Although we've been 'empty nesters' for nearly four years now, I've managed to spend the last three birthdays with at least one of our sons. I wasn't entirely sure what one does for a birthday with just the two of us - but in the event, it was a pleasant and relaxing day.
I had a pile of presents that had already arrived or been passed to us from various relatives, first thing in the morning:
They were DVDs and books - mostly from my wishlist - and a new webcam as my previous one was rather unreliable with the sound.
Then we drove to Immigration - not something I'd have chosen to do on my birthday, but Richard was happy to spend the morning doing random things around Larnaka, so that was our first stop. I wrote yesterday about our experiences, past and present, with Immigration, so won't repeat that here.
Next stop was the Land Registry Office, since we had managed to lose one part of our house deeds. We were told that it was an easy and inexpensive process to get replacements, so we went to the place where we first acquired them... only to find it totally closed down.
We had parked in nearby Lidl - not the branch we had been to before - so thought we might as well take a look and see if it had anything more interesting this week:
It didn't. I was seriously tempted by some delicious looking white chocolate with strawberry pieces, only to see, from the ingredients on the back, that it contained maltodextrin - one of those annoying migraine-inducers. But we wandered around the rest of the store in vain. Nothing that appealed was good value.
So Richard checked the map on his phone, which gave directions to the new Land Registry Office, which we found easily. It was a lot grander than the previous one:
We spoke to a helpful receptionist who filled in the forms for us, and explained where to go. It was, indeed, quick and easy. We had to pay a grand total of 1.71 euro for new copies of both our deeds. It took about fifteen minutes in all, and involved five different workers... one to fill in the form, one to take our money, one to write the date and direct us to the lift, one to produce the actual deeds, and one to give the inevitable official stamps.
It was only about 9.30 by the time we had finished all this. As we came out, we saw this:
Unlike me, Richard likes looking around shops, particularly new ones, so he suggested we take a look. It wasn't very interesting. Lots of junk - toys, ornaments, garden tools. There were some clothes, and we took a look at the 'crocs', since Richard needs a new pair, but they weren't very good quality.
So, as the Land Registry Office is right behind Carrefour, we thought we'd take a look in there to see if they had any crocs. And we thought we might have coffee too...
Unfortunately, the café didn't open until noon. And they didn't have any crocs, nor indeed anything else that interested us.
We thought we might drive by the Post Office to see if any mail had come: I walked there on Wednesday and picked up a fair amount, so was quite surprised to find all these packages and letters awaiting us:
They included some bills, and books for review, but also some cards and yet more presents from relatives. I was pleased to find that I had seven cards, which seems rather a lot for a non-special birthday:
Later on a friend called by with yet another. I had two e-cards as well, and about sixty birthday greetings on Facebook! Social networking is a wonderful thing.
This is the pile of gifts by the time I had opened them all....
We spent an hour or so at home, then went out again to get a new printer cartridge at the place that does recycled ones. For some reason it was cheaper than the one we last bought, about three years ago.
Without Tim at home, I wasn't going to get a cake, so next we took a look in Zorpas, a bakery which sells delicious looking cakes and desserts. We thought we might buy a couple of small ones, or two slices... but they were full of cream (Richard tries to avoid dairy products) and very expensive for what they are. I didn't want a cake THAT much.
By that time it was one o'clock and I was getting hungry. I'd forgotten to take bread out of the freezer, so Richard suggested we go to the café at the marina for toasted tuna sandwiches and salad, which was very pleasant. However I forgot about taking any photos!
In the afternoon we had a very good Google video (like Skype) chat with Tim, using my new webcam, for over an hour. I do like modern technology for keeping in touch with our sons. And we pottered at home, caught up with email and Facebook and so on.
Usually on Fridays we go to a cell group with a meal at our good friends locally, but they're away at present so the group was cancelled. Richard and I had decided to go out to eat - and since I don't like making decisions, we opted for our favourite inexpensive sea-front restaurant, Alexander's. They had some new menu options but we went for tried-and-tested dishes...
Richard had fish and chips:
I had veggie moussaka:
One of the things I like best about Alexander's is that they almost always offer something 'on the house' after a meal. So Richard had a de-caf coffee, and although I was feeling extremely full (it's rare for us to eat out at all, let alone twice in one day!) I chose the ice cream. Last time I did that, one of the scoops was strawberry. This time it was yellow:
It was really very yellow, more so than the photo shows. It was artificial banana... not unpleasant, exactly, but rather odd. Anyway, I ate it all and enjoyed the chocolate part... and then was surprised how very cold I felt!