Hello welcome to my Blog

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 July 2016

Celebrating life - and shaping it with Bumpy the Wombat

IN my last blog I talked about lives, now lost, that mattered to me. So today it is fitting to celebrate life once more and what better way to do this then by going to a seven year old's birthday party. This was truly such a wonderful afternoon, not only because the kids enjoyed it, but the adults did too. And it was all thanks to www.geckoeswildlife.com.au. So this is a bit of a plug for them, but also to mums and dads who make the right choices for their children and celebrate their milestones by making them caring and informed individuals. The kids loved the show of wild animals, complete with turtles, baby possums small enough to curl up in your palm, bearded lizards and friendly snakes. There was a beautiful barking owl and a blue tongued skink. But the best was left for last and this was without doubt the gentle appearance of Bumpy the Wombat. She sat in her keepers lap, with the aplomb of a princess and loved the attention and the cuddles that every gave her.

Just look at those claws and the vestigial thumb. 

 The birthday boy
 Being hugged by a friendly carpet python 
And a bearded Lizard on your cuff. 

So next time you want to celebrate life - think about sharing it with some wildlife. It is truly the perfect match. 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Lives that matter.

Throughout my peripatetic professional life, I was lucky enough to work with some inspirational people and today I feel I need to talk about them. They gave me direction and support, knowledge and skills sets, some of which I use every day. Yesterday, the last of my bosses passed away at the unbearably early age of 60. This is a time in my life which will fade into oblivion as I get older yet it was seminal and significant in shaping who I am and my beliefs. The people who I worked with, and supported me for that time in my life are hugely important and this is the only way I know now, (this may change) to tell them how much they meant to me and to pay my respects to each and everyone.

Tassos Papadopolous, Eoka fighter, incisive lawyer, Member of Parliament and Minister in Makarios government, politician and President of the Cyprus Republic from the years 2003 - 2008.  I found my niche in an office which grew exponentially as the offshore business came to the island. More importantly I was able to participate in the politics of the island and hear its history from someone instrumental in its shaping.

John Silvester - One of Kenya's first Rhode Scholars, distinguished Lawyer, Senior Partner in Hamilton Harrison and Mathews, the epitome of a gentleman and a man totally in command of complex issues which he handled with calmness and rationality at all times. His loving wife Sue Silvester always thoughtful, brought us children's books on Africa which still grace the boy's bookshelves, while the collapsible wooden seats, are piled high with information about wildlife as befits them.

Mike Somen, effervescent, witty and funny and the love of so many commercial entities in Africa because he got the job done.The other senior partner in Hamilton Harrison and Mathews. An Arsenal supporter and a lover of formula one races. We had hilarious exchanges in my office and continued to correspond long after I left Africa, the last one being the week of his birthday this year on the 2nd of March. He died on the 10th and I was hugely upset at hearing this news.

Lastly but by no means least Thea Henley, Mother of Zara and Laila but also protector of Children's rights throughout the UK and beyond. The cornerstone of the National Youth Advocacy Service and a fiery children's rights lawyer and passionate champion of their rightful place in legal proceedings.She sadly passed away after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. 


They all fought for what they believed in, in the best way they knew. They were professionals  of the highest order, nurturing, and instructive and I was lucky enough to have had them in my life.They will not be forgotten. But also when my children start asking some of the questions which are always left too late, there is something here which will give them some of the clues about who shaped me and why. Photos fade, flowers wilt, but the written word cannot be easily erased. 

