2+0+2+2 = 6 – a good number!

There are several links at the end of this post for your information.

Here we are, yet again, at the end of another year. A bitch of a year for many, if I may say so. Although I must add that I have been one of the lucky ones. I’ve not lost a loved one in this pandemic but I know people who have. As I’ve said: A bitch of a year; the cousin of 2020 which was supposed to be a “perfect vision” of a year. Both bitches!

As an artist and writer, I look back on 2021 and ponder on achievement. I’m not sure if the uncertainty of the tomorrows threw me a bit, but I’ve hardly achieved a thing! I published a book of short stories, some of which I’ve illustrated, and also two low content books. I’ve not painted anything that I would want to show to anyone; just tentative mark-making really.

The one thing that I have done a LOT of has been to watch videos and tutorials on how to do stuff. Lots of stuff! So, it wasn’t altogether a failed year but more one of absorbing knowledge. What shall we do with that knowledge, I’m thinking…? Well, let me tell you about one of my Christmas gifts.

I have an incredibly inventive daughter. She has this adorable habit of giving not just one gift for any occasion but usually there are three or more little ones, always well thought out. This year my gift consists of 52 weeks… yes, one for every week of the year! She named it “Creativity Activation Kit” as she heard me complaining about not achieving things… This is what it looks like:

On the first day of each week, I have to remove a sticker hiding that week’s ‘challenge’ –  this is what it looks like:

Not knowing what hides beneath each week’s sticker is a bit of a challenge too… I’m not known for my patience! Was that her sneaky idea? Anyway, I’m also one who follows instructions to the letter which means I shall learn to be patient!

I’ve gone off commercialised holidays. I live more by the seasonal changes such as the solstices; this means I celebrate Yule on Midwinter’s Day (in the Northern Hemisphere).

At this time we burn the Yule Log

This also means that ‘New Year Resolutions’ are not one of my things… but rather, I sit in deep contemplation on Midwinter’s Day about the year that has just passed and the year that is about to unfold. That is the day when I make my ‘resolutions’, if any. There are not normally many as I have found that they usually go by the wayside… BUT, one resolution was to start my walking again – you know, putting one foot in front of the other. And I have. Every day! No excuses except if it’s raining heavily, although I do like to walk (and sing) in the rain!

The thing is that at my age, one has to be careful of slipping in the wet… So, I wait until the sun comes out as here in Cyprus, it usually does, even if just for a little while before the next shower comes along. I have a German friend who is older than me who walks for miles… and goes to the gym! Well, I cannot be left behind as she invited me to walk with her. So, right now I’m getting up to speed as she is away for a little while… Need to be prepared for when she returns!

The other reason for restarting my walking practice is that I tried on a posh dress for Jo’s (my daughter) birthday dinner and to be on the safe side, I picked a size 14; my normal size is a 12. Well, I could hardly close the zip! Needless to say, I didn’t buy it. I have enough clothes to ‘get back into’! But that was a big wake-up call…

The BIG winter job that I’ve been putting off for years is about to be started: sorting out all those photographs! They are everywhere: in boxes, on hard drives, on the Cloud, on my laptop and on my phone… Sigh! But it needs to be done and done it will be. There are at least three months ahead of me to accomplish that task; it may not be completed, but… I’ll give it a good bash.

We are also about to reorganise the sewing classroom as the current room proves to be a bit snug (just like that size 14!). My very spacious studio will become home to all creative processes as from the first week of 2022. Yes, we are going to start with excellent intentions! And as you know, the only way to live up to them is to DO them! In my next post I shall show you the before and after pics.

One of my intentions was/is to go to South Africa to celebrate my brother’s 90th birthday BUT we have come to a better solution, I think. What with the bloody virus still lurking there is no way that I want to be as helpless as the last time when I didn’t know when I would get back to my home… I had the great fortune to spend time with my brother and his lovely wife, but the insecurity crucified me. So, my suggestion to them is that we spend time together in Mauritius in September instead. A great achievement was to get a “Maybe!” from him – he does not like to travel much. So, we shall keep fingers crossed that we will be swimming in a warm Indian Ocean and walk on white sands and talk, talk, talk and eat, eat, eat!

Well, I better get this onto the blog otherwise the new year will be gone!

I would like to wish you all the very best for 2022 – dream big and make the dream(s) come true! You can do it!!

