Saturday, August 05, 2006

One month since we moved: day-to-day living

In some ways it feels as if we've been in this house for far longer than a month. The main part is reasonably organised (other than some boxes still in cupboards, and Dan's room which is a great muddle, and some painting which still needs to be done...) and when we made a list this week of things left to buy and/or do, it was surprisingly short.

At the same time, it still feels as if we're in the holiday/vacation period of culture change. I still can't quite believe that it's ours. Last night, driving home from an evening with friends, Richard needed to drop me home before going to see someone else who was briefly in Larnaka. He nearly took me to the old house. If he had done, I hope I would have noticed before getting out...!

Life is settling down, although as ever in Summer I tend to estivate. Less so than last year, but still it's difficult to do very much when the outside temperatures are in the thirties. [That's high eighties or nineties fahrenheit]. We do have air conditioning in all the rooms, but it's not particularly healthy to use them all the time, and would be rather expensive if we did! Much better simply to switch it on in rooms we're using, when necessary. We run them at 28C [82F] /which feels surprisingly cool. When my computer's on, I use the a/c since computers tend to be unreliable when it gets over 30C. At night we run them in the bedrooms, in economy mode, so that the cooling is only on when the temp is above 28, but they work as fan and dehumidifier all night. I also use the one in the kitchen if I'm cooking, and we sometimes use the living-room a/c in the evening if it feels particularly humid.

Twice this week I've been asked what my days look like. So if anyone's really interested, here's an approximate outline:

6am (ish) - get up in yesterday's clothes, open curtains, feed cats, have coffee, read, pray, etc
7.30am - empty dishwasher (oh, how I like having a dishwasher!), general dusting/mopping of floors (which get surprisingly grubby with dust and cat hair), quick clean of bathrooms
8.30am (or earlier, if possible) - out to Post Office, or fruit shop, or any other errands on foot, before it gets too hot.
9.00am - take Richard his coffee! Have breakfast (fruit and yogurt). Make new yogurt if necessary, put ingredients in breadmaker, put on washing machine.
9.30am - quick dust/mop of upstairs, or downstairs guest flat. Feeling very hot and sticky by now.
10am - have wonderful cool shower and get dressed in clean clothes!

On Wednesdays we usually have one or two of Richard's colleagues to lunch, so I clear out the fridge, make some salads, wash extra fruit, and possibly make some cake. On Fridays we do our weekly supermarket shop, so I get that unpacked and put away, then make the beds with clean sheets. On Thursday, when I've been to the Post Office for mail, I sort it and deal with anything that needs doing. On Saturday I do any necessary ironing (minimal, but at least it's bearable with the a/c switched on).

Other than that, I try and use the mornings reasonably constructively: I'm working through a Greek study book in the hope of finally mastering the language at basic level; I'm also working on a floral tapestry picture which I started over two years ago... no, it's not enormous, I just keep forgetting to do it. A little each day seems to be getting somewhere. I also do some writing, and hang out the laundry when it's finished washing.

I also try and do a bit of unpacking each day. I don't know how many boxes remain, but I hope we're more than half-way through. Of course, now we've found all the important things, it would be all too easy just to leave the others unpacked. But now we've finally bought somewhere, and hopeto stay here long-term, we feel we should sort through ALL our things, and either find a place for them or get rid of them.

Around 1pm we have lunch: fresh bread, cheese, salads, fruit, etc. Richard comes home for an hour, which is nice. Around 2pm most people here have a siesta for a couple of hours; if I'm really tired I might do that, but usually I switch my computer on. I might read and write email, get our accounts up-to-date, chat with Dan via IM if he's online, read blogs and forums, write blog entries, look at the latest news, play Babble or Sudoku, etc. I try and switch it off around 5pm as it would be very easy to spend hours and hours online and forget about 'real life'.

A couple of times a week in the summer we go swimming around 5pm for an hour or so, when the sun isn't too high but the sea is still very warm, then we eat something quick and easy afterwards. Other days I spend a bit longer cooking; I also fold and put away the laundry, water the plants (when I remember!), and empty the bins. We usually eat around 7pm in summer, or a little earlier.

After we've cleared away from our meal, and put the dishwasher on, we might watch a DVD together if we're all in, or possibly play a board game, although we haven't done so since Dan went away in January. Tim's out two evenings a week, and Richard has to pop back to the office two or three times a week, depending on who's there or what urgent project needs continuing, so I might read or knit (or possibly spend more time at the computer if I forgot to switch it off).

So there it is. Nothing terribly exciting, and in a week like this one, time seems to whizz by so I can barely believe it's Saturday again. Tim has spent most of today with friends in the 'studio' downstairs recording some music, and Richard's spent most of his time with his Egyptian colleague, who's returning to Egypt tonight. He wanted to buy one or two gifts, and there were a couple of things he needed to finish at the office and hand over to Richard. I expect he'll be eating with us tonight.

No comments: