Wednesday, 27 December 2017

End of an era

This month saw the end of an era, as my last article was published in Daxi Magazine. I've been writing for Daxi for almost 7 years now and after several months of debate reluctantly decided it's time to stop.

A lot has changed since I started, and my day to day life has changed considerably in that time.  Back then I was blogging regularly,  often 4 or 5 times a week and it was easy to adapt a post a month into an article for the magazine, for a couple of years now my blog has taken a back seat as the business got bigger, and my boys are no longer babies and as easy to write about.

I always have things in my head I'd love to write about, but finding the inspiration and the time to get them out just doesn't happen as easily now.  This year is the first since I started when I'd not managed even one blog post in a month as I missed the whole of November.

Over the last year, I have thought many times of closing this blog completely but can't help but think it would be a shame to take down 8 years of writing, some of which is quite good, and I do like be able to look back at the early days of living in Cyprus, and the boys baby / toddler years.  I always come back to deciding just to leave it here in case I decide to start again, so I'll leave it here, for now at least until inspiration strikes again.   I'm not ready to give it all up just yet!

Loukas 5th Birthday

You know you're a bit behind on blogging when you post about your October birthday before finishing one about Louka's in August,  but as always it's better late than never!

And you know that blogging is much harder these days when you just fill a post with photos!
(I uploaded the photos many weeks ago and never got round to actually writing it,  seemed a shame to just delete the draft!) 

Saturday, 21 October 2017

The Big 40 - the extended celebrations

You may have heard that I turned 40 last week,   I believe I might have mentioned it?

I had a fantastic birthday day,  and a brilliant birthday party, but not being one to pass up an excuse to celebrate I continued for the whole week. 

I *had* to, of course as my bestie was over from the UK and it would have been rude not to. Aaron had basically 'given' me a free pass to do whatever I wanted for the week (cashflow permitting!) so we did!

A cocktail filled evening out in Protaras, at Zodiac, followed by Rockafellas watching the Ska Man. Followed by late night snacks and chocolate cake at gone 2am - well done for making cheese and ham toasties Nic and for my rose!

Recovery day followed with a huge lunch in one of my favourite restaurants followed by back massages by the sea. 

Friday continued with a chilled evening, nice home cooked dinner (thanks Aaron!)  and no alcohol in preparation for the big party day coming up. We decided that we should not drink before 3pm so we would make it to the end of the night on our feet.

Saturday morning was full of cooking and food prep, afternoon saw us by the pool again until it was time to do my hair.   The 'no drinks before 3pm'   didn't stand but we decided that shandys and spritzers didn't really count!

The party was great, you can see some pictures in the previous post. 

Sunday went surprisingly well, mainly due to the Mcdonalds breakfasts that Aaron went to collect for us.  We recovered quickly and well enough to spend the afternoon on the beach and come home to create a variety of champagne cocktails!

Our last day, Monday was to be a non-drinking day, and a very early night as Nic's return flight meant us leaving home at 4am,   but we made the most of the day with a wander through Protaras, cooked breakfasts at Loveboat,   a bit of shopping, a sit by the sea, and waffles at Zaferios. 

All in all it was EPIC  (and I'm fairly sure that a weeks worth of celebration, and 3 blog posts about a single birthday warrants an accurate use of the word!) 

Right, time to stop eating and drinking everything in sight and get back to work! 

Friday, 20 October 2017

The big 40... Party Time!

My 40th birthday fell on a Wednesday so it made sense to delay my party until the weekend,   which of course was good as I got to have an extended celebration! 

It was a brilliant evening with a great crowd of people,  and a good number considering so many unable to make it due to work commitments (the problem with any event in the summer season).  The party was at St Thekla,  a restaurant right on the beach and a really good venue for a party - plenty of space,  2 bars and a DJ box - everything you need. 

Despite battling with a really painful knee I was on the dancefloor for most of the night, helped no doubt by a few drinks taking my mind of the pain!

As you probably know I have a big love of photos so I don't need to explain how awesome I thought this slideshow was that Aaron created, and played on the big screen. 

I'll let the photos do tell the rest of the story, 

I was amazed and touched by the lovely cards and gifts, and over 100 birthday wishes on facebook.  I can't be sure that I thanked everyone individually (specifically those on facebook!) but I appreciated every single one of them.  

