Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding


Love it or hate it you can't have not noticed there was a rather important wedding today. I love a good wedding and I also love the British pomp and circumstance so today was always going to be a winner for me.

BBC Entertainment for once, didn't let us down and showed the same coverage of the wedding as BBC One. Many pubs in Cyprus were showing it and providing free champagne cocktails or BBQs or buffets but I decided chasing Leo around a pub wouldn't enable me to see much so was pleased I could watch from home.

Leo holding his flag and probably wondering why they were not waving them in the Abbey!
Dad fired up his first BBQ (I intended to get a photo but was distracted by all the pretty wedding guests arriving!) and we managed to keep Leo happy to watch in relative peace.  He enjoyed naming the colours of peoples hats and watching all the flags waving, He found a toy flag from his Megablocks set and waved it each time they showed the crowd!

I enjoyed reading Facebook today and seeing what my friends in the UK were up to, I was pleased to see (and a little envious) many going to street parties and BBQ's or just having gatherings at home, I would have loved to have joined them for the day.


What did you do, did you celebrate or hide away until it was all over?

Flashback Friday - Royal Wedding

Flicking through my Mum's old photo albums I came across the perfect photo for this weeks Flashback Friday...

Can you guess when this was?

As you can probably guess, this was taken on 29th July 1981 at a street party celebrating the marriage of  Charles and Di. I don't really remember much about the day as I was only 3 years old!

I think this may have been where my love of weddings started although it would have been 1986 when Prince Andrew married Sarah that really did it.  From then I brought every newspaper and cut out all the articles about them making I think 4 scrapbooks in the end!  After the wedding I still collected newspaper cutting but I was more of a Fergie fan than a Di fan to be honest - I think it may have been the fact I wanted red hair though!

If I could have done I would have loved to arranged or attended a street party today to celebrate William and Kate's wedding, many pubs here in Cyprus are showing it and celebrating in various ways but I have decided to stay at home and watch rather than chase Leo round a pub while trying to see it!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Listography - My Wedding

I've not joined in with Kate's Listography for a while but this week I absolutely had to. In tribute to the Royal Wedding this week she has asked what 5 things we would change about our wedding day.  Although I had an amazing wedding day and loved every second of it I have been saying for a few years now that I would love to go back and do it all again but change bits.

1. The dress, this is the main thing I would change. It was a lovely dress but I'd have a different style now and in some ways a lot less of it. It didn't occur to me to even try to lose some weight for the wedding and I'd love to get a wedding dress now being a size 12 rather than a size 20. I do feel a little envious when I see such lovely extravagant dresses and wish I could do it all again with something out of this world - bigger skirt, longer train etc!


2. The photos - you may have recently read how I would love to change my photos. I'd spend more as it is these that last forever. I'd have lovely reportage style pictures and make sure I wasn't sitting down in nearly every single one. I'd also get a photo with me and each of my bridesmaids on their own, the only one the photographer took is of the three of us together and this really bugs me!

3.The bridesmaids - not that I'd change the two I had, I'd just have more!  I was worried about it looking odd as it felt like a small room and I thought I'd be swamped by bridesmaids and it might look a bit too much. Now I'd have four!

4. I'd make sure all the most important guests could attend the whole day so we didn't lose anyone before the evening reception. Unfortunately the Best Man couldn't stay for the entire day and AJ was understandably very disappointed by that.

5. I'd remember to put my perfume on before leaving the house, and more importantly I'd remember to pack a hairbrush in my bag.  At 1am when we got to the room I realised as I was taking what seemed like a hundred hairgrips from my heavily hairsprayed 'do that I had no brush.  AJ had to go and buy a horrible plastic brush from reception that really wasn't up to the job, I can't believe how long it took me to brush it out!

I wouldn't change my groom though and that's the main thing!



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Monday, 25 April 2011

Easter in Cyprus

Easter is the most important religious holiday in Cyprus, this is our second Easter in Cyprus and this year we came a little closer than last to seeing a bit of the Cypriot way of celebrating.


