Another group left this lovely poinsettia at Richard's office a few days ago. Since he and his colleague are going to be off for a few days, Richard brought it home. I don't know how long it will survive, since (1) we seem to be adept at killing off house plants and (2) it's been sprayed with glitter, which can't be good for it. Still, it looks fairly healthy at present:
It looks like there really will be just the three of us here tomorrow. Plus the four cats, of course. With all our friends having left the island, or gone to their home countries, or been invited out by others, we've run out of folk to ask over. We still bought a turkey (as small as possible, but that's still 6kg) and cooked it on Saturday, then Richard carved it so we can re-heat tomorrow. We did that last year and it worked very well. We've made a load of mince pies, I have my three Christmas puddings, a cake I still have to finish icing, gingerbread, peppermint creams, and several kinds of dried fruit (dates, figs, apricots, etc) which always appear in the supermarkets around now. That's much less cooking than usual but it still seems excessive for just three people!
This morning I went to the carol service at Larnaka Community Church at 9am - it was pleasant, with lots of involvement by international students (readings and a carol in Chinese), and a few light-hearted poems as well as a short message. Ten minutes for a talk is ideal, in my view! The poem 'The 12 days of Christmas turkey' was read, and went down particularly well. Though it would perhaps have been better on 12th night!
We finished just after 10am so I walked to Grace Church, which theoretically starts at 10am but is usually at least ten minutes late. Sure enough I arrived a few minutes before it started, and was greeted by a friend's child in amazement that I was there later than Richard! I am known to be an early bird while he is rather the reverse...
That was another pleasant service, my favourite part being when the person speaking asked, 'Where did the kings or magi come from?' - to be greeted with the response (by an adult), 'Orientar'. Not original, but very amusing.
That was followed by mince pies, and we walked home afterwards, via our old house - or what was our old house (see post below). We had already decided to do something unusual and go out to lunch, since we couldn't decide what to eat - we usually have a roast meal on Sundays, cooked by Tim, but didn't want one when we'll be eating roast turkey etc tomorrow. So Richard suggested a trip to Alexanders, one of the sea front restaurants. It was lovely and sunny, if a little chilly, and we were wondering whether to eat inside or out when we spotted some friends who had gone to the same restaurant! So we joined tables with them. Very enjoyable.
Richard's having to work this afternoon (at home), and Tim has gone out with an inter-church group, carol-singing at two of the hotels. We're all going to go to the midnight communion service at Tim's church (starting at 11.00pm) since he's playing the organ there... assuming I'm still awake by then. He has said he doesn't want a stocking this year, and the church services tomorrow aren't till 10am so we should be able to sleep a little later than usual.
I don't know quite what we'll do tomorrow, or even when we'll open presents. In recent years we've done this first thing, before church, as we've had guests for lunch (or gone elsewhere). But with nobody coming, we'll have all day to open gifts if we want to. At some point we hope to phone Daniel, although it's possible that the entire crew of the Doulos will have relatives phoning tomorrow, so no idea if we'll actually get through.