Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Cyprus is well and truly sizzling now. The nature of the build of the houses means that they soak in heat all day, and then release it into the house at night!! So even at 10pm, it's over 30 deg C inside.

Some of the barefootclan have taken to sleeping outside! Great for stargazing.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ronan turns 12

Ronan turned 12 on 15 July 2010. Where has the time gone? Only one more year til he's a dreaded teenager.

He had his first waterskiing lesson. This is him
learning the correct position with the instructor.
Also, walking out to the boat, and in the water.
Unfortunately, Sean didn't manage to get any
pictures of him actually doing it, but he did
manage to get upright and ski, holding a bar.
Later, we had a beach picnic with some friends,
and CAKE of course!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oh no, neglected again!

Oh dear, it's July and I see my last post was April!! Then again, I don't really know if anyone is reading this blog any more - if you are, please leave a comment every now and again to encourage me to write more!!

SO........ a quick run down. Since April, we have moved house. We said goodbye to sleepy Cypriot Mazotos and moved to Oroklini on the other side of Larnaca. Oroklini is a considerably non-sleepy village, compared to Mazotos anyway, and we needed some time to adjust to the noise of people and traffic (those darn scooters!) instead of sheep and dogs!! Overall, we like it. We are closer now to activities, the beach, Sean's clients, Scouts & Cubs and..... English speaking people!

Mum & Dad came to visit in May, and it was so good to see them. We walked in Troodos mountains where we dipped our feet in the cool water, visited Cape Greko where Grandad's sandals were torn to shreds on the unforgiving rocks, ate Cornish pasties (!) in Ayia Napa, visited Dhekelia beach, watched a raft race, and ate lots and lots of ice cream. The two weeks just flew by and it was sad to see them go.

At the end of May, Sam had a dream about a hamster called Scribble, and this was his hamster. We searched the pet shops for a Scribble, and eventually found him snuggled up with his brothers and sisters in the back of a pet shop. Sam has been taking good care of Scribble, and we've all been sure to keep him away from Moony as she doesn't need a 'he' friend.

In June, we did some house & dog sitting for some friends in... Mazotos! It was weird to be back there for a week, and we were glad we had moved (phew). We looked after Hannah (a Great Dane).

Also in June, Sean turned 44, woo-hoo another birthday!!

Then at the end of June, Cara had a very sad day. Her beloved hamster, Moony, had been getting slower recently, and then one day, at the end of June, she passed away. Cara was so sad, but glad to have been able to hold her in her hands in her last few moments. Next day, she organised a beautiful burial ceremony on Oroklini Hill as the moon rose into the starry sky. It seemed a fitting way to let go.

In July, Sean made a fleeting trip back to the UK for his Dad's 70th birthday celebration. Of course, he also had a list of things to get - including those disgusting cheesestrings - that can't be found here!

Later in July, 3 new baby hamsters found their way into our lives: Texas (black & white female), Stella (black with white feet female) and Taco (brown & white male) .

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Spring has arrived, here are some pics.

Grapevines just sprouting.

Poppies and Daisies

Walk through the wheat field

A thistle??
Olive tree

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Animal connections

Here are a few photos of some of the creatures of Cyprus we've encountered recently.

A black Whip Snake that we found dead on the road when we were out cycling. These aren't poisonous, but give you a fright when you see one!
Also, on Sean's hand is the moth that started life as this enormous caterpillar.
Then we have a poor donkey who is tethered near the church. (The donkey
is the one in the middle). She is always getting sores on her legs where the rope rubs against them as she moves around grazing. The owner does treat the wounds with spray, but the flies make it difficult to resolve properly. Oh for a little fence so she could be untethered, but that's just not how they do things here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Winter Walking and... Puppies!

Here are some recent pics from a walk we had on Mazotos Beach (nearest to where we live) and our most recent trip to Argos Sanctuary.

We went to walk dogs and groom cats, but there was a new addition to the sanctuary this day..... puppies!

5 tiny puppies had been found abandoned in a
cardboard box, and brought to the sanctuary.

Just the job for the barefoot kids to give them
some love and attention!

Sam turns 7

Sam had his 7th birthday at the end of January. In our house, turning 7 means leaving 'early childhood' - the years from birth to six. Something really seems to happen when a child turns 7 - it's a new era. We had a special ceremony for Sam, where he carries a globe with a tiny model Sam on it seven times around the 'sun' (the candles). As he went round the 'sun', we played a slideshow of photos from his birth, crawling, walking, running, riding a bike... all the up to the age he is now: climbing trees, reading,and swimming in the sea.

This year's cake theme was a knight's
castle, complete with Lego figures etc.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Volunteering at Argos Animal Sanctuary

When we made our 'wishes for 2010' list
at the beginning of the year, the kids
all wished for more connection with
animals. So we went along to the Argos
Animal Sanctuary on 9th January to see
what we could do.
Cyprus has a huge problem with unwanted stray cats & dogs, with few
services to cope with them. Kittens and
puppies tend to find homes, but the
older animals aren't always so lucky.
Some do find themselves adopted by
holiday makers, and make their way
to the UK and Germany!

We spent an afternoon walking dogs,
grooming cats, being jumped on,
barked at, slept on and purred at.
At first, Sam was a bit overwhelmed with
the noise and craziness of the dog runs.
One run a day is let loose so there were
about 20 dogs roaming around the place
which was a bit scary to begin with.
The dog area sure was a contrast to the
peace and tranquility of the cat's
By the time we left, the kids all
reckoned they'd had a great time and
were asking to come back again the
next day - which we did!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What Happened?

Well, the blog has been somewhat neglected since October - I don't know what happened, but I just have been so busy. So here's a quick run down til the end of 2009!

Samhain: pumpkins in Cyprus are not your round, plump, easy-to-make-a-lantern-out-of kind of vegetable. They're long and skinny. Cara was REALLY keen to make lanterns for our Samhain celebration, so the nearest thing we could find that would do the job was watermelons - just still in season. Of course, we had piles of watermelon after carving three lanterns, we just juiced it, bottled it and drank it for 3 days!

Kitten Rescue: in November, we found a little kitten
mewing pitifully in the road nearby our house. We left it over
night hoping it's mother would find it, but it was still there
in the morning. There are so many unwanted cats & gods
in Cyprus, many are feral and end up being poisoned by locals who get fed up of the mess they make raiding bins etc.
So this little chap was temporarily adopted by the barefoot clan. He was in a bad way - very skinny with terrible diarrhea (probably worms & fleas). We contacted a nearby sanctuary but they were full. The only place we could find for him was in Paphos - at the other end of the island. A sanctuary van comes up our way once a week, so we looked after the kitten for a week and then (sadly) handed him over to the sanctuary van. We know he'll get the necessary medical care there, and maybe even rehomed. It was a sad day for the barefoot kids.

Winter Solstice 2009: we celebrated Solstice on the 21st and 22nd December. On the 21st we had our winter feast and gift exchanging, and on the 22nd we were up at 5am to go to the ancient city of Amathus in Limassol to watch the first sunrise after the solstice. There was a small gathering of people there - it was being filmed - and the Ma Gaia frame drummers performed a drumming ritual to Aphrodite in front of the ancient temple grounds. In the picture of the five of us, you'll also see our delightful friend Natalie in the middle!