There are plenty of decorations about, including some rather sinister looking Easter bunnies on the roundabouts.

On Thursday many Cypriot women bake 'Flaounes' a traditional Easter cheese bread. We were lucky enough to be given some by our neighbours.


On Holy Saturday (Easter Saturday) big bonfires known as 'Lambradja' are lit on waste ground near to big churches.

At 11pm the church service starts with the sermon of resurrection at midnight, we saw many people walking towards the church with their candles which all get lit, and then everyone greets each other with 'Christos anesti' (Christ has risen) to which they reply 'Alithos anesti' (Indeed he has risen)

Just after midnight the loudest fireworks I have ever heard were lit - they seemed to shake the whole building, amazingly they did not wake AJ or Leo at all! They went on for about 10 minutes which at that time of night when they have woken you up seems like a lifetime!


καλό Πάσχα
(Happy Easter!)

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Easter party

On Thursday I took Leo to his first ever Easter Egg hunt, it was arranged by my good friend Sam who like myself loves a good excuse for a party - it was at her house we went to our first Halloween party too.

She wisely decided not to have the kids hunt for chocolate eggs - as all of the kids with the exception of one are only 2 we thought they might not quite understand the idea and we could be just setting ourselves up for some tears and tantrums! (also we thought chocolate would melt but it turns out the UK had all the nice weather and we only just missed the rain!)

Instead each child had one painted egg to find and then were given some stickers to decorate it. Cypriots dye their eggs red so we followed suit and had red ones too. (Symbolizes the blood of Christ)  It also handily meant that they were all the same colour so they all had the same :)


Although they didn't hunt for chocolate eggs don't worry they didn't miss out on their sugar overload, we all took some food to share and there were plenty of sweet things.  I made some Easter cakes with a mini egg on the top of each - I was very pleased with them as they are probably the most decorative thing I've ever made, unfortunately I forgot to take a photo before they all disappeared off the plate!

The kids all had a great time playing and running around and all got to go home with a goody bag of sweets.

Thank you Sam for another great time!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Flashback Friday

A few weeks ago I posted two similar photos as part of Cafe Bebe's Flashback Friday link up. This week I decided to even things up a little...

This is my hubby at 6 weeks old.


People often tell me now that Leo looks very much like AJ, I usually smile and nod as I just think he looks like Leo!

I've never been very good it seems at working out which parent a baby most resembles, when asked who a baby looks like my standard response is 'He looks like a baby!'


Monday, 18 April 2011

Name days

Here in Cyprus they like nothing more to have a reason to celebrate and if all the bank holidays were not enough you also get to celebrate your Name day, which is the day of the Saint you are named after (which most are, if you don't have your own name day you celebrate on All Saints Day so all is not lost!)

It is a big day for Cypriots with feasting and visiting of family and friends, although children will celebrate birthdays and name days almost equally, as you become an adult the focus shifts towards a celebration on the name day with birthdays being a smaller personal event.

Last Friday was the Name day for Leonidas,


Our Leonidas received this lovely handmade card from Nana and in the afternoon we went to our friend's house for a tea party for the kiddies. It was a joint Name day celebration as one of my friends also has a little boy called Leonidas, and as if that wasn't coincidence enough they were born only 3 days apart!

I spent quite a while trying to get a photo of the two Leo's but it was difficult to get them to stay in the same place long enough. This was the best I could manage...

Friday, 15 April 2011

Flashback Friday - Friendship

This week I dedicate my Flashback Friday post to Claire, one of my best friends. She has been out to see me for a week and goes home today.

I met Claire at secondary school in 1990, we had a few lessons together, the most memorable being French where we used to sit looking out the window at a little red car that we wanted to have when we were older. It was in French lessons that we came up with the plan - we wanted to get married at 23, and then have a baby at 25.

1992
On our 23rd birthday, we realised that this was the year we were supposed to get married, according to the plan. We amended it, decided that 25 would be a better age with 27 for baby's arrival. Two years later (I was single, she probably should have been!) We pledged to no longer make plans!


