THE DUSTY CAVE … Aladdin’s/Maria’s

Someone told me the other day that when she looked at the contents of the removals van that transported her ‘stuff’, the thought that occurred was, ‘How obscene for one person to own so much!’. Well, that is exactly how I feel right now about the ‘stuff’ in my home – it is obscene for one person to own this much!

Funny thing is, the packers included bags of rubbish that were intended to be binned! Lesson: be careful with instructions – saying that ‘everything in this room must be packed’ was taken literally!

I was truly shocked to discover the cache of videos (tapes!) that we collected over many years. In fact, I thought I had sorted all the ones I didn’t want to keep years ago! I think I did, but never got rid of them… and they came along for the ride. And I don’t even have a VCR player anymore… what does one do with these things now that DVDs and other media players are available? There are quite a few I wish to convert and have been told that I can buy a machine that would do that, but what about the ones I do not want to keep or convert? Suggestions?

 20171028_100206  Insane, right?

The other side of abundance may well become a problem… My landlady is kindness personified and this is expressed, mainly, through the need to feed me! She was devastated when she found out that I was a pechatarian – could not understand why! (I’m a seafood-eating vegetarian). The problem that I foresee is that, over the last year due to all kinds of influences, my weight has gone up a bit, especially around the tum and bum areas. How does one say no to kindness? When does kindness become intrusive? I certainly need to eat less rather than more! Wasted food is a sin and if I gave it away – and she found out – how awful would that be!

Not only my landlady, but also my neighbour on the other side threatens over-abundance too! The third evening here, at 9.30 pm she knocked on my kitchen window to bring me oranges and lemons from her garden… and that was her way to have a chat about family matters! And that tells you that closed doors do not make a difference.

It is interesting to see a completely different side of Cyprus. And it occurred to me that, since we moved here in 2001, we have lived in Cyprus but we have not live IN Cyprus. Now that I have moved out of the expat enclave where we were seduced to buy our custom-built villa – which I loved! – I am seeing a whole new side of this Island of Love. This has also reinforced the fact that I need to speak Greek in order to truly integrate; it is one of the richest languages on the planet… and also one of the most difficult to learn! One thing I do know: if I have lived in this kind of environment from the beginning, I would have been fluent in Greek by now.

The other thing that I have a ‘newness’ about is the closeness of neighbours, in distance and in presence. This is a very Cypriot residential area where I live in a cul-de-sac and children play ball in the street. Afternoons can be noisy, but it’s ‘good noise’! About 150 yards from me is a lovely little park where I have noticed children play fearlessly. I walked through it when they were all at school… And right next-door is the sweetest little church where candles burn almost all the time.


20171027_102957-1   candles

Backing onto the end of my cul-de-sac is the General Hospital and at the other end, the main post office. Next to the post office is one of the best bakeries in Paphos! Oh, what have I done!

When I was younger, there was a time when my first husband and I bought, restored and sold properties and whilst we were doing the work – part-time – we lived in the houses. That meant a lot of moving which, somehow, I took in my stride.

This time, however, it feels like I’ve only started on the foothills of Mount Everest… age has a lot to do with it and I’m not talking about the age of that mountain!

In the course of this last year’s activities of putting my home on the market, being ‘inspected’ by potential buyers, eventually making the decision to sell and then the Big Move PLUS organising the Cyprus Open Studios event which takes place each October, things got a bit out of hand… I’m not even mentioning the financial side of things!

However, a friend asked me the other day how my meditation practice was going. Ha! That shook the foundations of my Being! I have SO lost the plot. But, it is strange how The Force speaks to you when you need it… Amongst many, many, many magazines which I was going to turf out but then decided against, I came across a few issues of “Namasté” from around 2003/2004. Well, say no more… As from today, I am back on track as my journey continues. I have forgotten how to breathe but my memory has been jogged and things will change from now on.

New beginnings, new everything… with a few antiques thrown in, courtesy of my Donald!

I was fortunate to spend time with my brother and his wife, Vollie and Rita, who came visiting and we spent one morning dancing on the waves… Dankie vir julle kuier!!!

This was just a little catch-up as I haven’t been active on my blog for yonks. From now on, I’m going to attempt a weekly – says she – contribution to tell you a little more about ‘real’ life in Cyprus!

Incidentally, weekends for Cypriots mean one thing: Family! We will seriously have to rethink our open studios policy…

Until next time, Namasté!

f6e73401a1430c9d71cca63768707dad--namaste-art-namaste-yogaThis old artist is not moving for a while…


Girl … Retrieved!

