My parents and sister moved to Cyprus in 2002. I, in turn, moved to Birmingham that very same year. I’m still not sure who got the best deal… (I am, they did. However, I have since moved to Nottingham so the balance has been restored). The reason I tell you this is that, every so often, I get to fly to Cyprus and see my family.

Now, I realise I am very fortunate to be able to come to such a sunshine place. Admittedly, I would far prefer it if we could all live closer to each other but, and I believe in seeing the positive in every situation, if we DID live nearer to each other, the chances are they wouldn’t have a pool outside their house and the nearest beach would be Bridlington. So, every cloud has a silver lining. Mind, if I went to Bridlington more often there would be a LOT more clouds. Just think of all that silver…

So, when I come and see my parents and sister at their house, for me, it is probably ┬ájust the same as when you go and visit your family. Mum tries to make me eat too much, Dad watches rubbish telly instead of quality programmes like American Idol (what!?! It is good…) and my sister and husband don’t see the excitement in going into town because they live here. So, although I love it because I don’t see them anywhere near enough, the destination is barely relevant. I am long past the holiday-maker stage. I really do do the things that I’d be doing if they still lived in East Yorkshire. However, that is not always wise.

Here’s What I Have Learnt Today About Running In Cyprus.

1) If you’re going to run around a village, high in the hills, it is probably not the best idea to wait until the height of the afternoon. Cyprus is already a hot country, the hills are a bit nearer to the sun than the coast, the coast is nearer to the cool breeze of the sea than the hills. In Cyprus, hills are dusty. They are also hilly. If you go running when the sun is at it’s hottest, all the aforementioned information suddenly becomes all too apparent.

2) Nobody really goes running in Cyprus. Certainly not in the villages. Definitely not at the time I went. This may be owing, largely, to the facts I have already relayed in the previous paragraph.

3) If you go running in Cyprus, random dogs will come out of nowhere and bark at you. They will also run with you. I learnt today that, no matter how small their legs, Cypriot dogs will keep up at your pace whilst barking continuously. Even if you run faster, they will up their game. I also learnt that, in some cases, small children will accompany these dogs. They will then call into a house and say something to their parents in Greek. Out of a combined fear of small, possibly rabid dogs and not knowing what children are relaying to their parents, I learnt that the motivation to keep running at pace is more forthcoming out here than back home in the UK.

4) In Cyprus, small villages that were once sparse and remote little postcard-esque places are now, essentially, big building sites. Because of this, roads are purposefully built to lead towards houses that aren’t finished or even built yet. Some lead directly to private houses. As a result of this, going for a “quick run” isn’t a possibility. Going for a “run where you may get lost and stranded in the heat for an hour longer than you’d ideally want” is an actual probability. It’s even more bizarre when you look up the hills and can see where you’re meant to be but can see any roads that get you there.

5) Attractive, Greek-Cypriot women aren’t attracted to me at the best of, if, indeed, any times. Looking like a pink, out of breath, sweating Brit isn’t going to help matters along. Especially when passing a glamorous looking lady and saying, “Hiya!” in the tone of a camp asthmatic.

So, here’s what I have learnt today about running in Cyprus. Don’t go running at the hottest point of the day because it is quite lonely and, even when you do get company, it will fill you with fear which is then added too upon the realisation that you are lost. None of these things will make you attractive to women.

Ultimately, I think, what I have learnt is that the term “fun run” is the biggest oxymoron of them all!!!

Time for a beer now, I think I have earned it!