I usually wake about 6.30am at this time of year. Sophia thinks I should get up when it gets light, and mews loudly to let me know. However, today she didn't do her duty, and I was still fast asleep at 7.30am. I came to, aware of a loud noise somewhere. The dustmen? No, not that kind of noise. A neighbour with a power tool? No, not that kind of noise either. It was some kind of banging, which sounded as if it were somewhere quite close.
Then I heard rain pattering against the window, and some wind. Perhaps, I thought, it was an empty dustbin blowing about.
So I got up, and pottered about, and started my day.
It wasn't until mid-morning, when I looked in our outside letter box that I spotted it. A bill from the gas man. In our previous house, we had small gas canisters which had to be replaced fairly frequently. Here, because we have gas central heating as well as gas rings for cooking, we have a large barrel, which has to be topped up by a man who comes in a truck. He doesn't come in the summer. But around this time of year, he starts appearing. Theoretically it's about once a fortnight, but in practise it's nearer once a month.
The bill was stamped with today's date, and time of 7.31am.
Evidently the banging was the gas man at the door.
Since it's Cyprus, and people mostly don't pay bills immediately, or even on time, we won't have to pay this until next time the gas man comes. And I suppose Richard will have to service the heating system at the weekend.
The weather this year really has changed rapidly from summer to (almost) winter. All right, so temperatures of 20C aren't exactly chilly, and even the night-time 16C isn't THAT cold. But in a house with tiled floors, it doesn't feel at all warm.
It's only a week since I put our thin, 4.5 tog duvet on the bed. I wasn't even sure we'd need it at first. I assumed it would be fine for at least a few more weeks.
I was wrong.
Today when I changed the sheet and pillowcases, I also decided to put the warm 9 tog duvet on the bed. I don't think I've ever done that quite so early in the year. In 2007, I put the warm duvet on three weeks later.
I wore a sweatshirt all day today, too.
The forecast is for sunshine and warmer weather in the next few days; I just hope it doesn't get as hot, again, as it was at the end of October.