1. We've had our first week of water restrictions in Cyprus. Apparently, water to each of the municipalities has been reduced by 30%. We're getting mains water about 30% of the time. In our part of Larnaka, that has meant that we had water on from about 6am to 8pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Then it was (I think) on all last night, and this morning, going off about 2pm.
If this is the regular pattern, it's not really a problem. We bought some extra drinking water bottles to fill up when the mains is on, and I'm running the washing machine twice when it is, since it all dries fairly quickly.
But I don't see how that's actually going to save any water. I suppose the restrictions will prompt people to be a bit more careful, but there's no way we're using 30% less than we were.
2. Daniel spoke at a meeting in Famagusta last Monday, did the talk at youth group on Friday night, and spoke at a men's breakfast yesterday. He has just over two weeks left of his furlough, before he flies to the UK for a couple of months, and then back to the Doulos.
Among other things, he has bought a new drawing package for his computer, and has produced some wonderful drawings of the Doulos and Richard's Wayfarer (link to his blog).
3. Tim has accepted a place at Newman University College in Bartley Green, Birmingham (in the UK) to study theology in education, starting September this year.
Actually he accepted the offer over a week ago now, but we're still getting used to the idea, and what it's going to mean. We'll probably take him to the UK - to stay with my mother - early in July, so he has a chance to set up a bank account, and get used to the buses.
What's more, Tim has actually updated his blog after a lengthy gap, to give his news and views on his future.
He officially resigned his post as church organist at St Helena's Church, with his last services being last Sunday. He wants to visit several other churches around the island before he leaves, but today he took a Sunday off church for the first time in ages.
4. This morning, on my way home from church, I noticed something fluffy and very still on the doormat of our guest flat. There has been a neighbouring dog there eating bits of bone some evenings, but whatever this was, it didn't look alive. The shape was like a curled up kitten, but a bit longer. I only glanced at it; I don't like seeing dead animals. And anyway, it might have been asleep. I averted my eyes as I actually walked past the house. After lunch, I told Richard and the boys...
This afternoon, Richard and Daniel went to mend something minor on the Wayfarer at the sailing club. On the way out, they glanced at the guest flat doormat. They agreed it was something fluffy, and too still to be alive, but weren't sure what it was. Richard thought it might be a large kitten. Daniel thought it might be a squirrel, although we've never seen squirrels here. Had it been run over, we wondered? Got into a fight with a dog? Could one of our cats have got into a serious fight...??
Finally Richard took down a bag of rubbish, and went up to the doormat so he could get rid of whatever it was.
He said that, as far as he could tell, it was a piece of fur wrapped around a potato...
Very strange. Perhaps it was a dog's toy?
He threw it away, anyway.
5. Richard was away, most of this week, having meetings in Lebanon. He used up some air miles to get there and back so it didn't even cost anything.
6. For about eleven years, we have talked about making a family visit to Egypt. When we left the UK in 1997, both the boys had done some studying of Ancient Egypt in their school, and were excited at the thought of actually seeing the country, and particularly the pyramids.
Somehow, it never happened. Richard has been there many times, having meetings and discussions and doing a great deal of work, but none of the rest of us has visited. And although Richard has driven past the pyramids frequently, he has never actually been to see them, or done any of the 'tourist' stuff.
So we decided that we would actually have a short holiday there during Daniel's furlough, as we're unlikely to be all together again for at least a couple of years. That's booked for later this week.. and also helps to use up some air miles.
7. Although Cyprus was unseasonably warm about three weeks ago, the weather has got rather cooler than it was. The last two days it's been quite cloudy, and we even had a few spots of rain today. I'm back in a sweater and a fleece, and very glad that the heatwave didn't remain.
8. I spent most of March upgrading my home education website, making the navigation easier and the code a bit cleaner. It should be a lot easier to update in the future, too.
9. We've been enjoying the first batches of strawberries to reach the shops. The very earliest ones were a bit tasteless, but they're getting better. Apples and strawberries together in the juice extractor make one of the more delicious drinks we know.