As it is soon Valentines day, I thought I would post this as an extra entry this month. It is a painting by Theo Michael and a story by me. I think it is very fitting for Valentines day, what do you think?
If you like the painting, you can get it here:
If you like the story, you can just tell me :)
Scent of a Rose
Have you ever met someone and been so totally in love and in awe of them it almost hurts? Marios had. He would only have to look into her big Green eyes and he swore that his heart would literally explode with love. Every move she made every sound she made just left him breathless. His every waking and sleeping thought was of Anna. He was so lucky to have found such a special person.
That was an eternity ago, and he still felt the same. Today Marios was alone sitting on the veranda of their home and staring out over the ocean in front of him and remembering their life together. He recalled her little idiosyncrasies like whenever he leant towards her to kiss her, she would also lean forward but at the last second she would stick out her tongue and lick the end of his nose with it and laugh. He remembered how he once bought her a dozen Red Roses for no reason other than that he loved her. She loved Roses. She had taken them in both hands and lifted them up to her nose and breathed in deeply savouring their strong scent. She adored them. Marios would bring her Roses for her Birthday, their Anniversary, Christmas and of course Valentines day. Valentine’s day was the day they had met for the first time all those years ago on this very beach.
Marios had been test driving the old Zundapp motorbike he had lovingly restored. The beach was pretty deserted and rarely used by the tourists. Anna had been sitting on a rock by the waters’ edge with her feet in the water. She was holding a single Rose to her nose. It was scenes like this that made Marios wish he had talent and could paint. What a picture that would have made. Marios couldn’t resist so he approached her.
“Gift from a secret admirer?” he asked.
Anna had chuckled and with her big Green eyes burrowing into his she answered.
“No, but it’s a gift from me to me, it is Valentine’s day.”
They chatted for a while but now it was time for Anna to go.
“I would love to see you again.” Marios half asked half stated.
“I go back to the UK tomorrow, but I will be back next Valentine’s day.”
“It’s a date!” said Marios, disappointed but happy all mixed together.
“But why Valentine’s day?” Marios asked as his curiosity got the better of him.
“It’s my grandfathers’ memorial day. His name was Valentino and oddly enough he died on Valentine’s day, so I come and remember him at his grave.”
“Oh, sorry about your loss.” Said Marios, not knowing what else to say.
“Oh it’s ok, he was very old.”
Anna gently slid off the rock. Marios didn’t want her to go.
“See you next year then,” she said giving Marios a smile that he is yet to forget.
“Er, er, yeah ok, I’ll be here.”
He watched as Anna walked up off the beach and disappeared into the distance.
The year passed very slowly for Marios, but it eventually passed. Marios was beside himself with excitement, he had bought a bunch of Red Roses for Anna. He couldn’t wait to see her. He got on his Zundapp and slowly drove towards the rock and yes, there she was sitting on it with her feet kicking in the water. Marios couldn’t get there soon enough.
“Hi!” he said excitedly as he dismounted the bike and let it fall to the sand. He held out the bunch of Roses and handed them to Anna.
“Happy Valentines!” he said grinning from ear to ear.
“Oh they are lovely, thank you so much. I have something for you too I thought it would look great on your motorbike.”
Anna leant back and pulled out an oblong box from behind her and handed it to Marios.
“What is it?”
“Open it and see.”
Marios hurriedly opened the box and inside was a number plate. Not an ordinary number plate, a custom one. It read ‘FEB 14’
“Wow must have cost a fortune!” said Marios as he admired the plate.
“Not really. Originally it was ‘FE – 814, but I had the ‘8’ moved closer to the’ E’ so now at a glance it looks like ‘FEB 14’ “
Marios stood in silence for a moment then he blurted it out.
“Will you marry me?” He had no idea where that had come from he just knew he couldn’t be without her.
“I thought you would never ask!” she screamed with laughter.
They were married within the week.
That was 55 years ago. Marios was grateful that they had grown old together but he wished he had gone first. Anna had passed away 5 years ago now and he still missed her like crazy. For 5 years now every Valentine’s day Marios would buy a dozen Red Roses and take them to the rock where they had met. He would lay them down at the base of the rock and talk to Anna as if she was still sat on it. The fact that a stray cat was always there made him feel less foolish about talking to an empty space. As he talked to Anna he stroked the cat that would always plonk itself down on top of the Roses. The cat would smell them first one at a time then just sit on them. It had been there every year. Marios picked up the cat and looked into its eyes. They were huge and Green, just like Annas’. He held the cat closer to his chest. The cat lifted its head and looked up at Marios. It then did something very strange it stuck its tongue out and licked the tip of Marios nose......
