Category Archives: Lifestyle


During my army service i was frequently given the task of instructing a class. Sometimes young men my age but also national guard reserves, men older than my father at the time. As anyone who has ever served in the National Guard here in Cyprus can tell you these classes were a living nightmare. They were very repetitive and because i had to do a lot of them after a certain point i got really good at it. There were a few, rare times when everything clicked and i got a sense of reward and satisfaction that i still remember to this day.

It’s funny then that i rarely got that feeling at the university and then later on in my professional life. My highest academic/professional achievement is possibly qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. It was not a sense of achievement that i felt after each exam i passed and then finally qualifying. It was a sense of relief.

However, i get this warm, satisfying feeling when i read books with Sophia. Last week we played a card game, then i read The Secret Garden to her and then we played something else as well. Out of the three she said she enjoyed the book the most. That made me feel great.

I also have this feeling when i teach board games to new people. People who want to learn. I could see it in the eyes of a 6 year old boy and his father’s while i explained King of Tokyo and then all 3 of us played it together at the Cyprus Comic Con. I saw it when i played Blueprints for the first time with two teenagers from Paphos. We finished a complete game and then they wanted to play again.

But what can i and what should i teach?

It’s clear that i need to be passionate about what i’m teaching. That immediately rules out teaching a subject for the ACA/ACCA professional courses which was one of the possibilities i was considering last year. I don’t even know if would be able to but now i know that i don’t want to.

The second option is teaching and playing board games at different NGOs, homes for the elderly or youth groups. I spend enough time on board games as it is and i prefer to teach something that is more challenging. In any case there’s nothing to stop me from doing the odd board gaming event at these places every now and then.

Another option i’m considering is A(S) Level Economics which was my favourite subject in school and i followed it up with a BSc. Earlier this year i had a look at the syllabus. I have a lot of catching up to do of course but it’s possible. I would have to do this my way and I have some ideas. Also, a friend has suggested that i should check out the possibility of online tutoring.

Nothing is final yet and i’m open to other ideas, particularly training/teaching at the level of professionals (employed or unemployed).

I need this sense of fulfillment and achievement which is currently missing from my life.



Personal development

I want to teach.


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Tablet (2)

I enjoy sharing articles and videos a lot.

I used to do most of this using emails i.e. sending the link to specific groups of people who would be interested in the particular topic i.e. life, technology, board games, football.

Although I still do that, now i share most articles through facebook and twitter. This is something that has definitely improved with the tablet. With the Kindle i often read an article, made a note to share but then forgot to actually do it. Now i can do that instantly. It’s not only that though. I can now follow the links included in articles, something i could never do with the Kindle.

Of course there is a drawback with this.

I’m always tempted to share too many things because it’s so easy to do which can result in a flood of links and information. When you do this you basically end up spamming people. So sharing has become easier to do but now it requires more self control and a better filtering.

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Posted by on October 14, 2013 in Lifestyle, The Web


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I finally bought a tablet in September. The Nexus 7 (2013).

The main criteria were:

(a) size (i find the 10inch tablets too heavy and oversized) and

(b) price (Around EUR100-120 cheaper than Galaxy Note 8 and the Ipad Mini). Only the Kindle Fire competes at that price but i can’t use most of the Amazon features in Cyprus.

It looks like a fine tablet so far with some synergies when used with my Samsung phone. For example, once i first logged in to Google it started downloading all my apps and it also has the passwords of all the Wi-Fi hotspots i used with the phone. Which is actually a bit scary to think that Google has all these stored somewhere.

My main concern with the tablet was it’s useage.The tablet is just for consuming media and browsing the internet. I already do more than enough of that with the PC, Kindle and my mobile. With the absence of a physical keyboard it has limited productive use.

So far my concerns have been confirmed with some exceptions. Exceptions which are basically improvements as to how i do things.

Evernote – I had Evernote installed on my PCs and my phone for a long time now but i did not have a lot of use for it. Now, it gets much more use, especially for PDFs. I can now store boardgame manuals without needing to print them, save food recipes, articles and make notes which i can access from anywhere). Also it’s useful for reminders when i’m reading something. Take a screenshot of the webpage, create a note in Evernote and then set a reminder of what i want to do with that webpage. Very smooth and easy. I’m starting to scratch the surface of this fantastic software and it’s because of the tablet.

