Sunday, January 01, 2012

The last week of 2011, racing by as ever

After all the preparation for Christmas, and an enjoyable day, it's a bit of a shock to find that it's now 2012. A week has somehow rushed by without us really noticing it. 

It began well, relatively warm and sunny. We didn't have anything planned for Boxing Day, unusually, so I pottered, and tidied, and cleaned, and generally relaxed. I think we probably played a game in the evening, maybe with our friends, but it feels like a LONG time ago now.

On Tuesday, we were invited to lunch with some other friends who used their outdoor gas-powered barbecue to cook some lamb, and potatoes, and onions... it was still warm and sunny, and we sat outside, enjoying the best of Cyprus in the winter: 

As the afternoon wore on, the sun became low in the sky and there was a bit of a chill in the air. So we moved in to the sunroom - where Lily, one of the dogs, attempted to make friends with Tim:

On Wednesday, we were invited to a 'recital'; mainly guitar students, ages about 7 to 15, plus one violin. The two families concerned have 14 children between them, although the younger ones do not yet play anything. Before we started, quite a few of us managed to fit on one sofa: 

Elisabeth, now a little over 18 months old, has become very photogenic: 

Tim arrived late, missing - deliberately! - the younger children's performances. But he was very glad to catch up with two friends from years ago... I enjoyed watching three tall thin people from three different generations (although all young at heart) and three different cultures, deep in conversation:

Unsurprisingly, a couple of recorders were brought out, and they did some jamming:

Tim had not played a treble recorder for many years, so eventually borrowed the second guitar for some more serious jamming:

On Thursday, we didn't have anything planned, and on Friday we looked after the four girls belonging to our local friends, so they could have a few hours to themselves on their anniversary. It was enjoyable but tiring and I didn't find a single moment to get out my camera!

Still, we saw them all again on Saturday, for a New Year's Eve gathering. On a very wet, thundery day when I was tired after being woken in the night by thunder and lightning. The other family they had invited were not able to be there, so it was a small group. Sheila wrote about the evening on her blog, so I won't repeat what she said... but I did take some pictures. They had managed to find some Christmas crackers - a British custom we have happily given up since moving to Cyprus. Still, it was fun opening them with the children. Elisabeth was a bit bemused to have a paper crown which was far too big for her head:

And Jacob was happy to find a pirate patch in his - or, as we decided to call it, an 'eye-pad': 

The two older children went out, the four younger ones went to sleep. The adults - including Tim - played a couple of games, then decided that, as it was 11.30 already, we might as well wait until midnight. Richard set his phone up so we could see exactly what time it was: 

Here are our hosts, getting ready for the excitement of a new year...

.. and here's the evidence:

We heard a few bangs from far-away fireworks, but it was still damp out, and nothing much seems to happen as the new year arrives. So we went home, and got some sleep. 

Happy New Year! 

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