The coolest spot in town

Commentary

You know you’ve come across a real treasure when there’s a sign on the window reading: “This must be the place”. The phrase sneaks up on you unsuspectingly as you walk up the stairs of a building that seems to have given up on life. Eyes focused on the marble mosaic steps, you glance up to check if you’re on the right floor — the floor that houses the gallery, that is. And then you see the epigraph like a divine sign. Why yes, this must be the place, you realize as you look beyond the glass window into a vast room jammed packed with creativity.

An invitation to enter

And then the confusion sets in. Is it someone’s house? (Maybe, but the door is wide open.) Is it open to the public? (It could be since there’s a small Menu  sign hanging outside.) Does it really serve coffee? (It looks like a shop.) And then you notice the coffee gear behind the tall counter and you sigh with relief because you really want to go in and chill out. And pretend it’s your home. I sure did.

The perfect reading corner

It’s not often that I come across something I don’t want to vent about. But this etsy-in-a-box shop by far caught me by surprise. And the coffee was just an added bonus!

The official name of the place is The House of Larimeloon and you can find out more about it here. If you’re in Nicosia and you are looking for something different, check it out. It’s a true breath of fresh air right in the middle of the city.

But be warned: you’ll fall in love with half the things there; be it retro sunnies, refurbished chairs or my personal favorite: handmade stuffed animals. I guarantee you’ll leave with a list of things you want to add to your budget for next time. But hands off the stuffed penguin — it’s got my name written all over it!

I leave you with some photos and a promise to see you there.

Hard to choose only one

Having a good browse

Colorfully playful

Our table number

Feeling "at home" with a friend

Hmm what to wear?

We were amused with the inscribed message on sugar packets. It reads: "My sweet sugar".

Reads: "Sugar as a sweet as our love"

See you all for coffee!

All photos taken by ssj_george

It’s a dog eat dog world

Just weird

play with me?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that going out is no longer about having a drink, a bite and a bit of a chit chat. That’s too sophisticated now that we’ve managed to dwindle our attention span to a staggering minute or less. Thank you LCD screens for infiltrating bars, restaurants, clubs and heck even bakeries, clinics, garages and the like. Hail to the new era of 2D fix-me-ups only a glance away!

On a Sunday night, it’s hard enough to find a place at the bar and add to that the fact that we’re in the peak of football (soccer, for my Americans buds) season and you know from beforehand that your best bet is a corner somewhere behind the TV. Not that it matters, surely. Not to me, anyway. You see, I’ve started figuring out a pattern as regards football scheduling, but I’m still in the dark when it comes to specifics. I just don’t care that much. So when we went to a bar with live music last night and was told that there were big matches the whole day, I took it at face value. Proof of it was the wide expanse of green and the tiny dots of players running to and fro on the 42 incher above my head.

I planned to take sips of my drink, talk, observe and wait for the live music. My boyfriend and I pulled it off for the first 30 minutes or so; we gave nonchalant nods to the TV from time to time, if anything, to acknowledge its presence, but we stayed pretty focused. Until I glanced up to see an altogether unfamiliar setting that glued me to the screen.

The turf was in place, but no teams. The crowd was awaiting, but there weren’t any goal posts. It was broadcast on ESPN, but there wasn’t a score card. All you could see was a bouncing dog, multiple flying objects and a man or woman rolling on the ground with exuberance. What the hell? I know you are all thinking that this could be no other than the renowned sport of freestyle flying discs. What you’ve never heard of it? You don’t say…

I could not get my eyes off the screen; was this for real? A sport involving a dog, a master, white frisbees flying around and a crowd to top that combo?! Call me naive, but when did this become a sport? Let me rephrase: when did this become a sport broadcast on ESPN? And specifically broadcast in Cyprus, over cable TV. Surely it is a sport that must translate well transatlantically because I couldn’t get my eyes off this spectacle of energetic four-legged creatures jumping to all heights and lengths for that flying saucer.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the competition changed to the extreme vertical. It’s exactly what you’re thinking, only worse. The dogs were encouraged to jump to their maximum potential to grab a toy bone suspended over a big swimming pool. The reward for getting or not getting the bone was still a cool dive into the pool. Surely some masochist designed this distorted game of fetch?

