It seems as if we were away for months while we were in the UK - we did so much during the past four weeks. We stayed in three different homes and spent time with a large number of relatives and friends. Both the boys bought professional level musical instruments they had been wanting for a long time, using some money they had inherited, which took quite a bit of travelling and trying things out. Richard spoke at four different churches, too.
But one of our primary aims was clearing out the last of our possesssions from our home in Birmingham, since we're hoping to sell it to one of the people currently living there. There was far more than we had expected, so it took three days just to sort it roughly. We gave about four carloads of stuff to charity shops, took about the same amount to the municipal dump (why did we keep such rubbish?!) and the rest we moved to the garage belonging to some friends of ours, not far away. we then re-sorted with more space, got rid of a bit more, and packed the rest into boxes to be shipped out to Larnaka via sea freight. Here's Richard with the majority of it:
- which might not look like a huge amount, but there was more behind that front layer, and more still just out of the picture on the left. The whole came to seven-and-a-half cubic metres. What a relief it was when it was collected, although we weren't so happy to discover we had managed to miss an entire bookcase of books which we had to sort through a day later, and bring out as part of our luggage.
We also bought some necessary clothes - mostly from Primark and Bewise - and various other bits and pieces which kept mounting up until we found we had about 160kg of luggage between us. Oops. The limit for checked-in luggage is 20kg per person, and hand luggage is supposed to be under 6kg per person although we've never known it to be weighed. We ended up leaving three bags of books in Richard's mother's attic for next time. We packed our hand luggage rather fuller than we should have done, and still found our main bags came to 108kg. We hoped they would allow it through as Richard is a frequent flyer with Cyprus Airways. As it turned out, the check-in girl barely looked at the weights of our bags. Possibly this is because the flight wasn't full so they could allow a bit extra.
We took off at 11pm last night, nearly an hour later than expected, but the flight was otherwise uneventful (thankfully!) and we landed at about 5am Cyprus time. All the luggage arrived safely and we were home - exhausted - by about 5.45.
Our fourth cat Tessie had apparently vanished several days ago; the lady looking after our house was very worried about her but thankfully she reappeared early this afternoon looking much thinner than usual but otherwise healthy. We can only imagine she must have got shut in someone's shed or garage.
More tomorrow - perhaps - when I've had a chance to edit a few more photos.
PS - no, that tall box in the picture doesn't contain a new enormous widescreen TV!! It's a box that belonged to someone else, and contains a bookcase that belonged to my grandfather. Packed inside the bookcase (which has removable shelves) are several bubble-wrapped oil paintings done by my grandmother.