Tuesday, December 01, 2009

December in Cyprus: bills, shopping and a general day

Not that it feels any different from November. The weather is still unseasonably warm. When I walked to the PO Box this morning, I was wearing a fleece; but by the time I arrived at Tots I was pretty warm, so I took it off. And while I expected to feel chilly during the course of the morning, it didn't happen. I carried it home, and didn't feel the need for an extra layer until about 3pm.

From comments I've received on this blog, and on Facebook after the posts I link to there (by no means all of them), and the occasional related email I've received, it appears that people who read this are primarily interested in four things:

  • What the weather is like in Cyprus
  • What I actually do from day to day
  • What it costs to live in Cyprus
  • What I cook and eat

Posts about plants typically attract the odd comment, usually from someone who's found the post via a search engine. And posts about places of interest in Cyprus are usually ignored completely, or so it appears.

Not that I intend to stop writing about interesting places, if we happen to visit anywhere new. But, wanting to please my public, so to speak, I shall attempt this month to write more on the above bullet-pointed items. Unless, that is, a stream of comments tell me that - as it appears to me, sometimes - those are rather tedious topics and I should write about something else.

So. I've covered today's weather in the first paragraph. Sunshine, and around 23C in the shade, I suppose. As it's been for most of the past month or so. Chillier once it gets dark - at around 5pm - but not really cold.

What I did: paid for the next years's PO Box rental (30 euros), collected mail (mostly bills), helped at Tots - the mother-and-toddler group run by Larnaka Community Church, but open to anyone. Walked home with friends, read email/Facebook, wrote a longish email and one or two forum posts, uploaded photos from Picasa to Kodak Gallery, so I can order some prints tomorrow. Laundry in the machine and then hung out, since it's a mains water day. Watered the plants, since it hasn't rained for a week. Filled drinking water bottles from the mains tap. Popped around the corner to Orphanides Express, since we needed some more milk and cheese for the cauliflower cheese I planned to make for tonight's meal. Chatted awhile on Instant Messenger with Tim, as he was deciding which essay topic to write for his Ethics class.

Then I cooked, and we ate, and I froze the rest of the large cauliflower which I bought yesterday: we'll get at least four meals out of it.

So much for my day. I'm now blogging... ! Richard is doing something on his laptop, but in a few minutes we'll switch off and probably play a board game.

And for those interested in the cost of living - from our perspective, anyway - my visit to Orphanides Express cost us just over 21 euros. For that, I bought a 2kg bag of cat food, 2 litres of milk, 400g Cheddar cheese, 1kg Greek yogurt, 1 litre of lemon squash, and 7 free range eggs. Dairy products are not cheap in Cyprus, and free-range eggs are particularly pricey. But I can't quite bring myself to buy the other kind.

As for the bills: in the last two months we've used up 120 euros of electricity, and in the past three months we've used 23 euros of water. That's in the main part of the house where we live; both seem very reasonable. In fact, given the scarcity of water in Cyprus, the water bill seems remarkably low considering that I run the washing machine three or four times per week, and the dishwasher probably five times. And of course we have showers every day, and are not economical about flushing the loo.

We also had bills for the guest flat: around 75 for electricity; slightly more than last year, but then we've had people staying fairly often this year. The water bill for the guest flat is just over 40 euros; it's unusual to be more than in our part of the house, but then it covers the period when the guest flat tank was leaking, and had to be replaced (and thus completely emptied out) a few months ago, and also we watered the plants outside, using guest flat water, every other day during July and August. The date range, strangely, for the water bills is July to October.

(Note: if you want to convert euros to some other currency, I'd recommend the oanda.com currency converter. If you want to find out imperial equivalents to the metric weights or Celcius temperature, the easiest way is to go to Google and type something like '400g in ounces' - and the first result will show you the exact calculation)


Rosemary said...

Seven eggs? Hens here (GB) lay in half-dozens or dozens :-) How do you get seven eggs in a box?!

Anonymous said...

Dear do you think that rainy days wouldn't let us enjoying cyprus visit specially if we will come from 21 Dec -27 Dec 2009

Sue said...

Looks like the weather will be reasonably good from 21st-27th December this year