Our birthday's are one day apart, and Claire is older than me :)
One year when we were young enough to be happy at turning a year older she gloated that she would reach it before me, I told her that in years to come it would be the other way round. To this day I ring her on her birthday, and then the following day she will ring me. 


We didn't see much of each other for a year or two after leaving school but then met up a lot in our early 20s. Mostly I'd go and stay the night at her house and we'd go out in town for dinner or drinks, or stay in and talk for hours.  I can't even begin to imagine how many hours we must have spent sitting at her kitchen table drinking wine and smoking lots of fags!

Celebrating our 30th birthdays in 2007
There are hundreds of stories I could tell you about the years we have known each other, and plenty more I probably shouldn't! A lot of them are just so stupid, funny only if you were there at the time - or in possession of a weird sense of humour.

As much as I am pleased to live in Cyprus, I really miss being able to jump in the car and visit her, She is now expecting her first baby and I'm sad that I won't be able to be there with her. I hope she soon gets her backside in gear and gets online a bit more so we can be more in contact.



Monday, 11 April 2011

After Silent Sunday.....More on Monday

My Silent Sunday photo got lots of great comments,  but I thought the photo might need a bit of explanation.
AJ plays pool for the 'Kings Sword A team' they are in the Famagusta Pool League and it was they who earned the rather impressive collection of trophies on Saturday evening.

Collecting one of many!
Presentation night was at the Western Star pub in Pernera. They laid on a free buffet and had The Outrageous Misfits performing. I have seen them before and they are excellent.


The boys won 3 trophies, they won the league overall and also won the 'cup and the Super Cup'  

No more pool now until winter as they don't play a summer league like AJ's old team in the UK did, the pubs are too full of tourists from now on!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Flashback Friday

This week we've had several 'Mother' related posts, Sunday was Mother's Day, and I had my very first Mother's Day card, I've even been out meeting other Mums in Cyprus so I thought lets round off the week with one more 'Mum' related post for 'Flashback Friday'


This is my Mum and I, taken in the very early 80s. It adorned our wall in the front room for many many years, in fact it also cropped up in another photo years later, although Mum is hidden by a balloon!






Don't forget to check out the other entries over at Cafe Bebe

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Lots of 'Reasons to be cheerful'

I've not joined in with this great link up for a few weeks but despite the rain (Come on Cyprus, it's April now, stop with the wet stuff already!) I am feeling very cheerful.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart
1. It might still be raining often but it's much warmer now, and we haven't had any heating on for a few weeks now which means our usually HUGE electric bills should be reduced for a while during the nice bit between heating and air conditioning!
2. The summer season has started here in Cyprus and all the resorts are coming to life. My favourite restaurant and bar are open again and I'm looking forward to going back soon. 
3. My parents have finished their garden so Leo can now run around like a mad thing without getting covered in mud.
4.One of my best friends is coming to see me next week, AND she's having a baby.
5. I am looking forward to going out on Saturday for "Pool presentation night' AJ's pool team the 'Kings Sword A' have won the lot and will collect 3 trophies, there are lots of us going and it should be a great night out.
6. There are lots of events / parties / visitors coming up in the next couple of months which I'm looking forward to.
7. We've had lots of new goodies since my parents shipping has arrived, which I had been gradually ordering from UK websites mainly for Leo but a few bits and pieces for me :)

There are probably more but if I don't get off the laptop and get some sleep then I will be much less cheerful in the morning!




'Baby shower in a box'

One of the things I love most is planning a party, and I am itching to throw someone a baby shower. I had one when I was pregnant, hosted by my Mum. I know someone should do it all for you but we were living with my parents at the time so I had the perfect excuse to do it myself.

One of my best friends is expecting her first baby, she is also coming to visit me in Cyprus next week. But due to the rather inconvenient fact of us living in 2 different countries throwing a party (shower still sounds a bit American for many wary Brits!) for her is not possible.

However, I have come up with a plan, the closet thing I can do to a party. 'A Baby shower in a box'  Now, I haven't got much further than a list of random tips for labour and early days - the kind of stuff that everyone would be chatting about at a party.  Any other suggestions would be very gratefully recieved, bearing in mind whatever I give her needs to fit into a suitcase to go back to the UK (and probably very full case knowing her!)

