Cyprus in the summer

16 06 2010

Well the summer is upon us and the good thing about living in Cyprus is that we get lots of visitors.
First an english couple are coming – I’m betting they’re going to find it pretty hot – it was 35 Degrees Celsius today. For those of you who use Farenheit that’s getting towards the hundred mark.
So we have decided to meet them in the Troodos Mountains. It’s a lovely shady spot with lots of pine trees and waterfalls and the temperature is usually about 10 degrees cooler. So a good place a have a Greek meze with plenty of feta, dolmades (minced pork wrapped in vine leaves) and freshly caught cyprus trout.
The following day we are going on a boat trip from Ayios Georgios in Paphos along the Akamas coast. There should be some spectacular views and we’re planning to stop for some swimming along the way near to Lara Bay where the turtles nest.
The next weekend family are coming and they want to see one of the famous Cyprus monasteries. So we’ll do some research over the coming weeks and let you know which are the ten best monasteries to visit in Cyprus.
Finally a friend is coming all the way from Los Angeles to Cyprus. He’s Jewish and he often goes to Tel Aviv in the summer which is only half an hour away by plane. He wanted to find out about getting a boat across to save money but I told him it’s probably not a good idea at the moment! He is actually getting a free ticket to go to Israel from Los Angeles as part of an American Jewish organisation. I’m very keen to find out more about this so as soon as I know I’ll pass on the information.
Anyway hope you all have a good weekend and if you’re at a loss about what to do why not pop over to Cyprus? Everyone else is!


Update from me

16 06 2010

I haven’t been on my blog for a while. Just to update you, I’ve been very busy making jewellery and selling it on Etsy and Dawanda. If you’re interested in buying my jewellery then go here to buy in USD 

3 06 2010

Review of the Arcotel Wimberger, Vienna

6 04 2010

I just got back from a long weekend in Vienna where I stayed in the Arcotel Wimberger. Here’s a quick review of my stay there.

I booked my stay at the Arcotel Wimberger through lastminute and it average at about 50 GBP per night. The hotel is located in the same area as most of the other main hotels and is just next to West Banhoff train station. The airport has a bus which will transfer you directly to West Banhoff for 11.50 euros return. It takes about 35 minutes.

The hotel is not very beautiful from the outside but once you are inside, it is peaceful and elegant. The staff were all very helpful and polite.

Our room was lovely and quiet. Although it wasn’t that attractively decorated. The hotel has a good restaurant as well as an indoor pool, gym, jacuzzi and sauna.

As the hotel is next to west banhoff, it’s very easy to get anywhere in the city. There is also a good cafe about 5 minutes walk from the hotel as well as a big street of shops about 10 minutes walk from the hotel.

How to sell on Dawanda

17 03 2010

My jewellery on Dawanda

The two main portals for selling handmade goods on the internet are Dawanda and Etsy. Etsy is by far the best in terms of layout and number of buyers on the site. However, there’s no point having lots of potential buyers if your products are swamped beneath masses of other people’s products – as is the case on etsy.

 Dawanda does not seem to have masses of buyers but it also does not have that many sellers either – I made my first sale within one day of listing!

 Here are my steps for how to sell on Dawanda.

  1. Register with the site. As with Etsy, your username will be part of your URL so choose wisely. Having said that, Dawanda will let you change your username unlike Etsy.
  2. When you register with Dawanda, you will be registering with either the English, German or French platform. Don’t worry too much about which one you choose.
  3. Produce a banner to go at the top of your page. Think about your brand identity and what you will be selling. Selling on Dawanda is competitive so you need to get all the edge you can over other sellers. It is possible to buy ready-made banners but it is just as easy to make a good Dawanda banner using Microsoft publisher and paint. All you need is a good photo to use as a background – publisher allows you to fade it or change the colours of the photo so it blends in as a background. Choose a nice font and write in your company name. I think it’s a good idea to also write a short sentence about what you sell or your brand motto and include that on your banner too. It is, after all, the first thing that people will see on your site. If you need to resize your banner, save it as a JPEG file on publisher and open it in paint. You can then go to image – attributes. It is then possible to enter in the pixel size required. This is very useful for producing Etsy banners as Etsy requires a specific pixel size for banners.
  4. Once your banner is loaded, you need to think about your shop policies. It is a good idea to offer refunds unless your product cannot be returned for hygiene reasons. Think about what your refund policy will be.
  5. Inform sellers about how you will package their purchase, when you will post it (after payment) and how long it should take for them to receive it.
  6. Set up a shipping profile. Think about how much your product weighs and look at the shipping rates used by other people. Some people opt to offer low or free shipping and incorporate the cost in their price. I’m not a fan of this as I think it is more honest to the buyer to separate out the costs.
  7. If you can, list your policies in German, English and French. It will give you access to a wider range of buyers. But make sure that what you’re writing actually makes sense.
  8. Before you even think about listing something, look at your product. Work out how much it costs to make, what price similar products are listed at, all your hidden fees (5% of sale price on Dawanda and paypal fees) and how long it takes you to make a product.
  9. Take loads of photos of your product. I will be writing a blog post later on that area.
  10. Get listing!

To see my site go to

Capital Coast Resort & Spa, Cyprus

2 03 2010

One of the benefits of living on a small Mediterranean island is that you can make use of all the off-season bargains. Although the winter in Cyprus is quite mild, it is still not warm enough to swim for at least 6 months of the year. This means most of the hotels are pretty empty. The recession has also hit the Cypriot tourism industry quite badly. One would therefore expect to spend the low season enjoying luxury hotels at half the price. Alas no!

The hotels in Cyprus have not quite grasped the idea that booking 100 people at half the price is better than booking 10 people at full price. However, this winter we found one hotel which is actually offering reduced rates. The Capital Coast Resort & Spa in Cyprus has been doing significantly reduced rates for the past few months. The deals can be found on the bookcyprus website and expedia. We managed to stay there for only 37 euros per night! Unfortunately, recently the price has crept up to about 50 euros per night (including breakfast) but it is still a bargain.

The price includes breakfast, a one bedroom apartment with cooking facilities and a balcony. The rooms are clean and often they will give you a partial sea view too. Unlike most hotels in Cyprus, the rooms have TVs which actually show decent channels such as BBC1 and ITV – a big perk for an expat with no TV!

The absolute best thing about Capital Coast Resort & Spa is that it has a fully equipped gym, indoor pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and plunge pool. All of these facilities can be used for free – in many of the hotels in Limassol they actually charge you to use their facilities.

Obviously there is a catch. The hotel is quite shabby in places. It could definitely do with some TLC and if you were paying full price, you might consider asking for your money back. However, at these prices, you have nothing to complain about!

How to Deal with Feline Acne

6 02 2010

A while ago I wrote a post about a little stray kitten that we found in the middle of a busy road. Scampington has turned out to be a delightful little chap who is exceptionally loving and rather handsome. However, he can be a bit too aggressive at times. Apparently mood swings and aggression are typical of cats who have been parted from their mother too young.


Occasionally, it feels like we are living with a teenager – one minute craving love and the next minute rebelling. To top off the feeling of having a teenager in the house, it turns out Scamp has feline acne. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as feline acne.

It’s just under his chin and looks like small black flecks – a bit like black heads. Unlike human acne, the flecks rub off. We had fed him out of some plastic bowls which we periodically swapped around but plastic is believed to be one of the main causes of feline acne. We have now bought him a little ceramic dish which we wash daily.

We have also been washing his chin with 6% hydrogen peroxide. Luckily his chin hair is white otherwise it’d get bleached!

It’s early days but hopefully these efforts will work.