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Creatures captured - Kayo Yokoyama

Not how you would expect - no traps here, no nets, just a steady hand guiding a diamond cutter to create some exquisite creatures. The creator is an artist from NSW, Kayo Yokoyama. She has used glass as her medium and with these diamond cutters she engraves into the glass, creatures of all shapes and sizes. I love the salamander and the cockatoo, the blue bottles and the koalas. It is quite a unique way of capturing these beautiful creatures - another prettier form of fossilisation. She says her inspiration behind this series of works is born from the idea of taking time to stop and look. I am a great fan of this. A huge fan in fact. I never take my phone out on public transport. Why should I look at it when I have the world to look at. I never look at it at a bust stop when I pick up the best conversations with those next to me. I dont have ear plugs as I walk down a path. How would I hear the birds? I dont listen to podcasts walking along. I might miss some event in nature. So when an artist actually says this is is her inspiration I want to shout and dance about and share her beautiful work with you. Wish more would too. Here are some of her captured creatures. This is one captivity I can happily be a fan of. The pictures come from Redhill Gallery where her work is currently on display.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Consciously Untagged -

The sense of liberation is palpable - back to mind bending monogamy and the joys of finding hidden passion on a winter's day.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Tagged, bagged and snapped up

Something somewhat unnerving has happened to me this week. I guess I am not the only one and certainly not the last to experience this. 

Suddenly I was getting notifications in my email of an account created on a site called Tagged.com. The email account was an old account of mine which I haven't used in years but to all intents and purposes I suppose it is still floating around somewhere in the ether. 

The next thing I know is I am getting notifications from a LOT of men, telling me that they are interested in me. Now perhaps that may have been a flattering occurrence, in another age or place, and I have no idea what picture they are looking at -another unnerving thing - but all I can say that it feels pervey and predatory and remarkably unsexy.

To Unsubscribe I had to enter a password which of course I did not know. So I referred to their customer support and they asked for a photo of me with the time and date, which my husband dutifully took. In effect a MUG SHOT ! Whether this is another scam I do not know but it was from the Customer support team which I can only assume was genuine. I needed to produce one of these to be allowed to be uncoupled from this loathsome site. It felt as if I was the criminal in the action, not the other way around. I have sent off the mug shot and await deletion with considerable anticipation. 

Sunday, 3 July 2016

The Karpass in Cyprus

This is the pan handle region of the island - the long bit which extends out towards the Eastern Mediterranean and this is a sparsely populated area which holds some of the few Greek Cypriots who refused to leave their land and houses when the Turkish army moved into these areas in 1974. They were the brave ones who stayed, who continue to live there and plough the land, attend their church and live their lives. They endured considerable hardship and over the years their numbers diminished as the younger people went to the south of the island in search of jobs and a better life. This is the area we have come to visit and we travel up a new highway but on either side miles and miles of empty scrubland. We stop at bays, landmarks and destroyed churches to remind ourselves at once of the beauty, the futility of war and the endurance of the human spirit.

We stayed at a small resort on a beautiful cove run by an enterprising Kurd. He greets us happily and some of his staff speak a smattering of Greek. Much better than our Turkish. We are made to feel welcome and the breakfasts are a feast. The area around Ayios Philon is rocky and rough, with some magnificent monuments and churches which stand proudly close to the sea. They once welcomed congregations of a populated and sea faring people. Now they lie, ruined and forlorn.
This picture taken from the Ring of Christ. com. 

Travelling through the villages we see the minarets standing side by side to the Greek Orthodox churches and the mixed villages housing both communities. We reach the south side of the pan handle and there stretching for miles are pristine white sandy beaches and the most welcoming seas. The tourists are few, the establishments almost primitive and I am told soon to be removed from this area completely as it will come under the protection of a nature reserve, but for us today it offered the glaring intensity of the sun, the blistering heat of the white sand, a swim of several kilometres and some welcome food. 

Travelling back towards Larnaca however we go through the area of Boyazi, once a sleepy suburb of Famagusta which when I was growing up was sparsely populated. Now a bustling town supporting the University of the Eastern Mediterranean as they call it. I look around me, almost incredulous about how much this area has changed compared to the undisturbed area we have come from and  know that the many attempts over the years to solve the division of Cyprus, have become harder as each year goes by. Its 42 years since 1974. You cannot unpick this, ignore it or sweep it under the carpet. Every year that goes by will mean less people left who go back far enough to pursue the dream of a reunited Cyprus. And for those young ones, born since then, a homeland in half is what they come to know. 
Will that be their future ?