Also, how much information do you give a pregnant lady, I read a brilliant post by Mammywoo which had me in fits of laughter. (Very thankful I did my pelvic floor exercises like a woman possessed during pregnancy now) it got me wondering though, did I want to know exactly what I was letting myself in for? and would I have really believed it anyway?!   There must be a reason why every mother I've ever discussed birth storied with usually ends up by saying - "oh it was ok really!"  Even I do that, only to be corrected by my hubby who says it was 12 hours of hell.  (it really wasn't compared to many other births)

So, Mummies help me out.....  What would you say to yourself if you could travel back to your first pregnancy?




Am now hoping that my friend will not read this until after next week - should be ok as I don't think she's been on here since I started blogging!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

A mothers love

A Mother's love is understanding, it is unconditional and lasts forever. It also means that you can carry a wooden spoon halfway across the world.

Back in 1980-something this was the gift I gave my Mum for Mother's Day
It was made by me, at Brownies. All the girls were given a wooden spoon each, lump of blue tack and some flowers. A very simple idea which was then given the finishing touch of a piece of ribbon through the hole at the top so it could be hung on the wall.

It was hung on the kitchen wall, where it stayed until my parents moved house and was then placed into it's new home on a new kitchen wall. This week it has been unpacked and is awaiting it's new place on a kitchen wall in Cyprus. Mum said she there was no way it couldn't go back up.

I wonder if any of the other spoons from that Brownie meeting are still going strong?



This week's Gallery entry is Mother Love, click the badge to see the other entries

Monday, 4 April 2011

My Mother's Day

On Sunday after a lovely long lie-in (Thank you AJ xx) I got up and was presented with a cup of tea, lovely big breakfast (and it was slimming world friendly, so even better) and then Leo lovingly presented me with this...(well after I chased him around a little as he didn't really want to give something up which had just been handed to him!)


It's my first ever Mothers Day card, yay!
(yes, it is actually my 2nd Mothers Day but Leo couldn't talk last year and couldn't ask his Daddy to do anything about it)


I've been a Mother for almost 2 years now, and although it only seems five minutes ago that we brought him home I can't properly remember a time without him.  
oh, hang on wait - that was when I went out drinking, slept till 11am and then spent the day on the sofa watching Top Gear re-runs, when I could have a conversation on the phone without someone hanging on my leg crying for 'bebums' (that's raisins to you and me!) and when I could stay up past 11pm without wondering how many times I'd be up in the night.... but it was also the time when despite the friends / nights out / TV that didn't involve Postmen and their cats what I really wanted was an addition to our family. 


So although it sometimes may appear that I'm moaning (ok - I am sometimes actually moaning, I don't intend to it just happens!)  I don't really mean it. I love being a Mum and feel so lucky to be able to stay at home with him at the moment. I wouldn't change a thing - although Leo if you could listen to Mummy just a little bit more, oh and lose the 'look' when you are not very impressed with the situation,as I was not expecting to see that for another 11 years or so, then I'd be even more grateful )

Every day he amazes and amuses me with the random things and says and does, He is such a clever little man, yeah I know everyone thinks their child is the most clever child ever, but mine actually is :) and I don't think it will be long before he's trying to outsmart me, I give it till the end of the week!



Meeting Mum's in Cyprus

One of the downfalls of moving to another country is leaving your friends and family behind, it is a daunting prospect to be alone in a new country with no support network to rely on. When we first moved to Cyprus in November 2009 we were extremely lucky as by chance I had 'met' someone online who not only had a baby the same age as mine but a husband on the pool team and through them AJ got a place on the team and we met a nice group of people.

There are not a lot of organised baby groups in this area and without them it is hard as a 'stay at home' Mum to meet people so I was overjoyed (I may have even done a little dance!) when I found Mum's in Cyprus. It is a brilliant social network created by the lovely Carrine, is a Mum who was suffering a similar problem and wanted to meet more people.


