Living the Dream – 70. Water, water, everywhere.

Winter 2019-2020:

“So – last winter was the worst in 109 years? Hold my beer.”


The sky shook, sheets of lightning lit the room again and again. Mediterranean storms are quite the show. Spice’s formative months were during the long, wet, nights of last year, and I think we both have fond memories of house training by storm-light. Storms don’t bother us.

Mags, on the other hand, is unnerved by electrical storms. Once, in Sicily, she saw lightning flash through the window, striking the light fitting in the dining room. Experience is a great tutor and she has a perfectly rational preference to stay well away from storms.

Limassol, our nearest big city, took a hammering. The castle square flash flooded, temporarily closing several of our favourite restaurants.

Everybody is remembering last year and the endless-feeling rains. Surely it can’t happen again? Can it?


Contrarian that I am, I am determined not to let the weather affect me and have been swimming in the rain. Last year, when Nero was attacked, I stopped using the pool. My heart wasn’t in it. This year, I’m still swimming most days. My fellow residents consider me a lunatic for this. The pool isn’t heated, but even in the depth of winter, it stays comfortably in double figures centigrade. I have watched hardy Irish women bathe in the Irish Sea off Dublin in January. They’d probably regard our pool as a hot bath.


This week, we got caught in the rain on the golf course. For twenty minutes or so, it was decidedly unpleasant. Then, the sun came out, and by the end, I was dry and warm. Interestingly, of the 24 of us that started, only we 4 finished. Expats from the UK, Italy and Sweden felt the first rain drops and packed up and went home. Strange isn’t it? Mostly, people who have moved here say things like “I didn’t move here to play golf in the rain”. Presumably, they leave the golf course and drive home saying this to each other.

I’ve never understood that. Once I’m out, I’m out. If I get rained on, then, I’m wet. Wet is an absolute isn’t it? One is either wet or not wet. As a wet thing, more wet doesn’t make any difference. We played on and declared ourselves the winners by default.


As winter settles in, we are debating whether to pick up our learning-Greek careers. First, we were told that lessons would be on Friday from 1930 to 2100. I texted back that there was no way that I would be at night school on a Friday night. Lessons were moved back to Wednesday nights. Still, 1930 to 2100. I record 1857 on a Wednesday night, and frankly, I’m not overly enthusiastic about Greek level 2. Margaret is considering how much she wants to go – if she signs up, then I will. If she decides she has better things to do on a Wednesday evening, then our Greek will remain stubbornly level 1.

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Living the Dream – 29. Winter


Winter is here. Cyprus has one. No, I didn’t know either.

Many rejoice.

“The dams need filling.”

Recent arrivals look at each other, glum. Doubt wafts about. Nobody came for this.

Winter has got out of the blocks early, and with alacrity. The news reports that yesterday, we had a mini-hurricane. I doubt meteorologists would use such a term, but I find it accurate.


We are house-training our puppy, and her bathroom is on the terrace outside the kitchen. The floor is lined with “puppy pads” and we have a fence around it. At relevant moments, we lift her into place. Though open on three sides, the terrace does have a roof.

So it is, that several times, both day and night, we can be heard exhorting and encouraging a bemused canine:

“Go pee-pee. Good girl. Good pee-pee.”

Early in the morning, I stood in my dressing-gown sleepily observing that the post-dawn air was on the decidedly fresh side, that the last brandy of the previous evening may have been a tad unnecessary.

The sky darkened. Both Spice and I looked up, puzzled.  From bone dry to sopping wet, in half a heartbeat. Rain hit from two sides. No. Three sides. On reflection, from four sides. Dog and human were unanimous in utter mystification.

“What the …. was that?” I queried, not unreasonably.

Spice perceived the rhetorical nature of the question and intensified her stare.

With the benefit of hindsight, I suspect that she may have been hoping to communicate that we might more comfortably speculate upon the nature of the weather from the warm, dry kitchen, not two feet away, rather than in the midst of the spray.

Keep Calm and Carry On

The squall, or whatever it was, passed in ten minutes or less and no more than thirty minutes later, the sky was a dappled blue and the sun shone.

Either this is an unusual winter, or our luck continues to be poor. Wave upon wave of storm has rolled over the house. Thunder, lightning, hail and now, it would seem, a mini-hurricane. Weather is extremely localised on the island, but this wet, stormy spell appears more a general theme.

I have spent enough time in this part of the world to know that soon enough, we will miss the rain, and will be referring to the sun as relentless, rather than the storms.


However, I do feel for my sister-in-law. She is here for an extended break, hoping for warm, dry weather. Every morning, she comes into the kitchen where she is enthusiastically greeted by her new best friend, Spice, and looks through the window at the back-end of the latest storm system heading out to sea.

I’m not sure she believes me any more when I say,

“It’s usually much nicer.”

I’m not sure I believe me either.