Just want to say a special thanks though to Rachel from Cyprus Dreams for the amazing lights, and Tony for DJ'ing,  Tiny Acorns for my yummy cake, and Bliss for my stunning hairdo, as well as Aaron and Nic for making the week so fantastic,    and of course my parents without whom.....  oh you get the idea, far to many people to thank!!!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The big 40 birthday celebrations

As the clock struck midnight on 1st January 2017 I was standing on my balcony with Aaron, Mum & Dad and the boys. As we raised our glasses and wished each other a happy new year,  Aaron turned to me and said.... 'You do realise that you'll be 40 this year'

This set the tone for the following 10 months, and it spread - everyone, even the boys joined in (except my 39 year old friends that is,  I think they were sympathising with me, and realising it would be them very soon!)

I found it funny and not funny in equal measure, I opted for not caring realising it is stupid to be bothered by it after all, it would happen anyway and sulking about it would change anything.  (Actually I was kinda enjoying the fuss but ssshh don't tell anyone)  I decided that the more he went on about it, the more I would celebrate when the time came.

I was like a big kid leading up to my birthweek,   yes I had a birthday week, a whole week of celebrations and it was..... EPIC!   (sorry Aaron,  but there are times when only EPIC will do).

It all began with the arrival of my Care Bear, AKA Nic.   on the 10th October,  the day before my birthday.

Known for her crazy arrival outfits she went for a bit of nostalgia this time and dressed as one of my favourite children toys.   

Of course, we started as we meant to go on, and cracked open the wine as soon as we got home!

The day itself started with Bucks Fizz after the school run to accompany card and present opening,  before heading out to meet more friends for breakfast. 


Breakfast was amazing, as it always is at Mojitos, and it was even better this time, as it was accompanied by bubbles and cocktails!

Aaron of course was therefore on school pick up, as he was for most of the week while we were out and about.  The weather is still in summer mode here so we spent a couple of hours at the pool in the afternoon.

Mum and Dad came up in the afternoon for presents and cake,  I was very lucky with a new phone,  book, jewelry, bubble bath and shower gel and a new computer! 

Originally we had no plans for the evening as the big celebration would be the party on Saturday but as Nic pointed out it seemed a shame not to do anything so we left Aaron and the boys and walked up the road to our local for a meal.

It was a perfect day,  and the party was not over yet,  in fact it hadn't even started!

Part 2 coming up soon....

Monday, 9 October 2017

Here comes 40....

When I was a child I remember working out that I would turn 23 in the year 2000. It seemed such a long way off and I couldn't imagine being such an age, presumably all grown up and sensible.  I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone over the age of 20 that of course I wasn't all grown up and sensible at all,   when I reached that age I assumed that would come a bit later,   at 30 perhaps?

I approached my 30th birthday with excitement and a bit of trepidation, I had a big party planned which was the cause of the excitement but every now and again I would stop and think '30!!!' I had been married for 3 years but was working in a job that I didn't enjoy and always feeling that I should be doing something different,  always waiting for something, I just wasn't sure what.

I received a card from a friend (whose birthday is the day before mine) saying 'Inside every 30 year old is an 18 year old wondering what the hell happened!"  I remember smiling at it thinking it true but also thinking I bet the 40 year olds are wondering what happened to the 30 year old.   It seemed that as my friends were turning 30 they were freaking out a little but I kept telling myself that if I was  stressing about 30,  what would I be like at 40, or 50 and so on.

Actually in some ways 31 was worse... there were no big celebrations, and no one cared as much,  it seemed like the start of a downhill slope, plus I was pregnant and unable to party like I usually would!

Now at the time of writing, I am about to turn 40,   it's been a huge source of amusement to everyone around me from the moment we saw the new year in. It's amused and annoyed me in equal measure, and mainly I have been ignoring the jibes from hubby (who is 4 years older than me)

Yes,  every now and again I think wow,  40 sounds big,   but so did 30,  and 21, and 18,  although in a more exciting way.   But of course as someone once said, it's better to reach 40 than to not to,   age is a privilege denied to many, and while that is a depressing thought that I don't wish to linger on, it is very true and so I promised myself not to moan about it and appreciate it instead. and hopefully,  I'll be sat here in years to come wishing I was 40 once again!

When I turned 30 I couldn't have imagined what the next decade would bring,   a move to Cyprus, two lovely sons, and our own business among other things.   It's actually been my most enjoyable decade so far,   yeah, the 20's always seem like fun looking back but it was a mix of rubbish jobs,  too much drama and generally a bit messy!

So, I will celebrate, as I love to do,   and celebrate the start of my forties in style!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Back to School

It's back to school day today!

After almost 3 months of lazy days, lie ins and not much of a schedule to stick to it was time to set the alarm and get the boys out of bed again.  

