Tuesday, 7 December 2010


The Harbour in Kyrenia.

I have once again been wearing my tour opperater hat taking our visitors island wide. We have been valley low and mountain high, enjoying every corner of this beautiful place and soaking up all that it has to offer and the cherished memories that we gain from experiencing it together. Sharing these moments with a sufferer of Altzheimers, and watching him fight this degenarative disease like a true hero in his own battlefield, makes it even more important to cherish every moment for the moment and live the here and now.

Inside The Castle Walls Kyrenia.

Today the castle in Kyrenia is beautiful quiet and peaceful place where one can sit in tranquility and soak up the stunning scenery that evelopes it's exterior. However, it wasn't always this way. In a time gone by this would have been filled with men preparing and returning from war. Walking across the bridge and up the cobbled street of it's entrance one can imagine the horses gallpoing in with their riders, the likes of Richard Lionheart exhausted from battle, their armour weighing them down, drained from the blistering heat, returning to the saftey of the castle walls.

The High Walls of The Castle.

As I sat here imagining this bygone era, I wondered how much have we learned? Battles are fought, wars are won, but do we actually learn from it or does history just repeat itself?

Monday, 6 December 2010

Chip Off The Old Block

Saturday morning we set out with our visitors to have a stroll along the beach at Alaminos, on the way we stumbled across this Sculpture Museum which is a private house open to the public for viewing on most days. TBH and I had passed it beofore but didn't bother going in, but this time, curiosity killed the cat so to speak. We ventured through the entrance and were astounded by what we found. We didn't get the sculptures name, but we did meet him and he showed us around and explained some of his works to us. This is his hobby and he has been doing it full time since he was 50.

Forest Man on All Fours

Europe, each strand of hair around the statue represenst an EU country.

The artist described this as his depiction of a mass grave of Greek and Turkish Cypriots during the 1974 war. He explained how there was little if any time to bury the dead for fear of being killed ones self, so shallow graves were dug and covered with earth, but when the first rains came, the earth was washed away leaving a mound of body parts and corpses. A strong reminder of the sadness and loss that this Island has had to endure over the years.


His wife is also very talented and has done the icons for the little church that they have on the property and she also paints and this was one of her pieces in the gallery there that I fell in love with. The pensive look on the womans face is really moving and the stunning contrast in colour of the blue of the butterfly and the blue in her eyes and in the bead dangling from the and the stone in the ring on her finger is just exqusite, and how she managed to make the fabric of the dress come to life like that I will never know. Totally beautiful.

Pensive Woman.

Pensive Woman.

I so admire people who have the ability to tell a story with art. It was a wonderful visit and I recommend it to anyone coming to Cyprus.

The Latest Addition

10 days after Mischief passed away, this little tinker arrived in the garden howling for food and begging to be loved........................ I tried hard to resist and on the first eveing gace her a little food and water and left a box outside for her and I decided that I would see if she was still there the next day and decide what to do..............

I took CHI CHI LE ( she arrived the day the miners we rescued, CHI CHI CHI, LE LE LE, LOSS MINEROS DE CHILE)the vets, got her jabed and chipped, de fleed and wormed...... she has been with us nearly 3 months now and though nothing will replace Missey, we love our new addition and she brings much joy to our life.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Reuse,Recycle, Restain.

We have visitors again at the moment, and before they arrived I did the usual spring clean. We have had a lot of visitors this year so inside was looking pretty good already, but due to the heat of the summer I had neglected a few things outside and the sun had bleached a lot of the wood furniture that we have.

In the past I would have taken the furniture to the dump and gleefully wizzed of to a garden centre and replaced it with new.............................Not any more!

Instead I did what my Grandfather would have done,I went to the hardware store purchased a brush and some wood stain, rolled up my sleaves and got stuck into restaining the furniture. It was a good few days work but very satisfying, and every evening when we sit out and watch the sun go down across the valley and dissapear behind the mountais in the distance, I am really proud to be sitting on furniture that I have reused and made new, another step further towards simple living and changing ones mindset.

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Pil's

The View Point Near Macharias Monestery looking towards Nicosia.

No this isn't a post about what medication I may or may not be taking.... it is an update on what we have been doing recently.