Get PocketI love my Kindle but there were articles which included photos and videos that were clearly meant to be read on the PC and tablet. Now i’m saving these to Get Pocket which is excellent on the tablet. The rest of the articles i continue save to Instapaper which i then read on Kindle. You can send Instapaper over W-Fi to your Kindle without needing a PC. As far as i know you still can’t do that with Get Pocket not is it supported on Calibre.

All-the-Cooks – In New Year’s Resolutions 2013/14 i mention that i want to do more cooking this year. Clipping recipes on the Evernote is one way to go. Another is using applications like All-The-Cooks. The screen is just right for reading instructions and adding the ingredients to your shopping list. I’m still not convinced that All-the-cooks is the right application for me but for sure the tablet is helping me work towards the learn how to cook goal.

These are what i have right now. I’ve also ordered a bluetooth keyboard to use, especially for Google drive, WordPress and my emails. It’s not for home use but just while i’m on the go. Hopefully, i’ll be able to do more productive work with it.

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Lifestyle


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Friday: Timesheet submitted

Weekly highlights but nothing worth mentioning this week.

Oh wait, apart from that possibly life changing thing with regards to my…….


Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Antidote, Lifestyle, T.G.I Zolos



Ayios Demetrios Park (more photos)

On Saturday i revisited the park once again to read the Weekend FT and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. This time accompanied by a Freddo Espresso (the first this year) and a croissant from Arabica Coffee House (should have taken pictures of these as well!!!)

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Parks & Recreation (Ayios Demetrios Park)


I don’t miss London life for the most part. I only spent my university years there and after i left, i honestly never looked back. The city life does not suit me. However, i did love the parks whether it was for playing football, jogging, walking and of course book reading.

This is something I’ve missed since coming back to Nicosia. Of course a lot have changed since then in this small and ugly miniature of a city. I’m fortunate enough to now live close to multiple small sized, green areas that litter Nicosia.

I will be posting about Nicosia’s parks every now and then (basically until i get bored or forget).

Let’s start with the one i most recently visited.

The Park of Saint Demetrios (Ayiou Demetriou) which is situated behind Makarios Hospital and the Municipality Sports Center of Strovolos.

This is actually a bigger and more organised park than i had realised. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you have children) it has a playground and a cafeteria but it also has benches (with backs!) scattered around the park. It has a enough thick foliage so that you can sit in the shade and is large enough to remain relatively isolated from most walkers, runners and cyclists.

Anyway, depending on the weather the park provides a good alternative to the air-conditioned (one hopes) Nicosia coffee shops.

Here are a few photos. I will post a greater variety of photos at a later date. Again, i might not…..

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What’s cheaper than coffee in Cyprus?

514px-Capuccino_freddo_1Whenever i used to go past a packed coffee shop in Cyprus i wondered why would people pay EUR2-5 for a coffee. I’ve come to realise though that unless people invite you over to their home, you can’t get a cheaper form of entertainment or leisure than that.  Not to mention that you have the opportunity to let your kids’ wrath loose on strangers for a few hours something which most parents do…..

I’ve been trying to come up with other forms of entertainment/leisure.

Dinner is definitely more expensive unless you manage to locate a good and probably obscure souvlaki shop. Of course you are paying for food and not coffee but it is still a matter of spending 2-3hrs outside your home. In this respect it is comparable.

Movies again more expensive (and don’t get me started on 3D movies) and there you depend on (a) quality of the movie but that’s mostly down to your selection and (b) the people in the theatre with you. My experience is that it’s more likely than not to be ruined by the latter.

I imagine you can go to a park like the one in Akropolis or Athalassa but unless you take beverages with you that’s still going to end up more pricey.

So, how can you be entertained outside your own home in Cyprus? Does it even cost less than a coffee at Arabica, Starbucks, Presse, Costa etc?


Posted by on June 4, 2013 in Coffee in Cyprus, Lifestyle


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Presence, Not Praise: How To Cultivate a Healthy Relationship with Achievement

Link – click me!

“Nowadays, we lavish praise on our children. Praise, self-confidence and academic performance, it is commonly believed, rise and fall together. But current research suggests otherwise — over the past decade, a number of studies on self-esteem have come to the conclusion that praising a child as ‘clever’ may not help her at school. In fact, it might cause her to under-perform. Often a child will react to praise by quitting — why make a new drawing if you have already made ‘the best’? Or a child may simply repeat the same work — why draw something new, or in a new way, if the old way always gets applause?”

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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Lifestyle


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Dubious Quality

It’s because of blog posts like this one that Bill Harris is one of my favourite bloggers.