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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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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

A corner of this place

We have landed on this troubled but defiant little island which is my homeland - so small that it would disappear many hundreds of times over in the Australian continent but big enough when I was growing up to fill my world and to be the image of all that I had.

Coming back is always a nervous affair and there is no rationale for it. I have butterflies in my tummy as the plane comes in to land over the sea. I walk into an airport with the welcoming but very bored airport officials before jumping into a car and speeding down the motorway, part fearful of changes that might have happened since the last time I was here, part blasé about how well I know it.The central reservations on the otherwise unremarkable motorway in total bloom of white and pink oleanders, possibly the most effective barriers on the globe and such pretty ones too.

We holiday in the north western tip of the island overlooking the mountains of Turkey which might just be shadowed on the horizon on a clear day. The bay is quicksilver broken only by the movements of blue where the wind has disturbed the surface.
The villa is in an orchard of fruit trees, some lie forlorn on the ground. There was obviously a surfeit this year. On the one side I look out onto a harvested field of wheat and mountains in the background. On the far side olive trees and carobs.Inside a mixture of Cypriot kitsch, dried flower arrangements and supermarket art work, but comfortable and welcoming with a fridge stocked with food so that as weary travellers we did not need to look any further. Cypriot hospitality at is best.

Waking up to the sound of a cock crowing in the distance is so comforting and familiar.The air is cool in the morning and the sun just beginning to work its magic. Not long now before the cicadas will overtake the music score and silence the cocks.There is a good dose of rural in this corner of western luxury villas, welcoming tourists, and the mixture fills me with solace. Over the years I have been coming, the road by the sea is largely untouched and while the buildings have proliferated they are mainly low lying and acceptable. I walk into the bakers - I have not seen them for two years, yet the baker smiles and welcomes me as if I haven't been away for more than a day. Possibly the best bit is swimming in the sea freely. My sister and I swim out for miles, jumping into the waves and under them and floating on our backs, chatting, catching up on the gossip and the politics, enjoying the salt on our faces and the deep underneath with no fear or failure other than sheer physical fatigue.

Seeing family and friends for precious moments in this over demanding time is a gift. Gift giving and taking all play a part. I remember arriving on so many occasions and my older sister would have something a little special she had set aside for me or collected on her travels. Thinking them all up afresh each time is a challenge but good fun. I await the arrival of my boys and my mother in law with a real sense of excitement in anticipation of my niece's wedding on the 25th.
We have so much to catch up on, to share over a cold bottle of Keo and the ubiquitous kebab. It's hard to sum up how this place sits in my life and Cypriots say " There is nothing like Cyprus." Σαν την Κυπρο εννεσιη. It is a gift to me. I can truly say "There is nothing like Cyprus" and now I can add and "Australia is something else" and life unfolds between the two, because luck and birth have allowed me the luxury of being part of both. 

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