Blog

Sylvester

This week hasn’t been the best week, I won’t lie. It seems like we live at the vets at the moment! All the cats are now neutered and have started their vaccinations which is brilliant. That’s 8 cats altogether! Unfortunately, earlier this week, little Sylvester became really poorly all of a sudden. He caught a virus which attacked his lungs and kidneys. We tried everything we could to get him better but unfortunately nothing was working and we decided it would be the kindest thing to put him to sleep, rather than see him suffer anymore. We buried him in the garden and have sowed marigold seeds there to make it a beautiful spot. He was a gorgeous little thing, only 6 months old, but he had huge charismatic eyes and always loved a cuddle. I’ll miss him lots!

Unfortunately the cat drama doesn’t stop there. The next day we were taking all the cats for the next vaccinations. I noticed Lady Grey wasn’t her normal self and she just wanted to sleep on me and wasn’t eating anything. It turns out she had picked up something and had a really high temperature so she’s now on antibiotics. Later that day Leyla also became poorly, he too had a temperature and so is also now on antibiotics.

The other cats (touch wood!) are doing well which is nice. Bruce gives lovely cuddles so he’s made me feel better during all of this stressful period! I know I sound like a genuine crazy cat lady but I don’t really care! When you have down days or times when you feel a bit rubbish, animals always help make me feel better. Watching them do their own thing is lovely and most of the time puts a smile on my face. They like to cuddle and purr away and they are never nasty. They just make me feel happy. So if that makes me crazy, I’ll take it!!

A nice thing this week has been finding a cute frog tucked away in a Yukka tree. He stayed there for a few days and switched leaves a couple of times. He was cosy and cute!

That’s it for now. Hopefully next week is brighter!

Xx

Crazy cat lady

It’s been two weeks since my last post! Time has flown by, which can only mean that it was filled with lovely things.

The main this time happen involved all the lovely cats! There are 8 cats staying at Doğukan’s house, they sleep in the shed and rule the garden! They are all related by the grandma cat MiuMiu. Then there are two Mum cats, Chezi and Misty. Chezi has little Lucky and Misty has Lady Grey, Sylvester and Leyla. Then there is Bruce, he’s a titchy one that turned up one day and settled right in. Anyway, Lucky got sick again which meant we had to take him to the vets. Turns out he had picked up gingivitis an the little fella went down hill quick. So it was more antibiotics for him. We arrange with the vet for all the cats to get neutered and vaccinated, so all week we’ve been going back and forth with various cat family members! But it’s lovely to know they are all safe and healthy and no more kittens will be arriving! The stray cat issue is a big thing here in Cyprus!

Apart from cats, we’ve been tending to the garden. The broad bean seeds we sowed are looking great and have sprouted with lovely leaves. The carrots continue to grow and the kale is doing well. One problem has been with the spinach. It turns out spinach is extremely tasty to basically every invertebrate in the garden and so the whole crop has been demolished. We found moths, caterpillars of a variety of species, slugs and snails. We’re going to experiment with egg shells on the soil to try and keep the problem from happening again and we’ve planted strong smelling plants nearby as apparently they don’t like them! Let’s see shall we!!??

I’ve had a funny head this past week and my anxiety has been high. One evening me and Doğukan decided to go to the sea side for a stroll along the beach. Oh my goodness is was lovely. I paddled in the sea and enjoyed the feeling of the sand between my toes. I don’t know what it is about the seaside, but it always hypnotises me. I don’t want to talk when I hear waves, I feel like I’m interrupting them. It was just what I needed to clear my head for a bit!

And whilst talking about lovely things, last night we went to our friends house for a yummy take away and a catch up. Ash and Hannah came over to us last week with their son Olly so this week we went to them. Both times were lovely and it was just nice to meet up and have some wine. I’m already looking forward to next time!!

One more exciting thing happened I just remembered! Doğukan was asked to play the drum part for an advert jingle on the radio! We went to a studio and I got to sit in the booth with all the buttons! It was really cool!! Honestly, there must have been a few hundred buttons and I have no idea what they all did!!??

Anyway, there’s a brief update. That’s all for now!