About a year ago I wrote a blog post entitled “The girl who used to be me” – filled with sadness but also with enthusiasm and energy. There were subsequent posts written while this elusive girl kept peeping out from behind the bushes and then disappearing as fast as you could focus – a quantum phenomenon.

But, the good news is that I have found her! I am retrieving her as we speak.

One simply does not comprehend the fear of insecurity until the situation changes. On the 5th of February I finally – after an almost 12-year struggle – managed to get the property registered in both Donald’s and my names as we owned it jointly. According to the law, it first had to be registered into both names and then, because I’m a non-EU citizen and cannot own more than one plot of land, the three plots have to be combined into one. This is happening as we speak and after that has been done, it will eventually me registered in my name in accordance with Donald’s Will.

Having had the property released from the clutches of the developers, has made me feel euphoric. The security this property represents is enormous and I didn’t realise just how big until the title deeds were transferred. What a battle that has been ever since Donald’s passing – one delay after the other and I often felt it was artificial … which made me worry even more!

Since the 5th of February, the feeling of ‘weightlessness’ coming out from under the heavy burden of worry about developers, bankers and the financial situation in Cyprus has made me feel like flying! Perhaps the Year of the Horse may have something to do with it as they say the horse (Chinese calendar) will pull us out of the mire … I hope it will be so for the entire planet! It certainly feels like there is a different flow of energy since the end of January.

Unfortunately we have not had enough rain in Cyprus this last winter. I fear that summer might be as hot as a kiln and that we will once again have water restrictions imposed on us. The price will go up and those of us who live on South African Rand income will suffer badly. But, we will survive – we always do! I have started my veggie patch in the kitchen garden and being inclined to vegetarianism, will be able to feed myself quite nicely. That is one thing about Cyprus – fresh produce is really fresh and not at all expensive, albeit not always organic. Mine will be!

A few Sundays ago, a friend and I went to a Farmers’ Market and what a wonderful experience that was. I have been ‘friends’ on Facebook with several of the people who sell their wares at these markets and finally to meet them was such a joy!


Steni market

The drive up to Steni where the market was held was terrific – such beauty in the countryside in spring; looked more like Ireland than a chalky Mediterranean island. After buying loads of goodies and visiting the museum – a really good one – Jennifer and I made our way to the other venue where they hold these markets: The Herb Garden at Pano Akourdaleia, now named “Heaven on Earth” … and it is!


They serve glorious teas and yummy things to eat!

Gosh, what a wonderful surprise! Donald and I went to the herb garden perhaps eight years ago and it was in disrepair and in need of a lot of TLC. This it is getting now, in spades – excuse the pun – as it was taken over by my osteopath (Clement Rhein) and his very lovely wife, Caroline Evans. They have breathed such an invigorating breath into the place that it almost felt sacred just being there. It has become one of those places one could visit again and again and always discover new things, within and without. They are both finely attuned to the forces of Nature and the voice of the Universe … and they listen – that is obvious! I wish them success and abundance in every way. It will certainly be one of my regular visiting places in the future.

The visit made me acutely aware of the TLC my own garden needs and as it looks as if Spring has sprung, the time has arrived to get out there and suck it all up. But first – or perhaps simultaneously – there is the spring cleaning that definitely needs doing! A lovely, lively period ahead of me – and gratitude in every moment.

My art is also taking a turn for the better as (I think) I have finally discovered My Style. I have been painting for so many years and somehow always tried to emulate others. Now, at long last, I feel as if I’m embarking on a whole new (ad-)venture. Actually, not so new, as My Style is very similar to that of Jerry Fresia’s, my teacher in Italy. Since taking his classes, I have tried to emulate him! Wrong!! However, I will soon be able to show some evidence of my new-found inspiration.

Katie has fully recovered from her last eye operation and the Leishmaniosis/Leishmania is firmly under control. Her medication will continue until September though and there was a blood test a couple of weeks ago. Jessie is as playful as ever since she was put on thyroxin for an under-active thyroid. They are now just over eight years old and in peak condition. Both blood tests were perfect.

They keep me in good condition too as they get walked daily and it’s like working out with weights … I don’t have bat wings! The chic French women believe that walking is the key to everlasting youth – let’s hope they are right! I have had to start walking them separately again as together they are just that bit too much to handle, especially when cats are around!

May your summer be filled with all the pleasures of all the senses – mine will be. Till next time, when I will tell you all about my home decorators and the decorating, as well as the new art venture, I send you love.

At the herb garden

Girl … retrieved! Oh, alright then – old woman retrieved!!