Thanks to the Times of India for this image

Here are the links I promised up top:

www.sewcyprus.com   –  where we learn to love to sew

www.amazon.com   (or whichever amazon you use)

 –   “Ripples of the Mind”  –  a compilation of short stories plus some illustrations

 –   “Sit, See, Sow”  –  a journal for meditators

 –   “Let’s Go!”  – a journal for travellers

 –   “Hannah – Woman in Red”  –  a novel set in  +40AD

Until next time,            

… almost one year on…

I’ve been meaning to do another blog post for ages, but life got in the way… in a good way! I have absolutely nothing to complain about as I have my health, I eat well each day and I sleep well each night. What more can a body want? In fact, I’m eating a bit too well!

                Looking back on my calendar/diary, January seems a very long time ago. It happens when one is engaged in the good life each day – time slips away almost unnoticed. Isn’t it wonderful to have a life full of things to do? I think so.

                Earlier this year I’ve done part of an Instagram course that still needs to be finished. However, with what I have learned so far, it has improved my Instagram posts enormously and I shall continue the lessons. The problem is that the tutor diligently updates her lessons which means one has to go back and re-learn! Well, I suppose I don’t have such a busy life! What needs, must.

Last year I registered a trading company entitled “Maria Etheridge T/a Sew Cyprus”. I engage my beloved daughter as a volunteer teacher… a bit of a tongue-in-cheek here.

                This volunteer teacher has worked her fingers to the bone to make new work stations – all by hand and beautifully finished. One of my bedrooms was transformed into a classroom and the pupils started coming in.

                She is also burning the candle on both ends putting together a wonderful online course and it will be a thing of beauty when it’s done. However, there is already a lot to look at and to participate in – have a look at www.sewcyprus.com  – new lessons are in the making and it should all be streamlined in another few months’ time. While you are visiting the site, tour around and see what’s on offer.

                We have both had our vaccinations which ticked off another item on the year’s agenda.

Meanwhile, I struggled with a kind of vertigo which annoyingly was not constant; it only happened when I put my head in certain positions. Well, that meant X-rays and MRI and seeing neurosurgeons to find out what the problem could be. It turned out that the cartilage between the vertebrae in my neck is just about non-existent… causing nerves to be caught between the bone… causing dizziness.

                The first surgeon wanted to cut and the second opinion said NO. The latter put me on physiotherapy treatments which, to my mind, could not really do much. Exercise does not replace cartilage.

                However, now some six months on and diligently doing my exercises, it is (fingers crossed) 98% better! I guess that eventually I will have to have the operation to insert these artificial cushions between the vertebrae but meanwhile, I can live happily with a little bit of “tipsiness” from time to time! It won’t register on a breathalyzer!

 I had a painting holiday booked in Venice for October but when I looked at all the paper nonsense that had to be completed and the tests to be done, I cancelled. This meant that I had a very quiet year with no travel plans. I took the opportunity to catch up on all sorts of little jobs that have been put on that giant back burner for a long time… 

                I have not done a lot of painting this year but concentrated more on pen and ink work and also on learning more about the art of making art. A few exhibitions happened which gladdened our hearts after being locked up for so long with the blooming virus. It was – and is – great to see people again despite the masks and despite not being able to hug each other. So it goes…

Jo’s house is still in the process of being built; what a long journey she has had with that place! I won’t go into detail here but I wondered if I should write another Cyprus-based book called “The Waiting Game”.  Honestly, it seems that one has to wait for everything here. There is also a thing called a Cyprus-time:  make an appointment to have someone come to your house or have something delivered and they will tell you – with deep sincerity – that it will be done at  XX.00 hour. Nope – it doesn’t! It usually happens anything from 30 minutes to 3 hours later OR doesn’t happen at all…! That’s Cyprus time. I wonder if that happens all around the Med or just towards the Middle East.

                Meanwhile, there have been some rumblings by my landlady that she’s thinking of putting this property on the market. Yeah – I know. My gorgeous studio…!

                BUT  nothing ever gets this optimist under!  The rumblings are rumblings as her 3 grown-up children (all provided with a house each by the parents) advised her NOT to sell. This episode made me very aware of the uncertainty of renting a property which got me thinking…

                Although I thought I would not wish to again own another property here, I’m slowly coming round to getting enough money together to buy a small patch of land and put up a ‘Tiny House’  –  have you ever seen the gorgeous small homes they make? Have a look at a YouTube channel called “Living Big in a Tiny House”. OK, most of the ones they feature are on wheels which I won’t do. But, I have discovered prefab homes that look terrific with proper insulation, etc. Anyway, this is planning that’s in the pipeline… We’ll see what the Universe comes up with.

