1st June 2017
Five days after my final ever University exam. My exams hadn’t gone as well as I’d hoped they would but I wasn’t surprised. I couldn’t bare to study for about a month after we’d broken up. Not because I was still wallowing, I wasn’t- I just couldn’t bare the thought of a quiet room and trying to concentrate. Instead I spent my first months of singledom serial dating rather than reading my books. I wasn’t looking for dates though- they were finding me.
My grandma, my favourite person
You know how people have that resting bitch face, I’m quite the opposite. I’m pretty approachable and end up talking to everyone I meet. And I want to- I love people and their stories. Just like you’re here reading mine- love it or not. Anyway, I was just glad my academic career was over. Law wasn’t for me- too black and white.
I hadn’t shifted any weight like girls usually do post-break up; my Khloe Kardashian revenge body still pending. I was eating way too much seafood pasta and risotto over dinner with different guys- some with really good conversation, others not so much. I was really varied in my choices (in men, not dishes- carbs forever). I dated a masters student for a good while from University- a gentlemanly Nigerian who reminded me of a young Idris Elba. Then I dated a local lad- a really sexy painter and decorator. He was a dream to look at but too hot-headed. I tried to get back on-track only accepting dates with guys who I thought were better suited to me. I tried an Oxford Law graduate, one doctor, a med student, his 6’6″ boxer friend whom I preferred, one of my sisters friends (when he ordered breads for the table as well as starters I was quite sure he was the one- I couldn’t have been more wrong) and one amazing scouser who has received millions of pounds in investment for his app. Loads of interesting people, none of them quite right. I’d met loads of guys who were perfect for me on paper- but I realised that simply ticking boxes doesn’t create a spark.
After a string of dead-end dates, I was made up to be on my way to Cyprus with my grandma and my sister. My grandma is quite possibly my favourite person in this world. Growing up without a dad, she stepped in and supported my mum every step of the way with me and my two sisters. She’s my number one fan and always has been. When I wanted to be a superstar she told me I could, when I told her I wanted to be prime minister, she told me I was just what the country needed, and when I told her I wanted the highest paid graduate job in the country she had no doubt I’d get it. She is a strong, outrageous, hilarious and intelligent woman. It’s difficult as she gets older, her memory is fading, but I will always remind her that this is exactly how I feel about her. Sometimes she seems a shadow of her former self but she’s still there in glimpses. I’ll take the glimpses and run with them. I was going to make sure she had a gorgeous holiday.
That feeling when you step off the plane and the heat hits your face. I’m not sure you can beat it. It’s funny every year how you feel regretful about your choice of airport attire knowing you’ll be too hot when you get to your destination, but since you flew from rainy Manchester you really had no choice.
My first thought about Cyprus had something to do with the airport officials. The men- delicious. Tanned skin, just the right amount of facial hair and masculine. I might be able to forget about my break-up and the manic dating that had followed easier than I thought.
Louis Infinity Blu, Cyprus
Louis Infinity Blu Hotel, Protaras
As we pulled up to hotel I was absolutely delighted. The hotel was everything that the pictures had promised and more. It was small- a boutique style hotel if you will. It’s cosy size screams exclusivity and relaxation.
All white marble, simplistic and minimalistic decor with accents of traditional Greek character. The hotel is shielded by glass windows which stretch from ceiling to floor. The right balance of contemporary, modern and Greek.
The pool area looks like a piece of landscaping artwork. More white. It over looks the sea in an almost- Infinity pool fashion. Sun loungers are spread across the pool area with good spacial awareness. There is, in my opinion, nothing worse than sunbathing on top of someone. Be assed with tan lines just because Janet next door wants her brolly up. There are no sun-bed wars at this place either, at least not in June.
As we arrived in the reception area we were greeted with Prosecco and Fresh orange cocktails. We took a seat before heading to our room- where we would become delighted some more. My gran ordered a glass of white wine- her favourite. She’s not a Sauvignon snob like me- she’s an ASDA 3 for £10 kind of gal. I joined her on the wine front. The bar man asked that we not go to the bar to order drinks as he would look after us from our table. My gran’s eyes beamed as he brought a full bottle. They offered us to taste the wine- not typical of an all inclusive hotel.
