… 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!

One thought on “… almost one year on…”

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