                I’m pulling out all the stops and spreading the word far and wide. By the way, do you know where that expression comes from? It relates to the organ and pulling out all the stops, opens all the pipes for a really big blast!

In September we were also fortunate to be visited by Schalk-Willem and Brittany (grandson and partner) after they bought their first house in Haarlem, Netherlands.


We celebrated both our birthdays at a fabulous restaurant on the edge of the ocean. The food was really good and as a co-host, Jo and I were surprised by the reasonable prices! She was SO happy to have her son here after not seeing each other for 2 years! Bloody virus!

                Anyway, it was wonderful to spend time with them. I find it incredibly interesting to hear the views of younger people – in this case Millennials! It certainly opens up the thinking process! Great stuff!

                And I was fortunate to have a UK friend visit Cyprus – to play bridge – and I took her to the same restaurant: Sentiero. It was great but pretty windy November day but the company was smashing!

I look like I’m on the back of a Harley! It was windy – but great!

I’m one of those people who never stops learning things… Over the last several weeks I have immersed myself in learning about digital artwork. Not that I’m going to hand out a lot of dosh for new equipment, but I needed to understand about what the different terms meant. It has led me onto a slightly new path but I think I will leave the details for next time when I can show some results. All I can say is:  It’s exciting!

                I know, I know… I get excited rather easily. Once again, I’m flowing with the tide and we’ll see on which beach I pop out.

I have done quite a bit of writing and illustrations for a book of short stories I’ve put together. I’ve also done two journals, one for the meditators amongst us and one for the travellers. In 2019 I republished the book I finished writing in 2007 and… there are more journals and notebooks in the pipeline. They are sweet and very handy. Have a look:


Well, at this point I’m also busy sorting out stuff in this house. There is so much of it! Where did it all come from? I thought I down-sized quite a bit when I moved here from Kamares but… this magpie tends to horde things. However, I have paintings (collected over the years) as well as my own paintings that I need to get rid of as I will NEVER have enough wall space again. I have four large bookshelves that I need to weed… That won’t be a problem as there are some lovely charity shops who will take books. Oh, my word – my collection of recipe books! Since I switched to vegetarianism, half of those books – or rather half of the recipes in those books – are never used anymore. Sigh… What shall I do with it all? Most of these were collected on our travels through the world and a load of them were bought because of the chefs who wrote them… Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Jamie Oliver, my Rainbow Nations Cuisine – a gift from the Edgars people, Tuscan Sun cookbook, etc., etc.! Well, I better get cracking and sort through the lot and keep what I want and ditch the rest.

                I guess the above all relates to the fact that I have come to realise that my life is shrinking… I need less and less as time goes by and I’d rather not give those who stay behind the horrible job of sorting it all out! No, not morbid; jut realistic!!

And so…

Until next time – stay safe wherever you are!

2020 and all that jazz…

What a year we’ve had. It left me with my head spinning.

At the beginning of the year I fully expected a brilliant year; one that would give us 20/20 vision, at least. Well, I guess in a way, that’s what we got – just not in the way I expected! If there is one lesson in life I have learned it’s that whatever I really look forward to hardly ever materialises. Sad, isn’t it? It’s almost like Mother Nature sets out to teach me a lesson, again and again and again… What the hell is the lesson?

Anyway, after several ups and downs this year, I can be grateful for the fact that I still have my health. I’m also one of those fortunate one who doesn’t have to earn a living; been there and done that.

My heart goes out to those who have lost their jobs, lost their businesses, and even lost love. There is nothing anyone can say that will make it better instantly; it will take hard work to get back those things that we have held near and dear to our hearts. But, forever the optimist, I believe it will get better.

The pandemic has hit me in other ways though. I seem to have dried up on artistic inspiration. I get all excited about a new ‘direction’ only to fall flat on my face. Many new ‘directions’ later, I am now starting from scratch with re-learning my drawing skills. It has been neglected. I’ve set a personal challenge to do one drawing/painting per day on a small scale over the next several weeks; we are locked down again until 10 January 2021. Sigh…

A lesson that I have learned through making mistakes is that old watercolour paper becomes blotting paper… I thought I was clever using paper that has been sitting in a drawer… forever…! If you have a stash of paper, use it – and use it sooner rather than later. My first ‘challenge’ drawing was dreadful because of that. Well, perhaps!

