So, the first day of Summer was a couple of days ago, June 21st. Tomorrow, June 24th, is Midsummer's Day.
Logically speaking, then, the last day of summer should be June 27th.
Alas, it doesn't work that way in Cyprus. In the UK, some summers do seem to have only about a week of warm weather (though not, I gather, right now). But we're pretty much guaranteed heat and high humidity for the next two or three months, now that June is coming to an end. I really can't complain: the weather during May was warm but not over-hot. We had a couple of days earlier in June that seemed to threaten summer, but then a thunderstorm and some rain about ten days ago cooled the climate down, to about 27-28C, which is quite bearable.
We did run the air conditioning at night a few times, for a couple of hours, since the evenings were rather sticky. I've also got into my summer mode of doing any housework or shopping before 9.00am... as far as possible. Except that yesterday it wasn't possible. On Wednesdays I change our sheets and clean upstairs, and we have someone from the office to a cold lunch... and last night we were expecting friends for a meal too, who needed to go to the airport later.
So I needed to get out to the Froutaria; I did manage to do that fairly early. And I put a loaf of bread to cook in the breadmaker, and made some more lemonade as we had run out, and froze some extra lemon juice in ice cube trays...
By which time it was almost 10.00.
I was aware that I was feeling warmer than I like to be, but I took things fairly slowly. I changed the sheets, and did the laundry, and put away Monday's laundry, and dusted and mopped and cleaned out the cat litter trays and made the bed... which doesn't sound like much, but took me until nearly 1.00, with very few (short) breaks to sit down. Then I cleaned out the glass bottles where we store lemonade (using crushed eggshells to do so - very useful) and bottled the lemonade and made egg mayonnaise and washed tomatoes and hung the sheets and towels out to dry...
Then we had lunch and I sat down for half an hour or so to look at email and Facebook, etc. And was aware that I was feeling extremely hot and rather headachey and very tired.
So when I went to the kitchen at 2.30 to start cutting up fruit for fruit salad, and making ice cream, I put the air conditioning on. At 28C as usual... and I was astounded at what a difference it made. I don't think the kitchen was more than about 30C, but having the cooler air, and the humidity removed gave me a new lease of life. So I washed vegetables and fruit and chopped them and prepared food for an hour or two, feeling much more energetic than I had expected. I cleaned the kitchen too, fairly thoroughly, and emptied the dishwasher which went on after lunch, and FINALLY got into the shower around 5.00pm.
By then it was a little cooler, and I'd switched off the kitchen a/c. Our friends arrived with Richard shortly after 6.00 and we ate our meal by open windows with the ceiling fan on, and it didn't feel too hot at all. When we went to bed we ran the bedroom a/c for a couple of hours, as it gets humid in the evenings, but I slept just fine, and at 5.30am when I woke this morning it was still a little cooler out than in.
But I had a feeling it was going to be hot today. The prediction was for 33C in the shade. So I put away the laundry, and even did a little ironing, and emptied the dishwasher, and made orange juice, and froze 2.5kg tomatoes in a-little-over-400g pots, all before 8.00.
At 8.30, even having just had my shower, I felt rather over-warm. I checked the weather forecast, and it told me that it was already 32C. So I turned on my study air conditioner, and will probably leave it on for most of the day. Running it at 28 isn't very expensive, and is amazingly effective. I am very, very thankful for air conditioning.
So, summer is here, and will probably stay here for at least three more months.