On Saturday 11th February my man aka Niffa turned 49 (just 364 days to go to the big 50!) so in true Thomas-Smith style we celebrated for the whole weekend. We were on a budget this year having just returned from our Far East adventures. Friday began with a very impromptu (decided on Friday morning) meet up with some friends at our local pub for Happy Hour cocktails and Beers. One of our friends when we asked them, said they could only make it for one drink but would we like them to take H for a sleepover so that we could have a later night than planned. Niffa’s whoops of joy could be heard across the village! I on the other hand was like … Noooo – I will never get him home tonight. But on the upside H got to see his best friend, and I get a lie in – everyone’s a winner! However we were very good, after happy hour ended we headed up through the village to another friendly little bar where I proceeded to beat Niffa at pool (sign of a mid-spent youth?!) in front of everyone – always a bonus. Then onto a little Cypriot bar that looked just about to close, the embers of the BBQ were dying outside, but in true Cypriot style, warmly welcomed us all, and as well as watering us, they fed us too. Our friend R asked if they had any bar snacks – unless you are hungry NEVER ask a Cypriot for a snack, you are likely to be fed a 3 course meal. So they generously laid on a mini feast of BBQ ribs, chicken wings, potatoes, bread and tatziki, olives and nuts, all complimentary! And at midnight they dimmed the lights to sing Happy Birthday, and from goodness knows where, brought out a quarter of a birthday cake with a candle in it! So Niffa got to make a wish and see in the day of his birth in style, though we didn’t eat the cake as not quite sure of its origin and who else had been blowing candles over it earlier that day. I managed to drag a reluctant Niffa home by threatening to turn into a pumpkin, and reminding him that we did actually have to get up at a reasonable hour the next day, as I had plans for us, and any more alcohol would not be a good idea, as I was already myself at the dancing stage of tipsy.
Saturday was Niffa’s actually birthday family day out, I packed a picnic lunch, we collected Harvey, and drove to Potamos for a long walk to blow away the cobwebs. Potamos is a tranquil area not far from Ayia Napa, based around a long estuary lined on both sides with traditional Cypriot fishing boats, and leading out to the sea. There is not much there, a couple of excellent fish restaurants make up the only commercial activity. The beach coastline is rocky and full of shallow pools, that we trawled looking for crabs, fish and other wildlife. H loves it there, a big stick for poking in the pools is all he needs to keep him happy for a couple of hours, and my heart lifts to see him unattached to an electronic device without grumbling.
After Potamos we headed to Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa for our car picnic – it was a bit too windy for an outdoor one, but picnic food always tastes way better than eating indoors, even if you are in the car! We all love Nissi Beach in Winter, without the tourists and the sun beds, it’s a different world, and you can truly appreciate the beauty of its white sands and crystal blue waters. Unfortunately there was not a lot of sun on Saturday but it was still gorgeous.
After another short walk, H distracted Niffa whilst I smuggled our surprise birthday cake out of the cool bag, for, in the words of American band DNCE, “Cake by the Ocean” (well actually by the Mediterranean Sea if you want to be strictly correct). We managed to light the candles despite the wind, and Niffa got to make even more birthday wishes. A couple of locals who had been fishing joined in our rendition of Happy Birthday, much to the amusement of some passing tourists. Then coffee for us and hot chocolate for H from a flask with chocolate cake eaten with spoons (yes, I forgot the knife!), concluded the days activities and we headed home.
On our return home it was time for cards and presents, and as always Niffa was thoroughly spoiled by everyone, but his favourite card was the home-made one from H. I swear I saw a tear in his eye but of course, he denied that vehemently (being very much a mans man and not prone to displays of affection), however him and H had massive hugs and I’m sure a “love you mate” sneaked in there too.
Saturday night was another grown ups night out, dinner (Meze of course!) with a couple of friends at one of my favourite restaurants in Larnaca To Sieradiko, followed by a cheeky cocktail at the fabulously trendy quirky new bar Heads & Tails then a nightcap at the cheap and cheerful Meeting Pub, taxi home and bed.
Sunday was a day of rest, chilling out, tidying up, popping to the shops for groceries (yawn), dinner and more birthday cake, finished with a movie after H was tucked up in bed, ready for school this morning.
Whatever you did this weekend, I hope it was as fun as ours, and you start your week with batteries recharged and ready to take on the world. Speak again soon.
Love from Nelly x