Time in Cyprus is a movable feast. There's 'real time' and there's 'Cyprus time'. If a concert or play is advertised as starting at 8.00pm, the chances are it will actually begin around quarter past eight, maybe even twenty past. In other words, 'eight o'clock Cyprus time'.
This suits Richard, who's never had the greatest sense of time. This morning, considerably better after his infection but not yet 100%, he said he would just pop into the office for 'a few minutes'. He went at about 11.00am. He got home at half-past one.
I begin to think it must be catching. Tim always used to have an excellent sense of time. This afternoon, however, he went - for about the third time in the past few days - to try and help some friends with email/internet problems. They picked him up at 2.30pm. I reminded him that he had a singing lesson at 4.30, and suggested he might take his backpack, but he assured me he would only be 'a few minutes'.
At 4.20 I suddenly realised he had not come home so picked up the phone to call his mobile, only to realise that a car had just pulled up outside our house. I went out, and Tim was sitting in the car talking to our friend.
'Um, are you going to get to your singing class in time?' I asked.
'Why?' he said. 'It's only about four o'clock, isn't it?'
Our friend would have taken him to his class, but Tim first of all had to grab some papers, and then pop around the corner to make ten photocopies of something, so he said it would be quicker to walk.
Oh well. He should have got to his class by about twenty to five, and I suppose that's 4.30 Cyprus time.