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1st January 2010

Our Big Fat Cypriot Life!

I watched the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” for about the 6th time last night. It is such a great movie, not least as its so true to life here ie where one of the family goes, the others go – or know about it. Beautifully written: you must watch it.

Got me thinking about our special Cypriot friends, most of whom live in or around Warrington in order to escape the daily intrusions of loving families here on the island but each of whom come home regularly to Cyprus to “do the rounds” and catch up with their cousins/second cousins/would be cousins (us) etc. Its actually impossible for them to visit here for a holiday – there are too many people to see!

I remember when we first moved here, being invited to a Cypriot BBQ and being overwhelmed by the sheer number of people at the party, especially as they are al related and go everywhere together. In fact, most of them live in the same house! I’m a private person and much as I love having friends and family to stay/ over for dinner, I relish my peace: Tony , the animals and peace and quiet. Bliss. Especially when Tony is in The Mill watching footie!

Seriously though, its a huge learning curve coming from a wonderful but very emotionally fragile and confused small family to a place where family is it and has to do everything as one huge team. No decisions are made without consulting at least 15 cousins – then they come with you to check before you do anything. Even Mums doctor when she was last in hospital here, said to us he wished his son, who was a doctor in Blackburn, would come back to live in Nicosia because then his dad, who lives in Paphos, would know what his daughter in law was cooking for his son each night. The joke is a cousin catches cold in Coral Bay and his cousin in Nicosia, sneezes!

Peyia feels like one huge family to me. The faces are all familiar, the smiles all ready to share and the daily life, ebbs and flows without too many changes, other than the tourists coming and going. The time spent with good friends, like Susie Floozy and The Great Raymondolou, is precious and not enough but we know they are there and we hope they feel the same about us (and “the others” they’ve met).

I’d love to have come from a large, totally secure and together family but I wouldn’t swop mine for the world. My sisters are great, my parents, completely barmy, unique characters (including our step parents) – and I’ve lovely cousins who I don’t see or hear from enough but wish them fun, health and happiness always………….don’t think I could live in the same street as them constantly though, which is what the Cypriots do! Tonys family are wonderful too – especially other mother and Tom and Charlotte….

Maybe its just learning to adjust and adapt, or maybe its just what you’re used to. After all, it took me a long time to get used to having people constantly staying with us eg remembering to shop/keep tidy and keep clothes on! One of the lines in the film last night was, “Don’t let where you came from, dictate how you have to live but let it become a part of all you’ll become”…..

I love that thought! I’m proud to be the eldest daughter of my crazy mum and dad. To be a geordie girl with a slightly colourful , sometimes upsetting but totally interesting life to date – and to be Tonys wife. I love living here in Peyia, learning about the culture and learning to be more tolerant, less English (read “anally retentive”) and more accomodating to other people and their ways – especially holiday makers!!

Whoever the “power that is”, really is, thank you for this life. Tony and I intend to keep living it for all its worth!