'Mums in Cyprus' is a website community by Mums for Mums, it provides a platform for communication, advice and friendship. Since it's launch in January 2010 membership has grown to over 750 and has members from 17 nationalities.

There have been several opportunities to 'Meet a mum for real' and last Wednesday was the first in Larnaca. I had previously driven to Limassol for a meet up but it's a little bit far to do regularly.

It was a good evening, and nice to meet some new people, there were 8 of us all together from 5 different countries and I was the only Brit there. (surprisingly really as the Brits form the highest percentage of members on the site) which was nice because it shows that the site really does bring everyone together.


One thing which doesn't change whichever nationality you happen to be - put any group of Mums together and it doesn't take long for birth stories to come up in conversation :)


Saturday, 2 April 2011

What memories are made of...

When you are planning your wedding there are so many things to think about, the dress the catering, the venue, the flowers... it goes on and on. But looking back the photos are the most long lasting thing of the big day (well, the Groom obviously but I'm talking about the actual wedding not the marriage!)

I had the most amazing time on my wedding day, I would like to say that I wouldn't change a thing and although your ideas change over the years and I would do a few things differently now I do look back at my photos and wish they were better. We had a family friend as our photographer and although it saved us a fortune with hindsight I'd rather have cut back on something else to get the gorgeous shots that so many people have.

I am lucky though that our photos were not terrible, and we do have some nice mementos of the day, for those who haven't though help is at hand....

Lorraine Deakins Photography has the answer - Wedding SOS (Save Our Shots) She explains all about it on her photography blog...
Collect all images you have from your day, you'll be surprised how many guests will have a memory card full of them, put them altogether and you'll probably have a good 200 images. I will edit all your shots and make them beautiful for you. Remove red eye, straighten, crop, colour correct etc etc etc I will love your snap shots as if they were my own and then put them in a beautiful Infinity coffee table album for you (after you've given me the nod of approval of course). Yes it won't be as good as having me there on the day but I'll put all my wedding photography passion into squeezing out a wedding album you can be proud of.



Although the photos from my wedding were ok they were never edited in any way, so Lorraine worked her magic on a small selection for me. 



Of course, the best thing to do is get great photos taken in the first place, or maybe I'll win the lottery, have another wedding and fly Lorraine out to Cyprus to photograph it.

Lorraine has a real passion for her work, especially weddings but she also does Boudoir shots, portraits -including children and animals among others. For more information, visit her website




(This is NOT a sponsored post, the views stated are my own)

Friday, 1 April 2011

Greek Cypriot National Day



Today is another Bank holiday in Cyprus, Greek Cypriot National Day in memory of the establishment of the National Organisation of the Cypriot Struggle known as EOKA (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston). EOKA was formed with the aim to fight for the country's independence from British Rule. They also had the intention of achieving 'Enosis' or unification with Greece.


On August 16th 1960 a cease fire was declared due to the Zurich agreement  and Cyprus was granted independence by the United Kingdom.   


The day is commemorated by many people, especially students and members of the institutions and they attend church services to  religiously observe the holiday. Most schools hold tributes and events to educate the students about the history behind the events.


It's surprisingly to me really that us Brits are welcomed to the island with (mostly) open arms when we made them fight for their own independence. I think maybe we will keep a low profile today and raise a glass to the fact that they gained their independence eventually!

Flashback Friday - Summer time

Today (Thursday) I decided that Summer is most definitely just around the corner, we had our usual Mum's and kids meet up and spent the whole time in the garden.It's a well sheltered garden and with no breeze it got very warm indeed,  I even had to move into the shade at one point!

Excited by the arrival of the hot sunny stuff I thought I'd find some related photos for this week's Flashback Friday


This was taken in 1982 on a family holiday in Wales, I don't think I actually remember anything about the holiday, as my memories are the same as the photos we have but I do like this one in particular. I assume I was copying my Dad as he has always been a fan of sunbathing.


I think there will be a lot more of that this year, for Dad at least - I will get my sun time whilst chasing a mad toddler around a beach!


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