It was with some relative relief (and mild disappointment) that I welcomed the channel change back to the football game. The acronyms on the score board meant nothing to me, and the image was familiar and uninteresting. I focused on my drink and turned my attention towards the live act that was setting up, the whole time not being able to get those nerdy white socks of the trainers out of my mind.

In the next life, I hope I’m not a dog. Or worse than that, a dog jock.

Front Page News

Jewelry

My Poster Sketch was pretty dusty since I hadn’t used it in over a month. Yesterday I was determined to catch myself a treasury, and as luck would have it, both T-Main and T-West opened at the same time. I couldn’t miss one even if I tried.

In the mini heat wave we’re going through right now, all I could think of was cooler weather. I never used to be an Autumn person, but then I grew up. I used to think that it was perfect to lay on the beach scantily clad frying, but now all I think about is skin cancer. Or my skin shriveling. Or dying of dehydration.

So Autumn, I welcome very enthusiastically. My treasury proves it.

This was the first treasury I made from home, Cyprus, and perhaps I wouldn’t have been as inspired otherwise. My mom was trying to get through the Etsy lingo as I explained what each button and purpose was, and in my secret exasperation (why doesn’t she just know this stuff?) I failed to notice the good luck she was sprinkling all over the place.

Why?

Well, check this out:
etsy fp

Oh yeah. Total surprise! I was so thrilled my 5-minute Internet browse turned into a little more than that.

So mom, thanks. Autumn, hurry up!

Enjoy your Sunday. I’ll be painting the wall of my teaching room and don’t worry, I’ll share some before and after photos!

Back and ready to crumble

Musings

It’s been what, a month? Surely it’s felt like longer for you, no? It has for me. Actually in the past month, time took on that surreal sense of going really quickly, but in slow motion too. It gave me enough time to pause and marvel at things I was doing, places I went to, wonderful people I’ve shared precious moments with. And all of this without Internet. Thank you divine idle time — your overabundance kept me quite busy indeed.

To avoid getting myself (and implicating you too, of course) into alarming high word counts, I have decided to break it down into different entries. That should keep all of our sanity intact. So I’ll let you know about the best buyer a world could ask for, show you a splash of Berlin, give you a little bit of that Parisian glamor and then relocate to Crete and its wonderful beaches.

This past month had quite a lot of moving; in fact we packed up our stuff and shipped it over to Cyprus and also emptied our entire apartment into boxes and moved to a temporary little furnished place until my boyfriend completes his thesis. My other half is working very hard as we speak, furrowed brow and all, in an effort to finish his thesis soon. Of that I’m sure.

As for me, I headed to Cyprus to find a nest and get back into the teaching wheel. Incidentally, hello from a new location.

But more of those adventures, as they unravel. For now, click and read. It’s good to have you back.

Nowhere near you

Musings

So my blog has been dominated by this vast sense of empty space. Every day I write out all these colorful entries in my head and I’m very dutiful with Math Mondays and Friendly Fridays. But they never reach you.

I’m sure you’re wondering why.

Remember that move I mentioned? Well, it finally happened and we got out of it in one piece. The apartment is small and cute, and will serve its short purpose well. Come December, it’s au revoir Chania and back to Cyprus for my boyfriend too hopefully. I’m making the big plunge over on August 15th. Until then, I’m afraid my life will not regain any sense of internet normalcy because there is simply NO internet.

Transferring a phone line is much too complicated for our phone company, so they issue us with a new number, a procedure that takes about a month. By then, I’ll be long settled to Cypriot rhythms and happy to be with you again. Right now, all I have is this permanent state of no connectivity that I can’t say is all that bad.

After the tiring move, all I want to do is kick up my feet, grab a good book and read away. Or watch old seasons of Project Runway over wine. Or wander around Chania, the town I’m about to bid goodbye and cram these last two weeks with as many fresh, wonderful memories as I can.