Usually what you’re given is what you get- and it’s usually cheap local shit. I didn’t bother tasting, even though I sometimes fancy myself as a sommelier. The wine was delicious. Semi-sweet. The glasses we drank from were divine too. The shape of a wine glass is important and says a lot about a place. These glasses stood extra tall with a thick stem, the bowl extra wide and perfect for cupping. The type of glass you sip from in a restaurant and secretly think about popping in your bag to take it home.
Our bedroom suite
Slate grey flooring, blue under-light beaming beneath the beds and fixtures. So much space. Pure luxury. Walk in wet room. Flat screen. Gorgeous balcony looking over the Cypriot ocean. Great air-con (vital). The fridge full with fresh baguettes, sandwiches, cakes, drinks and a note to ‘help ourselves’. Solid wifi too, if like me, you can’t part with Snapchat for a whole week.
The centre of Protaras is a few minutes away in a taxi and is definitely my favourite night life scene in Cyprus. You’ll hear about Ayia Napa and the madness we got up to there in my next blog. In Protaras there’s lots of upmarket shops- a great Tommy Hilfiger but there are still those traditional Greek shops for souvenirs and cute ankle bracelets for all your girlfriends.
Cypriots know their music. The bars tend to play 90’s and early 2000’s r&b – originals and amazing remixes. You’ll hear a lot of current stuff too- but the tone is mostly hip-hop and r&b with a dance twist.
My favourite bar there is undoubtedly a bar called Bliss. Having gone on a Cypriot bank holiday weekend it was really busy and we got there just before they cordoned off the outdoor bar and rolled out a red carpet. From 11pm onwards it was guest list only. We drank overpriced cocktails and smoked passionfruit shisha under the fireworks. Just gorgeous. For something a little more cheap and cheerful there is a fabulously rowdy karaoke bar next door called Zodiac. We had a brilliant time there too.
If you don’t fancy jumping a taxi and want to stay closer to the hotel there is a bar called The Ranch Bar where there is different entertainment each night. It was here that I met the Londoner.
Here she is, my grandma
He was here for his brother’s wedding and I sensed was a little bit miffed that it wasn’t him getting married. We got to talking about relationships and I told him I have a long list of non-negotiables. He ventured to to ask what they were. I began: ‘6 foot and over, no children, hilarious, generous, great job, preferably dad bod…’. He stopped me in my tracks and told me that my list was self-limiting and I was only making it harder for myself to find happiness. He asked if I fancied fucking off my list one night this week and going for a drink with a guy who has two gorgeous children and is under 6 foot- although he admitted he did have a great job and was pretty generous. I hadn’t gotten round to telling him that assertiveness was one of the other things on my list but he ticked that one now too. I agreed and we met for a drink.
You’ll know from my previous blog that it was him that really encouraged me to travel having spent a stretch of time in South East Asia himself. We spoke about our respective home-towns. North vs South. He told me I should move closer- in mistaken translation over the music I replied ‘No- you move your chair closer’. He laughed and said ‘No I meant closer to London babe- but I’ll sit closer to you if you like’. He could move his chair closer that was fine- but I’m staying in the North West.
We were the last in the bar and hadn’t noticed- in that corny movie-like way. He walked me home but we didn’t kiss. Was this an old people’s thing? No kissing on first dates? Chivalry and all that?
We met again. Nice. Definitely kissed. We met again on UK soil- really nice. We’re at different stages in our lives and he’s letting me do my thing. Who knows.
So I returned back to the UK from my lovely family holiday, graduated, signed my employment contract and then headed back to Cyprus on a one way flight with the intention to hop across some Greek Islands. I was joined by my funniest friend Elle for the first week. She’s my only single best friend too.
We might have been in Cyprus, but we technically went to Norway, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Lebanon too. Oh and Hull! You’ll hear how in my next blog…