Following my dreams (just need to find out what they are) Chapter 2: Cyprus

Tuesday, 27th of August,

Wow. I do NOT know where to start from. If you could only see what is happening inside my head.

OK let’s start from right now.

I’ve been in Cyprus for two days and I spent the first one at the beach, at a gorgeous little bay in Protaras, Sirena Bay (with a cute, bohemian restaurant at the top of a hill overlooking the sea) which felt like manna from heaven, like rain after a hot, humid day, like a hot cup of tea and chocolate digestives on a freezing cold, winter afternoon.

As you know, I spent August in Cambridge doing my CELTA course. One of the most challenging, intense, stressful but also rewarding, extraordinary experiences of my life so far.

I haven’t slept more than a few hours a night for a month, I cried many a times, my anxiety completely paralysed me more than once, I didn’t get to see Cambridge much, visit Grantchester or the Wren library or go punting (I’m definitely returning in Cambridge just to do all this) but it was all worth it, not only for getting the qualification and marked as ‘above standard’ (Who? Me! I never taught in my life!) but mostly for the friends I made from all over the world. My classmates, my students, my flatmates. I’ll write about it very soon to share my experience with others who are considering doing the CELTA. For now, I’m still trying to recover from it. I still dream of lesson plans, teaching, my classmates, my tutors.

On my last day in the UK, I visited my brother Andi and had an awesome day in London. It didn’t feel real what was happening. I have actually left Southampton for good, I finished my course and I’m on my way to Cyprus, with no fixed plan. What the hell.

I’m in Cyprus since Sunday and I feel completely lost. Should I try and get an English language teaching job and get experience right away, since I absolutely loved teaching, but leave in a month, or should I do what I originally planned, and have a few months of holiday, write, make videos, read books, try different things and then go? Should I go in Vietnam first or Costa Rica? Asia or Latin America? Or Europe?

No bloody idea. For now, I’ll leave all of this behind and enjoy a couple of weeks of holiday, a few days in Protaras and then Rhodes (vlogs coming very soon), get back into my yoga, give my mind time to rest and reset and then who knows.

To all my friends, in Southampton, Cambridge, Russia, Bangladesh, Spain, Italy and wherever else you might be, I miss you dearly already.

I sometimes wish making a decision was easy, so many options but then again how boring life would be if I didn’t have any.



Blogmas Day 20 and Day 21- Christmas was almost cancelled

There was no Blogmas yesterday because this time yesterday I was devastated.

Gatwick airport was closed all day and after all the bad luck of the last couple of days I felt defeated. I didn’t think I’d make it home for Christmas. All I wanted to do was go home and cry. Although I already had a few invites in case I were to spend Christmas in Southampton, if I hadn’t made it I would have stayed in my pjs stuffing my face with pizza and chocolate for a week and not speak to anyone. That was my Plan B.

Thank you to all my wonderful friends and colleagues that kept me going. Wonderful lunch with the old Compliance gang and drinks with the rest of my favourites made all the difference. I was overwhelmed with all the love, hugs and wishes.

Today was a long, long day and until my plane actually took off I didn’t really believe it was going to happen. The only one who believed was my little sister, Anna.

I genuinely think the only reason I made it was because of all the prayers and positive thoughts.

Christmas was almost cancelled but I was lucky for once. Shortly after my flight took off the airport closed down again. Phew.

Whoever is doing this, disrupting travel for people who save for months either to have Christmas with loved ones or somewhere special, and force pregnant women, children and thousands of other people to sleep on the airport floor, I hope you realise how mean and inhumane what you are doing is.

I hope everyone makes it home for Christmas. Sending you all my positive thoughts.


Blogmas Day 19- Packing home for Christmas in the Upside Down

It’s been a weird day. I think I was in the upside down, not the real world. Maybe I’m still there? Am I?

