Falling Star

So I was staring at my phone’s screen in this pitch black road of ours here in Drousha, trying to get some hint of Wi-fi connection from the neighbourhood while also looking up at the sky at intervals. I’ve always liked gazing at the stars, who doesn’t? Lying under the star-sprinkled sky and talking about life, or just lying silently, always in the company of loved ones. The sky is different here; the stars shine bright and there are millions of them, you can even trace the Milky Way if you look closely… Well, the layer of city pollution definitely disappears up here!

There it was; I looked up and saw a falling star. Must have been the first time I saw one so clearly, a second later and I would have missed it… They say that you have to wish upon a falling star; leave it for later and the Universe won’t grant it… So I did make a wish! But you know how we never know how to phrase things correctly when we’re in a hurry, in that chaos of the moment, always wondering afterwards whether what we said was understandable, or correct even, and whether we should have phrased it in a different manner. What if we’ve missed a word and get something different to what we wanted? After all, they do also say to be careful what you wish for.

It’s funny how in that brief moment you suddenly know what you’ve been hoping for all along. Consciously, or subconsciously, you’ve been wanting something and that something has suddenly surfaced. It’s like having to make a choice and tossing a coin to help you choose. In that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know, and the problem has been settled for you regardless of the side on which the coin lands.

If you could wish for something right now, just one wish, what would it be? If you were faced with two choices, which would you choose? It’s not always as hard as we think to realise what we truly want, the difficulty is in actually going after it, I guess.

Well anyway, the falling star just made me wonder 🙂

Unfortunately, I won’t be attaching photos of our starry skies because I don’t have the appropriate equipment (yet), BUT, I’ll be attaching photos of last month’s full moon. After all, a full moon is also said to have wish-fulfilling powers!

Full Moon over Drousha

Full Moon over Drousha

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I get by with a little help from my friends

I love those last minute calls from friends or relatives who want to meet up, whether that would be for coffee and catching up, road trips, photo shooting, a game of MTG (Magic: The Gathering, a game I’m somehow quite addicted to), for a swim even, or simply for a long walk accompanied by a meaningful conversation. I’m not usually the kind of person who suggests things first, although I’m definitely trying to change that, so I’m always grateful for these calls. Spending time with the people I love makes me happiest; happiness sets me free.

I love it when my days are full, it makes me feel alive. I’ve also started getting out of my comfort zone quite often lately and I really like that, it was something I was meaning to do for quite some time now. The magic is out there, you just need to realise it and get out! Realising that I’ve been doing things which would’ve otherwise made me hesitate a year earlier makes me feel absolutely GREAT 🙂

There are no photos to attach today, just this song to dedicate to those special ones: The Beatles – With A Little Help From My Friends.

Oh and… hello August! Have a good month everyone 🙂

And she’s back

It’s been a while; I must say that July was quite an eventful month. I began an internship in website designing and developing, met up as much as I could with friends and family, visited my little Wonderland (Drousha), continued taking photos, turned 20… I hadn’t stopped writing, I only stopped posting because I never had time to finish what I’d started. With some time in my hands I’ve decided to finish up my posts and publish them on the appropriate dates. You might see some random posts appearing here and there in the next few days, bear with me!

It feels as if July has passed in a short – but definitely sweet – glance. July has always been my measuring point for how long I’ve got until summer’s over. Actually, my birthday is the measuring point, 12th of July; it’s kind of half way. Time seems to move slowly up until then. The days last longer, but in a good way! It feels as if there’s still time to do everything I’ve been wanting to do.

August is right round the corner and in just over a month I’ll be back at St Andrews for my second year of studies. Even though I’ve still got so many things to look forward to in August, sometimes it really feels as if the summer is nearly over! I’ll be away for the next two weeks, going to my little Wonderland once again, where I won’t have internet unless I visit a place which has some sort of Wi-fi connection. Let’s hope that I’ll be able to finish what I’ve started, before I leave! Don’t forget to look out for the new posts, they’ll be appearing below this one.

I’m attaching a photo of the watermelon smoothie I had by the pool last Sunday at Drousha. Very refreshing.

Bye for now 🙂

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All you need is love… and a dog.

Dogs. This past weekend I’ve come to realise, once again, how important the presence of dogs is in our lives. Well, for most of us at least.

I was at Drousha with my cousins who got a new puppy last week, a 3 month old Yorkshire Terrier. Her presence was such a delight to all of us; the way she ran around happily exploring this new territory, the way she’d sniff around smelling flowers and, for an unknown reason, attacking some of them playfully, the way she’d get all excited when we’d sprinkle pool water over her. But, best of all, the way she’d show her love to us, even though we were something completely new to her. She’d only known us for a couple of days yet she would look into our eyes and convey a feeling of complete trust, while trying to lick every part of exposed skin she could find (!).

