She left Cyprus to study and I missed her but when she returned once more I often accompanied her to events and friends. She taught me what is special and beautiful, important and appropriate. In later years I can laughingly say that I too could teach her of some of those lessons. She had infinite patience, positiveness and a "can do" attitude that often left us having to rethink what we had just perceived as a problem.
She was talented and versatile, turning her hand to iconography, to water colours, oils and pottery, novels, poetry and travelogues and so much more.
She was always exploring, listening and delving into subjects that had become of interest because of a journey, a book, a quote, a retold story or a work of art.
Recently she had found her niche, in terms of people and places, and with a couple of lovely friends she explored more of the Greek Islands, found joy in the conference on Durrell in London, stayed with my boys, rediscovered old connections and and travelled to the Far East. This was accompanied by a prolific and successful production of art work and written work and there were so many plans in the pipeline....
She was my sister Niki - aged 64.
Sadly, very sadly, devastatingly for us all, she was taken away from us. She died in a car accident in Fayoum in Egypt where she was attending an Art School on the 7th of February. Another participant of the school also died.At her funeral her friends read her poems. When we gathered in a mountain village for the nine day memorial it was in St Barnabas cave, with candles burning and branches of almond blossom for decoration. The family then ate together in a typical Cypriot taverna. She would have liked that.
Life has to go on, each day a reminder of her, her books on my shelf, the painting on the wall, the necklaces she made for me, the recipes that she taught me, the clothes she happily passed on to me when she had put on a few kilos. The pinnacle of our triangle of three sisters has gone. Anna and I are firm in our connection and our bond but it is hard to bear and hard to accept our loss. Pictures, videos and telephone messages, emails and notes suggest a presence which is no longer an exchange so much as a one way of all that was her.A way that I hope she will continue to influence and affirm just as when I was little all those years ago.