Monday, 7 March 2016

New Website

My website has recently been updated and can be found at:
Robert Jaggs-Fowler

Monday, 29 October 2012

Thanks


'Just want to thank you both for allowing us to stay at your beautiful apartment.  The weather was super, the accommodation wonderful and all in all we had a great time.'

PC & HC
Nottingham

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A Happy Guest

'Having arrived back late last night from a wonderful week in Cyprus at your beautiful apartment I wanted to email you to say a big thank you.  It certainly lived up to the fantastic reviews we were delighted with it.  It is immaculately clean very spacious well equipped, very comfortable beds and good working utilities we really couldn't find fault.' 

RF
Manchester

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Guestbook for Epicurea


May 09
"Our first time in Cyprus, let alone Pissouri. What a wonderful place! The apartment was very comfortable and felt just like 'home from home'. It has even made us start thinking about a place of our own! Thank you for everything." James & Anna (North Yorkshire).

July 09
"Call that a barbecue? I thought we were going to have to do a hog roast for the entire village!"
Mark (Kent)

April 10
"Thank you for the information you supplied us with. It is the most comprehensive pack we have ever received."
MH (Worcs)

June 10
"We really enjoyed our stay in your apartment you have furnished it beautifully credit to you, most rented apartments are really basic and it was lovely to stay in one that we didn't really want to leave. Your Cypriot neighbours were a lovely young couple."
MH (Worcs)

June 10
"I want to let you know that we really enjoyed the stay in your house."
BK (Nicosia)

July 10
"We had a fantastic time in Cyprus. The apartment was really lovely and very comfortable and Maggie was very helpful on arrival and throughout our stay. We were very impressed with Pissouri, particularly its location on the side of the hill. From our point of view there is nothing that could have been improved upon. We certainly hope to return to Cyprus in future and would certainly consider staying at Epicurea again. Thanks for your very efficient preparation for our visit too."
CM (East Sussex)

Aug 10
Thanks for a wonderful stay at your home in Pissouri.
PD (Bedfordshire)

Sept 10
We did have a wonderful time in Cyprus. We loved your house and felt at home from the first day.
MC (Greece)

Oct 10
My family and I had a wonderful time and the accommodation was first rate. We must commend you on the comfort and quality of the beds as well since this can make or break a holiday as we've discovered in the past!
We will probably be over a few more times in the future and would not hesitate to rent your apartment again.
GG (Falkirk)

July 11
The accommodation was super, we loved Pissouri, and Cyprus was delightful. We will return.
DG (Staffs)

Aug 11
Thank you so much. Your apartment was fantastic.
SE (London)

Oct 11
We have had a wonderful time and appreciate the comfort of the apartment. I think it is the best of the many that we have used.
DL (Lincolnshire)

Nov 11
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in such a delightful apartment
BY (Hants)

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Reflections of a Tourident

The following article was first published in Pissouri Contact 46, 10 October 2009 (on-line: http://www.about-pissouri.com)


It is possible (albeit unlikely) that the Oxford English Dictionary will one day include the following entry:

tourident

noun. 1 a person who is new to, and still learning about, a community, but who owns and occasionally resides in a property within that community. 2 a cross between a tourist and a resident.

My wife (Linda) and I are touridents in respect to Pissouri, having taken possession of our new apartment in the village in the spring of this year, and only managing three short visits thus far. However, there are advantages in being in such a position.

One benefit is that Pissouri is still an open book to us. We know what the picture on the cover looks like, and have read the blurb on the fly-leaf. However, we have thus far only progressed through the first few chapters of the contents, and most of the story is yet to reveal itself to us. Some characters appear on a regular basis, there are constant introductions to new ones, and many more exist, of whom we have only heard snippets and have yet to physically meet. Meanwhile, we are gradually treated to two unravelling storylines, where the historical meets the contemporary; tradition meets modernity; Cypriot meets newcomer; different cultures interact. The result is a plot worthy of that classic English novelist, Thomas Hardy, and just as enjoyable.

One aspect which is very evident to us is that Pissouri is a community. It is not just a collection of disparate individuals, who happen to live near to each other (as is often found in cities). Furthermore, Pissouri is a friendly community, consisting of individuals who know each other, who live and work together, who share interests and visions, who depend upon each other, and who strive to achieve collective goals for the better of the society in which they reside. That is the outward face of Pissouri. For the new-comer, whether it is the casual day-tripper, or the tourident, Pissouri has the appearance of a congenial family.

