And so it goes…

In 2007 I self-published a book – a fairly controversial one – and it was quite successful. However, I never did any real promotion of it and it never really went anywhere much…

So, about a month ago, I got an email from Amazon to say that there will be a royalty payment going into my account. Wow! I’ve sold books?! Short was my excitement as the amount paid in was a royal €1,74. Well, that slapped me around a bit and I decided that it was time to do the Kindle version properly; it was a mess when the original publishers converted it for e-readers. Kindle was a mess…

First things first, I re-formatted the whole thing according to Kindle instructions and put it out there. But, while re-formatting, I realised that there were a few things that needed fixing and updating. This I did and decided to republish through Amazon. The beauty of this is that they only charge me for author copies and the rest is FREE!

Without further ado, I would like to introduce (reintroduce!):

“Hannah – Woman in Red”

Front Cover

“Hannah – Woman in Red”

… is the story of the woman we have come to know as Mary Magdalene. Her real name was Johanna, shortened to Hannah.

It is a story of intrigue, deceit, violence, brutality, mystery and magic with romance adding spice.

In ancient times “Mary” was a title rather than a name, earned through rigorous study and total dedication. Upon graduation, the colour Red was the mark of the High Priestess, or “Mary”.

Through an act of utter defiance, Hannah plots against the regime which crucified the man she loves – and saves his life. With the help of Joseph of Arimathæa they deceive a whole host of people and flee to ultimate safety – or so they think.

In the end, through the use of magic and miracle, further steps are taken to safeguard their existence as Simon Peter discovers the deceit and swears revenge against the ‘beloved disciple’ – Hannah.

Some ten years after the crucifixion, Pontius Pilate discovers his mistake and weeps as he witnesses the first ever stigmata.

All this comes to light when, in 1890, Rennes-le-Chateau yields the treasure of Hannah’s writings, almost perfectly preserved, into the hands of the Abbé Bérenger Saunière who has to deal with the conundrum. This impossible task leads to deeper deception.

—oOo—

Please note that this is fiction and as the author, I have taken liberty with twists and turns of historical record.

It also comes with a warning:

If you are a devout Christian, you may find the content disturbing.

Should you be interested in obtaining the new and improved version, here are the links for clicking:

Kindle version:  Kindle version

Paperback version: Paperback version

  • Paperback  ISBN-13: 978-1686780660

When you order, please ensure that you order this edition as the old one will still be available for a few more weeks…

Review:

Here is a review of the novel but a good friend who shall be known as “Bookworm” :

This fascinating novel was inspired by the author’s visit to the French country town of Rennes-le-Chateau, where its tiny church guards an astonishing secret.

M.M. Etheridge examines the legend of Mary Magdalene who is claimed by many (including Dan Brown), to have escaped with Jesus after he survived his crucifixion, to begin a new life in France. The author begins an intriguing journey back in time to Ancient Egypt, following the discovery of a cache of scrolls in the church at Rennes-le-Chateau. These scrolls were written by a woman called Hannah – a woman who wore red – after whom the book is named.

Many books have described Mary Magdalene, but Etheridge gives a whole new insight into the life of this remarkable woman, by expounding the theory that ‘Mary’ was a title, rather than a name, since the Bible mentions many Marys in its pages.

However, Hannah – Woman in Red, does not dwell on the holiness of the characters, but rather gives an account of what life may have been like 2000 years ago.

We meet Hannah – the ‘Mary’ from the village of Magdala – when she is eleven years old and living in the Goshen District of Egypt. We follow her through years of training to become a healing priestess. Then, back in Galilee, we experience the harsh reality of the Roman occupation. We share her agonising experiences when she falls in love with Jeshua-bar-Joseph (the man we know now as Jesus of Nazareth), who becomes embroiled in the virulent politics of the day.

We flee with them to the safety of France where we learn more about the Druids and their exotic way of life.

Throughout this romantic novel there is mysticism, fantasy and magic, as the author uses 21st century knowledge to examine the miracles of biblical times that still intrigue people today.