There are a lot of things I want to share with you, but at the moment I figuratively have my hands tied. No beads, no internet and no typed blog entries. We’ll catch up again in two weeks.

Until then, know that I write entries for you in my head on a daily basis, while I have my nose buried behind a book. It usually means I have to re-read a page or two, but that’s a small price to pay for sending thoughts your way, don’t you think?

Gone bananas

Musings
Taking a break at Musée d'Orsay

Taking a break at Musée d'Orsay

Yes, this banana is back in town! In fact, I’ve been back for a few days now, but things have been pretty hectic. Coming home to an apartment of boxes is no pleasant sight, my friends. If those boxes were all sealed and everything was tidily waiting to be shipped off upon our return, that would have been an entirely different story. But no, we have been spending the past few days packing up boxes with what we’re shipping back to Cyprus, and packing up the rest of the apartment on the side, because we’re also moving to a new apartment this week.

Confused? Of course, you are.

The short of it: I’m heading to Cyprus on August 15th, for what you could call permanently, but what I like to call “for a longterm now”, so we’re sending all our stuff there. My boyfriend has a two or three months left at university to finish his dissertation, but we’re changing apartments because of a gross misunderstanding between our current landlord. Despite our plans for a relaxing summer, we got kicked out of the apartment two months earlier, quite unexpectedly. Reason? New students coming in September would be a better investment, since they can sign a yearly contract.

Don’t even get me started on this issue. I still can’t get over it.

So today, is the big day! We’ve rented a car and we’re taking all of our 20 boxes to the airport to make their airborne way to Larnaca, Cyprus. After that, we’re also moving all our stuff to the new apartment, minus the fridge, washing machine and couch, which we have no idea how we’re going to manage to move (though we have come up with a lot of imaginative, impossible plans).

Look forward to more entries regarding the trip and general fun points AFTER the move. Hopefully my sanity and mental calm will be restored and I’ll be able to tell you all about:

  • love and Berlin
  • gorgeous buildings
  • friend reunion
  • too much exercise
  • cool souvenirs

But for now, hold tight — I still need to go and pack up all of our kitchen. What a great way to spend a Sunday!

Make a run for it

Musings

It’s always the case that when I opt for the flight with less layover time at the airport there is a delay with my flight. Result: I have to spend the entire duration of the flight to connecting airport huffing and puffing, fretting about whether I’m going to make my connection at all. Add to that the stress of knowing said connection is the last flight to the island and you’ve got yourself a nerve-wracking trip ahead of you.

That was me on Saturday.

I checked in on time and was informed that the plane had a 20-minute delay, at which point I had already started calculating average time it would take me to get from one gate to another in semi-running (quick pacing) mode. At Cyprus airport I also took care of my bookcrossing item and tried as much as I could to make it a surprise for the next person to discover it.

Chocolate lovers have an advantage.

Chocolate lovers have an advantage

I then waited around the gate patiently and finally boarded the plane only to hear over the speakers an announcement that the plane would have a further delay of 20 minutes. Estimated time to get from gate of arrival to gate of departure: 15 minutes. Swell.

I moved up to the first row of economy class and knew that upon landing I had to RUN. And I did. We arrived at the furthest possible gate and I raced through the entire Eleftherios Venizelos, the whole time feeling like I was re-enacting a scene from Run Lola Run. I got to the gate on the dot and managed to make it home in one piece. And breathless.

Being back to base and my beading-corner-of-a-factory feels great. Yesterday I made a lot of new earrings, which I’ll post on flickr today as well as Etsy. Gradually the shop is growing and by tonight I hope to have updated all of my items that are currently available for sale. First order goes out today and I might post a photo of it in the next entry because if anything, it’s the start of something big (or even big-small). And this leaves me breathless too.

Stick to your choices

Jewelry, Musings

A boxful of pearly beads has been eagerly waiting for me at the post office for a few days now and I managed to pick it up today. I haven’t taken any photos of the new material I have to work with but I can tell you that I’m very inspired. If I add to that the inspiration I have got from the hand-me-down beads I’ve received thus far from all my great supporting friends and family who are more than happy to see old, forgotten or hated necklaces transformed in a brand new persona, it’s enough to have me doing nothing else all day here.