It was a bit strange this morning,  it's actually the first year where I have to really use an alarm. They were always such early risers that it was never needed before,  always set but more as a back up in the unlikely event of us sleeping in.   Towards the end of the school year I did have to wake Leo a couple of days,  but it was mainly due to his reluctance to get moving than sleepiness. 

But for the first time, we have had a school holiday where the boys haven't been up at the crack of dawn,  in fact their average getting up time was between 8am and 9am.  Something I'd never have been able to imagine in the days of broken sleep and 5am starts.

Of course it's good but it meant I felt like I was getting up in the middle of the night when me alarm went off at 6:30 this morning.  Luckily it is light by then (and there is only a very short period of the year where it isn't light at that time) as that would make it so much harder,    I'm not sure I'd ever be able to drag myself out of bed in the UK these days!

It's been a long time since I took a photo like this,   and I couldn't resist this morning. 

It went surprisingly well, both the boys were happy enough.   Leo wasn't too impressed about having to wear socks but I can't say I blame him,   it's still too hot for me to be thinking about wearing them myself. 

Leo went happily into the 3rd grade,  unsure of where his classroom would be, or who is teacher is but happy enough to go in on his own and find his friends and wait to find out. 

Louka is doing his 2nd year of Prodimodiki (pre-primary) and has a new teacher and change of classroom.   He went in quite happily too, which I was pleased about but also a little surprised.    I hope he forgets that he 'doesn't talk to teachers'   and starts talking to people before it becomes a habit to be quiet again!

Of course,  Louka refused to stand for a picture, and Leo as always was more than happy to pose by the door.  I wasn't going to push it with Louka, trying to keep him in a good mood was the aim of the game.   I tried to get a sneaky shot as we left but he spotted the phone in my hand and turned round!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Now you are five.... {Loukas}

Happy Birthday Louka mou!

You are five years old!  I know you have been looking forward to this day for such a long time,   I think you were talking about it even before Leo's birthday this year!

I'm writing this post for you on the 24th,  and you've just gone to bed full of excitement that it is just one more sleep.  As I gave you a cuddle,  I said I was cuddling my 4 year old Louka for the last time, and you asked me if I was sad.   I replied,  of course not because tomorrow I can cuddle my 5 year old Louka, you gave me a big smile and said 'yes that's 'much more better'.

Every year when I write these birthday letters to you and your brother I try to think back over the year and how you've changed. It kind of sneaks up on me as it seems that when it happens it's a very sudden thing,  and I hadn't realised the little things that change along the way.

You are totally crazy,  I've said many times over the years that Leo is crazy but it seems you can take it to a whole new level! Your laugh is amazing, so infectious and I can't help but laugh whenever I hear you.   Your sense of humour is, in some ways like mine,   the way you laugh at people falling off the big red balls in Total Wipeout or falling over,   the funny faces you pull or dances to make us laugh are awesome too!.

You are still a stubborn little dude,  the noise (not sure how to write it but I hope I don't forget one day what it was, assuming that you eventually stop doing it.... hopefully!)  you make when something displeases you, or you don't want something drives me crazy as you can talk now but it still stems from the days you couldn't.

At home you are chatty, and now we have great conversations,  especially when you can get a word in sideways when Leo lets you,  but outside the house or with people you don't know that well you prefer to let your big brother do the talking.

You completed your first year of Prodimodiki  (pre-primary school) in June and even though you didn't like it much you got used to going and did so very well by the end of the term.  I hope you enjoy your next year at school,  and really hope you start speaking to your teacher and the other children,  it will make it so much more enjoyable for you once you get used it.

Leo is still (mostly) your best friend,  and when you are not moaning at each other you get on so brilliantly - it really is one extreme to the other.  Lots of cuddles,   'belly baffs' and 'bum drums' and the latest addition, the 'booty scooty'  usually all done just before bedtime which makes them less funny than they are during the day for me,  but I do love to see you both getting on so well, and being on the same wavelength.

It's still very hard to get a photo of you, you either refuse completely or insist on doing something crazy or standing behind Leo, I have so few photos of you on your own!

I asked you tonight if it had been fun being four and you said it was,  I asked you what your favourite thing of the year had been and you told me 'going to the swimming pool'   which may have been just because it was the most recent thing we did but we have been there a lot!

In fact I'd say your biggest achievement of the year is probably your swimming skills,   you can now officially swim,  no armbands, no swimfin,  no floats.    It happened so fast,  and literally overnight - one day you were swimming a few strokes and the next the whole length of the pool,  underwater and above!

I hope your birthday and party is everything you hoped it would be, and you have a fantastic day!

Love you!
Photo credit

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