Any reader with an enquiring mind will be fascinated by this alternative, yet thoroughly plausible, story of Jesus and Mary. You will enjoy your magical journey through the Roman Empire.

—oOo—

 

And there is another little book in the pipeline; a collection of short stories, illustrated by moi…

And in the words of the late Dave Allen:  May your God go with you!

44690_1481367607946_1205031_n Maria.

A new day, a new way…

I had a gentle reminder from a friend this week… she said: “I haven’t had a notification of a blog post recently. Are you still doing them?” Such a nice way to say: “Get on with it – we are waiting”!

Firstly, it’s great to know that there are people actually reading my musings. And secondly, I apologise for being so sloppy! So here goes:

Jo, my daughter, and I decided to spend Christmas in the Netherlands – what a joy to be with family and friends!

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When we got back, it was time to start preparations for the new year’s Cyprus Open Studios registrations. This went full steam ahead with deadline being 30 June. Well, it is with sadness but also with relief that I have to say 2019 turned out not to be a year for the open studios event – hardly anyone registered. And that brings me to the decision I came to:  Retire officially! It was time.

Obviously that involved a lot of meetings and deliberations, but my two partners were of the same opinion: enough was enough.

So, from July I have become an official pastel painter who has experimented in depth with other media. Pastels won in the end! Right now, I am in the process of updating my own website which is a bit of a muddle as it’s very cluttered. If you like you can have a peep but don’t be too harsh in your criticism! I have only just started this job! www.etheridgestudio.com

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Also in January, Jo found the perfect plot of land and promptly set the ball rolling and on St. Valentine’s day, the deal was done! With an extremely contrary seller, it felt like months rather than weeks! At this point in time, the builders are busy little bees creating her hive which should be ready to occupy by the end of March next year.

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IMG-20190214-WA0000 (1)  A very chuffed Johanna!

But before the diggers moved in, we had a brilliant souvla (Greek BBQ) to celebrate with friends, neighbours and countrymen. Oh, what an evening and it was full moon! My Jo truly showed us all how it should be done in Cyprus! Brave and strong girl that she is!

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Everyone helped and there was even a make-shift loo – constructed by… yes! Johanna again!

Everything seems to be falling beautifully into place for everyone around me. My grandson and his long-term girlfriend officially became Life Partners – it’s an almost-wedding! They are such great people! I cannot be happier for them.

The Cyprus summer is frying our butts and I’m truly looking forward to cooler weather. But the swimming is great! Beach-time as often as possible. Life is good.

Another really BIG thing in my life is that I shall be going on holiday in March next year – on my own – for the first time ever! I’ve been yearning to go back to Mauritius and that is exactly what I shall be doing. I’ll be staying in an AirBnB in my favourite town, Grand Baie. I’m looking forward to chill, snorkel, eat, pray and… well, we’ll see.

I’m also hoping to launch a second book – just a small one – by Christmas. But, there are numerous illustrations still to be done and yes, the author is also the illustrator! We shall see as I’ve not set a deadline – I’ll keep you in the loop. The whole idea stems from our writers’ group homework which I kept most of, since 2003 until about 2015-ish. Now it has been put into a small anthology… I’m having fun – hope you will enjoy it too!

It’s hard to believe but in another two months’ time I will have lived in this rental accommodation for two whole years! Yes, I’m still as happy as Larry with this find and my studio is now being put to good use… at last! Mornings only right now as in the afternoons it becomes a fournos – and that’s a Greek clay oven! Impossible to use in summer in the afternoons as even the giant A/C cannot cope… But mornings are gorgeous!

The other unbelievable thing is that this day is the day – seven years ago! –  that my beloved Donald left this earthly dimension to go to his Valhalla; I hope he is still feasting in the Great Hall.

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I shall not wait so long to do the next post… promise!

Here are a few pointers if a dog could be your teacher – the secret of happiness:

  • When your loved ones come home, always run to greet them
  • Never pass up an opportunity to go for a joyride
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy
  • Take naps
  • Stretch before rising
  • Run, romp, and play daily
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you
  • Avoid biting when a growl will do
  • On warm days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your whole body
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk
  • Be faithful
  • Never pretend to be something you are not
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close and nuzzle them gently

 

May Peace be your guide and Happiness be your shadow!