But that’s pretty much impossible as anyone who’s tried to cram a few months’ worth of a visit in one tiny week knows. I have been on the go constantly, maximizing my time here and trying to see as many of the people I have missed enough to last me through the summer. My efforts have been so focused on seeing people that it wasn’t until today that I managed to venture into downtown Larnaca for the first time. I have been here for 4 days and the shop / coffee-shop magnet just hasn’t had the same draw on me. It’s no wonder with all these new beads I have, to play with.

In fact, today I actually toyed with a new set of earrings featuring buttons, which I’ll probably feature tomorrow when I finish them off. I also made a new pair of earrings for a friend — her smile and excitement was the best reward and completely empowered me. I love giving presents, especially plain good ones.

Here’s a mediocre photo of the earrings: Plain Chris. It was taken in a rush because I had to dash off to dinner, so look beyond the lighting.

Customized to her aura

Customized to her aura

The top bead is actually silver and I personally loved this pair!

In other great news, my cards are off for printing. I hope to have them this week and I will include some photos of them in a coming entry or two. It’s just plain fantastic and I’m going bananas!

And lastly, I’ll leave you with a taste of real Cyprus. For those of you lucky enough to live here or be familiar with the place, enjoy this photo. In the true spirit of the island, it celebrates free will, public disregard and political correctness all in one.

Translation on announcement: We respect the choices of people around us. We don't smoke in non-smoking areas.

Translation on announcement: We respect the choice of people around us. We don't smoke in non-smoking areas.

This was on every table, as were the two ashtrays. In Cyprus, everyone’s choice is respected for sure.

Keep it moving

Musings

I like the verb “to move.”It implies action, flow and a sense of going forward. If I had to choose one verb to describe me, it would be this little fellow.

Action: Tomorrow I am flying out to Cyprus for a week to visit family, friends and loved hangouts. I have just finished packing and it’s only now hit me that this time tomorrow I’ll be walking along (or driving among lunatics) on entirely different streets altogether: familiar, yet somehow mildly forgotten now that I am away.

Flow: I knew I wasn’t the only letter enthusiast out there, and so I was immensely relieved to see that people other than me really do enjoy getting real letters in the mail. Fellow Etsian Elizabeth Jayne is willing to send a letter out to anyone in need of something other than bills (can we see a raise of hands please?). Play along with her or me or both and let’s get some real letters raking the distance and keeping words moving.

Going forward: I have taken some photos of plain bananas jewelry today and updated on Etsy. The shop is slowly growing as I’m finding my way around it. Show me some love (heart my items/shop), leave me comments here and tell me what you like (or don’t like, for that matter) because plain bananas is growing as we speak (or write!).

Of course, moving doesn’t always require direct action, flow or moving forward. There are times when it’s best to sit down, take a break, sip some OJ and let the men do the dirty work.

Professional watchers

Professional watchers

[For the record we were assigned the task of watching the furniture on the pavement and we did do a little handiwork when we turned the couch around to face the street.]

Go ahead and mess with me

Jewelry

I’ve made a mess and I’m happy about it.

Don't move anything!

Don't move anything!

I’m back to walking around with beads in my hands, and losing sleep over new design ideas. It finally feels like my life is resuming those faint hues of routine I allow and that gives me a sense of comfort. The new task is to take photos of the new things I’ve made, which I’ve attempted today with the new big tripod my boyfriend bought. Just as I secured the camera and took a testing photo, the camera battery died. Lesson learned: No fancy photo shooting before checking the basics.

In a few days, there will be another small, welcome disruption to the routine in the form of a getaway to Cyprus. It will only be for a week and it will bring me one step closer to opening my Etsy shop since I’ll be getting my cards printed. Finally!

I’m quite looking forward to a dose of something familiar. As much as I like to deny it, I do miss it sometimes. But for now, back to the mess!