However, like all extended families, there are naturally disagreements, arguments, irritations, clashes of personalities and, inevitably, a few 'black sheep' whose actions are unpleasant and disturbing. Linda and I have now 'read sufficient pages' of the narrative, to understand some of these issues. However, far from spoiling the 'picture postcard' image of Pissouri, these issues make Pissouri even more genuine; even more of a community; even more of a family. Perhaps surprisingly to some, therein lies the village's strength. Families must learn to live with each other and make allowances for the likes and dislikes of individual members. Where there are differing points of view, compromises have to be reached and harmony restored. That is the richness of family life. Without such interaction, relationships are bland and nothing is achieved. Diversity of thought should bring people closer together in order to find and develop the common ground. That is, I believe, what is happening in Pissouri, and has probably been happening for many years past. The rich tapestry which is the modern Pissouri is the summation of all that has gone before. The beauty is that every now and again, someone will twist the kaleidoscope and the picture will shift slightly again, bringing new dimensions to what is already priceless.

My thoughts will probably say nothing new to those members of the collective community of Pissouri who were either born in the village, or who have been resident for many years. However, as a tourident, we are looking at the community with a fresh set of eyes, and what we see is, overall, a power for the good. Linda and I feel that we have recently married into a new extended family. We are slowly getting to know how the family 'ticks', but what we have learned thus far is that Pissouri is a friendly and welcoming community, and one to be valued. It is a community we are glad to have joined.

And remember, when the word 'tourident' does enter the Oxford English Dictionary, it was here that you first read it!







Wednesday, 24 March 2010

We Have a New Garden!

One of the greatest delights of being in Cyprus at this time of year is the abundance of wildflowers. And if it is not the latter which is attracting your attention, then the almond and apricot blossom is en masse within certain areas, particularly up in parts of the Troodos. New shoots are also beginning to appear on the stubby gnarled trunks of the grapevines, with all the promise they bring.

However, this year a new pleasure awaited our arrival in Pissouri. In our absence, one of our friends, Stuart, has transformed the terrace at the front of Epicurea into a miniature oasis. Geraniums now burst from terracotta pots, an Easter Lilly is proudly displaying, whilst a Bird of Paradise is just reaching the stage of blooming. Other flowers lend alternative colours, alongside a cluster of Mother-in-law's Tongues, and artistically rock and wood arrangements. With the plants have come the birds, with sparrows chirping away as they hop around the gravelled bed in search of small insects.

As I write at 7a.m., the bright sunshine is picking out the red of the geraniums and the soft tones of the terracotta pots, making for an enticing photograph. All-in-all, it is a splendid transformation, making relaxing on the terrace even more pleasurable.

Cerebral Tai Chi.

'Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.'

So wrote Lawrence Durrell in his 1957 book, Bitter Lemons of Cyprus. He later described the necessary travelling companions in order to achieve this utopia; namely, loneliness and time, declaring them as 'those two companions without whom no journey can yield us anything'.

He was, of course, writing about his time in that wonderfully complex, Mediterranean retreat otherwise known as the Birth Place of Aphrodite. Indeed, it is where I am now writing, accompanied by a welcoming, though yet still cool, morning sun; its rays reflected by the expanse of yellow wild flowers and intensely luxuriant grasslands which rise behind my home here. The only sound is that of sparrows in a nearby carob tree, interspersed by the distant call of a wood-pigeon, and the soft mewing of a ginger cat, which has seated itself expectantly on the terrace outside my kitchen door, and which now stares back at me in the hope that I have something more exciting on offer than the occasional man-made 'meow' I return to it in the spirit of trans-cultural friendship.

Durrell is a writer I immediately warmed to. His work speaks of a man who understands the enormity of the mundane, the intrinsic value of indolence, the desirability of solitude, and the wealth of material residing just out of reach within the grey cells of one's mind, just waiting to be freed by the onset of some melancholically-induced cerebral exercise.

Cyprus is an island which allows for all of that. It is impossible to ignore the whispers from centuries past that filter through the rocks, like vapours through the pores of a living, yet antiquated, historical tome. 'Listen to me,' the land murmurs; 'listen and feel; listen and learn; listen and understand.'

So I listen, alone and unrushed. I allow the sounds of nature to filter through the labyrinth of neurones which somehow act as the repository of my thoughts; I let the rocky terraces speak to me of the island's origins and the tales of centuries past, laid down within it like seams of history, layer upon eventful layer, and I feel my mind tuning in to that same wavelength which endeared itself to Durrell, as it has to so many writers over the centuries. Yet, as I do so, my thoughts stretch, not just back down the monumental ages belonging to this island, but laterally across to the other side of the world, to the Caribbean Sea, where I sailed less than two months ago, and where, alone and with all the time in the world to muse, I cerebrally travelled back not just centuries, but through millennia, to the time of the world's earliest existence. It was a cathartic moment, and one which I tried to capture in a haiku:

Wave laps against wave:

wind's primeval voice echoes

from the start of time.

That, I believe is precisely what Durrell understood could be achieved from travelling introspectively, with time and solitude as one's companions. It is achieved through bouts of unmoving contemplation; that splendid quality the Moslems know as kayf. It requires no more than the gentle stretching of the grey cells. However, the reward is immeasurable.