

Although I'd heard of the expression 'Tiger Mother' I didn't know much about the book that it came from. I somehow had missed the huge controversial debate that happened after it's release.

'Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother' by Amy Chua is, in her own words....
'a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. This was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones. But instead, it's about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how I was humbled by a thirteen-year-old'

Amy, is Chinese - American, raised in the traditional strict Chinese way by her parents who immigrated to the USA before her birth.  She chose to raise her two girls in the same way despite the extra difficulties of doing it in a country where it was considered unusual at best and at worst cruel.

I deliberately didn't read anything online about the book before I received it, as I wanted to make up my own mind …

Reasons to be cheerful - Pregnancy edition!

Image
Reasons to be Cheerful for this week?

I had my 12 week scan this week (they re-dated and I am 13 weeks pregnant!)  I can't believe the difference from the scan I had at 9 weeks!   Having had only 2 scans whilst pregnant with Leo at 12 and 20 weeks it's quite strange for me to have had 4 already!  The first was a private scan that we paid for as I couldn't get a hospital appointment for several weeks but the rest were just given as standard at my appointments.  - Another difference as in the UK my first appointment was at 9 weeks and not a lot happened at that one!
Although I was very nervous about my hospital appointments and even more so about actually giving birth in Cyprus so far it's turning out really well. My Gynaecologist , it turns out is my neighbour and she is lovely and speaks perfect English and I should now be having the rest of my appointments with her rather than the male doctor I did not get on as well with which is a big relief. 
Also, in a huge strok…

101 in 1001 - halfway there!

Image
You may have seen that some time ago I compiled a '101 list'  a challenge I set myself where I had to complete a list of 101 tasks chosen by myself in 1001 days. I started this challenge on July 29th 2010 which gives me until 26th April 2013 to get them all done.

The first 6 months were a reasonably slow start but I got a little more into the swing of things during the second half of the first year. I'm now just over half way with 435 days left to go but I have completed 51 things so far.  I've not crossed any new items off now for a couple of months, but mainly because a lot of the items are summer or money related and currently we have neither!  Looking at the list now I realise some things could be a bit more tricky now we have another baby on the way.... the first being

'Watch the sun come up after an all-nighter in Agia Napa'  - hmm maybe change that to 'Watch the sun come up after a night up with a crying baby'    'Go wine tasting' being a…

The Battle of Valentines is over!

Image
Valentines Day - do you love it or hate it?    Or are you like me and somewhere in the middle?

Once upon a time I may have been know to get a little over excited and carried away with the large amount of crap for sale (in the UK that is) during the run up to Valentines. I brought Aaron (then my boyfriend) a huge amount of loving purchased presents and planned a lovely romantic evening at home.  It sounded like such a good plan inside my head but he was not as enthusiastic as I'd hoped.... at this point I'd like to mention I was 20 and a lot more easily offended!

Among the commercialized crapI brought him, which I presented to him in a big box was,
Overpriced chocolate in the shape of a heart.
Champagne and strawberries - he doesn't like either
Novelty boxer shorts - why why-why!

For dinner I planned Garlic mushrooms to start, followed by steak and pepper sauce, with Vodka jelly (made in a mold the shape of a pair of boobs) and hagen daz ice cream.  I carefully arranged ca…

Questions and answers

One thing I love about reading other blogs and being part of the 'blog world' is the that just when you are wondering what to blog about someone handily hands you a blog post on a plate, as Multiple Mummy had tagged me in 'Questions and Answers' She has written 11 questions for me to answer and then challenged me to do the same for others. 

1. Apart from your children what is your greatest accomplishment? Oh, I hate this question!  I guess moving to a new country and making a new circle of friends and feeling like I am at home is quite an accomplishment.
2. What is your favourite beverage? Cocktails, containing any or all the the following...... mailbu, vodka, barcadi, fruit juice, grenadine.   Or right now Mcdonalds Milkshakes!
3. Why do you blog? Because I love it! I didn't imagine I'd still be going over 2 years on when I first started and I certainly didn't think it would be so rewarding, enjoyable.... and addictive, maybe the reason I blog is just because I …

Project 52 - Waiting

Image
Waiting for someone to play with... no matter how hard I try we always seem to be the first ones there!

Second baby essentials

Image
I think there's a huge difference in shopping for your 2nd baby compared to your first, first time round everyone gives you advice but you smile and nod and then go ahead and ignore them all.  Moses basket - yep need that, hugely expensive impractical pushchair/travel system, yep get one of those. Nappy disposal system..... need I say more!

Although on the other hand you might find you had to economise a lot on your first so 2nd time round you might decide to splash out the things you couldn't afford first time, especially if you have kept some things from the first  - a good idea in theory if you didn't sell your cot the weekend before you fell pregnant!

As we are in no position to be splashing out on anything if we can possibly help it I've been giving some thought to what we need, I know it's early but I figure if we start looking we can find as much as possible 2nd hand.  I'm not into superstition - if anything goes wrong it will not be because we brought …

Life is a Journey - Teenage Crushes

Image
In the continuing 'Life is a Journey' Series this weeks prompt is Teenage Crushes.

I had two main crushes as a teenager my first was as a young teenager and I covered my walls in posters of my man of the moment.