Xx

One poorly kitten

This week has been another lovely week in Cyprus filled with sunshine, smiles and sea views. There was a small hiccup in the middle of the week as the youngest kitten, Lucky, becoming really sick. One afternoon we noticed he was limping and then he became really tired. The next day he was the same and so we took him to a vets nearby as he wasn’t eating. Unfortunately this vet was pretty rubbish, she just gave him an injection of what we presume was antibiotics, didn’t check his temperature, didn’t check his foot that was sore, nothing…. She just told us to come back tomorrow. Later that night he got a lot worse and quickly went downhill. Dogu took him to an emergency vet and the vet said it was a 50% chance of whether he’d survive. He had a dangerously high temperature and his breathing was bad. They kept him in all night and gave him lots of fluids and started him on a shock treatment of antibiotics. Luckily he pulled through. We have had to go back to the vets each evening for more antibiotic injections but he is returning to his normal self! phew!!!

Apart from the cat drama, the week has been lovely.

We have enjoyed a few wanders into the countryside. It has actually been lovely to do this in the evening because some different birds are around since the last time I was here. There are lots of singing Robins defending their territories. Stonechats are everywhere now, sitting on their thin perches. I even heard a Black redstart a couple of days ago. They have a weird and wonderful song!

We have done some more olive picking this week and finally finished the trees in the garden. Its not easy work! I now fully appreciate olive oil! The time it takes to pick all the olives in a way that doesn’t damage the trees is so long! After we pick them the family sort out which olives will be used for oil and which for eating. The oil ones are taken to an olive press and the lovely elixir is made! The olives for eating are bashed with a stone, soaked in salty water for days, and then are ready! Dogu mixed his olives with garlic and oregano and olive oil and they are just so lovely! So much so that I actually got a saw tongue from eating so many!!!!

We have been busy in the garden his week. October in turkish is called Ekim and it is related to the word Ekmek which means to sow. We have been planting broad beans which was fun! We are also watching eagerly for the other crops to grow. So far there are carrots, garlic, parsley, artichoke, spinach, kale and sweet potatoes growing! We picked a lot of loofahs this week. A natural, organic alternative to plastic sponges! We have so many!

Other things we have done this week are eat Gozleme (a thin bread type thing filled with cheese or whatever you fancy!). The lady that makes them is so lovely, she always gives us extra treats! She was impressed with my turkish grammar which was nice to hear! We also went to a bazaar yesterday that our friend Deniz helped host. It was full of little stalls which handmade trinkets. One stall was full of homemade crystal bead bracelets and I was sold! A new sunstone bracelet is now in my possession!

Other than that, we’ve enjoyed seeing friends, eating good food and watching amazing storms!

Nice!

xx

Olive picking

Another week has gone by and I’m yet again in another country!! On Tuesday I flew to Cyprus and have loved every minute so far! I got to cuddle my lovely Doğukan and have lots of love from all of our cats! How can that be bad?!

I’ve seen lots of other people this week too. I met Doğu’s friend Orçun for the first time. He was so lovely!! And I’ve also seen our friend Mert which was great. We were talking about different Christmas traditions which made me all excited! I’ve brought some Christmassy things over with me to show everyone!!

We’ve just been enjoying being back to normal really, and chilling out at home. This weekend a lot of Doğukan’s family came over to help us pick olives from the trees. It’s so funny when they all arrive, they are all chatting away and then trying to chat to me, but I can’t understand everything so I just nod along!! When they come they always bring amazing food though, so it’s brill!! In total be picked around 200kg of olives on Saturday and we still have more to go. Today has been hard to collect them because a storm came in and made it really windy!! I’m so excited to taste some of the olive oil once it’s done!

Last night we went to see our friends Ash and Hannah which was so lovely! It was just great to catch up and enjoy nice stories. It was also nice to have some wine too!!

So that’s the week really, mainly olives and friends. What more could a girl want?!

Xx

Lots of smiles

I’ve been in England this week, which has been lovely. I absolutely love being with my family, and it’s made even more special considering I’m always away.

I went on a lovely country walk with Mum and Beth this week. It was a sunny day which made a nice change, and my cheeks felt lovely and warm in the autumn sunshine. We saw some handsome highland cattle up close which was great. They were kept behind a gate though which was good, they have bloody massive horns!! We also saw the deer which was exciting. They have started the rutting season and so the males were busy defending their hareems. I love hearing them roar and watching the dynamics!

Apart from that the week has been fairly chilled out. I’ve just loved having cosy evenings! For some reason when I’m at my Dads house, a competition breaks out involving a balled up napkin and a vase. It’s a throwing competition between Dad and Grandpa, and it’s so funny to watch! They get so competitive!

