The problem was not a change of plan, nor volcanic ash. It was simply that we've been busy - really surprisingly so - and I've felt pretty tired. Today is a public holiday for Kataklysmos (Pentecost) and there's nothing happening. Tonight, for the first time since they arrived, the four of us will have an evening to ourselves.
A quick summary of our evenings in the past fortnight:
- 11th May - Daniel and Becky arrived at 9.30pm. A bit late, with the flight slightly longer than expected, but otherwise fine. Hungry - they came on EasyJet which doesn't provide meals - but in good spirits.
- 12th May - our friend Joan and her daughter Emily (here for ten days from the USA) came over for a meal, to meet Daniel and Becky. We played a game of Settlers of Catan... in which Daniel showed his propensity for playing with the pieces rather like Richard does...
- 13th May: the four of us went over to our friends Jörn and Sheila to play a game of Settlers with them. Becky won.
- 14th May: Daniel and Becky had been invited to speak at the Larnaka inter-church youth group, about their time on the Doulos. Richard and I went to the usual fortnightly inter-church cell group for a meal.
- 15th May: We were asked for a meal at Jörn and Sheila's, followed by - surprise, surprise! - another game of Settlers of Catan. As we set the game up, I helped my youngest best friend Helen understand a little more about the rules...
Afterwards, Daniel and Becky were asked to write in the guest book since it was the first time they'd had a meal there. Daniel likes to do these things thoroughly, so he wrote and wrote...
If you're really interested, you can click the next photo to see a larger version, and might even be able to read what has to be the longest sentence in the entire guest book...
- 16th May: Our friends Mike and Marlene arrived from Birmingham in the evening, in time for a meal with us. Daniel and Becky decided to go out on a date.
- 17th May: I know I said I was just going to write about the evenings.. but in the afternoon some of our friends' children came over for a game of Settlers. I mention this because I liked this photo of the winners:
In the evening we were invited to pizza with our friends Mark (returned from his trip away) and Joan; Emily was still there. And since the three young people finished their meal before their aged parents, they played a quick card game while they waited for us:
Since Emily had enjoyed her first game of Settlers, we had yet another foray into Catan. And at the end, since Emily's unlikely to be in Cyprus for at least another year, I took a group photo:
- 18th May: Since Mike and Marlene were staying in the guest flat, I cooked a meal for them, plus Daniel and Becky in the evening. We didn't play any games, just hung out and chatted.
- 19th May: Daniel and Becky were asked to a meal with Daniel's old friend Haroon; Mike and Marlene took Richard and me out for a meal at our favourite local meze restaurant. We forgot to take a picture until nearly the end, when we had eaten our way through several excellent dishes, and they still kept coming...
- We didn't manage the meat that came at the end, or many of the chips, and didn't finish the dips, or the pasta. But we managed pretty well, we thought. We know from experience that when four people want a meze, we only need to order for two since there is always way too much food. And at this restaurant, they still bring out four little desserts at the end - at no extra cost - even if only two meals, technically, are ordered.
- 20th May: Mike and Marlene had a meal with us again, and we enjoyed spending time with them.
- 21st May: Daniel and Becky were running games at the youth group, but were able to have a meal with us - and Mike and Marlene - beforehand. I was very tired by about 9pm so we didn't have a late night.
- 22nd May: Daniel and Becky had arranged to go to a curry evening at Larnaka Community Church; since it was Mike and Marlene's last evening in Cyprus, they said they'd take us out for another meal. We decided not to try the sea-front, since it was a Saturday night and the day before Kataklysmos - so the sea-front was crowded with stalls and booths and people - and went, instead, to the Art Cafe; an indoor restaurant a little way away from the front. Excellent food, although I forgot to take any photos
- 23rd May: On Sundays when we didn't have a cell group, our friends Jörn and Sheila and their children come over to our house for a cold evening meal, which for some reason we have started referring to as 'not cell group'. Daniel and Becky were at the Global Day of Prayer meeting - Daniel playing drums with the music group. They should have been home shortly after 7pm but it overran, and it was 8.45 before they were home.
So. A very enjoyable couple of weeks, with friends, games, and lots of food. I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing meals, and desserts... including ice cream and cookies. I've been to the local shops almost every day for more fruit and veg, milk, cheese, or other necessary ingredients. And of course I've done my regular cleaning of the house, and laundry, and helped at Tots, and looked after the lad who comes on Thursday mornings. I've kept up to date with my Settlers of Catan blog, as evidenced from the links above, because if I didn't I wouldn't have a hope of remembering what happened in the games.
Richard, meanwhile, has been working most hours, and also spending some early mornings and the weekends at King Malu. They really, really hope to be able to start sailing her soon. On Saturday he took Mike and Daniel sailing for the morning.
Today, being a public holiday, Richard is at the boat all day. Becky is busy reading, and Daniel hasn't got up yet...