I liked him as Scott in neighbours (I thought the wedding of Scott and Charlene was the most exciting bit of TV ever!) but it wasn't until left the show and cut his hair that I fell in 'love'. When I started secondary school I quickly realised he was not a very 'cool' crush so unlike my friend Claire I decided to keep quiet about it!  

Many many years later I noticed in the local paper he was appearing in a local club (on a Monday night!)  and rang up the only person in the world who be interested. So at the age of late 20-something Claire and I went to see our teenage pin up.  It started off as a very depressing evening waiting for him to come on. We were about the only ones of our age there, sandwiched between teenagers who were probably only the…

Not all sunshine and flowers

Image
I read somewhere the other day (no idea where now. so let me know if it was you and I'll mention it!) an article which asked if some 'Mum bloggers' were projecting an unrealistic picture of parenthood.

Well, yeah more than likely I'd say!   Of course there are many very honest blogs out there talking about the less fun side of parenting, and important issues such as depression and special needs but you could easily mistake many more for living a perfect life...  gorgeous children, perfect Mum's crafting with their children and others creating lovely home cooked meals every day.

From reading previous comments on my blog it occurred to me that people sometimes see a different view to reality.... living the high life in the sun?    When I started this blog I didn't deliberately set out to only blog about the good stuff but as time went on it's kind of what happened, plus the fact it cheers me up more to write about the nice things!

I know a lot of people read…

A family story - A travelling tradition

Image
Once upon a time there was a teddy bear, unloved and unwanted and left sitting in a charity shop feeling sad and hoping someone would give him a home....

That's the way my Mum saw this little fellow anyway as she passed by the shop window.



My Mum is a huge teddy bear fan and has been for years, but over the years she gradually got worse! Obviously teddy bears are lovely  - I mean how horrible would you have to be to not like them, but Mum managed to take it to a whole new level.....

This teddy for some reason best known to my Mum became 'Travel Ted' and proceeded  (much to our amusement and continued mickey taking) to travel all over the world with her having his photo taken in increasing unusual places. He's been to more countries than many people I know, from Greece, Spain, Barbados, France and all over the UK. It was decided that he would be going into retirement here in Cyprus but he may come out on special occasions!

I now secretly like the collection of photos -…

Life's a Journey - My earliest baby photo

Image
The reason I started this blog was to create a record of our lives, a kind of scrapbook but without all the arty / crafty side to it! I love a good bit of nostalgia, and think its important to be able to pass these things on through the generations. I recently found a blog 'Save every step' and they are running a new series called 'Life is a Journey'  There is a weekly link up but I'm going to play catch up and do the previous prompts anyway,

My earliest baby photo.

My very first ever photo, taken by my Grandad on the day my parents brought me home. Born before the days of camera phones where the first photo is often taken minutes after birth and uploaded to twitter for the world to see I made it all the way home at 3 weeks old before my first photo call.



I was born via caesarean section and as was the norm in those days my Mum had to stay in hospital for 3 weeks.  Last year my Mum kindly wrote the story of my birth to share with me.


Project 52 - Week 5

Image

Discovering Cyprus - Agios Epiphanios

Image
I'm not a religious person and visiting churches was never very high on my to do list. Although over the years I've been to many churches and cathedrals in various countries and although I've appreciated the scale and architecture of many I can never quite get the required level of excitement that they deserve.  I'm starting to enjoy it more now days,  whether it's a sign I'm getting old or because I don't get out as much is irrelevant!

Or of course it could be due to the fantastic views you can find from many churches here in Cyprus...

At the end of the summer we visited the church of Agios Epiphanios in the hills above Agia Napa, a chapel devoted to the Byzantine bishop of Salamis.  We had been here nearly two years before even realising this was here! My parents discovered it accidentally while having a random drive about exploring and it's only since we have noticed a small sign pointing to it. 
I've not been able to find any more information o…

My three books

Image
Reading has always been my passion and barely a day would go by without me spending at least a small part of it stuck into a book, well in the good old days before the distractions of the internet that is! Aaron is also a very avid reader and we've spent many days over the years reading in silence next to each other.

I can't remember a time when I didn't love books, my Mum likes to tell me how I used to tell her off for falling asleep whilst reading to me as I'd know when she got the words wrong.... much like a certain little man does to me these days.  Our house was full of books and I regularly visited the library with my Dad which was hugely exciting... FREE books, what more could you ask for especially as I wanted to read everything, more than I could ever manage to buy!
I spotted on another blog  a prompt to share 'my three books' one each from Childhood, Adulthood and Parenthood which got me thinking of my lifetime favourites so far.  I have no idea how …

Learning Greek - I'm getting there!

Image
This week, a little later than planned I finally completed the first level of my Rosetta Stone Greek language course. I started the course back in June so it's taken me a while to get this far.  The plan had been to get to this point by Christmas to be able to start 2012 with level 2 but with the whole house being ill in some sort of  odd relay race it got a bit delayed.

Although I often need to push myself to complete a lesson or two, being too easily distracted by faffing around on the internet, reading or sometimes even falling asleep mid lesson (due to early mornings and toddler, I must add not through any fault of the lessons!)   When I do get on and do it I genuinely enjoy it, like most things it becomes much easier when you get into the habit of doing it little and often.

As I've progressed through the first level I have attended the online Studio session for each lesson. These really make all the difference to me as it really feels like you are making progress when you…