Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hairdressing Hero!

Have just read the news and learnt of the sad death of one of the greatest hairdressing heros who has ever lived.............


This man fundamentally changed the way we style our hair today. He gave women a sence of freedom with their hair and he certainly gave me a massive freedom in my life.

Back in January 1989  my beautiful father drove me  in a very embarressing old Skoda Sportage, which broke down on the end of the M4 from Bristol to the big city lights of London. He checked me into a bed and breakfast in Victoria Square,  took me on the tube to Oxford Street for a Pizza and so wonderfully encouraged me to take every moment to get out and see and live the world.

From there I made my way for the next 5 days to the Vidal Sassoon School of Hairdressing. It was here that I learnt that hairdressing was not just another job, not just about bored housewives with weekly shampoos, blue rinses and sets, but that hairdressing was and is a translation of beauty, an art form, created between stylist and client, an expression of personality and being.

Vidal Sassooon through his teachings of precission cutting, which were reveloutionary in it's time,  encouraged women to be more expressive in their looks and certainly,encouraged me to be a better, more adventurous hairdresser, later that year at the age of 18  I joined the cruise liners and my skills with the scissors to travel the world.

Thank You Vidal....... you created what and who many of us are today.

Sweet Sleep for the Scissors.

Thursday, 12 January 2012


Winter has definately arrived in the villlage and despite the central heating we have still had to give in and use the gas fires to warm individual rooms as we were getting through the diesel in the heating tank way too quickly. We were told that a tank would last us the whol season, ha ha ha...... half a tank lasted us one month, December, and winter hadn't really set in yet.......................................................

These old houses are great but, they do have their faults, they have thick walls, but nothing is insulated, not the walls or the roof and the windows don't shut tightly so the drafts are terrible. I was in the bathroom the other day and the shower curtain started moving, and I realised it was because of the draft coming in off the balcony despite the shutters and windows being closed. We only have light weight net curtains, so the warm air escapes quickly and the cool air gets in just as fast...............

Good job I wrapped up the BBQ for winter else it would have been dented.

Thankfully today we got Hail instead of heavy rain, as he rain has been coming in through the roof and we have been woken at crazy hours of the night with the sound of Drip drip drip and the feeling of water splashing past ones face,to find it dripping through the ceiling and into the room. Must admit I hadn't planned on life being quite this simple................................The land lord keeps threatening to come and fix it, it might get done by next winter!

If you have any ideas on how too keep warm in old village house in a montain village in Cyprus, like how to make heavy curtains, bearing in mind I don't sew, or what to uses as draft excluders, I would love to hear your ideas.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Happy Christmas

What a lovely surprise, my gorgeous neighbour came round last night to deliver this beautiful homemade Christmas cake and cookies. How utterly wonderful to live in a place where people still value these sorts of gifts. I was really touched.

Wishing everyone a peaceful and happy time.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas Menu

We had some friends over the other day for dinner, and I really wanted to give the eveing a festive feel, but didnt not want to duplicate the meal of Christmas day,I wanted to produce something a bit different,something that you would not really see in a restaurant here in Cyprus, then.... I found these gorgeous venison steaks.

We played around with ideas and this was the menu that between us we came up with.

Merry Christmas!

Welcome to our winter wonderland
Wild Mushroom Pate
A blend of wild mushrooms, garlic and thyme.
Main Course
Venison Melange
Slow stewed New Zealand Venison in a plum balsamic jus served on a bed of parsnip puree, accompanied by sautéed red cabbage and peas.
Very Berry Pantone and Cream
Warm crème de cassis berries ladled over a light Italian Christmas sponge and drizzled with cream.
Cheese board
A selection of cheese and biscuits
Coffee and Liqueur

We definately had a wonderful eveing and by the sounds of the lovely words of encouragement that we got from our guets the next day, so did they.....................................................................

What a beautiful home you have and how wonderfully you maintain it.You put our place to shame.The dinner was wonderful and it was so nice to see another couple working as a team like we do.You two are so in tune you are a pleasure to watch.Your table was beautifully laid and the food did you credit.The wine was very complimentary and over all the evening was an absolute delight.Thank you for making us so welcome.

Love the 2 Jays.

Here's hoping that you have a Very Merry Christmas!


Hey Dad,

This one is for you, for all the joy and beauty and colour that you brought into our lives.

