Heidi Trautmann

893 - Moving to Girne....the last chapter


Dear friends and readers of my website

For six weeks I was hardly available reporting on the cultural scene of Cyprus because we moved places, my husband and I, we have given up our beautiful home in Yeşiltepe, Villa Manzara, the place where we met with many friends under the almond tree to discuss life. It took us that long to downsize and sort our belongings, the treasures we have accumulated during fifteen years, I as journalist, writer and painter and my husband as an active pensioner, sailor, hobby gardener and hobby carpenter.

Fortunately, we found friends and neighbours who took over some of the things we could not take with us to the new place in Girne, a place in the heights - or in the clouds if there are any - , right across St. Hilarion and  right in the centre of life, but half the size of what we had at our disposal before. It was with very mixed feelings that I got through these weeks…..

Sorting things meant you had to take things into your hands, turn them around and decide…this will come with me, this not, or better not, because there will be no room for it. It brought back memories and often enough I sat there among all the souvenirs like catalogues of exhibitions, invitation cards, articles, or even stones and shells I had collected on the many walks on one of the beaches in winter and I thought, My God, this was your life, the contents of your days for fifteen years; fortunately the National Archive was happy to receive 15 years’ copies of newspapers and magazines I have been writing for and a cultural Association in Famagusta took over documents and photos of 15 years of the local art scene, so it is not lost. At the same time my husband had the same emotional problem to part with things he has had around him to manage repairs in house and garden, to part with books and magazines that have  stimulated his thirst for new adventures on sea or by road…..and when we were meeting in all this chaos we found ourselves travelling together back in time….you remember….this  black stone from the Aetna, this shell from Baja California…

And we started moving things into the apartment piece by piece and while there the chaos got smaller, the apartment filled to another chaos to be sorted later.  After six weeks we handed over the keys to the new owners, said goodbye to our almond tree, had a last walk through our park with the hundred of trees and bushes we have planted, heard the birds sing that have come here to stay over the winter months as usual,  and our Max, the ginger cat felt the change and his face told me how distressed he was to see things changing, he was lost, nothing had the order he was used to. He was born here and lived free as the true owner of the place.

Our first nights in the apartment were full of lights and noise, there are no curtains, not necessary to have them yet, there are no near neighbours who could stare into our privacy behind glass walls…we have hardly any walls to hang pictures…and I still have hundreds of paintings stored and waiting. We had a glass of wine there in the open with all the noise and lights around us while the sun was setting with Girne people at our feet…. And at night while I lay awake I had the whole length of the glass wall full of the city lights and … the St. Hilarion  lights going on at 10 and switched off at 1 in the morning. The moon was hanging over the range of mountains like a lantern and later towards morning I saw the day come alive in so many different forms.

I had never known how much life this area at our feet contained, the mad roaring of a car or motor cycle, the shouting of people, a neighbour practicing his trumpet, sometimes accompanied by an orchestra on tape, somewhere hammering was heard, then often enough the siren of a police car or an ambulance, things were happening, life and death perhaps, all simultaneously. The other day a sheer endless motorcade passed our building with flags waved and protest cries shouted, people hanging out of the car windows, I could not understand what they were shouting.

When I went down to join all this street life, I was amazed how much time people had to spend in the many cafés along the street because when I returned they were still there after hours. I am taking my time to learn it all. The daily life scene is so different when you live here yourself permanently than when you pass through only occasionally.

Living space is limited, I cannot open our doors and step out into nature, like before among the hills, there was always timelessness and peace, here I feel the time pass very quickly and I realize all of a sudden that it is our last station, having downsized because of age, to be closer to the shops and the doctor in walking distance. And all of a sudden I feel my bones ache.

But I will get accustomed to this new lifestyle and accept things as they are and perhaps find some new excitement. 

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