Saturday, 2 January 2016

Boxing Day 2015

We woke this morning to a fine bright but cold morning and Mum and Dad were having breakfast before going home to Emba to feed Fred - we were then going down to meet up with them because for the last 20-odd years Mum and Dad, John and I have met up on Boxing Day and gone for a walk and followed the walk with pasties and mulled wine.  We have been joined over those years by a variety of people depending on where we have walked - apart from when John was on duty we never missed it and it has become one of our traditions.  Sadly last year at the time when we were just about to walk along the sea front in Latchi my lovely brother in law Richard lost his short and painful battle with a brain tumour and our world was left with an empty space as a result.  He had been a fine man, a true gentleman - a husband, father, son, son-in-law, brother-in-law, relative and friend and we miss him.

This year I felt we should mark the occasion in some way and so we cut roses from Mum and Dad's garden and went down to the sea and just around 11.00 we stood at the water's edge and remembered him in our own way and just at that point the sun went behind a cloud and for a moment we here in Cyprus and my sister and her family in England were unified.   Our traditional Boxing Day walk will now take on a new tradition as we mark 11.00 and Richard's passing together as a family.

Each year our walk becomes shorter and easier but it is good that Mum and Dad still make an effort even though they are 80 and 84 respectively and this year Dad has been under the weather.

We had chosen to just meander along the coast near the King Evelthon Hotel where it is easy and flat and warm in the sun.

The walk takes you past some beautiful villas and out in the distance you can see the original 'ship' which has been beached off of the island for many years.  Someone has built an interesting stone circle with local rocks and pebbles and is a perfect foil for the boat beyond.

It is a pleasant walk and it was good to get some fresh air and to take time to reflect upon the day.  We walked to the Rododafni complex and then sat down in the sun, leaving Dad and John behind Mum and I continued to the King Evelthon walking through the garden areas and along the sea front. 

There were a few people doing the same thing as us and there were a few very obvious tourists in vests and shorts taking in the sun.  If you had found a sheltered corner it was warm enough to sun bathe and maybe even test the temperature of the sea water!

Mum and I wandered back towards John and Dad and stopped en route because we were very taken by a flower we could see.  It is very similar to the 'moon' flowers we have in the garden by they are white, bloom at night, and last for only one day.

Whilst we were admiring the flowers the owner of the Rododafni came out to talk to us and encouraged us to take some seeds.  Dad and I are now going to try and get at least one to grow.

It was only a short walk but it was a good one and on a very pretty stretch of the coastline.  Dad was saying that when they first moved over here that area was a wasteland with no development whatsoever but that was over 25 years ago.  They have at least retained a nice walk and easy access to the coastline and although people may not like the beached ship it is an iconic landmark nowadays.

We returned to the bungalow in Emba for our traditional lunch of pasties.  Every other year these have been cooked and wrapped and placed into a coolbox which had warm sets inside so that when we were ready to eat the pasties would be still hot.  The downside to this is that because they are wrapped the pastry can get a little soggy but no-one minds because they still taste nice and it is a welcome change to the heavy food of the previous couple of days.  This year we had them freshly cooked on our return and they were accompanied by some of Tanith Messenger's mulled wine.  We have to admit that they were probably the best pasties we have had for many a year.  They were fabulous and we were given a pasty-pie to take home with us that we will savour in the week.

I don't know how much longer we will be able to do this or how much longer Mum and Dad will want to make the pasties but for as long as they can we will and we will endeavour to do so because now Boxing Day takes on an extra significance for us.

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