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.