Every now and then you come across an artist that captures your interest and imagination. Recently I was fortunate enough to meet such an artist. I had seen some of his amazing work adorning the walls of my sisters’ house and so enquired about him. She was good enough to take me to the Gallery that he and his wife Anja operate from. Theo was born in Cyprus but was brought up and lived in London for most of his life, and now he is back in Cyprus not a stones throw away from the Hospital he was born in.
Theo’s subject matter is broad. He is highly influenced by the Film Noir genre. From my personal favourite ‘The Blue Door’ to ‘Landscapes’, to’ Romance’. In my opinion he has a unique outlook to his work that is addictive. Once you have one of his creations you will be back for more, I know I will be.
I highly recommend that if you are in Cyprus, Larnaca specifically, to visit his gallery. The very least you will leave with is a smile. If you can’t come to Cyprus, have no fear, Theo and Anja ship Worldwide. To find out where the gallery is exactly, and to see his creations, a visit to his website is a must and well worth a look. I found it easy to navigate and spent a lot of time exploring it. In fact I often pop back in case I missed anything.
There is a bit in the ‘About us’ section that made me chuckle.
It said meet the Art by Theo Michael Team.
Theo Michael : The Painter.
Anja Michael: Receptionist, Customer liaison, Order processor, Website Maintenance, Social Networker, Chauffeur, Studio Display Organizer, Stock Controller, Studio Cleaner, Supplies Organizer, Tea, Coffee and Food Provider, Accounts Clerk.
Seems evenly balanced to me J
Please do visit the gallery if you can, if not, definitely the website. You won’t be disappointed.
Till next Month xxx
I thought I would continue the poetry theme and share with you a poem I wrote for my daughter when she was 3 years old going on 4. My son Nicholas even put it to music and will attempt to put the link on this page, but if it fails and you are interested, please email me and I will attach it for you.
I watch you from a few feet away
Sitting there on the rug as you innocently play
Surrounded by Lego, toy animals and the like
You have even managed to dismantle your bike.
I watch as you struggle to eat
It’s Spaghetti, your favourite treat
Some goes in your mouth, but most on the floor
Your mother has a chuckle as she looks round the door.
I watch as you bath
All your toys in tow
Water everywhere, even on me
I love your laughter, oh such glee.
I watch as you snuggle down in your bed
Waiting for your story to be read
You have fallen asleep, you’re looking content
Tomorrow we will know where it is “Noddy” went.
I watch as you sleep
Breathing deep and slow
I look at you and wonder where you go
I kiss your cheeks, your forehead too
Oh my Lucy, I do love you.
April 15th 2007
Like I said, if you want the music version, email me. :)
The mystery of love
This month's blog entry is somewhat different from my usual drivel. You may find that this is drivel too, but I’ll risk it. It’s a poem of sorts. I was sitting contemplating my Chivas when I got to thinking about my life, (I do that sometimes), Anyway what follows is the result.
The Mystery of love
Well it is to me
Just look at my past
It is plain to see.
When we are young or become of age
We are curious to know more and turn the page
We see our opposites in a different light
looking to feel that elusive delight.
We play at friendships, partners and soul mates
And thinking that paradise we have found
But before you know it and in the blink of an eye
All your dreams are dashed to the ground.
This happens over and over again
Until one day you think you have learned
You realise it is not a game
But all those people you have spurned?
You learn to appreciate, nurture and respect
The soul you hold so dear in your heart
You let your guard down you feel secure
But your partners’ actions you did not expect.
Suddenly the tables are turned
It is you who are disappointed, you who are hurt
Your arrogance had made you nonchalant
And sometimes even curt.
And after a few knocks and bruises
That special person taps on your door
You decide you want to marry them
So you can please them evermore.
You try your very hardest, the best that you know how
But somehow it’s still not enough
“What have I done wrong now?” you ask
As the door slams shut and they leave in a huff.
After three failed marriages to perfectly good wives
67 years old alone and distraught
Three women can’t be wrong, can they?
It has to be me who is at fault.
People keep telling me not to give up
For out there is my match
I wish they would hurry and show themselves
I will try harder and be a good catch.
Till next month. xxx
Well summer has arrived here in Cyprus, not that it ever leaves. For this month’s blog entry, I thought I would treat you to a chapter from my successful book, ‘Only in Cyprus’. You never know you might like it and buy it, and if you do, you may also buy the sequel which is strangely enough called, ‘Only in Cyprus the sequel’. See what you think. I will add the links to both books at the end of this entry.