Yesterday, me and Molly went to an old teachers house. Mol is doing her teacher training and so we went for a chat and a brew! Oh, and we got a slice of chocolate cake!! It was so so lovely to see her, after 12 years!!

I’ve only got a couple of sleeps until Cyprus so I’m just going to make the most of being with my family and getting cuddles. I’m so excited to head back there and see Doğukan and all our lovely cats!!

Until next time.

Xx

A Poznan visit

This week I have been in Poznan. I had to come for a couple of discussions that I have to do for my PhD. The first one was on ethics and the next one will be on ecology. I passed the first one which is good, so let’s hope all goes well for the second!

It’s been nice seeing my colleagues and staying with my lovely Polish family. Kasia is just so nice and always makes me feel so welcome! I’ve been staying with them in their countryside house this week which has been lovely.

The week has been pretty standard, going to the office and then home again. On one of the days I had to go for a work place health check. It wasn’t the best experience to be honest. I had to stand in a room that was so bloody hot, and wait for about 1 and a half hours to be seen. There were no seats because there were far too many people crammed in the waiting room… anyway, my bloody pressure, heart rate and vision are all fine. Good to know I guess!

This weekend has been nice. Yesterday some of Kasia’s friends came over and we all went on a forest walk to collect some mushrooms. It’s the season for them right now and so there are loads of different kinds! One type looks like a coral!! It was gorgeous to be outside in the fresh air, and the weather was bright sunshine and warm. Made me very smiley!! Later on in the day we went to visit some other friends that I knew when I lived in Poland. They had a baby last year and are expecting again in December! It was so nice to meet Staszek the titchy one. He took a shine to me actually, so I was worn out by the end of the visit after all the entertainment. We drank some homemade spirit made from quince and ate cake! A lovely Saturday evening really.

As well as the people based stuff, I’ve also held a small tarantula and a gorgeous gecko!! I don’t think I’ll rush back to holding a tarantula any time soon!!

That’s all for now!!

Xx

My gorgeous family

I’ve spent the last week at home in the U.K. I won’t lie, it’s been bloody cold and rainy and it took me a while to get used to it! It doesn’t matter too much though because I love wearing lots of layers! It’s one thing I miss living out in Cyprus.

Most of the week I have just been chatting to various family members and getting cuddles. I got a lovely chicken dinner on the Sunday, a lovely treat! I’ve had lots of good British dishes actually! Don’t get me wrong, I love Cypriot food, but there is something about mashed potato that makes me smile!! And especially when it’s covered in gravy!

I’ve had meals at dads house that have turned into competitions involving a glass bowl and a napkin rolled up into a ball. The throwing competition saw grandpa win, 5-3 again Dad. I was shockingly bad!

I’ve snuggled all my pets. The bunnies have grown so much! Old Saffi is still sleeping her way through the days, Lily the dog is still trying to act young even though she’s an old grey girl, and Lilly the cat is still a chunk who got a fancy new collar!

I got to babysit my gorgeous nephew with my Mum. He was actually a bit moany and so me and Mum constantly sang to him. He seemed to really enjoy twinkle twinkle little star. I’ve now got a full blown cold and I slightly blame him. But he’s cute so he gets away with it.

Before I flew to Poland yesterday I went on a lovely walk with Mum. It was windy but refreshing! We got to see the highland cattle in the fields, and enjoying a bit of mushroom spotting! We found one that must belong to a fairy!

So now I am in Poznan for 10 days. Going to enjoy seeing my Polish people, get these discussions out of the way, eat lovely food and enjoy all the autumnal colours!

Xx

It’s rainy here!!

I’ve had a lovely week this week. It was my last week in Cyprus for a few weeks and so I wanted to make the most of it!! And obviously I’ve spent my time with Doğukan and his family.

One afternoon we went on another adventure up to Karaağaç up in the mountains. The roads are long and winding but the views are just amazing. The air always feels fresh and cool up there and I reckon it’s a good detox for your lungs! We spent a while up there, enjoying the smell of wild sage and just listening to the peace and quiet. Every now and then a great tit would do a little call, but not much else.

On Tuesday we took ourselves to Karpaz for one night and spent it in a wooden cabin. Thought we’d treat ourselves this time! We have a lovely Karpaz routine now. We go to our favourite cafe and drink the best Frappes and we got to Ayios phillon beach for a swim! The sea is getting cooler now, but it was still lovely, although I was getting chased by fish!! We played some backgammon and I lost basically every game. But I’m learning slowly and it’s just nice to play and forget everything else. I get quite competitive towards the end!! We enjoyed nice food and just had a lovely time as always!!!

