Hard to believe we were out, enjoying sunshine and a picnic only ten days ago. Indeed, I'm not entirely sure where those days have gone. As I type, it's pouring with rain. It's been doing that for the past seven hours, more-or-less. Yesterday was much the same. Grey skies, continual rain. And yes, our roof is still leaking over the stairs, as it has been for the past four years. I'm not sure if it's getting worse, or whether the rain is heavier. Thankfully we have no carpet on the stairs, and strategically placed buckets and cool-boxes usually catch the worst of it.
It's been quite a busy week, for someone like me who needs a lot of time alone. I've also had rather a lot of late nights.
Friday evening, a week ago, we went to the fortnightly cell group at our nearby friends' home. There were, I think, 18 of us sitting down to the meal, plus another baby too young to eat the same food as the rest of us. We didn't do a study, or anything formal; after the meal we chatted, and caught up with other people, and generally had a relaxing evening. But it was past 10pm when we finally left. It may even have been 10.30. I really like to be in bed by 10.30 at the latest...
I did have Saturday to myself. I got quite a bit done, too, while Richard was out working on King Malu. In the evening we arranged to play Settlers of Catan with our friends, and also some other friends who are staying in our guest flat. We were a bit late arriving, and a six-player game can take some time... particularly when chatting, and enjoying each other's company. It was 11.30 by the time we left. I was VERY tired.
Sunday morning I took our guests to the service at Larnaka Community Church. I then had the afternoon to myself, but was so tired I didn't get a lot done other than organising our evening meal, for which our downstairs guests were joining us. Then we played a game of Seafarers of Catan. It was 11pm by the time I got to bed.
On Monday morning I woke a bit later than usual, popped to the local shops, put on laundry, mopped the floors... then had about an hour at the computer where I did little more than check email. At about 11.15 I walked down to the PO Box to check mail, and then on to the Larnaka Community Church building for the memorial service for Maurice, one of the elders, who, sadly, died a week previously. The service had memories and eulogies included by several people, and lasted two and a half hours which was rather longer than I expected. There was some food afterwards, and I was so hungry by 2.30 that I had a couple of sandwiches for setting off home, since I was due, with one of our guests, at our friends to play yet another game of Settlers - this time with their children.
I was home by 5.30pm, just in time to organise our evening meal, and we spent the evening trying to write an 'update' about Richard's work for our various friends around the world. I had really hoped to get to bed early but it was nearly 11pm by the time I was asleep.
Tuesday I walked to Tots, as I usually do. It was quite busy, but thankfully not as noisy as it used to be when it met in a different building a year ago. I enjoy it, but it's somewhat draining and I can never get anything much done on Tuesday afternoons. We were asked out for a meal at 6pm, which meant I didn't have to cook (other than making some ice cream to take with us)... and after the meal we had, guess what...? Another game of Settlers of Catan. We actually did finish just before 10pm... but then chatted until nearly 11pm.
On Wednesday I woke up with a streaming cold. No sore throat, no sinus pain... just sneezing and nose-blowing. Followed by more sneezing. Wednesday was a busy day too, most of which I spent in the kitchen, except when I rushed away from the food to sneeze again. At lunchtime we had three people to eat bread and soup and cake with us. In the evening we had some other friends to a meal; they'd just moved house that day, so were exhausted and thankful to be asked out to eat. In the afternoon, a friend arrived to return some books she'd borrowed and take some more, and we had hot drinks together and chatted.
All of which was very enjoyable. I do like seeing friends, and particularly having people in our house. I'm very glad to be able to lend books to so many people. But by the end of the evening I was SOOOO tired I could barely climb the stairs. I don't suppose the cold helped.
Naturally, I took mega-doses of echinacea/goldenseal and Vitamin C on Wednesday, and by Thursday wasn't quite so sneezy. I had several much-needed hours to myself, but my brain felt rather fogged, probably by the cold. I didn't get much done. I did consider going out for a walk, since Vitamin D is also good for building up the immune system... then it started to rain.
Which is where this post began. It rained for several hours yesterday, and much of the night.
This morning dawned bright and clear; it was even a little sunny. I did my usual Friday jobs of changing the bed sheets, and putting on laundry, and cleaning the upstairs and fully changing the cat litter. Then Richard came back from the office for an hour, and we did our monthly shop at Metro.
There's supposed to be a petrol strike at present, although it seems to be over. Our bigger car was running very low last weekend, and Richard was going to fill up on Monday. Then he heard about the proposed strike... and when he went to try to buy some diesel, the queue at the petrol station was half-way down the road.
So all week he's been using our old car, which was about half-full. He noticed one garage which stayed open, but the queues continued to be long. Today, however, he was able to fill up the old car on the way back from the office, with no queue at all, so we drove in the big car to Metro, and filled that up too. One tankful (50 euros worth) usually lasts us at least a month, so we should be fine for a while.
We got back - taking a diversion to avoid the roads that were totally flooded from yesterday's rain - and unloaded. Shortly after we'd finished, the heavens opened and it's been pouring with rain ever since.
I think my cold is pretty much over; I only feel a little sniffly today and my mind isn't quite so fogged. But it's been a remarkably unconstructive week for me, one way and another.