These lock-downs are ridiculous. Oh, I believe in lock-down if it’s done good and proper. When I got stranded in South Africa in March this year, there was a system in place in Cyprus which I thought was brilliant. You were allowed to leave your home with permission which you obtained either by direct message or by completing a written request. All borders were closed and by the end of July, there wasn’t a COVID infection in sight. We had zero cases. Yes, it was a pain but it worked.

Cyprus depends heavily on the tourist and entertainment industries. Pressure was brought to bear and borders were opened. What happened? You’ve guessed it. It’s bad, bad, bad – much worse than before. And then there are those who want to organise protest marches against the lock-down in place now. Really? Sounds like Trumpism to me. Let’s have another rally: a super-spreader.

And then there are the conspiracy theorists… It seems to me that common sense has completely evaporated. When this pandemic first raised its nasty head, I was wondering if someone(s) somewhere(s) were launching an experiment in order to train people in case of global warfare involving nuclear weapons or worse. Well, if that were the case, we would all be dead by now because of The Disobedient Ones. You know, the ones who say that if there is a rule, let’s break it. Let’s object. Let’s protest. Let’s break down the system!

I made it my business to research, read whatever I could find on the virus in order to educate myself and I listened to the ‘other side’. Sometimes I fumed, sometimes I felt like crying, sometimes I wanted to find someone to smack around the head.

I also made it my business to follow the Presidential election in America. Absolutely fascinating. The behaviour of a certain person whose name I won’t mention here was – and still is – breath-takingly unbelievable. Politics have fascinated me since I met my late husband in 1976; he was a Tory Candidate when I met him – Maggie Thatcher days.

I don’t want to repeat things I have talked about in earlier blog posts; it’s all there if anyone wishes to read any of it. I will be splitting this blog off for my art input; I will create a new blog dealing with art only – more on that later.

I would like to wish each and every person who reads this the most Healing year ahead. If any of you have lost someone close to you this year, you have my heartfelt condolences; believe me, I know how that feels.

My wish for you is that you find Peace and Forgiveness for yourself and for others. Let’s work hard and make 2021 a bright and hopeful year.


Evolution of a painting… continued

This is just a short update / continuation of a previous posting.

The Painting is now complete and the ‘clients’ LOVE it, they said. Have to believe them!

After the endless back and forth regarding the style of painting to execute, I had a brainwave during a wonderful meditation in the Troodos. About 2 years ago, I ‘discovered’ my very own style – a style which I had been pursuing for a very long time, but never could get right. I am talking about Modern Impressionism, for which I went twice to Lake Como for lessons with the guru, Jerry Fresia.

I accidentally got it right when I was working on a painting for my lawyer’s office and then followed that up with a painting I did for myself for my lounge.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, here is The Sunset with moon and all. I managed to wrangle reality and included the very important yellow that was a prerequisite.

I’m really happy with the way it came out in the end and now I am on a roll – such a pity there is house cleaning and ironing to be done before getting on to the next one!

However, it is very important to see friends and family, and deal with business, which is all happening this week.

Next week… watch this space! Namasté!

10 Days in the Troodos

Having just finished my 76th year on this planet, I decided to give myself a birthday present: Ten Days in the Troodos. I was replacing a ‘retreat’ that I missed out on earlier in the year when my flight to Mauritius was cancelled due to the dreaded virus.

For those of you who do not know the island of Cyprus, the Troodos Mountains are the high point of the island, with Mount Olympos sitting at a height of 1952 metres above sea level. It’s gorgeously cool after the sweltering summer at sea level. I have a Room with a View to die for!

After a few days of real rest, I ventured out on Monday to what I thought was Kato Platres but it turned out to be Pano Platres – it just means upper and lower. I rectified that on Tuesday and I must say, I was disappointed; nothing like I remembered from previous visits when it was lively and full of colour. The only colour worth mentioning are the autumn ones – and they are gorgeous!  I think the effect of the virus has struck in many more places than we realised… Short may it live!!

