PREFACE FROM NORTH CYPRUS

In 1972 I travelled to Australia for a working holiday of, perhaps, one or two years. So much for plans.  Apart from two years when I lived in the UK in 2002-4, I ended up staying Downunder for close to forty years. I met my life partner and now husband, Bryan, in 1977 and we are still together 36 years later.

Then, in December 2010, the day we moved into our new home on the hinterland of the mid-north coast of New South Wales, I suffered a rather bad case of heatstroke. When the ambulance officers arrived, I had a blood pressure reading of 220/160 and a pulse of 40.  The officers were worried I’d have a major stroke and shuffle off this mortal coil before they got me to hospital.  My husband, Bryan, who was following the ambulance down the road to the hospital in our car, had no idea if I’d be alive when we got there.

Being a tough old biddy, I did survive and my husband was relieved to find a walking, talking, living Mo when he entered the casualty department of the local hospital.  I guess it wasn’t my time to pop my clogs.  However, a quick shuffle to the Pearly Gates and back does tend to concentrate the mind. We started considering our future, given that our family lived back in the UK. We eventually both decided that we felt our time in this huge, wonderful continent had come to an end. It was a great surprise to us, as we loved living in Australia, but it was such a strong feeling, we both listen to our intuition and we felt we had to honour it.

We did not want to return to the UK due to the weather and the cost of living. Finally, after doing a lot of homework, we decided to move to the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus. Bryan had lived in Famagusta as a child when his father was serving in the British Army, and as an adult close to Paphos when he returned in the late 1950s as a member of the British Army.  He had loved his time on this small island in the eastern Mediterranean. So we decided to take a leap of faith and head for North Cyprus, which seemed less developed and more affordable than the south.  We wanted to live somewhere with the climate and outdoor living style of Australia, and with relatively easy access to the UK.

Going back a few years to 1998, we had our home in South-East Queensland up for sale but had no idea where we wanted to move to. One day Bryan came in and said he’d had a vision of a sea or lake between two hills or mountains which had been incredibly clear to him. He looked quite shaken as he’s very logical and not given to visions of any kind.  We never saw anything remotely similar to this vision and over the years it faded although it was never quite forgotten.

When we first landed in Cyprus, we stayed in a house close to the Karpaz Peninsula. Things didn’t work out in the house we had rented, so we set out shortly after our arrival to drive to Kyrenia and check out this area of the island.  As we drove up from the Karpaz, we crested the hill between two mountains either side to see the Mediterranean sparkling in front of us, a brilliant blue and stretching towards infinity, with a bright sun shining down from a cloudless sky.  This was the exact scene Bryan had seen in his vision fourteen years previously.

Aphrodite

Aphrodite

As for myself, all my life I’ve been drawing a triangle with loops on the end, in my mind, in the air or on paper. When we lived in Victoria – yes, we’ve moved around a lot, our friends call us Geriatric Gypsies – I created a painting full of these looped triangles. It also had an island in the middle composed of a turquoise glass pyramid surrounded by seashells. The details were slightly obscured as I’d also added a couple of layers of net. This is the original painting and I called it Aphrodite.

In Bowraville, our last place of residence in Australia, I got the urge to re-visit this painting.  I took off the net layers, cut out the island, and complete re-created the background. This second painting was more lively and joyful, it had stylised birds in it, and I called it: “The fear of flight, the flight of fear”.

Exif_JPEG_422

Aphrodite Rising

It wasn’t until we were in North Cyprus that I revisited photos of all my paintings and I felt the hairs rise on my arms when I looked at the original painting. It was quite clear that the stylised triangles were, in fact, “A’s”.  At the same time, I realised that the second painting in this series represented the fear we faced at leaving Australia and landing in a strange country at the rather senior part of our lives.

It was also clear that the “A” stood for Aphrodite, because Cyprus is Aphrodite’s Island.  The Goddess of Love is reputed to have been arisen from foam on the sea in south Cyprus close to Pathos.  You can find Aphrodite’s Rock and Aphrodite’s Pool today in the area around Paphos. And just to round out the picture, in astrological terms, Venus (aka Aphrodite) rules my natal chart in astrology as I have my Ascendant, Sun, Mercury and Neptune in the first house, all under the benevolent gaze of Aphrodite.

In other words, I realised that I too had been drawn to Aphrodite’s Island, although why I have no idea.  I do know that the two of us love it here.  We feel at home. We love the kind, friendly and helpful people.  And where we live, just outside of Kyrenia on the north coast, we face north towards the Mediterranean and south towards the magnificent Bes Parmak Mountain Range which runs parallel to the north coast, from just before the Karpaz Peninsula to slightly west of Kyrenia.

Here’s the final painting in the Aphrodite series: Aphrodite Revisited

 We feel we’ve both come home. And I personally know that I’m now on Aphrodite’s Island to finalise my book which has spanned three countries in the making – England;  Australia;  Cyprus.

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19 responses

  1. What a beautiful story, and beautifully written! I drank up each of your words. Happy to ear you are well and find your way home. I wish you many more years of happiness together… On your island

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    1. Thank you very much, Hopeje, for your kind words, lovely to read your post first thing in the morning (and it’s back to sunny in Cyprus!).

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      1. Looking forward for a bit of sun as well

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      2. Enjoy the sun… Looking forward to have some as well

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  2. Yes, we get a lot more sun here than you do, so hope some pops up for you over Christmas and the New Year. Take care.

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  3. This is wonderful, Mo. I am enjoying your story a bit at a time. These epiphanies of Synchronicity just pull the breath right out of us, don’t they?

    Good to meet Kayla from dreamerly here!

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    1. Thanks, Rita. Yes, synchronicity is just amazing, a real gift in what can seem a whacko world sometimes.

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  4. What a great blog. I love the layout!

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    1. Thanks, I really like this format.

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  5. Lovely Mo.
    Life’s mysteries and connecting circles, writ large in your life.

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    1. Thanks, Cynthia, I have to be honest: the older I get the more mysteries I acknowledge in my life. Sometimes we don’t need answers, just to enjoy the magic!

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  6. You make me sound oddly sensible and boring 🙂
    Seriously, good to know there are others out there prepared to venture around this planet…

    Be safe, Spike

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    1. North Cyprus, Spike, is the first place we’ve lived for more than two years in 12 years, and still no talk of moving continents or houses – an absolute miracle. Take care yourself. Mo

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  7. We’re relocating (for much of the year) to the TRNC in mid November, to Alsancak. It would be lovely to meet up with another geriatric nomad!!!

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    1. Good one – you’ll love it here, people are great, cheap to live, would be terrific to catch up as we live in Alsancak too, near the three Merit Hotels. Will e-mail you off-line as don’t want personal details on the net. Good luck with your move!

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  8. Thank you on behalf of Daylight Tune Ministry to like our ministry poetry. May our poetry bless your hearts and minds 🙂

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    1. My pleasure, Yoshiko, thank your for your poetry.

      Liked by 1 person

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