It's hard to believe we've only been home in Cyprus for just over two days now. Our travels feel like a different world - or a different life, perhaps. It's always like that when we've been away. Perhaps it has to be. One life switches off, another switches on.
The cats are extremely pleased to see us, and very affectionate. They've been well looked after by our house-sitter. The plants are looking healthy, too. Our clothes are all unpacked and I've done one load of laundry, although the basket is overflowing. I'll catch up slowly during the week. I only have space to hang out one load at a time.
I have papers all over the study - receipts, magazines, random notes and jottings, cards, opened mail... tomorrow I hope to sort through all that and get our accounts up-to-date, and get back into some kind of routine. It's been good to have the weekend to recover in. It was nice to go back to our various churches this morning, too, and feel welcomed by friends.
A few random things that have struck me since returning:
- it's great knowing where everything is in the supermarket
- putting toilet paper in a bin (rather than down the loo) feels surprisingly natural
- I like the way that drivers stop for pedestrians here, rather than speeding up
- the weather is perfect: 26C, sunny, but not at all humid
- it's nice to have home-cooked food again rather than eating out all the time
We're not as tired as we were. Having the extra hour this morning helped, although I woke rather early. The first thing I heard was a drum band practising (yes, at about 7am); I remembered that it's 'Ochi Day'. Anyone who has no idea what that is, if you're interested, can look at last year's post about Ochi Day.
When I came out of church, I noticed that the police had started putting up traffic barriers so that the roads would be free for the parades that would follow shortly. As I walked past the library, I saw the Larnaka Municipal Band and another group gathered in front of some burning incense, waiting to get going:
I didn't hang around. We used to go and watch the parades when Daniel played clarinet in the municipal band, but it's much the same each year. And I don't like standing round when the sun is shining. Besides, the parade goes on for ages since all the schools and uniformed organisations are usually represented too.
But seeing this photo does remind me of one thing that always puzzles me. We've just had a hot summer, and I'm told it hasn't rained yet. There's a hose-pipe ban, and serious fines imposed for breaking it. Lots of grass looks parched and brown... but there in front of the library it's fresh and green.
Why? Because there are sprinklers running, most days, during the morning, right through the summer. Owned, I assume, by the municipality. Hardly a good example to set to home-owners if they're trying to discourage them from using excess water. Inefficient, too, since the water evaporates rapidly during the heat of the day.
But... this is Cyprus.
Oh, and I quite forgot to mention that Friday, when we arrived back in Larnaka after our seven weeks away, was a special date for our family. It was exactly ten years since we first arrived in Cyprus.