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…

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Into the Village…

It’s a long time since I last posted on my blog. I’m not going to apologise although I know you missed me… I’ve missed you too!

I have been extremely busy since returning from France where I travelled with my tribe in July 2016. It feels like a lifetime ago! Yet, the memories are so vivid, and the many images  we all captured, revive precious moments.

Since then there were chaotic preparations for the Cyprus Open Studios event in October of which I am the primary organiser. Silly, isn’t it? I could be sitting in the sun, reading or painting or gardening or just do another nothing… but those who know me better, will testify that I’m not a thumb-roller. The grey cells always need something to keep them on their toes!

Here are a few shots of happy faces in my home during open studios last year:

My two partners and I then had our review meeting in November and what blew our socks off was that there wasn’t a single complaint! It was just that little bit spooky as it felt unreal… We are hoping to repeat the process in October 2017, but it really is hard work.

We’ve sent the website for plastic surgery and it came back with a brand new face – much improved from the old one! The lucky thing was I didn’t need to learn many new tricks and the logistics from last year worked just beautifully. So, with everything in place, we are now nearing the deadline for this year’s registration: 30 April which we will probably extend for a month… knowing how the Cypriot mind works! However, registration is a bit slow this year…

Besides all the above, last February I had decided to put my gorgeous villa on the market. It was a difficult decision to make as we planned every tile in the house and every plant in the garden long before we moved in during March 2001. Many, many memories were made here and we mixed a load of good with some shitty bad – and in the end, it was still hard to Let Go. However, the market was very slow and over the year I had only 5 or 6 viewings! I reconciled myself with the fact that whenever the time was right, things would happen…  BUT, in my heart of hearts, I just hadn’t reached the stage where I truly could let go.

Something I had/have to get over:

Then, about three weeks ago, I came to realise that it was time to move forward and the thought that popped up was that I could honestly be happy anywhere I lived. It didn’t depend on a piece of earth and what was created on it. But oh, the knowledge that if I moved away from here, I wouldn’t be able to say hello to fellow dog-walkers every evening, wave at passers-by as they wave hello from their cars, everyone knowing everyone else. It is something I never really had in South Africa; on the farm where I grew up, yes – everyone knew everyone’s business! But in Johannesburg, you cowered behind your high walls and in the end, dared not walk your dog in the streets in case you were being watched… Anyway, water under that bridge.

On Monday, the 3rd of April I signed an Agreement of Sale and on Friday received the non-refundable deposit. The strangest thing is that the developers bought the property back at just under the asking price. Just before the offer came in, I was actually contemplating whether to bring the price down… but then it happened all by itself.

If you have ever heard of the Law of Attraction, you will know that this is how it works.

When I first put the house on the market, I approached the owner of a property in the heart of our village of Tala to see if he would perchance consider letting to me once I had sold mine. Their home had been on the market for yonks! I explained that I couldn’t give any solid dates as it all depended on the sale of this one. This place in the village is well-known and has been used as a gallery and wine bar for years – I exhibited there one year. I fell in love with the feel and the look of the place – it’s an old village house, 4-bedroomed with a magical garden. It is about 50 yards off the village square which has just now been refurbished and is rather stunning.

Long story short – the day I signed the agreement of sale, I telephoned Andreas to find out if the property would still be available for rent. He needed time to think, he said. I was not in a hurry as the developers are letting me stay on here until 31 October – after the open studios event. But, I still fancied that property! And Andreas phoned back a couple of days later and we orally agreed that I would move in effectively on 1 October 2017… Told you I know how the Cypriot mind works; they need leeway in case of “unexpected delays”. In Cyprus, those are abundant!

Crazy old woman, am I?  I’m trying to down-size and here I’m going to rent a property with 4 bedrooms, gallery space and a built-in bar! It used to operate as a restaurant/gallery/wine bar so the kitchen has a magnificent gas cooker, which I don’t think I’ll be using much… on the square there are many excellent eating places!

The one thing that would perhaps get me down is the church bell… it’s CLOSE! Just across the square… but I’m signing for 2 years only with an option to extend. The idea is to host small events such as poetry readings, musical soirees, art discussions, and so forth in the fabulous space available. Yes, at 72.5 I might be regarded as a crazy old woman… but I feel good about it, crazy or not. They say 70 is the new 50…

And a few shots taken over several years of The Gallery:

I think that will keep you happy for a while… this last batch is where I’m (hopefully) going to live for a while as from October… je ne regrette rien!

I hope to update you by Christmas!

Namasté

Change – the only constant

There are cyber thieves! I wrote an entire post, clicked on “Publish” and I was told : Invalid request and woooosh – gone, every last word! So we start again and hope for the best!

As many of my blog readers have posed questions, I now have a clearer idea as to which questions to answer first. The overall winner was :”What are you going to do next?” Well, the short answer is : Move to the UK.

The first priority is to get permission for myself to settle there and although I have been married to a British National for 25 years, lived in sin with him since 1976 and come from a Commonwealth Country, I still have to jump through all the hoops. I’m the wife of an EU Citizen and have lived in the EU since Cyprus was admitted. I still have to fill out a 17-page long application form, provide proof of being self-supportive (or to be supported) plus all sorts of other stuff. Soon I will have to make that 288 km round-trip to Nicosia – probably twice – to see the High Commission and … sit an English language test. Yup – does that make you smile?

Secondly, we have to sell our villa of which we are very fond. We’ve had 11 terrific years here even though we had to fight some heavy battles from time to time, especially as far as health issues are concerned. So, that one is in the hands of the gods now and he trust that a real buyer will offer a good price.

The other question was : “Why?”. Well, since we will soon be without any family on the island (they are moving) we will have no support system as far as house- and dog-sitting is concerned. The rest of Donald’s family are all in the UK and he feels it’s time to ‘go home’. Since I’ve spent several previous lifetimes there, I feel sympathetic towards that sentiment.

As I’m a believer in reincarnation, I’ve often wondered if it would be possible to leave a ‘sign’ so that next time round we would know where we’ve been … sort of dropping crumbs in the woods. I have a birthmark on my lower left leg in the shape of … those islands! Is that the ‘sign’ I’ve been looking for? Ever since I was a little girl, growing up on a farm on the Higveld of Southern Africa, I’ve devoured everything English; even sank to reading Barbara Cartland and others of that ilk and then there was “Woman’s Weekly” … ah, what bliss! It taught me proper English too!

I’m looking forward to walking with my best friend through wet bluebell woods, sipping a pint at the local pub and discussing politics with whoever is willing – and from past experience, there are always plenty who would. And then there are Wellies! Love them. And wet dogs, log fires and … moss. So many green things …

I believe there are quite a number of readers who had difficulties  with leaving a comment to previous blogs. Not to worry, I will continue sending you the link for the current one and if you are able to leave a comment, wonderful. If not, just send us an email. We can babble any which way you like.