There is a beach to suit everyone’s taste here in Cyprus. There is a beach called ‘Mackenzie’ beach, it is lined with trendy bars and restaurants used mainly by the…well the ‘trendiest’ it’s not unusual to see the likes of Peter Andre milling about here.
There is a promenade/beach called ‘Finigouthes’ which is more geared up for the tourist. Here you will find ‘McDonalds’, ‘Kentucky’, ‘Pizza Hut’ etc. because apparently some tourists don’t like ‘Foreign muck’ to quote an English friend of mine…why come to a foreign country then?
There are beautiful unspoilt hidden coves which you will have to hunt for.
There are beaches between the Hotels that line Dhekalia road seafront which the Hotels haven’t claimed…yet!
There is even a nudist beach, but I don’t know where that is!
It’s easy to spot the tourist, apart from the Union Jack shorts, the knotted handkerchief on the head, a can or bottle of beer in hand, and that is just the women! They are usually burnt to a crisp within two hours of landing on Cypriot soil no matter what factor lotion they have smeared on.
All that said it’s even EASIER to spot the Cypriot! And as it’s a book about Cypriots in Cyprus, I’ll talk about them.
There are many kinds of Cypriot beach frequenters, (is that a word? Well it is now), but I will concentrate on the four main ones.
First let’s take the ‘LONE SUNBATHER’, usually a female. She has absolutely no intention of getting wet. She has an immaculate hair do or a hat that wouldn’t look out of place at Ascot. Her sunglasses are ‘Gucci’, and her bikini looks like it would disintegrate if she DID get in the water! She is a professional Sun worshipper.
She gently toasts herself evenly making sure to turn every five minutes and refreshing her lotion each time. She will stand up now and then to brush off the four grains of sand the breeze may have blown onto her towel and another three grains off her body, flicking at them as they were something nasty a dog had left behind…oh, and so we can get another look at her perfect body.
Moving on to the ‘TWO GIRLS TOGETHER’ situation. These two are the exact opposite of our first lady. Not only have they every intention of getting soaked, they have brought with them a pump action water pistol each to spray each other and anybody else in the vicinity. Later, the Frisbee comes out and goes everywhere but to each other. Then the bats and ball comes out…there is something naughty about watching two girls playing bat and ball?
A little way up the beach is the ‘TWO BOYS TOGETHER’ who have slowly, inch by inch, got closer as if on ‘Magic towels’ as opposed to Magic Carpets. This is when the game of…well, the game of the Birds and Bees starts! We now have to get each other’s attention so the water pistols come out again and OOPS! They ‘accidently’ wet the boys. After numerous warnings from the boys that if it should happen again the girls would get a dunking in the sea, they accidently get squirted again…and there you have it, ‘Physical contact’ as both girls get a ducking, giggling like, like, well like two girls…the Birds and Bees!
*Fanfare of trumpets* Here they come! You can hear them from the car park! That special breed of beach invader, ‘THE CYPRIOT FAMILY’ Yiayia and all. First to land on the beach is Dad, he has come to survey the beach and stake a claim. He thunders on to the beach like a Sumo wrestler all nineteen stone of him! I’m sure he hasn’t seen his Willy for years. Nobody has dared tell him he looks ridiculous in ‘Speedos’ if you can find them that is. He is as bald as a baby’s bum, but his body hasn’t been so lucky, you can just make out patches of skin between the masses of hair, he would give a Silver Back Gorilla a run for his money.
He is followed by his three ‘mini-me’s’, not quite the same weight, but catching up quickly. Two boys, probably ten months between them so they look like twins, and a daughter a bit older who will probably have to start shaving soon.
And here comes the wife, and such a contrast you have never seen! The lady is positively anorexic! A stick insect has more meat on it! It leaves you wondering how on earth they had children together; surely any sexual encounter between them would result in her being severely injured? She has her arm through Yiayias arm that can hardly walk on a hard surface never mind sand! Why are they torturing her so? I can only assume it’s to look after the ‘Weebles’.
They stake their claim by sticking a pole in the sand with an umbrella. The Dad, as if marking his territory, walks backwards dragging his heel in the sand around the pole, he claims about an Acre! This is why…
He returns to the pickup truck with the eldest weeble and comes back with three sun loungers and another umbrella. Second trip he comes back with a plastic table and four chairs. The third trip he returns with a Gazebo! Which they erect in record time as they have done it so many times. Fourth trip is the BBQ, coal and firelighters. Fifth trip are the cold boxes, one with the meat in it, one with salads and fruit, and one with the beers and other cold drinks. The piste de resistance, on the sixth trip, an amplifier, two speakers and a CD player and a small generator that will also power the two halogen lamps that come on the seventh trip! I think they are here for the long term!