Not all dogs express their love in this way. I used to have a dog which unfortunately passed away of old age a few weeks before I came home in May. I had her for 12 years, she was the only dog we had for so long. She was quite a quiet dog; she’d never try to lick you but she loved cuddling and through her eyes you could see how much faith she had in you, how much she loved you. It seems that dogs have very expressive eyes! Their eyes express so much emotion, so much affection. She was one of the most loyal dogs I’d ever met; she loved my mum the most. Whenever my mum was away she used to wait behind the door and not eat for days to come; she’d get quite depressed, her nose would go dry. A few months before she passed away I remember her trying to get all the more attention from my mum: demanding cuddles, running around with my mum’s socks and shoes in her mouth. Ironically, it felt as if she was becoming younger, as if she was trying to say: Hey! Look at me, I’m still young, I can get just as playful, why did you have to bring in another dog? To begin with, I thought that she was simply affected by the presence of our other dog which was just a year old at the time, but who knows what she had in mind.

Our other dog is quite the opposite in character. She gets easily excited, goes crazy when people visit, and when you get quite close to her face, her huge eyes staring, she’ll lick you, no doubt. She has so much love to give and expresses it with every chance she gets! I can really feel how grateful she is to be here with us and I definitely feel just as grateful to have her here with me. I read a quote the other day which said:

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ”

I completely agree. Dogs love you purely, for nothing in return; unconditionally. You might be out of the house for the whole day yet your dog will always be there, waiting for you behind that door, unaffected – well, if they’re a bit disappointed in you it’s definitely only for the first few minutes. There’s certainly nothing more important to them than your love for them, and..perhaps a bone or some sort of treat! The way they approach you when you’re feeling low, looking deep into your eyes, sending you the vibe that they understand that it’s not the time for cuddles and games but nonetheless they still want to stick around, to try and make you feel better. What more could you ask for? I always look forward to the moment I’ll return home and have my dog running around expressing sounds of happiness, that tail wagging so fast, as if it’s about to fall off; it gives me such comfort, such a relief to be at home. They can make your day so much brighter.

I know that there’s a number of people who cannot stand dogs for one reason or another, some have some sort of phobia because of something that happened in the past, and others simply prefer cats! I completely respect that, as long as they do nothing to harm dogs. I just felt like writing this and dedicating it to all dogs, especially the ones that have had some impact on my life; the ones which have kept me company throughout the years, changed me towards the better and have helped me to open up and be able to express my feelings better 🙂

I’m attaching photos of my two dogs and that of my cousins’. Feel the cuteness!

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I’ll Follow You Deep Sea Baby

The other day, I was enjoying a VERY refreshing non-alcoholic (not by choice, it was supposed to be that way) Mojito smoothie with a friend while expressing my wish to explore new places for photos. “Lady’s Mile” was her immediate reply. Lady’s Mile is a long stretch of beach in Limassol, the second largest city in Cyprus. I’d never been there, or if I had, then I must’ve been very small because I didn’t remember anything. Well, she said it was a great place for photos and I trusted her. Perfect; another chance to go to places I haven’t been to. My summer plan has been working out smoothly. So we decided to go yesterday and another friend of ours came along with us; the more the merrier. The night before, we communicated with each other in order to plan everything out and that’s when I found out that my friend had never been to Lady’s Mile. It turned out that none of us knew how to get there (…), so we decided to ask our parents and then combine that knowledge hoping for the best result. After all, we’re in Cyprus, how lost can one get?

I’m sure that by now you’re all thinking that something went wrong so I’m just going to say that we were very lucky; finding the beach could not have been easier. Hurray!  I was the one driving and the car was filled with pleasant sounds; well, that’s one way of seeing it. There was the music, and then there was us singing along, mostly out of tune, but we didn’t care.  Driving along the highway, music at a high volume, dancing in our seats (a bit hard with the seat belt on but we managed), shouting at slow drivers, shouting at fast drivers, shouting while singing, or just simply shouting. How could one get so hyper this early in the morning? Oh yes, the summer spirit was in the air. In no time we arrived at Limassol (approximately a one hour drive from Nicosia). Our excitement heightened as we were getting closer and closer to our destination.

Upon our arrival to Limassol we simply followed the sign posts leading to the port which would then lead us to Lady’s Mile; unexpectedly easy. In case you’ve been wondering about this post’s title, they’re lyrics from Lykke Li‘s song ‘I Follow Rivers‘. It happened that we were listening to that song while following the sign posts to get to the beach so one of my friends decided to dedicate it to them. The beach was deserted and there was just one man there. Well, it was a week day, and anyway I prefer it that way and so did they. It was slightly windy and we had a hard time putting our umbrella into the sand. At one point, it flew away and into the sea, the current carrying it further away… Thankfully, that one man became our hero of the day. Not only did he bring it back but he helped put it in the sand (finally!). We then placed our towels on the sand, prepared our speakers for the music and, of course, applied sun cream. The rest of our day flowed smoothly (apart from a couple of sunburns, that is) and we even found our way to the centre of Limassol (I’d never driven in Limassol) in the afternoon and had some yummy frozen yoghurt, a huge relief after a day spent under the sun.