44690_1481367607946_1205031_n  Maria.

 

The Almost-Done-Year

Hmm… it was a year to remember!

In my previous post I told you about all the activities that I had ‘subjected’ myself to. And then I added travel to it…

As it happened, I had to attend a funeral in the UK and when making the bookings, I discovered that the Financial Freedom course I was doing had their 3-day conference/workshop just three days later. I took the plunge and booked my seat.

I’m sorry to report that the experience was not a pleasant one! It probably is due to my age, but the noise level was almost unbearable! The ‘lessons’ and presentations were interspersed with entertainment – everything at incredibly high din. I will spare you that!

As I had booked my airfares to and from Bristol and the conference was at Heathrow, it meant catching three buses to get me back to Bristol on time for take-off around noon… I didn’t want to pay another bit of lolly for yet another change of plan, so I added more stress instead! But, all was well that ended well.

However, the second morning after my return, I nearly landed on my face when getting out of bed! Vertigo had struck! I had this before and it passed in three days so I thought I would just ride it out. But, I was falling about (almost) like a drunken sailor!

e8f1bf0e5d288505e3b0b40c81f5920f52744ca0 But with no alcohol in me! Darn!!

Bullied by my daughter to see the doctor, it turned out that the bullying was justified…

Usually, vertigo is attributable to an inner ear infection but after inspection, the doctor found nothing wrong with my ears. She then told me that another cause of vertigo is extreme levels of stress… Oh, boy! At the same time, my blood pressure was slightly too high for her liking.

After a good talking to myself and reviewing the stress inducing activities of not only 2018, but also of the last several years, I realised that my plate had been heaped to overflowing! It was time to take matters into hand and recover fully.

I’m delighted to say that the vertigo cleared up in ten days and the blood pressure is well under control. I have also had three gorgeous massages since then and am taking the whole recovery thing seriously; gone back to my meditation, as well as doing The Artist’s Way once again. I’ve forgotten all about the lessons I learned when I did it in South Africa years ago! I’m glad to say it all seems to be working as I am learning to say NO to those things I do not wish to do or become involved in; always a difficult thing for me…

On a much lighter note, I can say that my heart dances with joy for my daughter and my grandson – and of course, everyone connected with them! Schalk-Willem has been offered a permanent position upon graduation, at the company where he is doing his internship. He’s working on his Thesis now and it’s looking good!

Brittany has secured her permanent position with Facebook in Amsterdam with effect from early January. Those two are well on their way to settling down to a bright future. However, the two of them contracted chickenpox… one after the other! Poor babies!!

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Jo has restarted work on her online course and that is looking very promising too! There are endless possibilities and she is very innovative!

She also had a visitor from down under – her bestie for many years. We decided to teach her to drink Zivania on the day she arrived! Zivania is the local (originally) moonshine (witblitz we call it in South Africa) but is now produced commercially. It has a real kick…

We then went to the Netherlands to celebrate Schalk-Willem’s 25th birthday and I took the opportunity to visit a few arty places in Amsterdam. And, of course, bicycles everywhere!

But before we travelled, we decided that my 75th birthday had to be celebrated properly at the Zen Room in Limassol. That was a disastrous stay as the hotel was really not up to standard although 5-star…

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However, here’s the big joke:  a couple of weeks ago, I had to give my date of birth to a podiatrist and upon working out my age, I discovered that I’m 74… NOT 75!

winning-gesture-emoticon-vector-21953736Yeeeeah!!!    I gained a year!   How crazy-good is that!?

I have also regained a sense of (real) purpose and started painting again. I have laid off for a while as other things were… far more important! Yeah, I know!  I have now learned my lessons and am taking things very much easier!

