Blogmas day 7- Christmas shopping

Thank God for the weekend. I know, I’m a day behind. Again. 

Work’s been busy with Monday’s work deadline looming but I found some time yesterday at lunchtime for some Christmas shopping so I can today start wrapping!

I  was so tired I had to cancel my evening plans and came straight home carrying Christmas presents and a few treats for me including a huge luxury blanket.

When I arrived home, the Christmas tree was waiting outside my door, so tomorrow I can decorate with a help from a lovely friend.

Here’s some of the beautiful gifts I got (I had to hide some for obvious reasons!). I can’t wait to see everyone’s face when they open them!

Right, now I need to get off my sofa, tidy up, wrap some Christmas gifts and chill with Christmas films and chocolate. 



Pappou Costas

He looks different, as he suddenly grew older overnight…

Every time I go home, I make time to go see my grandpa. Not out of obligation but of love and admiration.

He is my only  grandparent still alive. I’ve never met my dad’s parents, my dad’s auntie, the legendary giagia Frosou died a couple of years ago and my favourite grandma Stella, pappou Costas’s wife died when I was 9.

Grandpa Costas was always there growing up not just on special occasions but in our every day lives. He would take us on bike rides, or down town on a Saturday morning to wander in the market and get us a freshly baked pastry and oven baked eggs for breakfast, one of my most cherished memories. I can still remember the excitement of waking up early to go with pappou Costas in old Nicosia. Everyone knew him!

A proud but sensitive man who is not ashamed to cry, so innocent and sweet he loves everyone. He still remembers some of his Turkish he used to communicate with his fellow Turkish Cypriots shepherds before 1974, when life was simple.

He is still in great form now, in his 80s but he is getting older and I’m terrified the fragility that comes of old age might take him away from us at any point.

The sudden realisation of growing old. He is getting older, I’m getting older. Such a poignant, profound acknowledgement.

I last saw him in September, on a warm Thursday morning, and it was the first time I noticed his walking. Slow and a bit disoriented. Normal for his age, but not pleasant to see.

He sometimes forgets where he is or what time of the day he is, he is categorically refusing to wear glasses although he needs them, but he still makes us laugh when we least expect it.

I was thinking when I saw him on that day whether I should take a picture of him, whilst he still remembers us and has (relative) clarity of mind but he may not want to so I didn’t ask.

And, as if he read my mind, out of the blue, he says: ‘Do you want to take one of those ‘selfies’ together?’ The rest of the family have taught him well!

I couldn’t believe it. And of course I did. He then asked to see it, checked he looked OK, although we all knew he can’t really see properly.

Pappou Costas

This recent memory, so simple, although bittersweet makes me smile when I can’t find a way out of my mind’s labyrinth.


Hanging… and reset

A dirty plate on the dressing table stool, an empty mug on the bedside table…

It’s almost 2pm, Saturday afternoon, I just had some toast and coffee and I’m back in bed.

What a bittersweet but wonderful day Friday was.

Lunch saying goodbye to Charlotte, one of the craziest, funniest, sweet, adorable ladies I’ve ever met (who introduced me to Yoga with Adriene, without a question the best thing that happened to me in 2017), followed by a big group of us at Tapas taking over two of their central tables, chatting, laughing, on a sunny Friday afternoon after work. I missed all of us going for drinks after work… It felt like a reunion, I loved looking around seeing everyone having a good time.

Sad to see friends and colleagues leaving but happy I got to know new people I’ve haven’t had the chance before, and end the evening with a cider and heart to heart conversations with my brother. I miss seeing him every day, having a laugh in the office, walking home together after work…


Today I’m struggling though.

I didn’t drink much but a busy week at work, lack of sleep and not sticking to the same drink last night took its toll on me. I feel exhausted.

I can’t get out of bed, my body aches, my back is killing me. That’s what happens when I don’t do my yoga for a couple of days. My mind and body complain.