This and more such chapters of hilarity can be found at the following links:
Till next month, be well. xx
‘The Cyprus sandwich’
What can you write about a sandwich? Well not that much actually, but I just thought the Cyprus sandwich deserved a mention. Apart from being excellent value for money for travellers and anybody else on a tight budget, the taste is to die for. The average price for one of these amazing sandwiches is 3.50/4.00 Euros. Most tavernas and restaurants will make you one and accompanied with a plate of chips and a cold beer your set for the day. You can also purchase them from the glut of mobile street traders to be found all over Cyprus.
This is the ‘original and traditional’ recipe from which this tasty treat evolved.
You will need a long fresh roll, about a foot long. I prefer the one with Sesame seeds on.
Cut the roll in half lengthways. Fry thinly sliced onions in a little Olive oil until caramelised, or if you prefer leave them raw. In a little more Olive oil, fry slices of Halloumi cheese until Golden Brown. Once again, if you prefer, leave it raw. On one half of the roll place the slices of Halloumi then squeeze Lemon juice on them. Add the onions, tomato and fresh Oregano and add a little more Lemon juice. Place the other half of the roll on top and gently squeeze together. If you have one of those ‘George Foreman’ grill thingy’s, put it in that for a minute to crisp up the roll.....or not.
There you have it, the original and traditional Cyprus sandwich. Of course it has evolved since then to any number of fillings. A particular favourite is Halloumi and Lounza, (smoked Pork loin), with Tomato and Cucumber, or you can have roast Pork, roast Chicken, or sometimes both, but always with Halloumi. So if you are ever in Cyprus and you haven’t tried one of these delicious sandwiches, DO, you won’t be disappointed.....or hungry!
Till next time, keep well x
“Airbnb” the new string to my bow.
It has been nearly a year now that I have been living alone and adjusting to a life that is miles away from the life I envisaged myself to be living at this stage in my life. I feel I am adjusting well. The main hurdles I have had to overcome are loneliness and finances. The loneliness is not such a problem now as I get my confidence back to explore different avenues again, but once again, finances limit the activities I can pursue. Although I am managing to eat, pay my bills and run a small car, all on a pension, I just need that extra few Euros a month to help me have a few luxuries in my life, i.e. a meal out or a few visits to a coffee shop. The income from my book sales helps but is far too erratic to budget with....so far! Not until I write that best seller anyway!
So, what should I do? Well I was talking to some of my extended family who had come to Cyprus for a holiday. We discussed things like the extortionate air fares, Hotels etc. One of them was doing a bit of ‘Globetrotting’ and had discovered ‘Airbnb’.
Airbnb, invite you to become a host. You can list on their site anything from a whole house, apartment or even a room within your home that you would be willing to share with guests.....well I have a spare room! After a small struggle with my emotions and acceptance of the possibility of sharing my home, a few details and photos of what I have to offer, my listing went live and in a few days all of May is booked, and into June!!
Suddenly, as if by magic, two problems solved! Not only will I have that extra few Euros so I can live the high life, (if I have time), but also the definite possibility of meeting new people, and who knows.....?
The link to my listing: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18211451
Things are looking up!!
Bye for now. Xx
I had difficulty getting enthusiastic about any one subject to write about in my blog this month. I half wrote about how ‘Mothers Day’ came about but soon got bored with it, so if you want to know just Google ‘Anna Jarvis’ daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis.
I started to write about all the side effects I’m getting from the barrel load of pills I have to take every day to stay alive, but this depressed me so much I put a line through that also.
As I sat trying to get inspiration from who knows where, I was faced with yet another dilemma! Do I want a Scotch or should I have a Beer as it’s early yet? maybe a Wine? Yes friends, these are the things I fight with myself about. Since I have been alone I find that I am worrying about stuff that really do not matter, but I suppose that comes with having too much time on my hands.
I do miss my wife but for the wrong reasons.....I think?
Who is going to scratch that itch in the centre of your back that is just out of reach? It is a major problem! I find myself rubbing my back up and down the doors edge to get relief. The problem was solved when my daughter bought me a back scratcher, telescopic no less!
The other day I was sitting with my feet up watching TV and something made me laugh and I mean laugh out loud. Suddenly I stopped! I looked around me and remembered that I was alone and it just didn’t seem to be funny anymore. Laughter should be shared. On the upside, when there is something really sad happening in a film you are watching, there is no more worrying about your wife and daughter seeing the tears in your eyes or the snot coming out of your nose as you try and stifle a whimper, well I mean, ‘Men don’t cry’ do they? Fucking right they do, I can now let rip with an audible wailing and nobody can see me!