One big old problem I have always suffered from is/was(?) procrastination. Another big lesson from resent events is to do what needs to be done NOW… and relax. At my age, you would think I’d have learned that lesson many years ago… But, we are not all perfect! That back burner simply had no more space…

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My new accommodation is utterly enjoyable, convenient and spacious! It’s almost unbelievable but this is my second winter here! Looking back on this last year, a lot has been achieved. 2019 will see a lot of activity but this time I know how to pace myself! I have learned to be kinder to myself…

I still get food ‘offerings’ from my neighbours which make me feel incredibly humble; they expect NOTHING in return! In fact, when you reciprocate, it is met with utter surprise.

As this is a sort of Christmas letter, I would like to take the opportunity to wish each and every one of my friends and family a Joyous Festive Season and a Happy, Healthy and Joyful 2019!

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No, not my fireplace… just a cozy Christmas scene.

As Dave Allen always used to say: “May your God go with you!”

Blessings and Love from Cyprus!

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Living a full life

Since the last blog post, things have been hotting up for me as the registrations for Cyprus Open Studios started coming in, resulting in intense concentration and sitting at the computer for long hours. But, it was all worthwhile as I’m quite happy with what we have achieved so far. For interest’s sake, here is the link to our website and, while you’re there, click on the BLOG button. We are, of course, also on Facebook – join us by liking the page.

But, as this is not a business posting, I better start telling you about the other things happening in my life.

Jo – Joey for many people – has settled in brilliantly. Oh, locally she is known as Johanna, which is the same as the Greek Ioanna.  She’s not looking back for one moment and is in the process of meeting new people and finding more enjoyment each day. Last evening, we watched the last two episodes of MasterChef Australia – something we’ve been watching once a week over many weeks! We’ve also been trying out new eating places each Wednesday – what fun! I’ve suddenly realised I will have to start sorting out images… there are plenty! However, I found a few… to whet your appetite.

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Wine with a view – each time!

And we mustn’t forget that the chickens need feeding and that we need to cook our own as well – the fresh produce is outstanding, especially if you can pick it in your own veranda garden!

My grandson, Schalk-Willem, has moved to the Netherlands at the beginning of this year to do his Masters Degree at Tilburg University. He is doing extremely well and will start his internship with a dream company called 3D Hubs in Amsterdam on 5 August. His girlfriend, Brittany, also moved to the Netherlands. She works for an advertising company very much involved with Facebook and lives in Haarlem, where the two of them now share accommodation and both work in Amsterdam – a short train ride away; apparently the rest of his curriculum is available online whilst he writes his thesis. We are overjoyed for them! They are really starting their own lives now.

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Schalk-Willem and Brittany – the new Dutchies, at home in Haarlem.

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Here he is part of the team that came second in a competition held in Berlin

a couple of months ago – big WOW!

Since I finished putting the COS catalogue together for the printers, I went a little bananas… I enrolled in 3 courses that I thought I’d do during the summer break. Oh, dear – it’s manic! The most important one, I think, is the Financial Freedom course, which is intense! The reason for taking this one is because in my previous life, Donald took care of all the financial dealings. Of course I was included in meetings and decisions, but I knew absolutely nothing about how the world of finance worked. That’s what I’m learning about now! And also to make your money work for you; I found out that I am termed as a ‘passive earner’ as other people earn my money for me… at a price, of course! An ‘active earner’ is one who works for a living – and long may they live!

Another course is one that was offered by the man who was – still is! – trying to teach me to do Impressionist painting. Yes, he offered an online course which, in a different way, is as intense as the financial one. I got quite stuck in the mud about The Method as it’s something I’m not happy with: other people’s methods – except when it comes to cooking! But, sometimes it helps to take a breath and stand back; during my little afternoon siesta yesterday, it dawned on me that I can do it MY way – not HIS way. As long as the end result is what it should be. As they say, the proof is in the pudding…

The third course I won’t tell you about, as it’s a little whoo-whoo, which is why I’ve decided to put it on the back burner until the winter; all about Shamanic healing methods… told you!

One thing I probably will never get my head around is the fact that my landlady and my one neighbour provide me with FOOD! Many days when I thought it was time to prepare something to eat, one of them stood at the front door – or in my kitchen – with a dish or two. I would say that 98% of their offerings have been extremely welcome; the other 2% was probably because I’m not a local, as they were acquired tastes. And I only had to say that I was vegetarian once – they remember!