Friday, 16 December 2011

My Grandfather was a wonderful artist, he used to do sculptures and calligraphy, but he also used to paint the most beautiful pictures in watercolour and oil, so when he died I felt compelled to have some of the tools with which he used to create those beautiful paintings and I had them framed and they hang proudly on our lounge wall along with some of his paintings.

I thought a lot of my Grandfather and having his brushes and paints around me gave me comfort and I realised that I had wished I had asked him to teach me to paint, I wish I had found the time back in the late 80's/90's to sit with him in his room lost in his own world of imagination and colour. I didn't.... but inspired by his things one day not long after he had passed away in 98 I sat down, got out his travel kit of watercolours and asked him to show me.................................................... This is what came out.

By no means spectacular, but I was really surprised to find that somewhere deep inside me there was a vision for shape and colour and listening to Pink Floyd's Division Bell brought this on to paper.

I can't draw to save my life and what you see here is just childs play, experimenting, as I did here when I remembered the shapes on my sarongs when I was traveling through Asia, and the lovely Aboriginal art in Australia.

I would love to be able to really paint, you know do landscapes and scenery, capturing the sunlight on a cobbled Cypriot street, or grasping the movement of poppies blowing in a field at spring time, but unfortunately that just isn't there, but, I do quite like this one that I did of sunset from Jumeirah Beach in Dubai. Seems like the paintbrush had a mind of it's own that day and just kept on swirling.

Later,with a bit of extra time on my hands, just before leaving Dubai in 2009, inspired by our trips to Cyprus and having been given two lovely Cypriot ornaments a Cat and a Mouflon, from friends who have property in Polis, I sat down one day and created this...............................

Cypriot Cat

Some what psychedelic, but full of cheer and happiness of an October day on the island.

Mouflon in Paphos Forest

Then after a trip through the Paphos forest, into the Cedar Valley and on to the Kykkos Monastery, on a day wheN we saw lots of wild Moflon, I produced this and gave it to my parents for a present. I thought it would go into the back of a wardrobe never to be seen again, but my Mum has it proudly hanging on her wall. I guess she is being kind to me.

Since then the paints and brushes have been packed up in boxes and like the rest of our stuff, has been moved from pillar to post. I haven't found the time nor had the inclination to get them out again, which is a real shame because one of our reasons for choosing Cyprus to live in was that when we used to come here on holiday the colours and brightness and change of seasons inspired both od us so much in life. So over the past 2 and a half years, the paints and the canvas have been tucked away in boxes in a corner somewhere. But every time I look out from our terrace across the incredible view that we have, there has been a niggle inside me to get out those brushes. I have ingnored that niggle as I so wish that I could paint the view, but sadly that will never be the case.

However, the other day it was as if Grandpa and Dad had suddenly walked in the room and kicked me into action. Something told me to forget wether I am good at it or not, what is important is ' ENJOYING' what you do in life. Having the time and making the time to do the things that come from within, to allow ones mind,imagination to sence and feel the shapes and colours of life, to be able to express oneself in whatever way one feels comfortable and to release and understand ones emotion. So on Wednesday I spent the entire day engrosed in this.

Masai in Amboseli

Kwaheri Bwana Tembo

Kwaheri Bwana Tembo is now in the making, I hope to get it finished over the next week or so. It is a shame, don't you think that so often in life it takes the death of a loved one to give us inspiration,to make us do, maybe their passing allows us to open our minds and realise that one should live life for who and what we are.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend just being who and what you are. Enjoy!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Vines, Leaves and Mesphila

The last of the grapes and leaves were furociously blown off next doors vine in the big winds that we had last week

The roof of our new shed was covered as was the whole of the coutyard and I spent a fair few hours sweeping it into piles only to have to stop for a down pour of what I can only describe as slush puppy rain. The temperatures have dropped quite dramatically here in the mountians and recently at night it has been as low as 3 degrees Brr.........

Then Nico's got to work picked the last of the grapes, it was supprising how many there were and stripped the whole vine bare.

Thank fully back in late October the Mesphila ( Loquot ) tree came into bud

And now it's fragrant blossom fills the air of the courtyard.

And falls like snowflakes onto the stone adding to the feeling of cozyness in the countdown to Christmas.

The bees hum around the flowers duitifully pollinating so hopefully we will have a good harvest of fruit in the spring.