Daniel and Becky were here for a little over a fortnight; they arrived on a Friday night, and departed last night. We heard a couple of hours ago that they are, at last, safely back in Carlisle. Having visitors staying is always good, but of course we particularly love having either of our sons home; for Daniel, this was his first visit since he and Becky got married last year.
I already wrote about their first few days in Cyprus, and about our visit to Nicosia. But, as so often happens, time started to go faster and faster and suddenly the two weeks had vanished. I didn't even remember to take many photos - much of the time we were hanging out, chatting, or playing games. We watched a few episodes of Doctor Who (series 2) which we enjoyed, and we also watched DVDs of both Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia 2 and 3 respectively) which we had not seen before.
Daniel wrote a post about their time here on his blog too.
We played a couple of games of Seafarers of Catan (Fog Island), something Richard and I only rarely play on our own as it requires quite a bit of setup. Becky said she had never won a Seafarers game; it turned out that she'd only played it once or twice, but she managed to win the first game we played together during the past couple of weeks:
Naturally we played a couple of Settlers games with our friends Jörn and Sheila too, at their house, one of them on a particularly cold evening where we wrapped up warmly... and Becky won:
We even managed a five-player Settlers game with Tim on Facetime (similar to Skype):
We had a microphone set up over the middle of the board, with the stand carefully balanced by a low-tech coolbag:
We played a Cities and Knights game, too, which had such an interesting initial setup that I took photos and wrote about it on my Settlers blog, but didn't take any pictures of the people concerned.
We wondered how the cats would cope with Daniel and Becky staying downstairs in our guest flat; somehow, it didn't seem to worry them. We're not sure they even really noticed, as they continued sleeping on us at nights. But they were all happy to see Dan and Becky whenever they appeared in the morning. Here's Tessie looking at some of their wedding photos with them:
Daniel, who is something of a coffee geek, decided that, while he was in Cyprus, he would buy a little pan for making Cyprus coffee. Not something I like at all, but Daniel is quite keen on what's known as a 'medrio' - one spoonful of finely ground coffee, and one of sugar, brought to the boil slowly:
The first time he did it, I was fascinated by seeing the bubbles around the edge (an important part of making Cyprus coffee) which formed an almost perfect square around the middle. But when I took these photos, they made something closer to a pentagon:
The first few times Daniel made a medrio, he used some small cups we happened to have. But I went to the Thrift Shop on Saturday, when he and Becky were out sailing with Richard, and saw some quite tasteful little Cyprus coffee cups and saucers which were very inexpensive. I also saw several less-than-tasteful ones... but decided that Daniel would not appreciate those.
This really doesn't show the scale, but is what the little cup looks like:
Here it is with the medrio inside, and the saucer below:
And here is Daniel, waiting for the coffee to cool a little. Note the glass of water, an important adjunct to Cyprus coffee:
These photos show better just how tiny the cup is. Sophia joined him while he drank it:
Becky wasn't feeling great on Sunday, and Daniel wasn't too well on Monday, which was their last day in Cyprus. However, they wanted another game, so we set up Seafarers (Fog Island again) once more:
Here's how it started:
Daniel won that game - just ahead of me. Either Daniel or Becky has won most of the games we've played while they've been here!
But, as the cliche goes, all good things must eventually come to an end. After the game, we ate an early evening meal, then took them to the airport. Being actors, they decided to pose for the camera:
Happily, they let me take a nicer photo as well:
We drove home feeling a little empty. We don't know when we'll next see Dan and Becky; of course it's great to keep in touch with email and Skype (or equivalent) but there's nothing quite like having people actually here. Living in Cyprus, there are a lot of goodbyes, and they only get a little easier with time.