Jo with my landlady, Fanula, and a few of the things that walked through my door…

We have also learned that it is REALLY bad form to object or refuse. Accept everything gracefully and if there is something that you truly don’t like, be honest. If you lie about it, you will get it again and again – and that’s a waste of good food for some!

Having moved into “the village” has been quite an experience. It is totally different from where I used to live – totally! I thought we had moved to Cyprus in 2001, but what we actually did was to move into an enclave of ex-pats who were/are isolated from the real Cyprus.

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Tala village square – the square is the life of every village worth its name!

My advice for anyone who wishes to change countries is to rent a property and get to know the place before committing yourself to buying or building; find the place that suits you. Many ex-pats move to countries where they try and change everything to suit them instead of living the local life. I’m not just talking about Cyprus – you get it in almost every other country. We were quite amused when we were on the Algarve in Portugal and just about every restaurant offered classic fish ‘n chips and Sunday Roasts… it’s the same here! I must say France is quite resistant!

Well, my well has dried up now – will have to wait for some inflow! Until the next time when I catch up with you all, have a wonderful life and enjoy whatever it is you are doing. Every now and then, stop and… smell the roses – or whatever is around! Just take a deep breath. Over here, we are staying cool…

S8A5200 One of the Venetian bridges in Cyprus – you didn’t know they have been here? Oh, yes, they were!

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Jo, me, Dave and Pauline – good friends!

P.S. The image at the top is the view from Jo’s home… to die for! Well, it doesn’t seem to show, so here it is:

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IF YOU HAVE EVER WONDERED…

… what it would be like living with a whirlwind that could be likened to the cartooned Tasmanian Devil, I can now give you a detailed description! Lessons can be learned from my beloved daughter…

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On the day of her arrival, I was taking my time getting ready to go to the airport in the belief that she was landing between 11:00 and 12:00. Just to be sure, I checked the schedule of arrivals only to discover that she was due for touchdown at around 10:00! The airport is a good 90 minutes steady driving from me, if one is lucky. This day turned out to be a good-traffic-day. However, I was slightly thrown off balance by my stupidity not to have checked earlier.

Waiting at the barrier for her to emerge, she managed to surprise me by coming from a completely different direction! I never realised there was a third exit… Did I mention something about being thrown off balance?

Well, another surprise was waiting for me: she had arranged to view a rental property that afternoon at 14:30 … barely enough time to get home and have some lunch! The property turned out to be The One as it ticked all the boxes – the agreement was signed within a week.

47b5e0ed936e8cc42dce3fa39bc0e27fHere’s the funny part: it is located in the village that I have moved out of in October last year! No, not Kamares – Tala, which is the greater village. Up on the hill above the amphitheatre is where she will watch sunsets to her heart’s content. It’s a view to die for!

A view to die for

I knew Jo was a woman of action but I never realised that action looked quite like that! Fifteen days after landing in her adopted country, every duck is sitting in its allocated place in the row: water, electricity, poolman, immigration, bank, car, make-shift filming studio, and dining-room suite – all ticked. The inside of the villa will be painted before her furniture arrives from South Africa – unpacking that will be fun! My list probably skims the top of what she has achieved over this fortnight. Yes, I’m a very proud mother.

And speaking of ducks, she has really taken to Cyprus living like the proverbial duck to water. She and my landlady have a lot in common in that Fanula used to be a fashion designer and they talk needlework as if they have known each other for years! One of the miraculous things where I live is that as soon as you think you about preparing a meal, the food walks in the door… yes, almost daily! We have reciprocated a bit by inviting Fanula and her family to lunch last Sunday (‘our’ Easter) – dining on bobotie, yellow rice with raisins, bean stew (boontjie bredie) and cinnamon pumpkin, all straight from a South African kitchen! They loved it! And we didn’t take any photographs…

This weekend we will join them for their Easter Sunday lunch – the Orthodox Easter is a week later than the Latin one this year. This weekend is also the Flower Festival and Jo experienced it first-hand at the Geriskipou church. She was reprimanded for folding her legs in church! Apparently, it is a No-No as the Priest explained – crossing the legs in church is like making a mockery of the Cross. Or something like that!

