It hasn't been too bad a Cyprus summer, weather-wise. Only a couple of brief heatwaves where the temperatures went above 35C in the shade. I don't think they ever reached 38 or more, at least not in Larnaka. Mostly it was around 32-33 in the daytime (hotter in the sun, of course, but I don't go in the sun during the heat of the day).
September is still fairly warm, but the evenings are breezier, the mornings pleasantly cool: about 22C at 6.30 or so. The days are getting a little shorter, and all the businesses and shops which closed down during August are now open again.
Schools start again this week, and the first session of Tots after the summer break was on Tuesday. In the new Community Church building, with considerably more space:
I'm not sure what has happened to the pillars, and the carpet evidently needs replacing at some point, but the space and air conditioning are very welcome. As are the comfortable seats.
On Wednesday, our friends Marie and Jacob came over to play Risk with Tim.
I think they enjoyed it, though I heard one or two heated exchanges along the way. I guess that happens when attempting world dominion. After about two and a half hours, Tim eventually won.
On Wednesday evening, there was the last of the Cyprus home educators' weekly beach gatherings. Someone had proposed a sand-sculpting contest, but - being home educators - nothing much happened until nearly the end of the evening, when several of them decided on a co-operative effort:
There were children from the ages of eight to thirteen involved in this, from three different families. Here they are again, about ten minutes later, getting the last details right:
Here's a most unflattering picture of me, un-fetchingly draped in a blue towel (after a short swim, earlier), with my youngest friend Helen, looking at the sand sculpture. She would have liked to go and investigate more closely, but the older children would not have been too happy...
Marie also made a 'sand cake' since it was only three days away from Helen's first birthday:
On Thursday evening, Richard, Tim and I watched the last two episodes of the final Quantum Leap DVD. The penultimate one, where Sam became Elvis just before he was discovered, was a good one. The final one was... kind of bizarre. It ended too quickly, and while one part was satisfyingly right, I wish it had ended more conclusively. Ah well.
Friday morning, Richard conducted his last sailing class with Marie, Jacob, Josh and Nicole. He's been teaching them to sail, in pairs, during July and August. Friday was the last session; they were able to borrow four boats, and have a race, with their families watching and taking photos.
On Friday evening, we went to the last non-church cell group beach meeting of the summer. Some of the same people as Wednesday, some different. Helen was there again, with her family, and she got a little sandy:
We were still there as it began to get dark, around 7.30pm. So Richard experimented with the camera, trying to catch the beauty of the moon on the sea:
He understands the non-automatic features of the camera far better than I do.
Even after dark, it was still pleasantly warm. Helen was wide awake, and busy digging:
While the rest of us hung around, chatting, not really wanting the evening to end.
On Saturday, Richard went sailing as usual. That's only the last time for a few weeks - we're going to the UK for three weeks soon - so he should get a few more sails in during October, and maybe November, before it gets too cold and windy.
Saturday was also Helen's first birthday. The end of her babyhood, as she's almost walking. Well, she IS walking (up to seventeen steps unaided, so far) but not all the time. When we arrived at their house - being her best friend, I was invited to her party along with Richard and Tim - she came to greet me, and gave me a big hug:
We enjoyed a lively meal. I had taken some home-made ice cream, which always seems to be popular. Lukas got in a bit of a mess:
And even Tim, though not used to babies, had a cuddle with Helen as she played with one of her new toys:
Helen's a very cuddly child. I'm not sure what Eliana - who is seven months younger - thought of this:
Thus ended the first week of September. Today we had four friends to lunch - people Tim wanted to see. Now he's out at a youth group get-together, with more goodbyes.
We'll be in the UK until the end of September.