We had TBH's Ma and Pa with us for a couple of weeks, and to me they are foundly know as The Pil.... (Parents In Law). It had been a year since their last visit so there was lots to catch up on and of course during that time we had moved to a totally different side of the Island so there were many more things to see. So, after having prepared for their arrival and tried to make sure that the place was spick and span, and planning a few menus, naturally I dropped my CHO ( Chief Household Officer) hat and reached once more for my CTO ( Chief Tour Officer) hat. I am not sure which one I like wearing best. It is always good to get out and about when people come, and it is a great oportunity to see places that you haven't seen before or haven't been to in a while, but it also takes one out of the daily routine and gives the wrong impression to those who visit that all you do all day is swan around the countryside of Cyprus enjoying the delights of what it has to offer. Obviously that is not the case in my regular life.

The doors and streets of the pretty village of Lefkara

We took them to Lefkara which is a village where both Lace and Silver are made in the traditional way. It is a very pretty village and one that is quite popular with day trips by Cypriots from Nicosia. On one of our visits to the restraunt that I take visitors we were somewhat perplexed at the security at the entrance, there were police everywhere, and plain clothed men with walky talkies milling around. We were seated and found ourselves fortunate enough to be sat on a table next to a rather large deligation of ministers and the President of Malta, with whom I had very brief but pleasant conversation.

The Streets of Northern Nicosia.

We went across to Northern Cyprus, the borders have been open for a while now and so we made our way to Lidras street and went through the immigration formalities and crossed into the other side. It is a pretty simple procedure but a very stark reminder of what happened here in 1974 and I cannot begin to imagine how awful it must have been and still is for people on both sides of the green line.To see a city divided like that in modern day Europe is very disturbing, peoples houses used as the buffer zone and family and friends divided by a crazy war. United Nations flags and signs everywhere, but one has to wonder what they have achieved.

It was pleasant on the other side, and I guess in a way somewhat comforting, with familiar sounds, smells and sights all around us. The call to prayer from the mosque,the street stalls cooking food, Sharwarmas!!!!! We have not had any of this since we left Dubai and it was strange how 'Normal' it all seemed to us. We had a very pleasant lunch in a square near the check point and then ventured back to the South.

On another ocassion we went North again,this time with the car. We drove to the crossing near the Nicosia horse racing track, obtained our insurance, showed our passports and drove through, once again a very simple procedure and there were obviously people doing it on a weekly or daily basis. The drive once out of the City was glorious and once we had climed the mountians the views from the crest out across the sea and Kyrenia were breathtaking. Once again it reminded us of Fujairah in the UAE, with the moutians so close to the sea. We found a parking place in Kyrenia and walked along the promanade to the little harbour where we stopped for Pa to have is midmorning coffee. It was very quaint and picturesque and I almost felt like I could have been in Muscat, Oman. Coffee over, we walked around the castle and meandered back to the car.


Then, we made our way to Bellapaix, which is a village tucked into the mountain side where Lawrence Durrell wrote Bitter Lemons. We found a beautiful little boutique hotel that I had already seen on the internet and marked as a possible weekend retreat for the future, The Bellapaix Gardens. It is next to the dramatic Bellapaix abbey.We decided to stop and have lunch here and we were very glad that we did. The views were stunning and the food drinks and service very good too. We are hoping to return very soon.

View from The Bellapaix Gardens.

Naturally we visited Larnaca and the littel villages in the surrounding area. The Pil's took themselves off to Cape Greco and on a boat trip to celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary!!!! Congratulations to them. We took them to Lord Kitchener's restaurant in Psematismenos village to celebrate. It is actually the building in which Lord Kitchener stayed when he was here mapping the island. We love it there, the food is wonderful, the owners Pina and Chef Dean are great, very friendly full of humour and chat, we always enjoy our visit. If you are on the Island try it. http://www.lordkitchener.eu/

Saturday, 2 October 2010

A Sad Fairwell


It is never easy to let go, and sadly on many ocassions in life the choice of letting go is taken out of our hands.

When we came to live in this village we searched for the area with the least traffic away from it all in the countryside,there is a road but very few cars come down it as it only leads to the goat farm on a dirt trac. We wanted a place where we knew that our cats who had lived in doors in Dubai would be able to finally run free and live the life that cats are meant to lead.