And the emotional hangover: at its worst. Scientists still cannot fully explain why anxiety and depression symptoms hit you in the face after drinking, imbalance of chemicals and nutrients in your body apparently. “At the cellular level, your brain is mad, agitated. And you just feel bad.” Susan Scholl, a health and wellness professor once stated. No shitting.

The thoughts were there I guess, the alcohol then decides to bring them up, exaggerate, go crazy and f**k you up.

The weather doesn’t help either. It feels like the longest winter of my time on earth… I miss the sun, the warmth, summer dresses and sandals, the feel of hot sand on my feet whilst running into the crystal clear cool water, red, sunburn face, beers and a cig at the beach at night, I miss summer…

I just got a voice message from Sheba, telling me about her day, chatting about everything and anything as we do every day. I love listening to her messages.

Today she is emotional. I’m emotional.

A lot to think about, a lot to do, but not today. Today I just want to stay in bed and not see anyone. The people I really want to see today and hug and have a laugh with are miles away.

That’s what I did, most of the day. A nice long shower, clean bedsheet and back to bed.

In the afternoon I message Artemis. She is coming to London in May, a mini break with one of my favourite people, at my birthday weekend. So, very excited. It’s been years since we did this. A holiday, just the two of us, wandering in London.

A couple of hours later… the little sister wants to Skype me. It’s almost time. It’s Easter weekend back home. The family is at the midnight Easter Service, they’ve just lit their candles with the Holy Light and the priest is about to sing the The Paschal troparion or Christos anesti, the Easter hymn every single person born and raised in Greece and Cyprus knows by heart. I just remembered, I posted a blog on Greek Orthodox Easter two years ago.

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν,
θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας,
καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι,
ζωὴν χαρισάμενος.

Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life.

I hum along. I wish them Christos Anesti (Jesus has risen) and we hang up. I’m emotional again. I can’t put in words how much I love them. I was telling Sheba about it on my message earlier. But I know if I start crying in front of them, they will. So I hold it in. For a moment I feel proud of myself for learning to control my feelings.

11pm. I just finished watching the Crown. I’ve learned a lot from this show, although today I didn’t pay attention, it was more of a background noise.

I want this day to end. I know I’ll be OK tomorrow, the emotional hangover will be over. Bedtime. I’ll finish this post tomorrow, I wonder how… I don’t even have a title. Inspiration has abandoned me today.


I wake up and go back to sleep, wake up and go back to sleep.

Is my bedroom door open? Terrified. No, it can’t be. Is it? I turn the light on, it’s closed. It was a dream, a really bad dream, I get them a lot lately. Brain overloaded.

9:30am. I’m awake and can’t fall asleep again. I check my phone. Easter messages from friends and my family and a voice message from Shebs. Then my phone rings. Is my star sister, Stella. She usually calls without warning when she had an accident. But today she just wanted to wish me Happy Easter. We have a laugh, I can’t wait to see her in a couple of weeks.

Today I feel better. I’m not as emotional.

I put my Spotify on, Hunny is This What Adults Do, Lauran Hibberd…

I don’t want a stroll on a Sunday and I’m a sucker for unhappy Birthday… But all my darling friends, I don’t feel OK, ’cause they are all having bunnies or babies and I don’t want the same… (or I think that’s what she sings)…

I giggle.

I message Shebs back, I book a hotel for Artemis and myself and after I finish this post, it’s me time. How much I need it I can’t say.

I loved my week off, three amazing days in Bordeaux and a lovely weekend in London. I loved being on the go, packing, unpacking, exploring, wandering, catching up with loved ones.

I find it hard to adjust to ‘normal’ life but I need to. I need to reset, that’s exactly what I’ll do. I need Yoga with Adriene, hours on my guitar, read a book, catch up with friends, write more, I missed writing, I already feel better writing this. What a cathartic, therapeutic experience it is for me.

But I also need adrenaline… make new friends, sing at the top of my lungs, run until I can’t breathe, dance until my feet hurt, try new things…

I think I may have come up with a title…

I’m ready. Whatever this week brings.

Χριστός Ανέστη to all my Cypriot friends and family.