Time is very strange. Two weeks at home in Cyprus can sometimes fly by, and I wonder where they've gone. But being here in Birmingham, in a different environment, it sometimes feels like months since we got here.
At the weekend I got the train to Carlisle to see where Daniel had been working for the past couple of months, and stayed overnight in his house since his housemates were both away. Tim decided not to come, as he already had three commitments at the weekend, so Dan and I had a nice, peaceful time. We went on some long walks so I could see different parts of Carlisle, and we sat and read, and talked, and generally relaxed.
Daniel had warned me that Carlisle was cold and wet; he was correct! It rained most of the time I was there, and felt distinctly chillier than Birmingham.
I have some photos but no easy way of getting them on this computer, or small enough to post so they'll have to wait until I'm back in Cyprus again.
Daniel is now back on the Doulos, after a very long trip! He got the train from Carlisle to Manchester on Tuesday afternoon, and then flew out of Manchester airport Tuesday evening. Unfortunately, the flight was delayed by an hour, meaning he missed his connection in Dubai. So his flights had to be re-booked a day later, and he had to kick his heels in a hotel for 24 hours.
Not that I know any details: just a few text messages from each stop. He apparently had a half-hour transit in Bangkok, then arrived at Sydney in Australia around midnight (UK time - so I guess late morning Australian time) from where he had to fly to Aukland, and then finally on to Wellington, where the Doulos is currently berthed.
Anyway, a brief text message this morning said that he was back on the Doulos at last, and all was well. So I assume that means that his luggage got to Wellington at the same time as Dan did, and that he has had at least some sleep while travelling.
On Wednesday Tim and I went to the Newman University open day with some friends who also wanted to see it, and he was able to ask some questions of one of the theology lecturers. Then we had a guided tour with someone who talked a great deal, in particular about parking spaces, sport and beer (none of which are of any interest to Tim) and didn't really answer any questions!
But still, we got to see around - it's a very small campus, with no more than 25-30 in any group, and felt much more friendly and informal than bigger universities. It only really offers education related courses - teacher training, PGCE, and various subjects-with-education. Nobody quite knows when term starts, but apparently Tim will get a pack in the post letting him know that kind of detail, by mid-August. He is looking forward to the course starting; he's applied for various summer jobs but so far has not had any offers.
Tim's keyboard arrived as expected on Monday and we spent most of Tuesday morning carrying it up to his room in sections and then figuring out how to put it together. He is very pleased with it, anyway, and it seems to have all the features he wanted despite the salesman in the shop telling him otherwise.
Unfortunately I seem to have brought the rain back from Carlisle with me, since it's been grey and wet almost all week. Not that Tim and I mind; I much prefer this to the extreme heat and humidity of Cyprus in July!