My Royal Mail re-delivery saga continued (48 minutes waiting on the line to speak to an advisor, the classical music playing repeatedly traumatised me) and there is a chance I won’t have my mum’s gift in time, I may have a tooth infection (or my anxiety is causing the pain, Ι really can’t tell), so the first thing I’ll do when I go home is visit the dentist, that’s not how I wanted to spend my first morning back home, there was a guy kissing everyone, even people who just met in the office who I desperately avoided (there is friendly and there is too friendly), people are leaving Solent, others leaving the country and it feels like time suddenly slowed down today.

I’m tired, stressed, emotional, worried about a million things that can go wrong from now until Christmas, I started packing for Friday though, which got me all excited. It looks so pretty and festive.

That’s life. Ups and downs. There are days I can control my feelings and my thoughts and other days like today when it feels my bad luck will never end, I can’t.

And it’s OK.

Last day at work tomorrow before I fly home for Christmas and I’m spending it with lovely friends and colleagues. So here’s to tomorrow.


July the 16th, the Tuesday before. Divine Intervention

Tuesday, 10th of July

Is it morning yet?

It was a beautiful, sunny morning but it all I could see still was grey.

I somehow make it to work.

I got an email from the agency, the flat I’ve seen yesterday wouldn’t be ready for the 16th and someone made an offer to rent it at the end of the month, when it would be available. My heart sank.

I’m feeling sick again.

What should I do? Should I go for one of the claustrophobic, depressing studio flats I’ve seen and get it over with? Should I just give up for now and move in with Jamie until I find a place?’What should I do??

I had a last look online and there it was, a one bed flat on the High Street I’ve seen on Rightmove before but it was over my budget. The price was now reduced, still overbudget but only by £35. It is available now and it looks pretty.

I call the estates agent to arrange a viewing, for today if possible. I explained my situation and she re-assured me that moving in less than a week is possible as the flat was vacant.

I could go see it in about an hour but I’m at work, I can’t just leave. The only time the agent could do was 1:15pm, but there would be someone else viewing it at the same time. Just my luck. But I’d still go. You never know.

From 9am until lunchtime I was a wreck. I tried really hard to concentrate and do some work but every now and then my mind would fall into despair and I all I wanted  to do is cry.

Divine Intervention

Suddenly I get a message from Dan, one of the very few people who can understand the way my mind works, the crazy spiral it goes into when I’m stressed. He was at the Uni early for our choir session so I meet him downstairs. He gives me a big hug and we have a chat.  Talking to him was the only thing that eased my mind for a while. 

Under other circumstances I would give the rehearsal a miss, I can’t concentrate to do anything, let along remember lyrics and harmonies, but our little surprise for Graduation is in three days, this one was going to be just for that and I wouldn’t have missed that for anything. After our session I ran. I ran to make it to my appointment on time.

I viewed the flat at the same time as an elder couple and their daughter, they came along with her, she seemed very shy, I guess that’s why she brought their parents.

I loved it from the first time I walked into the building. Spacious corridors with laminated floors, grandiose mirrors on each floor, freshly clean smell and the flat itself was spacious, more than enough for one, modern, it even had a large balcony I didn’t know about.

Do I like it ’cause it’s actually nice or because I’m desperate to move on the 16th and avoid the hassle of moving twice? I often wonder why and how I do things. Sometimes I can easily recognise that I do something I truly like, others  because of this innate need, which more than often leads to disappointment, to feel accepted, loved, important, wanted, safe.

This feels right though. I like it for the right reasons. I can see myself living happily here. It’s modern and big enough to have friends over, cosy autumn nights with a hot cuppa watching films or snuggled on my sofa reading a book, sunny mornings doing my yoga in the living room, sitting on the balcony people watching in the summer. 

This could be it, but don’t get too excited yet.

I asked the agent what would happen if we both liked the flat. It seems that the young shy girl and her parents liked it too.

-In that case, we’d take both offers to the landlady and she will choose.

-And if I make an offer and is accepted, is it possible to move in on Monday?

