A very good evening to you all from Cyprus! Yes, the Lifestyle Support Guru has finally managed to get away on holiday – one can’t count recent visits to York, Huddersfield and Sheffield as ‘holidays’, since they are just classed as ‘moving around oop north for a day or two’, which are not really holidays at all.
This holiday started badly, I’m afraid – the alarm went off at 5.30am a couple of days ago! How can they even let that time exist? The day should always start at something like 8.30am and move sedately on to the evening, allowing for gentle pauses along the way for food and drink, or catching a plane. Nevertheless, younger siblings and I made it safely to the airport where next-sibling-down proceeded to consume a Belgian waffle with chocolate and cream at 7.30 in the morning. I managed a small cup of coffee. Youngest sibling went to the toilet.
But I am sure that you do not wish to read about such mundane happenings, even if they are part of the LSG’s fascinating life – I only tell you these things to make you realise that you, too, can be like the LSG: you may not have a sibling who will eat chocolate waffles at 7.30 in the morning, but you probably have a spouse, a better half, a rock, a soulmate, a child, a friend, a ‘hun, r u ok?’ – ANYONE! – who can fulfil this role. But I digress… having been here for three whole days, I am now an expert on how to blend seamlessly into Cypriot life so that you appear to be a native. So, here it is – the LSG’s Guide to Life as a Cypriot:
On the first morning, the siblings decide to walk down to the harbour but you decline because you have somehow forgotten to bring a small handbag for the evenings (those who know the LSG well will realise that this is an amazing oversight), so you say you will wander to a nearby shopping centre to see what they have to offer. The fact that the walk to the harbour would take up to an hour and the walk to the shops a mere ten minutes has NOTHING to do with this decision.
Imagine your surprise upon entering the shopping centre to find that the first shop is Marks and Spencer! (Actually, that’s a lie – the first shop was Holland and Barrett, but that isn’t classed as a SHOP as such, because how can one get pleasure out of buying vitamins?) You wander in (to M&S, of course, not H&B) – just out of curiosity, you understand – and ask an assistant if they have any small bags, at which point she looks sad and leads you to the ‘bag area’. She was right to look sad – there was a choice of TWO! In fact, two is not even a choice in my mind. She will try her best to sell you a beige bag, but your eye will have already been caught by a rather fetching lime green one. You can almost hear the assistant thinking, ‘We’ve been trying to sell those damn things all year.’ But the LSG is not one to follow the fashions and trends of ordinary people – oh no, if lime green takes her fancy, that is what she will get. AND a rather nice white t-shirt in the sale also happened to jump into the shopping bag – I will swear ON OATH that the same item wasn’t available in the Derby branch of M&S last week.
The next thing to do in your attempt to become a Greek Cypriot is to get a haircut – by a hairdresser from Bradford, of course. By now, no one will ever think you are anything other than a born-and-bred Cypriot, although you draw the line at joining the siblings in learning how to scuba dive…the LSG would not wish to cause any riots by appearing in public in a wetsuit.
A coach tour of the island is, of course, obligatory – especially one that mentions a visit to a winery. Unfortunately, we booked the wrong one and ended up on the tour that visited the church of the tomb of Saint Lazarus, he who was raised from the dead. I must admit to a little shiver down my spine when we went into the crypt and saw an open sarcophagus. I looked quickly around but could spot no obvious 2,000-year-old person loitering in the shadows looking like he’d just come back from the dead, although there are one or two at the hotel who could give a good impression of him.
We also passed the rock in the sea which is reputedly the birthplace of Aphrodite, the most beautiful woman ever known, although the LSG is giving her a good run for her money.
One good thing came out of the ‘raising the dead’ tour – a rather nice lemon hooded jacket jumped out at me in Larnaca (I like to think that Lazarus played a part here – I see him in lemon), just the thing for the evenings, which are still a little chilly – and a lovely contrast to the lime green bag. All that is needed now to make me look like a bowl of citrus fruit is a pair of orange trousers. There may have been some in Marks…
One final (sort of serious) point – Greek Cypriots are incredibly friendly and chatty, but if you say ‘kalimera/kalispera/efkharisto’ at some point, their faces light up with absolute joy!
The LSG is now fully immersed in Cypriot life and could be taken for a native.
The (Welsh) Brit Pack is here and living the dream! Kalenikta!
A very good evening to you all. As you know, the Lifestyle Support Guru tries very hard to lighten your burden by offering supportive and positive advice on all aspects of LIFE. Tonight, I wish to help you enjoy life more by suggesting different ways of amusing yourself, based, of course, upon my own vast experience.