It may be hard to believe, but this holiday is my first ever entirely on my own! Yes, after all those years! A friend of mine remarked that I was ‘brave’ to do this on my own… I’m loving every second! Nothing brave about it. The last thing I want to do at this point in my life is to become scared of the world; we are being bombarded with fear every minute of every day as it is. 

Tuesday I went back to explore Platres – upper and lower – a bit more and found nothing that excited me… What a sad thing to say!

Wednesday I stayed in and did a bit of sketching while waiting for my pizza to arrive. There is a plague of flies out front so I quickly ate and snuck back to my gorgeous room. Here is what happened on the paper:

On Thursday I thought I should get my lazy self out and about again and went to Kakopetria. Legend has it that the village is named after a falling rock that killed a couple on their first walk through the village as newly-weds, thus the name meaning ‘bad rock’ or ‘couple’s rock’. It sits at 667 metres above sea level, almost halfway down the mountain from my hotel…  It is picturesque though! 

Not to be missed is Linos Museum – here is a link in Greek, but scroll down to the images which are really good showing new mingling with old:


Friday was again spent quietly and resulted in more arty things… The silence here is incredible! Weekends are a different matter though as the hotel fills up with mainly locals. 

I decided to stick to my desire for seclusion until Sunday when I decided to visit Omodos. I could hardly move and encountered rudeness as well as real kindness. Once I bought what I went for, I trundled back to my hotel. Because of the masses of people (I’m a bit of an enochlophobic!) I did not stay long. For your sake, here is a link that shows you what you would see when you should  actually find parking: http://cyprusfortravellers.net/en/review/omodos-village-troodos-mountains-photos  …  and at my age it’s a wee bit impossible to cover it all; one has to be a bit of mountain goat! A blessing when someone else has done it for you!

I could go on and on about the fantastic ten days I spent in the Troodos Hotel and surrounds, but you will get so bored as it was mostly internal work; deep meditations, some tree-hugging, walking, and great insight into so many things. I am finally rid of loads or baggage that had heaped up, unnoticed, over most of my lifetime. Suffice it to say, I am now a much Lighter person… yes, Light has taken on a new meaning for me. And that was what I was looking for!

Until next time, stay safe and keep your loved ones out of harm’s way.

Namaste Program | Bristol Hospice Utah

Evolution of a painting

The other day I saw an article posing the question: What do artists do all day? Well, I have a short answer:  We try and try and try… and agonise! Ultimately, we create.

Let me tell you about one ‘commission’. I put that in inverted commas as I was commissioned by my grandson and you know that doesn’t really count as a commission per se. However, the whole thing started when we were having dinner at a seaside restaurant in Cyprus where we witnessed a fabulous sunset.


When he saw it, he asked: “Gran, can you paint that?” I answered that I could try… He has such faith in his grandmother!

Well, I’ve been trying and trying and trying… and agonising!

The added complication came when his girlfriend wanted to add a particular yellow whilst the original had none… Also, the size had to be 1m x 2m. Well… that meant having a canvas put on that size stretcher. I agonised some more…

And then one morning I had a bright idea: why not do a triptych? They agreed and off I trotted to a man who could make me three canvasses of the correct sizes. After waiting for almost a week, it turned out that he couldn’t fulfill the order as there were no deliveries of canvas rolls until end-August; it’s summer break in Europe when everything closes… I cancelled the order and went to an art supply store where I could only get 1m x 70cm canvasses. I took them even though they were not exactly the right size and also, they were not deep…

This is how it evolved:


The first sketch, cut up into three parts.


In the end the blue and yellow were screaming at each other so hard that I had to stop the fight. I was about to gesso the whole lot but decided to wait. Took them off the table and stood them up and… they looked good! Obviously only half-done, but I thought I could make it work. Obviously the colours had to be muted.


I went back to the art supply store and bought three more canvasses, slightly smaller than before – 90x70cm – and deeper.

The reason for this was that I also had another idea as, according to my tutor in Italy, one should never try to imitate Nature – it’s a losing game. I thought that, as they were trendy young people, they might prefer something young and trendy. Piet Mondrian was my first choice and I made a mock-up of my idea. They liked it! But the colours were too intense.

20200819_132522 (2)

We got there but colours still too intense


Now we are motoring…

Back to the drawing board and they had also made a few changes… Oh, yes – there had to be a moon! Well, I’ve taken them both into consideration and we began again… There will be yellow… and a sun… and a moon…

Fingers crossed that this will turn out as it was envisaged by them!