-It usually takes over a week, it’s probably not possible. If you like it, give the office a call, as I’m off for the rest of the day and they’ll talk things through.

My heart sank, again. So it probably won’t happen. I called the agency on my way back to work and left a message anyway. An hour went by and didn’t hear from them. I knew it was over. I ran to the toilet and had a cry.

I messaged Jamie if I could still move in his spare room. He fortunately left me a spare key- he was going on holiday today but he is so thoughtful he left me a key at work to use if needed.

Although I was sad things didn’t work out, I was relieved, I didn’t have to stress and desperately keep looking for a place to move in 6 days, my anxiety would be kept at bay, for now.

Divine intervention

I stayed at work late, since I had a long lunch break and around 17:30 I get a phone call, from the agency. In my rush earlier I didn’t leave my name on my message, they lady on the other end of the line told me. I can’t remember much. That’s what happens when I’m too anxious.

It took them hours to figure out who it was.

She told me that if I still wanted to, she could contact the landlady and put my offer forward and if all my references go through within the next 24 hours, I can move in on the 16th.

I couldn’t believe it! 

My battery was about to go and I sat at the park, at my favourite bench, patiently waiting for the agent to call me back and let me know if the landlady accepted my offer.

my favourite spot

After what felt like hours, but it was actually 10 minutes later my phone rings.

Yes, the landlady agreed!!! I may now have a home!

I stayed there, at the bench, staring at the sun, thanking my lucky stars for today. I then message Chris, Dan, Sheba and my little sister to tell them the good news. I wouldn’t have done it without them. I would have broken down into million pieces and felt so paralysed I wouldn’t have kept going. I can’t stop thinking how lucky I am to have such incredible, loving, caring friends and family.

The huge rock that was on my back, crushing my bones into the ground all this time was suddenly lifted. It’s not over yet, I still need the references to go through quickly, I know my manager will fill in the forms instantly but what about my current landlord?

To be continued…



It’s half past twelve, after midnight, Monday is here.

I can’t sleep. Typical. Listening to music, I let my thoughts travel far away, to Guatemala, to Shebz, back home, to my sisters and my family, to my brother Andi in London, to last week, to tomorrow, a brand new, busy, exciting week coming up…


I’m feeling nostalgic. I love the world nostalgia, it comes from the Greek words nostos (νόστος)=return and  algos (ἄλγος)=pain. Aching, aching to return. Aching to go back when I lived on my own. I miss my cosy, little studio I decorated myself. With the sun shining through during the day and watching the beautiful sunrise in the evening. It was small but perfectly formed. And I had the best landlord ever.

My little home

I’ve been thinking long and hard how to put my thoughts in writing without coming across as mean and horrible. Well, maybe I am. After all Eleanor Shellstrop of the Good Place is my inspiration right now. Legend.

Image result for eleanor shellstrop memes

The story so far…

It’s been a month today since I’ve moved into a shared flat.

I  quickly got over the fact there is someone else listening to my music, hear me singing on my guitar, chatting with my friends, talking non-stop on Insta stories, my new obsession, or even smaller things that are surprisingly hard to get used to like going for a wee or number two or listen to my terrible singing when I have a shower. It wasn’t easy but I’m OK with it.

But I still can’t get used to it. I miss being on my own.

My flatmate has been really nice and friendly. Maybe too nice and friendly. He always offers to help, he even cooked for me, not the best cooking but I’m a harsh judge with all the chefs in the family and my love for food but he put music on and bought wine. What was that all about? Maybe a bit too much? Or am I just being Eleanor again?

Others would die for someone to offer help or cook for them but I don’t. I love my independence, doing things by myself. If I need help I’ll ask my friends.

When I come home after a long day I want to be on my own, unwind and do my yoga, write, read, draw, sing, play my guitar… The last thing I want is socialising.  If I feel the need to talk to someone, I’ll chat to my friends and my family or I’ll ask a friend to come over or I’ll go out and meet my friends.

