var… said my cleaning woman today, cok nem var…and she dried her wet face with the
cleaning rag, she meant that it was very humid. Thin clouds were hanging in the
foothills of the Kyrenia mountains dipping everything into a hot milky soup,
huaaah, you heard deep sighs everywhere and jippey when you entered a
supermarket with its cool atmosphere. The young salesgirl at the cashier was suffering
from bronchitis because of the air condition and took cough solution, her eyes
were drooping and watery, poor thing!
Sundays the beaches are full, the streets empty and everybody is on the lookout
for some shade and air moving to cool the hot skin.
weekend we spent in Limassol, we had said farewell to our Ambassador and
although it was early evening and the sun was setting just above the railing of
the beautiful ship BERLIN, we saw the Ambassador dry her front more than once
while she shook hands with the many invited guests. Later in the evening we
enjoyed sitting in the old city among all the young folk with some music played
by street musicians; many of the small streets are made into pedestrian areas
with the chairs of the many cafés and restaurants out, all very inspiring and I
felt young too, at least a bit younger, in the dimness of the summer evening, a breeze
came through from the sea and it was delightful, but OhOh the night in that charming old hotel close to
the old port we suffered from the hot humidity, it seemed to creep into the
room like a solid mass, the air condition was worth nothing and so we cooled
our skins with wet towels; when I stepped out onto the balcony in the very
early morning I saw the clouds of humidity literally float through the streets.
We felt better when we came to the old city market which has been revamped and
there were a fish market, fresh bread, but also artisans and a potter on his
wheel was waiting for his students with bags full of fresh clay. I would have
liked to stay on. We took our time to go back north, had a lovely swim at the
Lady’s Mile – sounds funny – and had a fishy lunch at Marcos in Zygi and although we
sat under a wide umbrella I got sunburnt.
nothing is as delightful as a plunge into your own pool though not really
refreshing anymore and sitting on the terrace with a glass of red wine held against
the last rays of sun plunging into the sea, some days later the sun setting will
move back to behind the hills, with the longest day of the year long past.
There is one corner on our terrace which gives us a relative coolness
throughout the entire day, during
daytime the slightest wind from the sea is felt and in the evening and at night
the breeze from the mountain behind us is coming like through a funnel and I
could sit there all day and do my work; my artist friends have been enjoying it
on our Thursdays over the last eight years.
the heat in Cyprus during daytime can be hard to bear and you are well advised
to stay indoors, the more enjoyable it can be at the end of the day when the setting
sun pours out its light in colours of red and orange and plunges the world
around into a soft pinkish grey. These evenings are the reward, the gift the
summer gives us.
there is one advice I can give, try to stay cool during the day and go out in
the early mornings or at sunset. If you have work to do at the computer such as
I have to do, place your feet in a bowl of cold water, and if you have swollen
feet add some vinegar, it does wonders. Rather use a ventilator than air
condition if at home and place some rosemary or lavender twigs in a vase, the
smell, it is said, would improve your
energy. Eat light things and drink lots of water with lemon, and try to take things
easy, read your newspapers or do important activities that require diplomacy in
the cooler time of the day or postpone them to the winter months.
I am writing this we are bombarded with new photos of the events and
bombardments happening in Palestine and Israel. War, hate, death of innocents,
children nailed to the cross of politics….inhumanity. We have recently been
visiting East Anatolia, the provinces in the most Eastern part of Turkey, along
the borders of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Armenia. I have learnt so much about their
history and I wrote down our experiences, …in four parts on my website and in
Cyprus Observer. To be able to write this report I had to read and research in
many books and I found that all countries of the Near East down to Egypt have
been involved in this never ending conflicts. I found especially one book most
enlightening, the book ‘The Bible as History’ by Werner Keller in which the
flow of cultures, their ups and downs, the conquering, destroying and
re-establishing of cities on the ruins of the same and the reasons are well described.
The area at the end of the Mediterranean has once been a melting pot of many
cultures, rich and highly developed, but also fiercely fought over and still
is. It is a law of nature for tribes to fight for their territory, animals do,
but somehow they manage better, they respect each other more.
this in the heat of our summer, it is exhausting, we had the elections here and
the promises of the freshly elected ones to do it better, the world cup… I am
sure that consumption of beer was higher than ever and in order to speak of
something else than war….the lack of water…our lemons on the tree are small and
soft from lack of water, my tomatoes in the garden just gave up, our cats lie
flat in shady corners. Schools and universities are closed, the sale of
newspapers goes down, that of watermelons goes up….
honestly, do you want to live somewhere else? I don’t.