And no, this time I’m not talking about health, politics or religion, although they are all at the forefront of our minds. Especially politics! Or would that be health? I’ve heard a man talk about politics and religion in one breath lately – that’s so bad, man!

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones and stay safe wherever you are.

Till next time,


In between, breathe deeply – Namasté!



The little things…

If you, like myself, are one of those people who plan big, invent big, scheme big, you will probably tend to neglect the little things… I know I do.

It’s a strange thing though; since returning from my enforced period of looking within, I am slowly but surely attending to those little things that I’ve been neglecting for so long. One of those was the large bookshelf/dresser in the studio – not so little! It needed dusting and sorting out. Amongst the little things that have been sitting on one of the higher shelves, was a chess set that we bought in South Africa, probably about 30+ years ago. It’s a fun set, made up of African people in traditional dress – just a little thing we loved. The material used is unknown to me, but it looked like clay. It had become fragile with age…

This set was in a plastic bag which disintegrated when handled… yes, it’s that old! Anyway, upon opening the shreds of plastic, I found that some of the pieces had lost their heads – literally! They were all there except the head of the Ndebele King. He lost his head completely! Well, we couldn’t leave it like that, could we?


And the Queen didn’t escape the guillotine either, but her head could at least be retrieved!


And (in the background) there was the cow that tried to jump over the moon, fell down, and cracked her legs right off. Oh dear, not a good idea, the silly moo! She is actually a key holder that my daughter gave me many moons ago and when I moved to Anavargos, it went up on the wall again. However, the balance was out and the poor moo couldn’t hold onto all the keys that dragged her down to earth… So, she had to be wheeled into the operating theatre for surgery. I think she has recovered well.


Now, the king has a new head. Perhaps not as traditional as it should be, but he can once again feel proud again amongst his people.

20200709_122455          The set can never be used to play a game with, but I am glad I decided not to ditch it. Lovely, aren’t they?

And so, onto other little things. A painting I started sometime in the beginning of this year just didn’t make me happy. I have a tendency to use colours that are too strong even though I’ve had two sessions with the modern Impressionist tutor in Italy. Somehow, my eyes always deceive me.

However, one of the little things that needed fixing was this painting; it’s not actually that little, but it was a little niggle nonetheless! I felt as if I couldn’t start creating something new until this thing was off my easel. I started covering it with white paint to see where I could take it. Then started rubbing back and added a bit and fiddled a bit more… In the end, I’m not too displeased with it. A matter of opinion, really… some would say it’s now too weak! Here are the before and after images:

Now that we are beginning to have lives that are more familiar to us – I’m avoiding the word “normal” – we are able to enjoy exhibitions, open air excursions and… shoe-shopping again!

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with friends and fellow creators at the event organised by The Makers Space in Tala. If you haven’t been to that space, make arrangements to go and see the magnificent things the makers create.


This beauty is for sale – you should see it to believe it! You can contact The Makers Space direct to view.


The next exhibition should be interesting – Steven Oliver Postgate and Elli Lestas, both well-known artists of Paphos  :

Well, it’s time to get on with the next little thing…

Until next time,


A New Day has Begun…


It’s a work in progress, called “The Firefly Club” but my title for this post actually made me think of “Cats” – the musical, thus… cats!


Now that the dust has settled, literally, it is time for a “new day” to begin. The world have buried or cremated many loved ones and there is still a lot of pain to be worked through for many people.

I wish I could say to everyone that the one thing to remember is this: The Past is the past and nothing in this Universe can change what was; it is written in the wind. What is, right now, is what IS – only YOU have complete control over this moment in your life. I beg you to use it well. The future is the next moment; decide in this moment how you will use the next one. It could well be your last, as the future is also one thing: Uncertain.

It is up to each individual how their new day will begin.


The new water pipes have been laid and everything is now as it should be. I have two more rooms to clean thoroughly and then it will be time for stepping out into the world again. How exciting!

I have also rearranged my studio space and it is ready for that new day!

I have also sorted out works that really, really, really should never have been on display and hidden them away, perhaps to rework another day. My display is now much smaller and for viewing by appointment only.