I’m not writing anymore, I almost tore this up! See you next month. xx
Ants in your home can be a problem. In the summer here in Cyprus, they are at epidemic levels! Every summer without fail they appear as if by magic. Just dare to drop a microscopic crumb on the floor and watch as an army of Ants appear from thin air! You may be thinking, “So what, an iddy biddy Ant can’t hurt you”, but I can assure you that on opening a previously sealed, unopened packet of your favourite biscuits and finding it is full of Ants!.....well! They will infiltrate everything, in your flour, in your sugar, in your rice, not nice. If you don’t wipe down your work tops after every use, be assured you will soon see an army of Ants wiping it down for you, I kid you not! So what can you do? I am not one to condone the killing of any living thing, but if it’s a choice of Ant infested food stuff in my cupboards or dead Ants, my biscuits win every time. There are many remedies for the destruction of Ants such as sprays, traps, pouring boiling water down their nest.....if you can find it! Here is an effective remedy that I read somewhere a while ago and it works.
Mix together equal amounts of Castor sugar and Baking soda with a little water making a paste. It is important to use CASTOR sugar and not ordinary granulated sugar. As they are both as fine in consistency, the Ants can’t separate/distinguish the one from the other thus eating BOTH! This is important. Put down the mix where you know Ants normally appear, along the backs of your worktops, or near doors, windows etc. The Ants will soon seek it out and start eating and taking some back to their nest to share with the rest of the army, more importantly the Queen. Here is what happens: If your squeamish stop reading now J. They eat the mixture and the digestive acid in their stomachs reactes with the Baking soda and builds up a gas, and as ANTS CAN’T FART!, it will inflate them and thus eradicate them! I could have said BLOW THEM UP!, but that’s not nice, but then again, is there a nice way to kill Ants?
Your choice, share your food with Ants.....or not!
Till next time, be well. x
How many jobs have YOU had? A strange question I know, but after a couple of Chivas at ‘home alone’, I got to thinking, (like you do), about the string of jobs I have had in my 51 year working life. As I poured my third Chivas I decided to make a list. I had overdosed on watching ‘The Good Wife’ and Chivas I think, as I could no longer follow the plots.....I had lost the plot!
I eventually finished my almost illegible list and just stared at it, such variety and diversity, I was so impressed by the vast amount of difference between one job and the next that I felt the need to list them here for your perusal. Plus I didn’t know what to write about for this months’ blog. So, read on and gasp in awe at the completely disjointed variation of ‘MY JOBS’. I list them in order to the best of my fading memory.( This list does not include a few unsavoury jobs I would rather not talk about...know what I mean? Nudge, nudge.)
1. Newspaper round.
2. Butchers assistant and delivery boy.
4. 3 year apprenticeship in the Shoe trade.
5. Self employed own Shoe factory.
6. Cafe/restaurant owner.
7. Hotel and Pub manager.
8. Office partitioning
9. Building maintenance and development.
10. Night Club manager.
11. Second Cafe/Restaurant.
I think that’s all but I’m not dead yet! Who knows, I might get offered a job as a ‘Careers Officer’ after this.
Till next time x
Another year nears its end and I for one will be glad to see the back of it! This year has mostly been pain and heartache. My wife of twenty plus years decided she wanted to ‘move on’ and so she did. In Cyprus, anything official takes an eternity to come to its conclusion but in this case it took only ten months to issue me with documents informing me of my marriages end and that Sarah is now my ‘ex wife’, divorced in ten months! I wish her well and hope she finds the happiness I obviously couldn’t give her.
Moving swiftly on to happier things......
I have not been idle. I would like to introduce to you my new love! She is a long time friend and companion with whom I have developed an even closer bond with in these my troubled times. She is always by my side and comforts me in my times of confusion. She gives me warmth on these cold Cyprus Winter nights. She can make me laugh and she can make me cry and she has also been known to make me sick! She is a tad older than me having been born 1801 in Strathisia in the Highlands of Scotland. Her name is Chivas....Chivas Regal, and regal she is!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everybody a very happy Christmas and healthy New Year. Chivas and I will probably spend Christmas together accompanied by a bowl of Peanuts, or as its Christmas, I might treat myself to some Cashew nuts.
Well you know I'm an Author, so you keep reading, and I will keep writing :)