Apart from doing uni work, a lot of the week was spent helping his parents remove the tiles and cement from the terrace and balcony so they can put in a better insulated one! It was bloody hard work and very sweaty, but we did it! We make a really good team. I think his mums cooking helped us, and gave us good energy! Plus, they brought sweet treats as well which is always good!!!!

Apart from that it’s just been us and the cats. The gorgeous cats! They’ve become quite cheeky recently and are enjoying the canopy outside the house as there own personal balcony.

Yesterday Doğu and his lovely sister Diloş took me to Larnaca for me to get my flight home. I got lots of lovely cuddles before I left which put a smile on my face! And now I’m home. And I get to see all my lovely family’s and get even more hugs!! How lucky am I?!

Xxx

Meet and greet

For most of this week my Mum and Katherine have been here which has been just lovely. We enjoyed lots of swims in the sea, iced coffees and brilliant conversation!

Doğulan finally got to meet some of my family which was nice. We all had coffee at his house and he showed them around his beautiful garden. We also had a meal out at Tervetuloa for some lovely meze. I was so happy to have three of my favourite people with me at once!

I had a day with Doğukan in the middle of the week and we went to Roots Bar because it is finally open for breakfasts and smoothies. We had some great pancakes and got to try a few samples of smoothies. Ash made coffee and banana one which was brill! I’ll have to try and make that again. After that we went to the seaside and found some lovely pebbles and had a paddle in the seas.

Mum and Katherine went home on Friday and since then I have watched The Healers twice. Last night they played at a small festival in Famagusta. On the way there we stopped off at St Barnabas church for a quick look around. As you do….

It’s been such a lovely week, full of smiles and lots of love. Perfect!

Living a happy life

Two weeks since my last blog post, which I guess isn’t too bad…

As usual I have been smiling lots and enjoying life here in Cyprus. The weather has been quite humid the past couple of weeks, but luckily last night there was a huge thunder storm which seems to have gotten rid of the stickiness! phew!

Last weekend was the first Kuskor field trip since the break in the summer. A big group of people turned out which was nice. Some people I’ve met before and some newbies. It was great to be out in the field again. We went to Kukla wetlands for most of the day. Having been dry as a bone for the last few years, it is now thriving after the winter rains this year. Thousands of birds are taking advantage of the site and it’s just gorgeous to see. There were hundreds of flamingos, various sandpiper species, little egrets, an osprey, an eagle, marsh harriers and montagu’s harriers. There were even a few lovely tern species which were coming quite close to the hide. It really was lovely. Pretty hot, but lovely! After Kukla we went for lunch at a local cafe and all enjoyed a turkish coffee or tea. Bee-eaters were about and singing in the sky. My Mum would have loved it, they are her favourite bird! Next stop after lunch was Sinirustu wetland where we saw a Demoiselle crane which was a first for me!! They look so elegant and grand. Really beautiful!

Apart from the Kuskor field trip it’s been a pretty relaxed couple of weeks really. I have been working on my PhD and enjoying trips out with Dogukan to see his family and friends. His family always give me amazing home cooked food which is a treat! His garden is looking lovely and healthy and the fig tree is still giving us a lovely fresh supply of the gorgeous fruits. The passionfruit is also coming along, it is now flowering which means we will soon get the fruit! All the cats are doing well and little Yoda has spent a few more days with us which is nice. We are definitely the mad cat people!

The other night we got a rude awakening when an explosion went off near this house. I say near, we worked out it was just under 5km away. Anyway, the house shook and there was a huge bang. We checked outside and noticed a huge fire in the distance. Explosions kept happening and you could hear bullets being set off by the heat of the fire. The armoury of one of the army bases was on fire! It was so scary, we didn’t really know what to do. We watched for a while to see if the fire was spreading but in about half an hour it was under control and was dying down. The explosions lasted for a further few hours though. And the house smelt of smoke! My first and hopefully last experience of explosions!

Now I’m enjoying a week with my Mum and auntie! They have come over for a holiday and it’s so nice to laugh and chat with them! And of course to get cuddles! We’ve been relaxing in the sunshine and enjoying nice food. I’m loving it!

I just want to stay happy and smiley. It’s a gorgeous way to be! Xx