So I put the question, what is amusement? Amusement is…
1. …celebrating youngest sibling’s birthday by going to Keighley for a night. Keighley… enough to make anyone laugh out loud!
2. …sitting in a hostelry (I could have said ‘café’, but you wouldn’t have believed me) with youngest sibling and asking for advice on downloading WhatsApp onto recently-acquired iPhone.
YS: Just go into Apps and look for the WhatsApp app. (He then returns to looking at his own [superior] phone)
Me: Is this what I need: ‘WhatsApp for iPhone Free’?
YS: (sighing, and without looking up from his own phone): No, you haven’t got an iPhone 3, it’s an iPhone 5.
(Spend next five minutes giggling hysterically while bar staff wonder whether to keep serving you.)
3. …measuring your ironing board for a new cover by standing next to it when it’s leaning against the wall, because you can’t find a measuring tape.
4. …standing in the aisle at Sainsbury’s for five minutes trying to work out if the ironing board cover on offer (£3 – a bargain!) will fit your ironing board. It says it’s 125 cm or 49 ins in length, and you know that you’re about 5 ft 6 in tall. (Contemplate asking a Sainsbury’s assistant to measure you from shoulder to ankle but realise that you’d then have to explain why and life is too short.) The ironing board at home came to just above the top of your shoulder and down to just above your ankle, so you stand working out roughly how long your head is and how high off the ground your ankle is to get an idea of the length. You then calculate that 49 in is about 8 ft (it had been a long morning…) but realise that that can’t be right because otherwise you’d have the biggest ironing board in the world and you’d be 10 ft tall. Recalculate to make it about 4 ft and look yourself up and down from ankle to shoulder and think that that’s about right.
5. …seriously contemplating taking the above-mentioned ironing board cover out of its packaging, unfolding it and holding it up to see how it measures against you, but realise that this may not be a good idea in a public place…
6. …buying the ironing board cover anyway.
Following these simple, but effective, rules will give you a whole new outlook on LIFE! Anyone want me to measure up for curtains? Reasonable rates…
A very good evening, one and all, from the Lifestyle Support Guru. This evening I have a SORRY TALE to tell and a HARD LESSON learned – this is after I found that Good Golly Miss Molly, my black cat, has learned to open cat food pouches (but that’s another story)!
So, what have I learned? – that WANTING A WEE can be EXPENSIVE.
The story starts at an Italian evening class (although it could just as easily be Serbo-Croat, Painting By Numbers or Knit Your Own Knickers if you prefer) where you find that the Italian for ‘electricity’ is surprisingly difficult to say. (This point is actually irrelevant, but it surprised me, nevertheless.) During the lesson, make sure that you drink a cup of coffee and half a bottle of orange Oasis but decide that you’ll make it home before WANTING A WEE. However, you forget that you need to call in at Sainsbury’s for petrol on your way home
because you won’t have time tomorrow morning before setting off for the wilds of Chesterfield. ‘Aha!’ you think. ‘They’ve got a toilet inside the store, so I’ll call in there before getting petrol.’
Having done the necessary (too much information?) and washed your hands, as instructed on the back of the toilet door – ‘Wash Your Hands’, without even a ‘Please’ – you decide you might as well have a look at the birthday cards while you’re here because it’s a sibling’s birthday in a few days’ time and you spend a pleasant ten minutes giggling at the ‘Humorous’ section before choosing a card which you think is hilarious, although your sister may not when she opens it next week.
That done, you decide it would be a shame to leave the store without having a quick look in the Clothing section, although you have no intention of buying anything, of course! Unfortunately, this rather delicious orange top leaps out at you and you decide to follow the golden rule – ‘if it isn’t yellow, or blue and white stripes, then go for orange’. Besides, you just KNOW that it’s a different shade of orange from the ones you’ve bought in previous years.
Having made your purchases, you leave the store and realise that you have very little money on you and you may well be in need of refreshment a little later on (because your mouth is dry from practising ‘electricity’ to yourself in Italian), so you go to the wine voucher machine (aka the Cashpoint) before finally going to get some petrol, which costs you an arm and a leg because the tank was rather empty.
So there you have it, dear LSG worshippers – always ask yourself ‘Have you been?’ before setting out on any journey of more than twenty minutes’ duration after you have consumed any beverages because WANTING A WEE can cost you unexpected SQUILLIONS!
Enjoy the rest of your evening – and before you go to bed, ask yourself, ‘Have you been?’