See you soon xx
I’m very excited about my blog entries for the next few months. A local artist and friend, Theo Michael, is putting a book together of his paintings, and to accompany each painting there will be a short story. There are several contributors for the stories, including Theo himself and of course myself. So for the next several months, I will be putting up one of Theo’s paintings and MY relevant short story. You can see Theo’s work and more stories under his blog section, ‘Every wall needs a story’, here:
This month’s entry is called: ‘Balcony with a view’. I hope you enjoy both the painting and the story. Your comments are welcome.
Balcony with a view
As we stand here on the balcony, I am thinking what a breath taking view this is. I am so happy that they have renovated this beautiful Hotel. A lot of buildings were lost and badly damaged during the short war on this amazing Mediterranean island. It was a disastrous thing to happen here as the island depended heavily on the financial income from the tourists. This Hotel had always been popular, not just for its location, but when you asked for a room with a view, you got that and more.
Some good did come of the war, I met Victor! Let me tell you about it, it is a proper love story, a romance with all the trimmings.
I had been working at this very Hotel as a receptionist when the war broke out. Of course when the first bombs were dropped, the tourists all went home and the Hotels became deserted, but they were put to good use. A couple were commandeered and used for accommodation and headquarters for the soldiers, and this one as a makeshift Hospital for the wounded. That’s when I first met Victor. No he wasn’t a wounded soldier like most war time romances in films would have you believe, no he was a newspaper reporter who was covering the war for an English newspaper. I had become a general dogs’ body running around fetching this and fetching that for the Doctors. On the day Victor and I met, I was trying to sweep the Hotel lobby, when he walked in via the big glass sliding doors at the entrance of the Hotel. Our eyes locked immediately! My heart was skipping every other beat, and my broom was sweeping on the same spot over and over again. He was, as they say, tall, dark and handsome. He wore a dark suit topped with a hat which had a White band around it, the one he is wearing now. Between the band and the hat was a small ticket which read “PRESS”.
“Hi!” he said in a deep, dark, Velvety voice.
“Er, hi”, I managed to splutter.
The weeks passed quickly as did the time we would snatch from our duties to be together. Our love was effortless, just as it is now.
This room with this balcony was allocated to Victor and I as we were now thought of as a couple, which we certainly are. My own apartment had been destroyed by a bomb, and Victor coming from London, had no particular place to stay, so it was perfect. After our days duties we would eventually meet in room 406, our room, this room, a room with a balcony with a view.
Allow me to tell you dear reader, about a very special night. I had finished my days work and I had come up to this room. Victor was already home. He had laid the table for two with candles in the middle and a single Red Rose in a small vase, and I could smell food. He is so romantic. He came out of the bedroom and he had a Red dress hanging over his arm, this Red dress that I’m wearing now.
“Here, put this on,” he said handing me the dress.
I did and it fits perfectly, don’t you think? Victor had remembered that it was my birthday. We wined and dined and then held each other as we stood on the balcony just looking out over the ocean and thinking what a wonderful world this is. Of course it all looked very different then, most buildings were in ruins, and there were craters in the road, not like now....
My last real memory as we stood on our balcony was hearing a high pitched whistling noise that got louder and louder until it finally stopped when it hit our balcony and us.
That was 75 years ago, but we still come once a year to visit our balcony with a view!
Till next month, be well.
A new month and a new year. What will it bring? Hopefully better things. I haven’t made a new year’s resolution, I rarely do, but I do have a new attitude. I’m going for my ‘glass is half full’ as opposed to my ‘glass is half empty’ outlook. I am pleased to report that I am feeling a lot more positive about what may lie ahead. They say that if you give off negative vibes you will receive negativity, so hopefully this applies to giving out positive vibes. I’ve taken a long hard look at myself and although times have been difficult of late, there are people out there that are suffering so much more than I. Let’s have a ‘stock take’.
Ok, so I’m not in the best of health, but I’m alive and all is under control thanks to some great doctors.