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Well, she made friends as the Priest and his wife engaged in a long conversation when they heard she was from South Africa.

The days in Cyprus are lengthening and the temperatures rising – summer is coming! We are entering a strange ‘era’, my daughter and I. We have reached a stage where we do not have a single living thing depending on us for anything. Whatever we do and offer now is not out of duty or because we are responsible, but purely out of love and compassion. Isn’t that just wonderful? For the first time in our lives we could get in a car and drive off into the middle distance, go for walks in the forest or jump on a boat without looking or reporting back, or asking permission.  I still find it difficult to stretch a lunch or dinner out for five hours but I now remind myself that there is no reason not to… The Moment is everything!

It is quite weird… just Being. I bit like being a Hippy…

 

Of course, we do have things to do… I still do my Cyprus Open Studios organising and Jo will continue her online teaching business; filming will resume shortly!

For interest’s sake, please have a look at www.cyprusopenstudios.com and www.sewfabulous.co.za

Until next time, stay safe!

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A Tribal Gathering

This has been coming for a while… First, my computer crashed so badly that I lost some precious images and then the Oz ‘flu virus struck, smacking me so hard I had no energy! However, here we are… at last!

In July 2016, I travelled with my small and intimate tribe on the Canal Du Midi in France as well as to a few other places. It was an unforgettable experience during which we got to know each other like never before. Remember, guys?

Plans for the future were moulded and over the following year, those plans were honed and polished.

One of those plans was to visit my extended tribe in South Africa for Christmas 2017. Goodness, I never realised just how extended the tribe has become! What a marvellous experience to see little ones who are growing up fast, young ones who have chosen their life partners and the elders imparting wisdom and offering support where necessary. I am so proud to be a part of my own tribe as well as my adopted tribes, the Mountany and Erasmus clans. Long may we all live!

The Christmas gathering happened over three days and my own and I encamped at a country lodge and spa called Leeuwenhof, travelling to the different family farms on the three days. What a marvellous experience! The Bush was lush and green and rain fell in abundance for which every farmer and his wife were enormously grateful. And we all got to know each other even better! How blessed I am.

Next on the agenda was the gathering of the Volschenk clan with extended families on New Year ’s Day with another opportunity to see family members growing up, growing strong and growing old. My niece and her husband decided to treat us all to a little taste of the Cape with a Snoek BBQ – called a ‘braai’ in South Africa. I’ve never been keen on Snoek because of all those bones, but this time Denis taught me how to eat the fish: with fingers!

On New Year’s Day we had a really good lunch at a Greek Taverna in Pretoria… yes, had to keep the Greek/Cypriot tradition going! And the company was invigorating as well. It was with a tear or two that we said our farewells; I was to return to my adopted country two days later.

Back in Cyprus, winter was in full force… actually still is! However, spring is entering the stage with the most fabulous display of wild flowers you can imagine. Just have a look at this one:

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Somehow, 2017 and all its trials and tribulations suddenly caught up with me about a month ago… started feeling off colour and listless. All that studio space and no energy to paint! The listlessness developed into bronchitis… the third time since I came to Cyprus! However, good medical attention has got me to the point where I can actually catch up with this blog! The previous time I got bronchitis was when I was exposed to radiation pollution in Phuket and thanks to my wonderful homeopathic genius friend, I shook it off quite quickly. Jennifer, we need to talk!

Some of you might know that my passion (and purpose!) in life is to promote art and artists – been doing that since the early 1990s. My baby now is Cyprus Open Studios (COS) and registration for this year’s October event opens in just a few days… 1 March! We are entering our third year and officially, I am a volunteer! They say no one puts more into a project than those who are passionate about it! Well, that’s me…

The next Big Thing I am looking forward to is my beloved daughter joining me here in Cyprus on a permanent basis! Yesss! It looks like late-March will be A Day:  Arrival – yippee!