As for whether it was a great place for photos… I’ll let you decide that. I have to say that it wasn’t as I’d expected it to be and my friend also said that it looked better in photos. I’m all for exploring though and we had an amazing time in the company of each other so we didn’t mind. I’ll be attaching both photos from the deserted Lady’s Mile beach and the coast of Limassol so careful not to confuse the two! I can now tick Lady’s Mile off my ‘Places to go’ list 🙂

Isolated dustbin at Lady's Mile beach

Isolated dustbin at Lady’s Mile beach

Isolated electricity post at Lady's Mile beach

Isolated electricity post at Lady’s Mile beach

Lady's Mile beach

Lady’s Mile beach

Lady's Mile beach

Lady’s Mile beach

Boys jumping of the pier at Limassol's coast

Boys jumping off the pier at Limassol’s coast

Stretch of beach along Limassol's coast

Stretch of beach along Limassol’s coast

Stretch of beach along Limassol's coast

Stretch of beach along Limassol’s coast

Fairies in the Garden

Time to mention my little Wonderland, once again! So I went to Drousha for the day, last Sunday. Before I start rambling on about Sunday’s discoveries, I’d just like to say that I think I’ve found a better way to describe how it feels when I go there. According to Quantum Physicists, everything in our Universe is energy.  The Universal Law states that everything in the Universe moves and vibrates at one speed or another. For example, negative emotions such as fear, anger and vulnerability are heavy vibrations associated with low frequencies, whereas positive emotions such as peace, calmness, love and harmony are light vibrations with a high frequency. Thus, having this in mind, I can undoubtedly say that being in Drousha helps one vibrate at higher frequencies. There is a very positive vibration field there; that is the only way I can explain it.

As I was sitting by the pool, I noticed that one of our lavender flowers was being smothered by a swarm of all kinds of insects. Butterflies! Quite a few of them and all with a beauty of their own. Not sure why that particular lavender was more popular than all the rest, but this was my perfect chance to take photos, close-ups. Till then, I had yet to manage to take decent photos of butterflies, or bees, simply because they’d never keep still and I’d always end up with a blurred blob of that particular insect. I’d always look at other people’s photos and admire their skills. But now, so many of them gathered in the same place; camera in hand, I shot away.

Each photo was better than the previous one, I was so absorbed into it that I took around 170 photos. Yes, it happens sometimes, or rather oftentimes; I tend to end up with a *few* more photos than originally planned. Meh, as long as I have the memory for it on my micro SD… The delicate manner of the butterflies, their natural beauty, there was something magical about them; this was the inspiration for this post’s title (‘Fairies in the Garden’, in case you read through it). I could have sat there all day. Amongst my photos you’ll see a couple of bees and bumble bees. I’ve decided to include them in my ‘Fairies’ simply because they’re also special in their own way; little fairies carrying out their job as usual.

So, on Sunday, these creatures became temporarily special to those I showed the photos to, but permanently special for me; the one who took the photos 🙂

Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi)

Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Mountain Clouded Yellow (Colias phicomone)

Mountain Clouded Yellow (Colias phicomone)

Species yet to be found; will update soon!

Species yet to be found; will update soon!

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi)

Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi)

Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi)

The Widow

Oh my, my. I was ignorantly playing with a spider in the garden today. Playing as in running around with it, or rather chasing after it, and taking as many photos of it as I could. It tried getting into the house but I shoved it away with a pencil and then continued taking photos. I wish I could’ve tried taking macro shots of it but it just wouldn’t stop moving around; I guess I’m just going to have to stick to dead creatures for now. After 30 shots, or so, and feeling satisfied enough, I finally allowed it to go away; it disappeared somewhere in the grass…

I ran to my laptop, inserted the micro SD card and uploaded the new photos. It was an unusual spider, not one I usually see in the garden, and it had a pretty design on its abdomen. I Googled it, just as I said I’d be doing in one of my previous posts (see: Insect Challenge), in order to find out its species. It was kind of hard, I wasn’t sure how to best describe it and all sorts of scary looking tarantulas kept popping up. So I then decided to simply type ‘spiders’ and hope for the best! First image that popped up was that of the ‘Black Widow‘ (Latrodectus mactans) spider and I must say it looked pretty much like the spider I’d captured (pun intended), only its abdomen was black with red spots and my spider’s was greyish-white with yellowish spots. Something told me to look more into it, even though I was certain that we don’t have these kinds of spiders in Cyprus, so I did. Guess what! After a bit of searching, I found out that the Black Widow has a cousin, the ‘Brown Widow’.

Oh yes, I was playing around with a Brown Widow (Latrodecuts geometricus) spider, a poisonous spider. Surprisingly enough, according to Wikipedia, this species also exists in Cyprus; I was actually surprised to see Cyprus listed there. The photos I found were identical to the ones I had (see photos)! No worries though, they’re not as aggressive as the Black Widow ones, and if they bite you it’s not as bad; their venom is twice as potent as that of the Black Widow but it’s usually confined to the bite area, and if treated immediately, you survive… And thankfully, I found out they have poor eye-sight as well, phew! So now it’s somewhere in the garden; that’s fine, we’ll be fine.

Well then, my list continues; Brown Widow spider: CHECK!

Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)

Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)

Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)

Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)

Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)

Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)

Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)

Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)