Well I’m retired and that’s a pretty enviable place to be.
I chose to close down for November and December but I am now open for guests again and wow! Fully booked January, into February and bookings as far ahead as May! I think I’m in for a bumper year.
Couldn’t be busier. I have two books on the go. One is a fiction action/thriller, no title yet, and it is all based in Larnaca Cyprus where I live. The other is a book I wasn’t going to write, but the first two are still selling very well so I would be daft not to. It is the third in the ‘Only in Cyprus’ series. It will be called something like ‘Yiayias Myths and Legends’, another tongue in cheek look at real Cypriot life.
As well as my books, I am writing for a local artist and friend of mine, Theo Michael, (www.artbytheomichael.com ). He is putting a book together of his paintings and each painting will have a short story attached. For an example of this, go to his website and look under his blog, ‘Every wall needs a story’ also see some of his superb work.
Here is something Theo recently put together. His painting my words.
So, there you have it, a busy time ahead and everything to be positive about....
Just need to meet a nice lady J
Till next time
Be well xx
The last blog of the year, and what a shite year it has been. In fact, about 3 shite years in a row. Sorry but it’s true.
I know there are much bigger problems and suffering in the World, but please allow me to indulge myself in a little self pity.
I’ve written a little poem which gives you an idea of how I’m feeling THIS Christmas.
Well it’s come round again
And happiness I cannot feign
Christmas time, a time of glee
Christmas time? No, not for me.
I’ll say it wasn’t always so
Turn back the years, a while ago
Christmas morning, kids running amuck
Tearing paper to see their luck.
Eating, drinking and singing too
Loved one standing next to you
Warm and happy a time to love
Look up and thank the one above.
Thanks be for all you have
Surrounded by the ones you love
But not this year, no not for me
I’ve cancelled Christmas don’t you see.
The one I loved has gone away
Won’t be here on Christmas day
Nothing left to rejoice
Alone I’ll be, but that’s my choice.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not all tears
I’ll brush away all my fears
I will survive come what may
I’ll live to fight another day.
So there you are. I will take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year.
Until next time xx
As the title said, this month an update on my progress with Airbnb.
My first guest arrived in May this year, and since then the response has been phenomenal! Within a month or two of registering my listing on Airbnb website I was booked right up to the end of October!
It has been an eye opening and fantastic experience and it came at the right time for me as I was/am going through a lot of personal problems and it has helped keep me sane.
I have met people from all over the World. Russia, Hungary, Germany, France, U.S.A., UK, China and many more, so no time to get lonely. Apart from meeting all these people, it has given me a much needed financial injection.
I decided to ‘snooze’ my listing on Airbnb until January 2018. This will allow me to do some major works in the flat which I have dreamed of for ages, like replacing my old bath new Laminate flooring throughout and a few other things. Without Airbnb this would have been impossible. Also, I am going to squeeze a short visit to the UK (see mum).
I have already got my first booking for January, from China, and I am looking forward to a bumper 2018, I’ll let you know.
This is the link to my listing if you want to have a peak:
The photos will be updated when the work is finished in December.
Until next time xx
Over 30 years ago, I had an illegitimate child!
Those that have been close to me will already be aware of this, those that were not, well you will be now. You can judge me how you like, I really don’t care, I am not ashamed, but regret the pain I and her mother have probably caused her because of our selfishness.
To call her illegitimate doesn’t quite feel right because she was actually planned. Those details will remain private for now. Apart from maybe the first 4 years of her life, I have had nothing to do with her welfare and upbringing. We have had no contact, until....
Yes, just over a month ago I received an email from a very nervous young lady, my daughter!
It must have taken a lot of guts, but I am so glad she sent that email. It’s early days yet, but we are slowly finding out about each other, and it is making me very happy, but also sad that I missed out on what sounds like a very intelligent young lady who is full of energy for life. Obviously for her protection her name and other details will remain unknown for now, or until I have her permission. I think a picture of us from when she was very young should be ok.
I think she is very happy to learn that she has 5 siblings, including a sister! She has already met my two eldest sons and spoken to my two younger sons, and is in touch with Lucy her sister via email.
I am hoping that in the not too distant future we will meet face to face, and I will be able to tell her that she had never left my heart.
Until next time
Be well xxx
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
Well you know I'm an Author, so you keep reading, and I will keep writing :)