I have had just the best weekend, and when I miss my UK friends and family, as most ex-pats do from time to time, along comes a weekend like this one, and I remember why we are building a new life, creating memories and making friends here in Cyprus. The bonds strengthen month by month, like roots embedding my family and I in this beautiful place, and it becomes to feel more like home. So this is how our weekend went, and why I am feeling very thankful on this Monday morning despite the steely grey skies outside my window threatening to rain again (yes, it peed down all weekend, like a wet weekend in Manchester!) :-
FRIDAY – With rain forecast for the whole weekend, H and I decided we needed some mummy-son lazy time, so after school (which finishes at 1.30 pm here), we put our pjs and the heating on, snuggled on the sofa with blankets and snacks to watch a movie – his choice – “Suicide Squad” – a kind of anti superhero film where the baddies have to try and save the US – yep 2 hours of my life I will never get back lol. Later on I made dinner, a Singapore Prawn & Chicken Laksa, which is a spicy warming noodley soupey Thai inspired dish. Although H was not keen on the coriander, he struggled on nevertheless and managed to eat it all. Then Niffa headed out for a few beers and H and I stayed in, back to our cosy sofa to watch rubbish TV and just chill out.
In the morning Niffa and I had work to do and H had homework and studying to complete, after which I popped to see my friend RC whom I have known since moving here but we have become really good friends over the last year or so. She is a Northern woman like me, and we just “get” each other, often reduced to fits of giggles over the stupidest things, she is a breath of fresh air in a sea of southerners (no offence guys but there are so many of you!). So after a cuppa and a gossip about the latest village goings on – it’s like Coronation Street, there are literally no secrets, I love it, off I went to my next appointment of the day – Prosecco tasting. It’s a tough life, but a girl gotta do what a girl gotta do, all in the name of business of course! So Niffa and I headed to our local Cava (Wine & Drinks retailer to you – Offie or Outdoor to me), with J&C in tow to help and advise.
5 taster glasses of Prosecco and some lovely nibbles later, I had chosen 2 brands for BERTIE our new drinks Tricycle, got myself a Cyprus SP (special price) for suppliers, and bought some local winery red and white wine for further research at home. Before leaving we bumped into a lovely lady who is the wife of chef Dean Simmons, who I had heard was opening his new restaurant RED PEPPER in Larnaca this weekend. I hear that Dean is an uber talented chef, and Larnaca definitely needs some new modern Cuisine (although the restaurant scene is improving as new venues open). I had already had a sneaky peak at their menu online, and am looking forward to a visit there, so it was good to meet his wife and wish them every success.
Quick detour on the way home via the Blue Pine, a little gem of a pub that I had wanted to show J&C, then all showered and changed to go out for dinner with some other new friends D&O and their 2 amazingly polite, funny and lovely children, with all of us and J&C. We went to our favourite little Meze restaurant in Larnaca, most of the adults had Meze, but the boys fancied their own dishes. H ordered calamari, and his new best friend ordered a mixed grill. Well this restaurant does not serve children’s portions and their plates were nearly as big as them! Needless to say, in the name of parental responsibility we all helped out with the leftovers, and Holly the dog was gifted the final few bits of meat that we could not finish.
After a delicious meal, we headed back to our house so the kids could hang out and play video games, and the grown ups got to drink more wine, and eat cheese & biscuits, the perfect end to a lovely evening.
A VERY lovely lazy day, pancakes and fruit salad for brunch and more homework for H (groan … him not me!), but the highlight of our day was a visit from another new friend RS and her hubby JS, with their beautiful new born baby. They already have 2 boys so baby C makes 3, thinks she’s trying for a 5 a side team! Anyway, I used to be quite allergic to babies until I had my own 12 years ago, I was that person in the office who hid in the loo or behind the filing cabinet when staff came in from maternity leave to show off their new addition. But I grew up after having H, and now I go all mushy in the presence of such sweet innocence that is a new baby. And he is just perfect, a tiny bundle of gorgeousness, such a cutie. He looked very dapper in his gruffalo outfit and baby bow tie with flat cap – RS you should be a child stylist! RS had gone back to the UK to have him so we had loads to catch up on, she is in the wedding business too (with her company CYPRUS DREAMS) and has given me so much invaluable support with my new business LOVE ME DO CYPRUS. The visit was over too quickly, but now the family is back in Cyprus, I am sure to see them again soon.
So that was our weekend (and another post for my family memories), finished off with a quick family dinner, and early nights all round. I hope your weekend was as great as mine.
Love from Nelly x