I’m also re-experiencing the wonder of living in this community. It’s really amazing how many welcomes I’ve had from all around me and, of course, the food again walks through my front door! However, I shall now begin to repay this kindness as I have ‘unveiled’ all my wonderful kitchen appliances from where they were hiding deep in kitchen cupboards… The other thing that will infuse my enthusiasm for making good food is MasterChef Australia; golly gee, it is good to watch! Unfortunately, the Australian channel broadcasting this programme is very stingy. They will not make it available to the rest of the world except months later on BBC, etc. However, if you have a system that can pick it up from Oz, go for it – it’s wonderful. This year’s competition is heading towards its climax.

On top of that I have SO many recipe books to revisit since I decided to become a vegetarian about 4 or 5 years ago… Now I need to separate the meat from the rest!


So, if you hear me complain about weight gain, well – just ignore it! It’s also summer time in Cyprus and there is absolutely no excuse for not shaking it off easily.

Dancing, they say. Dancing is the thing to keep you fit and well. Yes, that too… And I love standing up while painting. Let’s see how this new day will be dawning.

Till next time images


The Wind-up

Today, Saturday 13 June 2020, I am finally free. I have completed my period of self-isolation. I have not been out in my car nor stepped out on foot – in brief, I have been a good and obedient girl.

angelic woman

The strange thing is that I really needed these 14 days to get my head sorted out. It felt extremely strange to be back in my own space, once again doing exactly as I please, when I please! Do not misunderstand: I had a great lock-down with my brother and his wife but there is nothing that beats getting between your own sheets in your own bed. And how very fortunate I am to be able to do that as a healthy senior.

And that’s another thing I came to terms with: I am a senior. My head still doesn’t quite want to accept it but my heart overrules my head on that one. These weeks away gave me time to make friends with myself, to become more aware of my mortality and to realise that each moment is precious. Of course I knew that before, but now I really know it – hand on heart!

In my absence, there was a slow water leak from the pipes on the roof and although it was previously detected, it wasn’t fixed properly. This time, it really leaked! The most damage was done in the kitchen, utility room and part of the passage. The repairman came and cut out all he damaged plaster after pinpointing the problem. Can you imagine the mess? There was white dust on top of old dust and wet cupboards; most of my herbs and spices and other stores were destroyed…

If there was one thing that I have learned during my enforced introspections, it was to learn to accept what is. The second lesson was patience.

mala bead counting

When one is unable to do anything to change a situation, take stock and accept it. Make peace with the obstacle instead of making it your enemy. That way you get close to it and are more able to fix whatever is broken.

My lounge and dining areas are now spotless and shining. I gave myself two days for the kitchen starting yesterday… Well, that’s a dream! It took me almost a day to sort through the contents of one store cupboard and devise an ingenious new way of storing herbs and spices. Old drawers in storage came in really handy, and there are more old drawers to utilise for the next cupboard! So, moving on and it will take as long as it takes.

So far, I have a few really well organised cupboards, squeaky-clean and dry. I am proud of my persistence…

As far as The Virus and world peace are concerned, I am very, very afraid for the future of this planet. I also find it amazing that when people tell the world what to expect, most of it is ignored. I was rather shocked by how little this particular interview resonated in the world – it really is worth listening to:


If only it was on every media platform in the world before the Presidential election in 2016, we may have had a different scene today…

We have also been told by Dr. Fauci – more than TWO years ago – to expect a serious pandemic. And no one listened… What, I wonder, did he know that others did not? Why did he fire and persecute Dr. Judy Mikovits when all she wanted to do was tell the truth? I had lots of time to research and investigate but I won’t bore the pants off you with statistics, interpretations and conspiracy theories – they are all out there if you want to take the time to have a look. Some really mad ones too.

What really, really irritates me are the half-truths, the twisted truths, the out-of-context quotes to suit the moment, and the truly awful behaviour of what we regard as normal people. The media, in my opinion, are often the biggest culprits.

Anyway, here we are on this really mad, mad, mad world and we have to make the best of a sad situation.

mad mad mad world

Who knows what will happen if a second wave hits and the American Presidential election has to be postponed…?!

If there are two words that make me want to be puke, they are TRUMP and COVID. Unfortunately they are both real.

Meanwhile, there is the rest of my kitchen to clean and organise, as well as the rest of my home; 3 months’ worth of old dust plus pretty plaster dust on top of it… And that’s just to start with. There are all those other plans and projects to put in motion, finish and complete. So much to do, so little time – I believe the saying originally came from Cecil John Rhodes on his death bed.

