Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer in Cyprus, continued

Not that I want to rub it in. I know that many of my friends and relatives elsewhere would love to see a bit more summer. And I'm not complaining, exactly... not yet, anyway.

We didn't turn on any air conditioning until June 16th. I was pleased to be able to leave it until the second half of the month, and we've tried to be more careful than usual, with rising electricity costs. But when it was more than 30C in my study, there was no point risking damage to my computer. At night, we've put on air conditioning in the bedroom for an hour or so most nights since mid-June, but (so far, anyway) have been fine with just a fan for the rest of the night. And we've used the dining room air conditioning a couple of times when the humidity was very high in the evenings. Since we run them at 28C and it was probably no more than that outside, the units won't have had to work at reducing the temperature. I hope the cost of dehumidifying isn't too high.

Tessie has taken to sleeping outside most nights. While the other two cats come and go via the cat flap which Richard installed in the spring of last year, Tessie, for some reason, will go out but not in. Even if she's in the house when we go to bed, I nearly always find her outside again in the morning. During the day, she likes to sleep on the neighbour's car-port roof:


Despite the increasing heat, I decided to try making our own coconut milk. Coconut seems to be one of the most popular 'health foods' these days, and it's something we both like very much. Richard already avoids dairy products and I had been making almond milk, but thought it might be fun to try something different. I used a fresh coconut the first time... it was very good:


.. but quite time-consuming and hard work. Not something I would wish to do during the summer. But it was very, very good indeed to add to frapp├ęs. And not bad in hot coffee, either. While I find almond milk a bit gritty and tasteless (though excellent to cook with) coconut milk added something very special to either hot or ice coffee.

So then I tried with desiccated coconut - 100g to a litre - and it was quick, easy, and hardly distinguishable from the real stuff. Since then, I've been making it every two or three days, and haven't bought any cows' milk for a couple of weeks.

Continuing the summer theme, we went to yet another birthday dinner for one of our young friends - this time it was Lukas, who turned ten:


After we ate, Richard let Lukas join him in a two-player version of 'Ticket to Ride' played on his phone. Doesn't seem to me like much fun, but Lukas very much enjoyed it, despite being pretty much creamed by Richard: 


Then we all played a game of Settlers of Catan. Lukas didn't do too well in that, either, but he's always a good sport and seemed to enjoy the game anyway. And staying up late!

A couple of days later I was up early enough to join my friend Sheila for half of her usual Salt Lake trail walk - we did 4km, and I was pleased that my previously broken toes didn't feel at all uncomfortable until the last kilometre or so.

I forgot to take any photos at all on the walk, but later in the day I went with our friends to the inter-church youth group summer fair. I didn't buy anything, but enjoyed seeing various friends, and watching Helen on what she termed the 'jumpy castle':


We didn't think they would manage more than about ten minutes jumping energetically on a hot day... but all the children wanted longer, and kept going for at least half an hour each. Even including Elisabeth: 


Then Lukas had his face painted as a pirate: 


I'm not quite sure where the time is going. But if summer rushes by, that's just fine by me. 

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