We didn't plan on this happening.
Yesterday morning we were awakend by the sound of the farmers tractor idoling outside our bedroom window. As it had gone on for some time TBH got up just as the farmer pulled away..............
He had been trying to get our attention, 'what is wrong' I said from my slumber, and as TBH was racing to get dressed he replied ' It's missey, I think she has been run over'

TBH raced downstairs and I shot up out of bed and ran to the window, and sure enough, there lying in the middle of the road was Mischeif's lifeless body, ' Missey Missey get up come Missey please get up please ' I screamed from the window, TBH had a vague glimmer of hope that she was still alive as the early moring sun had kept her body warm, but as he lifted her limp and lifeless off the tarmac I knew that she had gone. I raced down stairs screaming for her to come back and faced TBH who had gently put her down in the garage. He threw his arms around me and begged me not to look. Sweet adorable little Missey had slipped out of our grasp all because of some mindless humanbeing behind a car wheel.
Emotions soared and tears fell like the first rains of an African storm, as we faced the daunting reality that we were going to have to find a suitable place for her to be laid to rest.

We decided to burry her on the edge of a field across from the villa where she used to like to roam and where she and the others come and sit with us to watch sunset over the valley, TBH and his father dug a grave beneath the olive tree, overlooking the sea with the valley below her. We wrapped her in her winter blanket and said our last and very sad fairwell to a little being who has brought us so much love and joy and who made our family complete.

I hope that she will be at peace there.

Good bye my dear sweet sweet little friend, though your body is no longer here, you will always be with me and I shall miss you dearly.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Best Friends, Bicycles and Bee Eaters

It has been a while since I have had the time and peace of mind to sit and write a blog. For the first week of the month I had my dear friend T here, she had flown all the way from Bermuda to spend 5 days with us. I felt very honoured. We have known each other since we were 12 years old. We were frineds at school and her Mum used to own a hairdressing salon in Bristol. I used to have sleep overs at her house and on a Saturday we would go with her mother to the salon and help sweep floors and serve coffee. We were probably more of a hindrance than a help but it was there in my young teenege years that I discovered my passion for hairdressing. T and I went to different salons to do our apprenticship and since then even though our lives have taken us in very different directions, we have always kept in touch and our lives remained somewhat paralell in many ways and she too is now about to make a big change in her life and is looking to leave the place she has been in for 16 years and move to Europe. We whized her around the island, and this begun in Nicosia for lunch, when we met with her family who came over from Kyrenia.

What a hoot that was. They were staying in a hotel over there, they got a taxi to the border, and texted to say they were there. In the meantime we are still at least 45 mins drive away from them in Larnaca. We rushed up the motorway, got stuck in traffic, got lost trying to find the Ledra Palace border crossing, which I thought was the only border crossing in Nicosia. When we finally reached the border, we parked the car as you are not allowed to take hire cars across as they are not insured in the North, and then we made our way to the police post and got our piece of paper stamped to allow us into Northern Cyprus. Ok ... where are the family then???? We are desperatley texting but getting no response, then finally we get a phone call, their credit had run out, hence no reply to the text, so they had borrowed someones phone to call us to say that they have already crossed over to the South, 'where we say as we cannot see you????' 'at the Lidras street crossing' they respond................................ it transpires that there are two crossings in Nicosia, one at Ledra Palace and one at Lidras Street, ( both pronounced very similar)we were at the wrong one AHHHHHHHHHH. So we hop into a taxi and drive to the other one, que up at the police post and get stamped out of the North and enter back into Southern Cyprus, mindlessly passing her uncle on the way.......... phew there, on the other side at the end of the entry que is a lady looking rather hot and stressed whith her friend under an umbrella in the midday heat of summer in Nicosia. It was her Aunt! Finally reunited after 6 years, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch over looking the city and the mountains of the North. That was my introduction to border crossing in Cyprus.

We showed T lots of other places too and in all, I think she had an enjoyable time before flying to Malta to check that out possibilities there for her future. Good luck T.

