Day 12: Sandblasting and a BBQ to round off a fantastic holiday

Instead of going into Paphos as we’d originally planned, we stayed on base as it was going to be too many late nights for my youngest cousin. We went to the beach for a few hours and were lucky enough to get a lounger each. I finished my book which had been really irritating me and managed to get a bit more colour on my skin. I’m no longer the same colour as the cushions!

We’ve just had tea, or should I say a feast! My cousins went all out on the BBQ – hulumi cheese, belly pork, pork chops, sausages and of course salad and pittas. I’m stuffed! Hulumi and guacamole are two food surprises for me – nice to have occasionally I think. Another meal I’ve enjoyed a fair bit out here is omelet. I had a shot at making one today for lunch and it looks like I’ll be making a few more!

My case is all packed and we’ll be leaving for the airport around 9pm as I’m already checked in for my 11pm flight. I’ve had a fantastic holiday out here in Cyprus with my family. I’m looking forward to seeing them when they move back to England in the autumn. My next international trip is Berlin with my scouse guides in a few weeks time. Until then it’s back to work as I’ve got to make as proper start with my dissertation research and I start my summer job in a week. This holiday has been just perfect for relaxing and unloading from second year, to get refreshed in time for a hard-working summer!

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Day 11: Happy Armed Forces Day!

This morning was another laid back one. We had a bit of a lie-in, followed by a smoothie breakfast. Once everyone was ready, we went to Limsoll for lunch.  Lunch was another variation of a Cyrpian mixed kebab – marinated chicken and beef strips with a full Cyp salad and chips. It was delicious! I’m going to miss Cyprian pittas and feta cheese when I go home. I’d like to try and find a recipe for the dip that we had with the meal (as per my memory of its name is naff but it was garlic and cucumber). I also did a bit of gift shopping – I bought a fan and bath set for my stepsister’s 30th, a lace umbrella for my neice, and a thank you gift for my cousins alongside some little personal nic-nacs.
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This afternoon we got a coach from the base to Happy Valley to celebrate Forces Day with a fantastic music festival. The first couple of acts were a bit wishy-washy, but the evening picked up after the Jukebox band. There was something for everyone there – punk, rock, modern, opera – a brilliant mix. The local military wives performed alongside the headline act ABBA Forever. We took a picnic and some chairs – it was like a sunny, less crowded Glastonbury – and I couldn’t think of a better way for me to spend my last proper evening out with the family.
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Day 10: A one of recovery

So after last nights antics, it’s safe to say that most of us weren’t feeling 100% human. I’ve never had a hangover yet and surprisingly I didn’t have one this morning. I didn’t feel brilliant, but I was definitely better than my cousin! He was properly hanging.

I ended up missing my gym session because I got up when they were meant to be going, but my cousin was still unconscious. I went back to bed and woke up at 9am. I thought they’d already left, so jumped in the shower to clear my head before our champagne breakfast, only to be asked while in the shower if I wanted to join them! I said yes but was misheard (he was still feeling rough) so I missed the gym in the end. It was probably a good thing to be honest. We also missed out on the champagne breakfast as it was too late to fully appreciate it. Instead we went to one of the clubs on site. After that it was lie down indoors and try to recuperate for tonights activities.

First we went to a leaving do down on the water sports beach. It was a bit dead as it was competing with another event. We left the beach and went to the other event which was a family fun night at one of the bars. It was a decent night, the company made the evening though – they are so warm and welcoming!

Tomorrow is looking to be a cracking day as we are going into Limsoll in the morning before catching the bus from base to Party in the Park. I can’t wait!

Day 9: Way too many brandy sours!

Lordy knows how this is typed as it’s twenty-five to midnight and I lost count with the brandy sours after 5. And that was at four pm! I’m the drunkest I’ve ever been as in the world is actually spinning so thank goodness for spell check on mobiles.

Basically as I said yesterday it was a lazy morning – lounge around in the sun and hope to get some colour to the skin.  We had to be at the Mess by 2.30pm for a sit down meal but not a formal one as it was for one of the leaving officers. The meal was lovely – prawn and avocado caesar salad (didn’t rate the prawns or avocado that much so I just had lettuce! ), followed by belly and loin pork for main, with cheesecake for desert. Yet it was still not enough to soak up the rounds of drink! I’ve had white wine, port, bacardi, and as I said, too many brandy sours to count! As proof for how bad I am, I agreed to be up at 6.30am to go to the gym, when I’ve managed to avoid it all holiday! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself though. It’ll be a miracle if I’m not ill by the morning and thank goodness for spell check/predictive text on mobiles. As for that goodnight and God bless!

