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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Wednesday, 27 February 2013


She was nearly ten years older than me and so always a bit of a mother figure, even more so when my parents died. In my youth, unlike other teenagers who probably hated having a baby sister tagging along, she would take my hand and walk with me on the beach in Famagusta where we met her friends at the King George Hotel. I made sand castles on the sand and she chatted away.
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.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Welcome to Australia

My excitement is palpable. I have reached down under and I am waking up to blue skies and wonderful vistas. I never imagined I would live here.  Growing up in Cyprus, Australia was a place some poorer Cypriots travelled to in search of a better life and it felt then, a little like writing them off the face of the earth, well my earth that is, as many of them were unable to make the trip back often. How things have changed. Australia, whose name comes from Australis meaning southern is no nearer, that is for sure, but somehow it is so much more in evidence, so much more of a sought after destination and at the end of the day, a couple of flights away.

So here I am on a continent I know nothing about and which I am dying to explore so the obvious place to start is with its history and origins. It was inhabited by its aboriginal  populations as long ago as 50,000 years ago and it was first discovered by the Dutch in 1606 and then came James Cook in 1707 in the Endeavour.In 1823 John Oxley was looking up the coast from Sydney to establish another penal colony and settled on the area near Brisbane river which is my new home on the east coast of Australia, about 1000 kms from Sydney.

The city has developed around the Brisbane river which snakes its way through it and divides it into north of the river and south of the river. The River and Riverside is wonderful as Cat ferries take you up and down and deposit you on the South Bank which houses most of the performing arts areas or north bank where the Central Business district is found, called CBD. It is a city which was transformed in 1986 for the Commonwealth Games and 1988 for the World Expo from a small sleepy town to a bustling metropolis which is the world's third largest municipality after Los Angeles and New York according to Queensland Travel Guide Jasons.com.au.

The city itself is just over 2 milliion so it is large enough to get lost in it but small enough to know the girl at the supermarket checkout. Regionally the population is about 4.5 million and it takes in some of the better known tourist areas of the whole of Australia such as the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast which includes the Great Barrier Reef all within Queensland State, also known as the Sunshine state. So to all my readers a sun-filled invitation to explore with me all this vast continent has to offer. 
The Brisbane River 

The beautiful old Customs house with the walk way and the CBD at night 

To pin point where I am on this fun map I am on the eighth floor of an apartment block on Spring Hill. 
So much more to come ...