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!
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
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.
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!
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.
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!