So, it's nearly the end of August, and theoretically nearly the end of Summer. Official siesta time will end this week, schools will start back within the next couple of weeks, and many people who have gone either to the UK or into the mountains for July and August will be returning to Cyprus. The inter-church youth group has already started after a month's break and they're going to enjoy a long weekend camping at the end of this week.
Summer seems to have gone by remarkably quickly this year. Or perhaps it's just my age. People do say that time rushes by at ever-increasing speeds as one gets older. Living in this house, with air conditioning units in every room, is a great deal more pleasant than living in the other house, where we had only one. I run the one in my study for about eight hours a day, when my computer is on. We only run the bedroom aircon for a couple of hours at night, but it makes such a difference. We've hardly used the living room one, or the kitchen one. But on the days when the heat or humidity has been oppressive, it's so nice to have the option available.
I tend to 'estivate' during the summer, using as little energy as possible. Things seem to take longer, anyway. I do any necessary jobs or shopping first thing in the morning - shops open at 7am during the summer, and I tend to wake at 6am - and then have my shower after I've finished cleaning/laundry/whatever. Since we don't have so much regular laundry during the summer (shorts and tee-shirts take up much less space in the washing machine than jeans and sweatshirts!) I've washed all our curtains in the past few weeks. We've been here a year, after all, and although they didn't look dirty, Cyprus is pretty dusty. They do look fresher now they're hanging up again, and I was relieved to find that most of them didn't need ironing!
As for my 'computer time', I've spent much of this summer updating my home education site - it was originally written in two different pieces of software that didn't produce very good code, and I discovered a couple of months ago that many of the pages were displaying rather strangely in Internet Explorer. I had only checked in Firefox. So I decided to go through all 126 pages, upgrading the code, re-writing where necessary, and ensuring they were all compliant with official regulations. I finally finished yesterday!
I've also been trying to get up-to-date with my book reviews blog. I had kept written reviews of every book I read since the spring of 1999, and have been entering them (with the relevant dates) gradually. I haven't finished that yet, but it's an ongoing project. I also decided, this summer, to make the site look more interesting so I joined the Associates program for both Amazon UK and Amazon USA, and have been learning how to generate links to each, and insert them into my book reviews.
Oh, and we've had guests in the guest flat off and on. Two people came in July, for a couple of weeks, and although they were helping Richard in his office during the daytime, they ate most of their meals with us. Now we have a family of four staying - they arrived just over a week ago and are here until Monday. We didn't know them (they were contacts of Richard's via email) and they've been out and about, doing their own thing, so we haven't seen much of them. But I still had to ensure the flat was clean, tidy, and had beds made up before they arrived. We're really pleased at how much the guest flat has been used since we moved here.
Richard has gone out in his little boat almost every Saturday in the past few months - and a few extra days too - and has set up a new blog about sailing. He and Tim have also spent much of their 'spare' time working on the DVD for the musical of 'Esther' which was performed at Kurium Amphitheatre in June. Tomorrow someone is coming to re-record something, and they hope to have it finished by next week.
We've only been to the beach about four times, and only swum twice. Ah well.
At the end of next week, unlike most of our friends who are returning to Cyprus after spending the summer away, we have stayed in Cyprus all summer and will be flying to the UK for just over two weeks in September, then on to Hong Kong to see Daniel on the MV Doulos. Our time in the UK will probably be even busier than usual - as well as seeing friends and family, and Richard speaking at various church events, Tim wants to look at at least two universities, as he's hoping to transfer there in the Autumn of next year.
In our absence, someone will be staying in our home to look after the cats, and some friends will be in our guest flat for three weeks. By the time we return, towards the end of October, Summer in Cyprus should well and truly have finished.