I make friends all the time. I’ll chat to everyone. Every human is special, even the not so nice ones. But home it’s a different story for me. Home is where I relax, I create, I have fun, I cry, I laugh, is my shelter, my comfort. It’s me time. And I find it hard to adjust.

It took me two years to reach where I am today and it’s vital, essential for my mental health and wellbeing to have my own space.

I kept thinking it would be different if it wasn’t just the two of us. Or if I lived with a girl. Or a friend.

I understand that my flatmate is going through his own battle. He is still getting used to the new situation himself. He used to live with a loved one, not a stranger, so he is probably still learning himself, like I do.

I totally respect that. I want him to be well and happy. And that’s why I kept all this to myself until now. It’s hard to have such a sensitive conversation without ending up hurting the other person, I wouldn’t like to do that. Although, I’m painfully aware he may well be reading this.

It’s nothing personal. That’s just how I feel. I miss my little home. And my way of dealing with all of this is to write about it. Writing is my therapy.

What have I learned so far? 

My room is now my shelter, my castle, it’s bright and peaceful as a friend beautifully described it. The rest of the house is for sharing. So if I want to be on my own, my bedroom is my paradise. This is the only space is just mine.

My new home

I’m still unsure what the rules are when using the kitchen but I usually tend to cook when it’s free. I don’t want to be in his way.

I rarely use the living room anymore. I feel more comfortable eating in my room whilst I watch Friends or binge-watch a new series. Why make someone else watch what I want to watch?

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that having my own space is more important to me that I thought it’d be. But I’m doing all this for a reason. And I’ll stick to it for the next 5 months.

Now what?

It may get easier, it may not, although I’m hoping it will.

For now my room is my little comfort blanket, my hideaway, my creative hub and it’s enough, for now…








A magical home spa evening, courtesy of Sabão

Yesterday was a long but exciting day. It was my first day working with a new team in Academic Services (exciting projects coming up!) and when I got home I was exhausted.

I thought that was the perfect opportunity to finally try the handmade bath treats sent to me to test and review by a new local business, Sabão. Nisha, the lovely owner  sent me a pretty, colourful little package with a couple of bath bomb and body butter samples I received at the weekend. As soon as I opened the box I fell in love. The scents were just magical.

Sabao samples

So after my day 10 yoga session and quick dinner I lit some candles, I’ve put a relaxing Spa Music playlist on Spotify and I got in my filled with hot water and smelling like I’d imagine heaven would smell like bathtub.

As you may know, I’m obsessed with smells so I chose to go for the one I liked the smell the most first. It was a tough choice but I went for the West Indian Amyris & Egyptian Geranium one. That’s exactly how I’d thought Ancient, Exotic Asian baths would have smelled.

Honest to God, I do not remember the last time I felt so relaxed. The scents, the music, the tranquil sound of the water, the candles and their reflection… I’ve created my own, personal home spa and it was pretty special.


I’ve never tried a bath bomb before, I tend to go for bubble bath foams or soaks mixed with sea salts so I didn’t know what to expect. But I absolutely loved it.

As soon I got out of the bath my skin smelled incredible and felt as soft as silk (unlike other bath products that sometimes leave my skin dry, Nisha uses essential oils in her bath bombs, which makes a huge difference.)

I tried some of the organic raw shea butter afterwards purely because I wanted to see how it smelled on my skin and I can’t even put in words how amazing it did smell.

I honestly think everything I tried was worth more than their actual price.

As you know I’m not a professional blogger and I don’t get paid to write this, so this is my personal opinion.

For someone who is enchanted by smells, like myself, my home spa evening was an incredible experience.

Home spa

If you want to find out more on Nisha’s story and support a local business whilst treating yourself to luxurious bath bombs and other handmade, organic skincare goodies all details are on their website.

Thank you lovely lady again for the amazing treats you sent me. I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to try the rest.




New beginnings-week 1: My first ever housemate.