Day 8: Rewarding hard work

So today was results day for my second year of uni. I found out before I walked the dog this morning that I had passed second year (which I probably should have guessed given I was emailed about my dissertation supervisor yesterday) but I had to wait until 2pm (4pm here in Cyprus) for my actual grade.

This morning we went to a Roman archaeological dig site which was a fascinating trip out. It was amazing to see what they had uncovered – the theatre was huge and the mosaics were very pretty. The view out to the ocean was equally beautiful. Lots of photos were taken so hopefully I’ll have given it some justice!

After lunch we went down to the beach for a few hours and it was the coolest down there that it’s been since I got here. The temperature hasn’t succeeded 30º today but it’s been very humid. I’ve changed my lotion down from 50 to factor 20 and already my freckles have started to develop into a decent tan. I’ve only got a couple more days to make it look like I’ve been abroad after all.

When we got back in the house, it was time to check my results and it’s safe to say I couldn’t have been happier! I got a first for both sides of my degree for second year. I’m absolutely over the moon. It just goes to show that sometimes hard work does pay off. As a reward we went out for tea to the nearby Italians (off base for once!). We had a three course meal – bruscetta, baked macaroni cheese followed by chocolate mousse cake. Decadent heaven! Especially with two brandy sours.

And so begins my days of decadence. Tomorrow is going to be a relaxing morning as we are going to a leaving do at the Officer’s Mess. Apparently tomorrow is going to be messy! I’m looking forward to it though, a chance to let my hair down – which I’ve definitely earned!

Day 7: How much is that doggy in the window

In the end we went into Limsoll this morning with the intention of renting a bike each and cycling along the coast. However, the bike rental machine was a bit too much of a faff and the instructions weren’t all that clear, even in English. It was a bit like the type that you get in London so we were looking forward to doing it but in the end we walked along the sea front. Or tried to. A lot of the walk was sealed off as it’s being revamped. This included the bit with the interesting architecture on it. Despite this we still had a pleasant walk and treated ourselfs to a slushie and an iced coffee. Just what we needed to combat the 33º heat!

As we were walking back we decided to do some window shopping which was when we noticed the pet shop with some puppies sitting in a little pen. They were the cutest things ever and it was really hard to walk away from them. Instead it’s made me more determined to own a dog when I’m in the right situation to care for it properly. Cyprus has a serious problem with stray cats and dogs and it breaks my heart. There is a dog which was abandoned out on the nearby salt lake which is surviving purely on luck and kindness. Whenever we pass it, we always stop to give it food and drink. It won’t get too close to people so unfortunately it still lives out there. People who can be so cruel truly baffle me.

Anyway, we went into some lovely shops, including a fantastic soap shop which smelt amazing. Once we’d had lunch I took my cousin to the swimming pool on camp (it truly has everything on site!) and we spent a couple of hours there. I swam for a bit then played water volleyball with him. I’m turning into a right prune! I think I’ll get back into swimming when I’m home as it’s a gentle way to exercise.

On a slightly more serious note, I received an email confirmation of my dissertation supervisor so when I get back, I’ll have to crack on with my research. Hopefully I should get my results for second year tomorrow as well.

Day 6: Lazy sensible sun worship

This will just be a short one today because it’s been a chillax and kick back day. This morning we walked the dog then spent a couple of hours down at the beach. There was a lovely breeze and it was a well needed switch off time. Lots of sun tan lotion and water was used throughout the day though so while I didn’t burn, I should get a nice bit of colour on my skin. I also spent some of the afternoon out in the garden but the temperature was creeping up so I was mainly under the shade.

Tomorrow I was going to go on a try dive but it was fully booked, which was a shame as I quite fancied giving it a go. It was a taster session of scuba diving which I think I’d enjoy – I like snorkeling (once I remember which way to breathe out of) but I can chalk it up for another time. Instead we are going look at some architecture on the coast. What ever I do, it’ll be up here tomorrow evening!