Since here visit there has been much to do around the house, the usual cleaning and tidying of the garden. TBH spent one Saturday cutting back palm leafs and neatening up teh bouganvillia along the back wall. The veggie box is not doing much at the moment. The meelies are coming through but no cucumbers and no tomatos yet, I am begining to loos faith, but keep watering anyway in the hope that at some point we will get fruit for our labour.

my green wheels

On Saturday we drove to Paphos to collect a second hand bike that I managed to find on anglo info Cyprus. So ha ha.. I finally have wheels again, and they are green, not in colour but echo friendly,all be it that I have to use my own energy to rotate them and when I tried that on Saturday evening when we returned home after a very lovely relaxed lunch at Pissouri Bay, well I didn't get very far.................................. it has been a long time since I rode a bike and I think it will take some practice.

Swallows on the wire outside the house.

The swallows appear to have moved and the Bee Eaters are back hovering over the ridge at sunset catching insects on the wing. I thought that this change in birdlife would have coensided with a change of weather and that the cooler nights were going to start setting in, but no such luck, it is still very hot and very humid. Tired of it now.

Bee Eater on the wire.

The next few weeks will be busy too, we have guests coming for lunch tomorrow, and TBH'S ( the better half) parents will soon be with us for a few weeks. So I am once again frantically cleaning, the fridge was done this morning, with teh mopping of the patio this afternoons task.
During this time we also have some friends from Aussie arriving on the island whom we hope to catch up with on a couple of ocassions and we have a 50th birthday party to attend in the village.
Who said life in Cyprus would be quiet?

Friday, 17 September 2010

Phyllis Greene 90 yr old Blogger

Wow.....What an inspiration this woman is. We can all aspire to be like her and to share our wisdom in the Autumn yeasr of life.http://newsbbc.co.uk/2/hi/8999217.stm
It just goes to prove that it is never too late to learn and it is never too late to make new friends.
By reaching out in a very ordinary everyday way Phyliss has managed to touch a lot of peoples hearts and now has a big following of supporters who will be in touch with her through her blog.

Thank you Phyllis for inspiring my world.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

There's No Place Like Home

You put the key into your front door, turn the lock and walk in, kick of your shoes and sit down on your compfy sofa. Ahh..... it is good to be home, do you know, so many of us take that moment for granted.

Many people are displaced in this world, often due to conflicts that have risen around them and engulfed their every day lives, conflicts generaly caused by a bigger power pulling the strings much further away than the fields they plough and land they nuture.

Though thankfully as yet, I have never had to endure the attrocities of war, I do know what it feels like to yearn every single day for that place that you know deap in your heart is home and for this reason I have always had an empathy with displaced people.
At age 11 having lived blissfully in the same house all my life,surrounded by the same friends, going to the same school and knowing the land and nature around me, I was put on a plane to England for what I thought was another annual holiday to see the grandparents. I was wrong.

My family abruptly left Kenya.

I was lucky, there was no barbed wire fencing, no guns and no tanks preventing me from the land of my birth, just years of inner turmoil and constant travel trying to find a place I could call home.

25 years later I made it back and there is no place like home.

In my travels around the world, I have met displaced people, heard their stories of how their mothers still hold the keys to a house they were dragged from kicking and screaming as a child, the only possesion they had was the teddy bear they had slept with, before the soliders, tanks and guns took away their lives and destroyed their dreams.

Last Sunday whilst on a day trip on the island, we accidently found ourselves on the UN buffer zone between Southern and Nothern Cyprus, and we looked across the fields to Famagusta, a city which due to the conflict of 1974 has been left ghost town for 36 years, with 45 thousand Greek and Turkish Cypriots displaced. It really hit me and sunk in how absoloutely awful it must be to loose everything you own, everything you have ever known and to see it all there but not be allowed through the barbed wire fence that some other force has put in place to keep you out. It must be totally and utterly soul destroying.

I whept....................... I whept for every innocent broken heart, shattered in a conflict they don't belong.

Standing there and seeing the empty desolate buildings of what was once a vibrant, buzzing tourist resort, slowly rotting in the sizzling shimmering heat, with the grass and foliage it's only life source, the cranes still in the same place that they where left, building new hotels, back in August 1974 ....... quite frankly it was a SHOCKING realisation that this seemingly tranquill idylic island has seen some horrific, horrendous times.

May all the worlds displaced people one day feel the soil between their toes and smell the earth from which they came. May the red tape of bureaucracy and the barbed wire fences of armies one day be removed so that everyone has the freedom to go home.

