It's a bit strange having been away for most of November. October is when Autumn starts - roughly - in Cyprus. Rain after months of drought, less humidity, pleasant temperatures. Jeans rather than shorts. Sweatshirts in the evenings. Light duvets on the beds. And all the music schools and church clubs and so on get started once more.
I suppose November is transition month, but we've missed that, being in Singapore. So now it feels distinctly chilly. We need to take our winter clothes out of the extra storage closet, and pack away the summer ones. We need to think about Christmas cards and a family newsletter. We need to think about Christmas presents, and Christmas lunch. I realised this when Tim (being our resident true Anglican) told me that next Sunday is the first in Advent, meaning that yesterday was Stir-up Sunday. I don't even know if the 'stir-up' collect is still used, but it's a good day to make Christmas cake and puddings, and mincemeat. That is, if you've bought the ingredients in the previous week, knowing that Advent is approaching fast...
On Saturday afternoon I was too tired to think about anything much. Yesterday I was so glad to feel human again, I caught up with hundreds of emails and overdue blog posts. We felt a bit cold in the evening, but just turned on the portable halogen heater which we had dug out for our cat-minding house-sitting friend while we were away, as she feels the cold quite a lot.
Today we realised we need to get in touch with the guy who owned this house before us, as he said he would show Richard how to service the central heating. Yes, we have central heating, with English-style radiators in every room. But of course the boiler needs servicing before we can switch it on, and Richard has no idea how to do that yet. So he texted, and the guy phoned back and will come over this evening. Perhaps we can be warm during the winter!
And I suppose I should pop round the corner to the very local supermarket to buy large quantities of raisins and sultanas and suet and so on, and get started with the Christmas baking.
But I probably won't until the end of the week.