I know it's a cliché, but time does seem to fly past ever faster with the passing of the years. It seems so little time since we were wondering what would happen on 1st January 2000... suddenly I find it's eight years later. My sons are grown-up, and by this time next year will both have left home. The empty nest looms all too quickly.
Christmas went well, I think. We were more organised than usual, and it was enjoyable to have nine of us for lunch on Christmas Day, then seven of us for lunch on Boxing Day. We didn't even eat leftovers then, although we did in the evening, and yesterday lunch, and also today. Yesterday afternoon/evening we were invited to a party, so it's been a week of socialising. All very pleasant.
Tim was fairly tired after playing at several services including the Midnight Communion service, but he still insisted on cooking most of the Christmas lunch. We ran the dishwasher three times on Christmas Day and twice on Boxing Day... it does make life SO much easier. About five or six years ago we had guests on both days, and I seemed to spend half my time washing dishes. This is the first time we've entertained on both days since then, and it is definitely much more enjoyable when relying on a dishwasher for cleaning up afterwards!
These 'twelve days of Christmas' before Epiphany are a strange kind of time. Richard's still off work, Tim isn't doing any of his academic work either. Shops are now open again, and pretty busy; banks have lengthy queues as people try and exchange their Cyprus pounds for euros. I'm not sure why they're all doing it this week as they have until the end of January to use Cyprus pounds in shops, and can still deposit them in the banks until at least May or June.
Tomorrow evening my mother, who has been staying with us for nearly two weeks, returns to the UK. She's flying from Paphos airport rather than Larnaka, so we're all going to go to Paphos for the day. It's only an hour and a half's drive away, but on a small island that feels like a long way, and we haven't been there for years.