Going to try something here – hope it works: click here for some Cyprus therapy… I stole it from her…

Until next time, best wishes for a fabulous 2018.

Maria.

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SEARCHING NO MORE…

Ever since I can remember, I have always had this feeling of searching for something that is just out of reach, just around the next corner, almost in touching distance but not quite there… Very often I would get this feeling of being on the brink of a huge discovery, accompanied by an inexplicable sense of excitement.  If only I knew what it was that I was looking for!

And then one day, it happened!  I stumbled over the pot of gold without first realising what it was, blinded by the light of the rainbow…

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Since March 2001, I have lived a contented life up in the hills of Tala. Ups and downs abounded, but we were where we wanted to be and we had each other. In 2012, when Thor and Freya fetched Donald to Valhalla, paradise was lost for me. Day after day I wondered what my next move should be, until February 2017 when I decided it was time to tidy up my affairs and come to terms with a new lifestyle. The property was sold and in mid-October I moved to the real Cyprus, amongst real Cypriots in a place called Anavargos, a ‘suburb’ of the greater Paphos. Most of the ‘suburbs’ these days used to be proper villages before they merged into one big metropolis over time. However, the spirit of the villages prevailed and I was one of the luckiest people to have landed amongst terrific neighbours, with a landlady who has wings. Apparently, her name, Fanula, means ‘light’ or ‘lamp’…

The move went well and the unpacking took weeks… It was only yesterday afternoon that the last piece of furniture was stood in its allocated place. I still need soft furnishings and a few finishing touches like lamps and lampshades, curtains and blinds… but, it is done!

Oh, I also have a flat roof where real chilling can be done in summer… when the time comes, I shall update with images.

I now have a studio space that I don’t want to leave; every evening, I spend the last few minutes before going to bed in that space, just staring at the lights of the city stretching out in front of me. Waking up in the morning, my view is of the sea beyond my studio – what more can I ask for?

Drawbacks? The water tanks on the roofs between me and the sea! Unfortunately, it is ‘a thing’ we all have to live with. I still do not see the purpose of these storage tanks as we have a perfectly good mains water supply.

The other thing that I could call a drawback is the very tight space of my undercover parking; centimetre by centimetre reversing into it is the only way – and then you have to remember to be able to open your door! However, the other night when we had a hailstorm, I was grateful that my precious chariot was protected.

 

But speaking of my searching… It was a few days ago whilst sipping a cuppa in my new paradise, that I suddenly realised that I HAD ARRIVED.  I have found that very elusive thing that was always out of my reach, around the next corner, or somewhere… That pot of gold comes down to a single word: ENOUGH.

I have become the person I have always wanted to be – maintenance continuing! But, I am enough.  My needs are small – I have enough.

And here’s the funny thing:  My neighbours keep on feeding me! Apparently, this is also a very Cypriot thing of which I was not aware… However, I have not yet given enough! I need to cook and bake and share as it feels rotten to give back empty containers…

As soon as I have posted this, I shall get on with it and become a good neighbour myself!

 

I do feel as if I need to make a real effort to integrate. I live in a cul-de-sac and everyone knows everyone else. The one problem – for me – is that they all speak Greek! I have already registered with the people who give free online lessons and this will be put to full use early in 2018! Meanwhile, I can learn the basics (again) such as the alphabet and learning to count. I started a course on Rosetta Stone ages ago, but when we were planning to move to the UK in the beginning of 2012, that came to an abrupt end… duh! Now I have to start all over again.

The plan is to have one giant street party outside my house sometime in April-ish and invite the whole street! I should count the houses… but my one neighbour feeds 10 people every day!!! It’s also a Cypriot thing to feed your children and look after your grandchildren when the parents go to work.

Until we meet again in my next post, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all Peace, Love, Health and Happiness over this Festive Season and for the future.

seasons-greetings

Merry Christmas!

Here are a few images of my “Paradise Found”  –   that little pot of gold, which is quite enough!

A place to chill, a place to work and panels to divide the space in two…

Watch this space as the work that will be done here, will be awesome! I know enough… Well, perhaps not – learning never stops!

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