Friday, 27 August 2010

The Travellers Virtual Birthday Party

I am now officially 40 and it feels great! I had a fantastic time with my family here, showing them around Cyprus and spending valuable time together. We had a small get togther with some friends on the Saturday before my birthday and based the theme on I've Been There intertwined with the 70's. So we did food from the different areas of the world that I have visited. I of course was the Africa piece of the puzzle.

Spring Rolls and Sweet Chillie Sauce,Asia and Mozzarella With Pesto and Tomatoes, Italy, Europe.

And we had to have Prawn Cocktail as my chosen 70's starter.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Salad with Peach, Europe. Mixed Pumpkin Salad, Australia, Fig Mozzarella and Mint Salad, Mediterranean.

90% of what we did was home cooked, and we all had our place in the kitchen. I call it Fuzzy Wuzzy salad cause we used three different lettuces and to me they are Fuzzy Wuzzy. The mixed Pumpkin salad is something that a very dear friend in Brisbane Australia taught us you roast your pumkin and mix it with mung beans,nuts, seeds, and she originally did it with her own home preserved lemons.. mmm it was devine. The Fig and Mozzarella speaks for it's self. We also had Reggae Reggae chicken with rice and peas as a Caribbean dish, and chicken and pork Satay's with fried rice as Asian. It was quite a feast that went on most of the day and even though it wasn't my ACTUAL birthday it was a great excuse to celebrate with family and enjoy the company of new found friends.( And one very long term friend who was in Cyprus on an unexpected visit. It was great to see him)

Over the past 40 years I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to many places around the world,

England, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Tenneriffe, Lanzarote, La Gomera, Las Palmas, Majorca, Gibralta, Portugal, Italy, Yougoslavia ( Now Croatia), Greece, Crete, Bulgaria, Austria, Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Morrocco, Egypt, Oman, U.A.E , Qatar, Kenya, Tanzania, Mafia Island, Zanzibar, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Bali, Lombok, Gilli Islands Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia, Madeira, Azores, Bermuda, Martinique, Grenada, St Thomas, St Lucia, Venezuela, Brazil.........................

Some of them I have been in for years, some months, some days and some hours, I have stayed in the best hotels, I have also backpacked staying in tents and hostels, eaten in the best retstaraunts and had some of the best food off market stalls or cooking over a camp fire, beneath the milky way, but one constant has always been there, in all of these places I have met the most wonderful interesting people from all sorts of walks of life. Rich, poor, educated, uneducated,travelers, homebirds, teachers, farmers, lawyers, hairdressers, sommeliers,homemakers, web designers, gardners, taxi drivers, to name but a few, and I have been touched by so many of these people. Some came into my life for an instant, others I will never forget and many I am still in contact with today.

As it was going to prove too difficult to get me to all the friends I have met world wide TBH came up with a brilliant idea, to get them all to me. Virtually........................ he wrote to them and asked if they could send messages on video, email, with photo's etc and combined them all in a power point presentation. So on the morning of the big day I was treated to a beautiful breakfast of Eggs Benedict and Bubbles,

whilst begining the journey through the powere point presentation with the music from the Lonley Planet programs playing in the background ( those books got me to some amaizing places) to all the wonderful friends that had taken the time to send messages from across the world. It was utterly wonderful and it took me nearly all day to go through it, stopping for phone calls and Skype mesages during the day.

Tiger Lillies Sent from a very dear friend in Bermuda.

It could not have been a better way to head into this new decade and into the new way of life that we now lead. Simple but so so effective, connecting people together virtually is one of the great things of the modern world, but there are still many lessons from the past many skills that can take us into a better future.

Wool and Knitting Needles sent from 'the one who understands' in Aussie.

It is with a new found confidence and wisdom that I look forward to the next 40 years and only hope that I can meet as many lovely people in them as I have so far.

Thank you TBH.... you are a total star and the best companion I could have wished for along this journey called life.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Family, Friends and Ffffffffff........orty!

Home baked goodies

Well, it has been a busy time here at HBH, with lots of scurrying around, dusters dusting, the sound of hoovers buzzing through the house, even the silver could be heard squeaking as it was polished to shine and sparkle. Cushions and cushion covers have whizzed around the washing machine,furniture moved and beds made up with nice crisp sheets. Homebaked bread,cookies and cakes are in the freezer along with coconut ice cream and the home made ginger beer is brewing in the fridge..............