I’ve never lived with complete strangers. I lived in student halls at Warwick Uni when I was 22 but that doesn’t really count. It was more of a communal, safe environment and I was not an ‘adult’ back then. I was still fearless and naive with ambitions and unrealistic dreams, like most youngsters fresh out of university.

I moved from living with my family, to student halls, to living with my ex-partner of seven years to living on my own for the last two years.

I may be biased because that’s my most recent experience, but I loved living on my own. Not from day one, but definitely over the last year. So moving in a shared flat was not because I wanted to, but purely for financial reasons.

I spent last week packing, a little bit every day and last Friday I moved out from my cute, cosy studio flat to a year old, bright, modern 2-bed flat, which came with a 32 year old guy.

All my belongings packed in boxes and bags

This year the move was smooth and uneventful (last year was a nightmare, alarms going off, lost my car keys, bruised knees for months, it was a disaster!) since I learned from my mistakes and saved money for a removal company. I’ll post more on that and what else I discovered over the last 10 days later this week.

It’s only been a couple of days and there is a lot to get used to. I don’t live on my own anymore so I can’t play the guitar at silly o’clock or put music really loud and I don’t know what the ‘social rules’ are when sharing a flat. Should I offer my ever so polite flatmate a cup of tea every time I make tea and he is around? Are we to cook on different times? Are we to become friends or keep stricter boundaries? I don’t really know the answer to these questions and I’m not sure he does either but I guess it will all fall into place. I’ve been talking to my brother in London and he is going through a similar situation right now. I’m glad it’s not just me trying to figure this out.

I still wonder whether I made the right decision, should I waited until a gal was looking for a flatmate instead of living with a guy? Should I went for more viewings, should picked a different area? At the end of the day, I made a decision and I won’t know if it was the right one until later, so I’m trying not to torture my mind.

It will take a while to have a good night’s sleep and feel like home, I still feel I’m a guest here and I will soon go back to my old home but we humans are incredible when it comes to adjusting to change. I’m sure it will soon feel as I’ve been here for years.

I love what I’ve done with my new room in just three days and with minimum spending. It makes a difference when I walk into my room every day and admire how beautiful it looks. I could have spent more money on getting a new bed and furniture and so on but it will all worth it in six months time when I finally repay my loan.

Although today is apparently Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year (which is a marketing campaign by Sky Holidays based on a nonsensical, pseudo-scientific equation they made up), I don’t feel sad or depressed. I did briefly on Saturday, my first day at the new place where I felt lost and overwhelmed with all the changes but today I’m excited and terrified in equal measure of all the things yet to come.

Great things coming up I can’t wait to share them with you.

So here’s to new beginnings!


Blogmas day 21- Flying home for Christmas

I woke up with upset stomach and hoping I won’t be sick. But I’m on my way to the airport.

I can’t wait. I can’t wait until the plane lands in Larnaca and I run outside to hug my sisters.

By the time you get to read this I might be home already.

Going home twice or three times a year if I’m lucky is vital for my mental wellbeing. Being with my people, my loved ones, the ones who know me better than anyone else, the ones I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not because I don’t have to is one of the very few things that makes me happy, unconditionally. That’s what home means to me. Being with people who make you feel you can be yourself and enjoy each moment.

Every time I visit I come back with a newly found desire and surge of energy to move on and chase my dreams. It reminds me of who I really am, what I’m capable of and how no matter what happens my friends and family will always be there, even if they are thousands of miles away. They’ll always believe in me.

I’m getting emotional already.

Just before I go, I want to thank my amazing Southampton friends and colleagues, I love you all and I can’t wait to catch up in 2018.

Next post will be tomorrow, from Cyprus whilst chilling on the sofa with a cup of coffee, Anna snuggled next to me and and Oscar sitting on my lap. Pure bliss.



Sun, Frappe and Cake Friday

Happy Friday!

Last weekend of August and only 12 days until I meet my best friends and soulmates, my sisters in Italy. I cannot even put in words how much I look forward to it.

And today couldn’t get any better. Sunny and warm. The best start to the weekend!

