Another week has vanished into the ether. It was a very humid week. Despite the temperatures staying at a fairly steady 32-33C during the daytime, which isn't too bad, the weather site told us it 'felt like' 36-39, and I think this was due to the high humidity, and lack of breeze. We found ourselves using the air conditioning rather more than previously, and were very thankful for it.
We did a lot of entertaining, too. No, not juggling or playing the piano: having guests for meals. We seem to have had more meal guests in the past six weeks than we had at our other house in an entire year. But this past week has been the most so far. On Wednesday, as usual, we had a couple of guys from Richard's office for lunch. No problem there - bread in the breadmaker, salads, cheese, tuna, fruit.
On Thursday evening we had three people for an evening meal. On Friday we had four others. Both times, they included people who were only in Larnaka for a short time, and had no other time free. I wouldn't have chosen to have two 'dinner parties' (as they used to be called) on two consecutive evenings, but we wanted to see all the relevant people so we had no choice. And we were very glad to see them all.
Air conditioning makes cooking possible in the summer months, so preparing the meals wasn't too difficult. Having a dishwasher makes clearing up afterwards far less of a chore than spending an hour and a half washing dishes by hand. Even so, by the time our Friday dinner guests left, I knew I was developing a migraine. A headache had been threatening for a few days, perhaps due to the high humidity, and it finally struck with full force. I spent much of Saturday lying down, taking powdered ginger in pineapple juice to relieve it somewhat, and eventually succumbing to paracetamol.
On Sunday we had yet more guests for lunch - friends who will soon be leaving the island, and whose schedule is busy. No problem - Tim usually cooks Sunday lunch, and we've had lunch guests most Sundays since we moved here. I was much better Sunday morning but decided not to go to church, so I made a dessert instead, and did the stuffing for the chicken. Tim did all the rest when he got back from church. It was a very pleasant meal and chat afterwards, and the migraine didn't recur (thankfully) but I was SO tired by the evening.
Alas, I could not curl up with a book and forget about the rest of the world.
This week the local English-speaking Protestant churches are running a Holiday Club - a Scripture Union one called 'Going Bananas'. It's one that I helped with at our UK church in 1997, shortly before we came out here. Tim, who was 8 at the time, went along; Dan, who was 10, was a sort of junior helper - he played in the band (on clarinet) and did one of the dramas. I think the age-range was probably 6-10, but he was never very keen on joining in silly games, songs etc as a child. But as a junior helper, he joined in enthusiastically.
Anyway, it's finally come to Cyprus. Tim has had the job of organising the 'banana band', the sound effects and the PA. I was asked, a few weeks ago, if I might be prepared to help... I said a tentative yes, thinking perhaps I could assist children cutting things out, or perhaps decorate the hall. Instead, I found myself as a small group leader (sorry, that should be 'cabin crew' member). I have the 5s and 6s. All props are prepared in advance, and most of the action goes on in the big group, but still I have to do a few activities and discussions with the group, assisted by two young teenage helpers.
On Saturday, amidst the heat, humidity, exhaustion and migraine, I wondered how I would manage.
On Sunday evening, we had to be at the church hall to help set up, find out what's happening today, and learn a couple of songs. I did NOT want to go, but made my way there... it was a bit chaotic but quite fun in an odd sort of way. A little less humid, too, thankfully. We were there for about two-and-a-half hours - I had expected maybe an hour. Afterwards, I was even MORE tired. I went to bed at 9.30 and was asleep within about two minutes.
Unfortunately, I woke about 2.30pm and then couldn't get back to sleep. So this morning I felt like a zombie. But went along to the church hall (er, that is, 'Banana Island') - and it all went extremely well. The children seemed to blend into groups quickly, were enthusiastic (if noisy), and interested. The people at the front, including the band, did brilliantly.
Moreoever, it was a little less hot and much less humid than last week. For which I am very thankful.