Bubbling in eager aticipation for a big family feast.

Today,my family are coming to stay with me for the first time ever and I cannot tell you how excited I am!
It has really given me the opportunity to fluff up my feathers and tend to my nest and I have tried to make it all as comfy and cosy as possible, though doing that in 33 degrees heat has been a challenge.
The visit is their present to me as I head down the path over this next week to the transition into my FORTIES!!!!!! and it is a fantastic present. Though they won't be with me for the actual day, I am so delighted that they are going to be with me on the run up and that we can spend some quality time together, sharing and caring for each other. I have had such a great time preparing for this, that alone has given me so much pleasure, now I cannot wait to share it with the ones I love. What a simple joy in life!

On Saturday we shall have a BBQ bash here at HBH with some new found friends, that we have met here in Cyprus and I am really looking forward to a day filled with chitter chatter, laughter and happiness.
When you make a big move like we have done, it is such a good feeling to finally say that you have made friends, last weeek I went out for a ladies lunch with them, they showed me new places,you know the little funny places in life that aren't in a guide book, like where to get keys cut and where the material shops are and where to get woodwork done and furnature mended,where to get arts and crafts,which supermarket is cheaper, how to get across town, all these things that one needs to be shown one needs to learn form others, picks up in a community,we had lunch in a really cute taverna and chattered away, I had such a wonderful time,listening to their stories, discovering more about who they are and their views on life and it really warms my heart as it is even more reasurance that we are another step closer towards settling in our new enviroment.

Freshly picked Figs from a tree in the village.

It is interesting that for me turning 40 is far less daunting than it was to turn thirty, in the run up to thirty I was so disturbed, my life was not where I wanted it to be and nothing seemed to have fallen into place as I had hoped or planned and I really struggled with it.
But now...... in the run up to 40, I am definately where I want to be, well, yes I could do with loosing weight so I am not phycically where I want to be, but emotionally, wow...... yes where I am right now is a very good place. I have a wonderful supportive husband, live on a beautiful Island and have the opportunity to really explore who I am and what I am about. Living more simply away from consummerisum, trends,superficial niceties and high speed life, here in this place in this space,I feel wiser, more self confident and I think that is what pushes me forward to 40 with a big smile on my face. I am not loosing my youth,or becoming middle aged, I am gaining my wisdom, becoming more self assured, finally knowing and understanding what I do want in life..... Simplicity, enjoying the little things in life with the ones that you most care for,and working towards that every day, letting go of what I do not want, and the best of that, is that at 30 I would have felt guilty about letting go, but at 40 it is toatally liberating.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Sowing The Seeds.

We were at a BBQ over the weekend, and someone asked me ' so how are you? what have you been up to'

In my previous life I have no doubt that I would have very quickly responded with something like, ' Oh you know, getting the boss in and out of Kuwait for his latest meetings has been a nightmare, or finalising a holiday booking for a honeymoon couple going to the Maldives, it so sweet she doesn't even know what he has planned, or did a complete restyle on this client, she had hair down to her waiste and we cut it really short and put three diferent colours through it, she looked fantastic and loved it, but the hubby wasn't so sure.'

But in this instance, in my new life, which is much quiter, much calmer, much more focused on TBH and I

When asked ' what have you been up to ?' mmmm I was somewhat flummoxed as I didn't really know what to say, what had I been up, home making, blogging, researching the internet, learning and oh yeah.....planning, making and sowing, but it just didn't seem interesting enough to talk about in that situation at that particular time, then when I came away and thought about it, I wanted to shout hey!!!! Actually I have been really busy achieving what I have spent over 10 years working towards I have been living my dream regardless!!!!! Thanks pj great advice.

When I was a kid in Kenya, we had quite a large vegetable patch, and when I was peckish I often indulged myself in a little digging of carrots from the earth,vaguely rinsing it in under the garden hose, and crunch, biting into all it's crunchiness and goodness, or I could be caught scoffing a whole load of peas fresh out of their pods.... mmmm there really is nothing quite like fresh home grown veggies straight out of the ground.

