So, today is the anniversary of the day we actually moved into this house. And, similar to last year, the temperature has been decidedly cooler. At 10am this morning it was only 29C. I didn't even use the air conditioning in my study until after lunch, and there's been a pleasant breeze all day. It's funny how much difference a few degrees makes. Cyprus summers are always hot and sunny, but some days are much more bearable than others.
I've now got into my regular Cyprus summer routine. I get up around 6am, or a little earlier, and throw open windows and doors to let in the cool morning air - assuming it IS cool, of course. Ten days ago, during the heatwave (which apparently struck right across South East Europe) it wasn't even cool at 6am. That was draining. But today it was very pleasant indeed. I feed the cats, then drink some herbal tea, read/think/pray/for about forty five minutes, while waking up fully. Then I do the regular housework jobs, make fresh juice for the three of us, and do other things that I spot which need doing. Today I washed our 10-tog double duvet, in a sink that was really much too small for it in our utility area. There's no way it would fit in the washing machine, and the bath is upstairs so I couldn't possibly have carried it down to the line dripping wet. So I did it in sections, then hung it up - and it does look much cleaner. It's not perfect, but much better. I got soaked, but that's OK! I also did some ironing.
Then I have my shower and breakfast, and by about 10am am usually sitting down at the computer having done two or three hours of work around the house. The church mother-and-toddler group closes for July and August, as the hall is far too hot during the Cyprus summers, so I don't have to go out on Tuesday mornings to help at present. On Monday I went to a meeting of the newly formed Christian Writers' Association of Cyprus - only about six of us so far, but greatly encouraging. On Tuesday I walked to the Post Office where I collected two returned essays of Tim's theology course (good passes) and some books for next year's modules. Yesterday I popped around the corner to the local supermarket for a couple of items, one of which wasn't there - and ended up buying several other things. As you do. I wish I'd taken two canvas carrier bags as it was quite heavy carrying just one back with me - plus a plastic supermarket bag, but I avoid using those if I can.
We have guests staying in the guest flat - a mother and daughter, here without the rest of their family (they all came earlier in the year). The daughter has just finished her GCSE exams in the UK, and as she's interested in media studies she's spending time in Richard's office, learning all kinds of new skills - from soldering to painting walls. The mother is an accountant, and has been doing wonderful things, sorting out spreadsheets and year ends, itemising fixed assets (I think I have the phraseology right...) and generally making sense of the muddle that represented much of the accounts. I can do simple bookkeeping but have a complete mental block about accounting and budgeting. Richard understands accounting and budgeting, but forgets all the details. So it's wonderful to have someone who actually likes doing accounts and playing with numbers.
So we have an extra two people at most meals (not breakfasts - guests do their own in the flat!) which is fine. I don't mind cooking, and having a dishwasher means that clearing up after a meal is still a joy rather than a chore. There are lots of youth events happening around now, organised by a team from the USA, so Tim and our friend's daughter are going out to those most evenings.
Tomorrow is our big weekly supermarket shop, then I clean the upstairs of the house and make the beds with clean sheets, and prepare for our evening house group: we have a meal together before the study part of the meeting, each couple bringing one part of the meal. Tomorrow my job is easy - just the salad.
So, another week has almost gone by...