#28 Warning ….. longest blog post ever, a glass of wine or cup of tea may be required

So 2018 has arrived, another year, another set of resolutions, a new plan to be happier, healthier, to spend more time with my amazing family and friends, to grow the business further, and try to be kinder and more thoughtful to others. In the words of Niffa’s favourite song, this year I am going to “Reach for the Stars” – yes he has terrible taste in music, but luckily for me,  great taste in women (joking/not joking).

2017 has been an absolute whirlwind of a year, with lots of giddy highs, a few tricky lows, and lots of everything in between type of days. So I have decided to share just a few of the major events of our 2017, as much to serve my dreadful memory (so in the future I can look back and say – wow – we did that?) as to let you have a little peek into life in our crazy happy home. So here goes, in absolutely no particular order:

Our precious boy became a teenager in December, how did that even happen!! And he is not even so little these days, he is almost as tall as me, but apparently still one of the shortest in his class – I think they must all be giants! Our bathroom is now a cacophony of male grooming products, you name it he has it, deodorant, face scrub, facewash, toner, body scrub, body wash, hair gel, hair mousse, aftershave (no he doesn’t shave … yet), and he still has the cheek to “borrow” my expensive moisturiser! (H step away from the Clarins!!) Celebrations included a family night out for a Chinese banquet whereupon we bumped into his drama teacher (moonlighting as a waiter, maybe it was just an act?), H going to the cinema, KFC with school friends, and lots of cuddles, cards, presents and cakes of course.

We surprised H with a 10 day trip back to the UK on Boxing day, to see family and friends, he was just a tad excited (slight understatement), as he thought he would not be going back for a visit until summer 2018. We have had snow, hot chocolates, log fires, roast dinners and lots of precious time with our nearest and dearest. In light of the fact that Niffa lost his eldest brother in October this year, this family time was more poignant than usual. We all had a great trip (apart from Niffa, after the first few days who became spectacularly grumpy, but to be fair he had a horrible cold/man flu). Yet we were very happy to return to the sunshine and warmth of Cyprus – I just wish I could pack all my friends in a suitcase and bring them back with me – not sure they’d thank me mind, but I’d be happier 😉.

The great news is that my mum is visiting again in February, flight already booked, and my BFF Miss Trunchbull (not her real name!) is coming over in March with her daughter – yippeeeee, the girls are back in town – watch out Cyprus!!! And the big boys I think are planning a trip over here for the World Cup, so Niffa will be happy with that, they seem to think they are also going to Ayia Napa …. Mmmm. The other good news is that my friendships here in Cyprus are getting stronger all the time, a couple of ladies have become very special friends this year – they must be special to put up with me, I am not known as Nutty Nelly for nothing!  Although sadly one of my first close friends from Cyprus left in January 2017, well it was sad for me, but super exciting for her and her family as they left for big adventures in Kenya (buckets were cried). Myself and my ginger friend R (who metaphorically held my hand when B left), were 2 very giddy kippers when she came back for a visit towards the end of 2017, new plans are afoot to persuade her to visit us again soon.

I also had an unexpected visit from an old friend that I went to school with, I had not seen her since we  moved to Cyprus 3 years ago – it was just the tonic I needed at the time, we laughed, we cried, we reminisced, we drank, we ate, we had a ball, it was a short but very sweet visit, ended with the promise to keep in touch more. And of course I had my annual visit from Miss Trunchbull, she is a girl in a million, my sister I never had – I miss her every day, but so happy we are managing to meet up more every year, and we now can even chat without crying … progress indeed.

friends

So 2017 kicked off with a trip to the Far East (I did say this post would be in no particular order – welcome to my mind) which was a huge exciting adventure to celebrate 10 years of putting up with love and happiness with Niffa. Some of you may have read my post about planning this trip #10 Asia here we come!  It was an incredible experience taking in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore, such amazing experiences – temples, mountains, tuk tuks, fish balls, markets, beaches, cold beers, rooftop bars … this list could be endless.  H stayed home with Nanna as this was a strictly adults only trip (yes I felt guilty, but he adores his Nanna and was thoroughly spoiled whilst we were away!), and to ease the guilt we are planning a big family trip away next Christmas.  We are still undecided where, but research has begun …. it will be somewhere far flung, hopefully hot and sunny, and with a few adventures thrown in for good measure.