Many years later I remember working in a salon that was next to a veggie shop that sold peas in their pods, so I went an grabbed some for an afternoon break, one of my colleagues said ' Oooh what are they' I explained and they replied ' wow I didn't realise that is what they looked like, I have only ever seen them in a tin or a freezer bag'.................... that was one of my first realisations that sadly so many people in this day and age have no idea where their food comes from or what might be in it, or how it goes from being a seed in the ground to a beautiful pretty plant giving us the fruit of it's labours.

TBH and I both love cooking, we do it quite differently however, but we both used to watch with envey these chef's who were able to go and pick their produce straight out of the garden, knowing where they come from knowing the good nutritional value that they are going to add to a meal.

We have wanted a veggie patch for years now, we did try a few herbs and tomatoes on our balcony in Dubai, but nothing really materialised, might have had something to do with fall out from the nearby alluminium smelter, but hey, in our plans to leave Dubai one of our criteria was to FINALLY be able to grow some of our own crops. We had planned on buying a small property here in Cyprus with some garden, but as that has not yet materialised, and we are currently in a rental property, so our plans for veggies subsided for a little while..... I got all despondent, thinking that because we were in a rental and it already has every little cacti and ornamental plant in place, then we wouldn't be able to grow our own stuff, that was 4 months ago, before I started to learn, and that is where the internet is so so useful. By researching and learning what others do, on float cabins, on boats, on balconies, and on large farms I got inspired and came up with a brain wave, lets make a veggie box out of old pallets,( which has been done else where).TBH gets loads of pallets at work, they are free and it is a good way to recycle them. Using these means that if we find our dream property or if should we have to move, we can take the veggies with us. So TBH got to work on a box and I will post about the making of it seperately.

That is also the reason that this is quite a long blog, I wanted to share with others the small ideas that I came up with to reuse,and recycle in order to achieve what you have been dreaming of for so long. I pondered over what or how I could make seedling box's............ then I started saving egg boxes. ( Am sure this too has been done before)

I punctured holes into the bottom of them with a knife for drainage,

Then cut them in half and placed the bottoms into the lids

I filled these with soil ( Thanks Mum for the donation) making sure the soil was really moist,

Then I proceeded to dig a small whole in the egg cup full of soil and begun to sow my seeds, Carrots, Cucumbers, Corriander, Corn,Tomatoes, Green Pepper and Rocca, so we are looking forward to a nice healthy home grown, home made salad, how fantastic would that be.

I covered the seeds with soil and gave them another sprinkling of water from my home made recycled watering can, which is basically a 4 litre fabric softener bottle, ( I no longer use fabric softner) I skeward holes into the lid and there you have it a watering can.

I knew I would get totally confused as to what seeds I had put into which box so I cut up a yoghurt carton and made the signs out of that.

It has all taken time, a long time, as with many things in life it has not been an overnight process, and we still have a long road ahead,learing what will grow,learning how to help it grow, it has taken time to think through ideas and put into practise those ideas, it has taken thinking outside our usual box,TBH and I are both creative, but not always practical at putting things together. It has been a learning curve for the two of us, helping each other to re asses, is that really the best way to do it? Perhaps if we did this or perhaps if we did that, and teaching ourselves to stop, complete a process and then move on, and in much of our veggie box/begining to grow, one idea has arisen out of another idea, as the mind works gently to find soloutions.
We have put the veggie box at the front of the property, not overly pretty, and whilst I was stood there knowing that it is the most practical place to have it as the sun will be on it all day long in both summer and winter, but wondering what ' others' would think of our veggie box amongst the ornamental perfectly placed cacti, an elderly gentleman pushing his grandaughter in a wheel chair , walked down the street, he stopped to chat and we discussed my dilema, to which he replied ' it is not whether it looks pretty or whether other people like it or not, you come first and if it serves your purpose, my dear THAT is what really matters.' What wise words! This very kind man not only taught me a lesson that day, he also gave us a very good soloution to how to cover our seedlings to prevent the cats, or Harry the hedgehog from messing up our good work.

TBH managed to make a recycled seeding cover which again I will blog about at a later stage. But the seedlings have been out enjoying the sun's good energy which is helping to make them strong and healthy,

So that hopefully in the not too distant future we will reaping the rewards and bennifits from much hard work,and many years of dreaming. So next time at the BBQ when asked what I have been doing I will feel more confident to say, I have been planning making and sowing the fruits and vegetables of our simple but beautiful life in Cyprus.

By the way, have you tried the salad, it tastes really good.