I felt a bit homesick in the morning, daydreaming of sunny breakfast next to the sea, but had a great time enjoying frappe (it wasn’t the same but close enough) with friends in the sunshine at lunchtime, treated to Lemon Drizzle Cake (thank you Sati!), new music on Spotify (love New Music Friday)-I heavily dislike the new Taylor Swift song, love JP Cooper’s Wait–  and I’m having a relaxing pizza and Friends Friday evening.

I love pizza Fridays, one of the few traditions I kept for years.

I won’t blog for the next couple of days as I will be volunteering for Southampton Pride tomorrow and singing with SingForce for Summer in the Square on Sunday. Come and say hello if you are around Guildhall. I’d love to catch up or meet you if we haven’t met yet 🙂

I will post all about it on Monday!

Happy Bank Holiday!



Back from Cyprus!

What an amazing 10 days it’s been! Summer in Cyprus is always fun, although there is never enough time to see everyone and do everything I want, time just flies by so fast but I manage to fly there more than once a year, so I’ll catch up with the rest of my favourite people next time 🙂

Some of the highlights were my sisters and I driving to the vet at 9pm on a Sunday after we got back from Ayia Napa, to get our dog back hours earlier, as we couldn’t wait until the morning (they probably thought we were crazy but home wasn’t the same without Oscar trying to steal our food or sitting next to us until we cuddle him), days at the beach, the whole flat tyre mayhem on our way to Paphos to catch up with one of my bestest friends I hadn’t seen in ages (we spent an hour waiting for Rescue Line on the side of the motorway in the summer noon heat and then had to find a tyre place to fix it but we made it in the end!), our crazy family weekend break, our afternoon at the dog shelter, Friday’s gig, Tuesday’s live music, late coffee with one of my best friends, seeing friends and relatives, especially pappou Costas, catching up with my cousin at Gatwick, after we found out a couple of days earlier that we were to fly home on the same flight, and the precious time I spent with my little Prince, my godson and his parents and siblings.

If you want to see more Cyprus snaps from my recent trip check my FB and Insta.

I cannot not mention the Elections again. Hung Parliament? DUP, who the hell are they? What is going to happen with Brexit and the NHS now? If anyone can enlighten me, please do!

So from today, back to routine. First day at work was exhausting and the heatwave didn’t really help, I’m still melting.

But I feel much better, my anxiety and depression have almost disappeared, maybe because I figured out what was causing them.

I need change. I need to do something meaningful. I can’t spend the rest of my life in Southampton in a job I don’t mind but not particularly enjoy. I need to do everything I wish before I hopefully settle down and have a family and I can’t do or at least see a way to do all this here.

So I need to come up with a plan. Not sure what and how yet- I can’t decide what job I want to do next and where to move- but I feel much better knowing is up to me to make the changes I want.

Changing career gets incredibly harder the older you get, the more bills and debts you got, but is not impossible.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

For now, my next big thing is our Snowdonia climb THIS Saturday! Needless to say I didn’t get time to prepare and my fear of heights is REAL so it will definitely be a challenge for me, but is more than worth it. The money we are raising is going to an incredible cause, Tempo Wellbeing ( a charity that runs singing workshops to improve mental wellbeing. Watch this to get an idea, it brings a tear to my eye every single time.

We will leave Southampton around 6 in the morning, drive to Snowdonia National Park (it takes around 5 hours) and then climb Mount Snowdon. Apparently the weather will be considerably cooler and it will probably rain, which will make it even more challenging, but I’m very excited and look forward to it! I’ll try and film parts of it and make a video for all of you to see and if the signal is good up there I will try and do a FB live link. So if you want to get a glimpse, check my FB around 2pm on Saturday.

If you want to find more and donate for this amazing cause you can do it here

I know I’ve been talking/sharing/mentioning this a lot lately but I’m well excited and it will mean the world to me if we reach our £1000 target before Saturday. Only 5 days left!

Love you all

Eleni x