Life is good. Life is wonderful. I can breathe…





On Thursday, 28 May I was taken to Pretoria to go to the Qatar Embassy. I was expecting about 15 to 20 people at most but when we got to the area, there were 12 buses and around 1000 people outside in the street. Now, remember – I had all my luggage with me… not much but enough to really test my strength…

Each person had to go inside, up 4 and then 4 more steps, luggage and all, except if you were flying with someone who could look after your stuff for you. Well, I managed to get up the first lot of steps, park my luggage on the small landing and then joined the queue. We were given forms to complete that had to be handed to the airport ‘COVID police’.

We waited 2 hours before we could board buses and needless to say, the organisation skills were sorely lacking. The traffic police were supposed to block off the street so that we could get loaded and board safely… they showed up when we were leaving… There were children and elderly people waiting – no toilet facilities, no water supplied.

Eventually we got going and when we reached the airport, we had to remain seated while each piece of luggage was off loaded and set out flat on the pavement and tarmac. After that, we had to leave the bus, identify our luggage, and place ALL of our hand luggage with our suitcase(s). Step away and wait… again. They employed sniffer dogs – quite a show!

After that bit of sniffing, we could take our luggage and queue to enter the building, hand over our completed forms, show our passports and boarding passes with predetermined seats allocated. Another long wait inside where we could at least buy water and snacks; I’ve only had breakfast that morning… Thank goodness for the forward planning of both my sister-in-law and myself for stocking up on nutribars and other goodies to munch on! The chocolate was melted – the wait was in full sun!

Eventually we boarded the aircraft. Physical distancing? Go fish! The flight was packed solid. I was lucky to have a seat open next to me only because it was a no show passenger. Off we went into the night, flying north to Doha. The food was good. We reached our first destination sometime after 06.30, more than an hour late because of delays in South Africa; I had a connecting flight at 09.30 to Athens… and it was a long walk between terminals.

I carried my laptop and other paraphernalia in a backpack. The times I had to take it off, put it on, take it off, and so on AND of course, the laptop had to be taken out to go through security. We managed to board our flight on time and arrived in Athens around 13.30.

During the previous 36 hours I had been trying to get a connecting flight for that same afternoon, but Aegean Airways just didn’t come through on time. This resulted in me having to leave the airport to go to a Government sponsored hotel. Leaving the airport I had to have a mandatory COVID test. Aegean eventually came through with a booking to Larnaca, Cyprus the following day, and all was well when we got the results of our tests some 14 – 16 hours later. This meant that we could catch the Larnaca flight and get home.

Arriving at Larnaca, we encountered another long cattle-herding line, two more forms to be completed and then had to have yet another COVID test… Unbeknown to us, there were untested people on the flight who joined it in Athens… The test in Athens was from the throat, whilst the Larnaca test was from the nose. Both truly horrible!

Then we had to board the busses again to go through immigration control and collect our luggage. Once again dragging luggage behind us, we eventually boarded buses that took us to a hotel in Larnaca to await the results of the tests. These came through on MONDAY late afternoon which tested my patience to the limit – the food was awful, only because I stated that I was vegetarian. It resulted in helpings enough for four people of boiled vegetables of various kinds. NO protein of any kind. Even breakfast consisted of fried vegetables only… Well, On Sunday evening I flipped and complained. I got fish and chips instead plus… carrots and beans…!

My daughter collected me from the hotel that evening at around 21.30 and we got home safe and sound. I can tell you now, a Famous Grouse had never tasted that good before!

I am still under self-isolation and my daughter stocked my fridge and freezer to the gunnels, together with fresh fruit and vegetables. How blessed am I to have a one like her!?!

So, to come to the end of the saga of the lock-down:  I am safe, I am at peace, I am at home but I really feel the effects of this entire period. I’m exhausted, mentally, physically and even a bit spiritually. However, the next 11 days will be used to recharge the batteries and get myself back to perfect balance in every way.

I’m sorry there are no images with this post.

OK, here is one… my home-coming drink!  The flowers are courtesy of my landlady; thank you, Fanoula! And I can’t even get to the hairdresser until after Monday, 15th!


Thank you for sharing in my lock-down; let’s hope it never happens again!

My next post will touch on my view of the global pandemic, unnecessary violence and the control that Big Brother is gaining over the entire population of the world…


P.S.  I prefer to call it physical distancing instead of social distancing – it’s just another way to indoctrinate us.