So, our freight came and I was pretty occupied with finding space for books, and kitchen utensils.
But it didn't take THAT long, yet I don't seem to have written anything much for over two weeks. I suppose it's another odd time of year... cooler, but not cold. Dark evenings, but warm sunny daytimes. Only three weeks until Christmas, but despite the climate here being similar to that of Bethelehem, it doesn't feel like Advent. Even though we have Advent candles at our church, and poinsettias decorating the window sills.
Tim's had a really bad cold for the past week, and although the rest of us seem to have avoided it - so far, anyway - I've felt tired and a bit headachey for the past couple of days, and Dan's had a 24-hour gastroenteritis type of bug. At least, we hope it's a 24-hour one. The worst of it took place this morning. Even boiled water wasn't staying down at first, but I remembered a doctor's tip to give fizzy drinks, and dug out a bottle of Sprite left over from some party. It contains valuable electrolytes, apparently, and sure enough he found that was acceptable. Funny how something basically rather unhealthy can have good results during sickness.
Organised people are 'ready for Christmas' by about the end of November. One day perhaps I'll join their ranks, but I doubt it. We do better than we used to: most of the family's gifts were sorted while we were in the UK in October, and there are only one or two more to order. Online buying has made life a great deal easier in that respect. I made my Christmas cake a couple of weeks ago too. That always needs about six weeks to mature, ideally, and for once it should have it.
But the mincemeat and Christmas pudding ingredients are still sitting in the cupboard. Dan's thinking about a Christmas card design but hasn't yet produced one. We were thinking of taking some family photos but haven't got around to it. And our annual newsletter is no more than a few jottings in the back of a notebook, so far.
There's also a fair amount to do before Daniel joins the Doulos for two years. Such as booking his ticket to Germany on Jan 11th or 12th, where he has to go first for a conference! He also needs a new passport: his current one is a children's five-year passport due to expire at the end of next year. Apparently it can't be turned into an adult one, instead we have to buy a new full one. Shouldn't be a problem, but it means getting photos and going to Nicosia to the British Embassy. And probably hanging around for a few hours.
He probably needs one more vaccination before leaving, and we also need to sort out his medical and travel insurance, and the insuring of his laptop computer and clarinet while away. Oh, and I need to sew name-tapes onto some of his clothes... something I thought I wouldn't have to do any more once we started home educating. Just as well I kept the ones we didn't use!
Still, our church and some of our friends are generously helping with his financial support for the two years he'll be away, so that's very encouraging. And he did have most of the necessary vaccinations before going on the short-term trip in the summer.