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2017 was also the year I found out that I had hypothyroidism and Hashimotos disease, (an auto-immune disease, not a type of sushi) after months and …. well to be honest, a couple of years of feeling exhausted, my symptoms exacerbated to include painful achy joints, pins and needles in my hands and feet, lethargy, unexplained weight gain (I knew I was a size 10 person living in a sometimes size 14 body!), anxiety, and brain fog amongst other even less pleasant symptoms. I even bored myself some days with complaints about feeling exhausted, so goodness knows how my poor family and friends felt. I had put all these symptoms down to a variety of reasons for so long: Getting older (I’m only 40 something …); working too hard (some may say that’s debatable); time of the month etc etc.

Luckily after what felt like hitting a brick wall of exhaustion and sadness, Niffa put his foot down and dragged me practically kicking and screaming to see the doctor.  Long story short, after a scary ultrasound to check for cancerous nodules which was thankfully clear, I now take a combination of medicine and health supplements which help hugely, but some days are still an uphill struggle.  My advice to anyone is if you gave long term symptoms, don’t try and be a tough Northern chick, go and see a doctor! I’m attaching some pics which give an idea of what was happening to me (and apparently a LOT of women), for as soon as I told my doc the symptoms, she knew immediately what was wrong before blood tests proved it. Niffa, H, my mum, aunty, and true friends were complete stars, and amazingly supportive during the months it took to get me back on my feet, and I am so grateful for them. Of course I carried on working, and told very few people what was wrong, because I am a stubborn Northern girl.

 

Another highlight of 2017 was taking H camping to Polis.  We went with some lovely friends, whose son happens to be one of H’s best friends from school, and their very beautiful daughter. I’m not really a camping type of girl (helping runs cubs for 2 years and having 4 hours sleep a night at camp, kind of put me off), but we wanted to do something H would love and remember.  And safe to say, we all had a fab time.  The campsite is in a wood, next to a beach with a little taverna, the campsite facilities are old and basic, but is cleaned regularly and has all you need. Highlights included watching the sunset from the beach each night, cooking meals on the bbq (why does food cooked outside always taste better?), swimming, sunbathing, and more swimming, a trip to the baths of Aphrodite, lunch in Laatchi harbour, sleeping under the stars (well … in the tent, but still), and just having precious family time together.

2 nights was enough for me though, so we had booked a hotel in picturesque Pissouri for the final night, for a proper shower and real bed.  Our short stay involved a wander around the cute cobbled village, followed by a hearty dinner, a dreamy nights sleep, and a trip to the water park in Limassol on the way home – H’s favourite day out.

So to work – yes of course I do work! I can sum 2017 up in 3 words – Weddings, weddings, weddings.  We worked our little socks off from May to October, served hundreds (may be even thousands) of Ice Creams and Sorbets, at mainly weddings, and also some christenings and parties across Cyprus.  We met so many fantastic couples, planners, venue staff and suppliers, that by the end of the season, we felt like one of the family. To get an idea of what we do please visit our Business Page and feel free to give us a cheeky little like. My aim for 2018 is to reach 2,000 likes by the end of Jan so I am now shamelessly just putting it out there – I only need about 40!

Right – I have to stop now – or this blog will become a book! Well ….. just one last thing that happened this year, was that H learned to sail, passing his RYA Level 1 and 2 course, making me a super proud mummy, and Niffa an even prouder evil step-daddy. So I HAVE to share one last photo! That’s my boy 💖

blog sail

Thank you for reading, and for your patience, I truly hope your 2017 was as memorable as mine, and wish you good health, love and happiness in 2018.

Love from Nelly x

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