Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer in Cyprus - time whizzes by

Ten days since I last posted. I had to check my Google calendar to remember what we've been doing - and it's not much. Summer is undoubtedly here. My jeans and trainers have gone away, and I'm in shorts, a tee-shirt and flip-flops. The air conditioning is running in my study at the moment, as the computer is on and computers don't like temperatures over 30C.

There don't seem to be any more mosquitoes about - they don't like hot weather. Instead, there are cockroaches. Ugh. Since we're up a flight of steps, we only get flying ones that manage to get in the house, and they're the ones about to die anyway, or so rumour has it. The last couple of mornings I've come down and both times discovered two roaches, lying on their backs, giving a last wiggle. The yogurt pot technique works well, and has even been adopted by a couple of friends.

So.. a summary of the past ten days.

Monday 1st June: last proper meeting of the Larnaka Christian Writing Group before the Autumn. A half-hour walk to get there, but one of the members kindly offered me a ride home. I accepted gratefully since the weather seemed to have turned into summer overnight.

Tuesday 2nd June: I helped out at Tots, as usual - the local church-run mother-and-toddler group. I mainly work in the kitchen, plus clearing up at the end, but also chat to some of the mums when I have a free moment. I enjoy it, but the hall is warm. It closes in July and August, which is just as well. A ten-minute walk to get there on a good day, but it took me more like fifteen in the hotter weather. I was offered a lift home which I gratefully accepted.

Wednesday 3rd June: I change the sheets, wash sheets/pillowcases and towels, and clean the bedrooms on Wednesdays. And we have the bookkeeper at Richard's office to lunch. So cleaning and lunch preparation (even though it's just bread and cold things) takes most of the morning, now it's hotter.

Mid-afternoon, Richard took the older son of some friends sailing as a birthday treat, and I spent the afternoon with the rest of the family. Then we stayed to dinner, and a game of Carcassone. Very enjoyable, but I was shattered by the end of the day.

Thursday 4th June:
my last morning until the Autumn for looking after a home educated boy who lives in Nicosia, while his mother attends a meeting in Larnaka. Not that I do very much - he brings some work, and some books, so I just offer space, chat a bit, and make him a drink. But it does mean I have to be up, dressed and breakfasted before 8am.

Friday 5th June: In the morning, we did a biggish shop at Metro supermarket, and I did some ironing. In the evening, some other local friends came for a meal, with their visiting young adult nephew. We had a good evening, and played a round of Tabloid Teasers, which they hadn't played before.

Saturday 6th June: Richard went sailing with two youngsters. I washed and hung out the throw on my study sofa, as it was looking pretty grubby. I went to the Froutaria and bought some more fruit and veg, and made us three more litres of lemonade (lemon squash) since we were running low. In the evening, Richard and I watched a DVD.

Sunday 7th June (Greek/Eastern Pentecost): Richard went sailing with some people whom he met at a gathering of Larnaka home educators. I decided I would go to the service at the new building leased by the Larnaka Community Church congregation. It's a little further away than the Greek Evangelical Church, where services used to be held, but I got there, walking, in fifteen minutes, which wasn't too bad in the heat.

Can't say I enjoyed it, other than the part where the nine-month-old baby of some friends wanted me to hold her for about twenty minutes. It was too hot (air conditioning is not yet installed) and sticky (chairs still have plastic covers, since there's work being done on the ceiling still). There were far too many people for me to feel comfortable, including, I suspect, quite a few visitors. The PA system howled around three or four times, which was very painful, and the whole atmosphere was too emotional for my liking. Still, it was interesting to see the new building, converted from a gym in the past few months, and to catch up with one or two people I had not seen for a while.

Monday 8th June (Kataklysmos): this is a major public holiday in Cyprus, celebrating not just Pentecost but legends to do with Noah's flood, since Larnaka was, reputedly, founded by one of Noah's grandsons. Booths selling local sweets and cheap toys (etc) are set up along the sea-front all week, and it seems that half the island is present. That doesn't include me. I went once, years ago. Never again.

Richard, however, went sailing once again, for the annual Regatta. Yes, that's three days in a row. It's a good thing I like my own space, and am very happy being at home with just the cats for company. I didn't do anything much - I did some cleaning and laundry, reviewed a couple of books I had finished reading on my book blog, did some more reading, wrote some email, spent time on Facebook and forums, and so on.

Tuesday 9th June: Tots in the morning, again. Even hotter than last week, so I was very glad of a lift home with some friends, who came in for a drink of lemonade and a chat for an hour or so.

Wednesday 10th June: I went out to the Froutaria shortly after 7.30am and noticed that there were some apricots on special offer. They will probably get cheaper still as summer progresses, but I decided that if I was going to make apricot jam it should be now, rather than when the weather is even hotter. So I bought a couple of kilograms of apricots, among other things, and made double quantities of my jam recipe, which produced about eight jars. I think we now have enough jam to last the next year or so, which is good.

I also made another jar of lemon curd although it looks as though lemons won't be available for much longer. They're basically a winter/spring fruit.

I didn't finish all that until midday, which gave me an hour to do my sheet-changing/laundry/bedroom cleaning, plus taking a shower, and organising cold lunch for Richard and the bookkeeper. I banked on them not arriving until at least 1.15, which is just as well as I wasn't ready until then.

This morning: I finally got around to ironing and folding the sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers from the guest flat, and also defrosted the little freezer in there as it was getting iced up, and didn't have anything in it anyway.



I had felt as if I'd done almost nothing in the past ten days, but checking the calendar and completed task-list, it's more than I thought. The problem is that when I've been busy in the mornings, I don't seem to be able to do anything constructive in the afternoons - well, other than filling water bottles and watering the plants, when the mains water is on (every other day), and catching up with email, and Facebook, and forums. And chatting, from time to time, with Dan or Tim online. And of course sorting out our evening meals, but there are so many individual portions of leftover food in the freezer that I haven't been doing a lot of actual cooking.

Tomorrow evening we'll be going to a local independent house group, Saturday Richard will probably sail again, Sunday we're invited out to lunch with yet more friends, Monday I'm out for lunch again, this time with the Larnaka Christian Writing group. Oh, and I need to ensure the guest flat is clean, and make up beds, and buy a few groceries for it since our next visitors are arriving early on Tuesday morning.


Sheila said...

Wow--we "appeared" rather often in this post! We like you, hope we're not driving you crazy. :-)

I actually just started looking through the blogs I read because I wanted a break from googling cockroaches...and the first thing I find is that you had more cockroaches. There were five (or possibly just three, the last three maybe all being the same one) in the guest flat this evening, which totally freaked out our six-year-old guest who joined the boys in their room, instead.

Sue said...

We are very much enjoying having you around, and living so close! Besides, all those times you "appeared" in the post were to our benefit, really... rides home from Tots, a baby to hold, a new crew for Richard, a meal, an evening playing games. Definitely not driving us crazy :-)

Two more roaches this morning :-( There seem to be more than usual this year, unfortunately.

Rosemary said...

Enjoy sitting in (or out of) the sun: we are envious as we're all taken up with being forlorn/rebellious about the 'Badman' HE report here in UK :-(
Can you give it a bit of air-conditioned attention?

Sue said...

Hi Rosemary! Yes, I"m well aware of the potentially disastrous report. Have read a lot about it on Facebook and various forums ... I answered a questionnaire somewhere a while ago too. Not sure there's a lot I can do from here, unfortunately.