Saturday, August 04, 2012

The last ten days of July

As I wrote in my previous post about restaurants, we had a very busy week, out every evening seeing various local friends. It seems a long time ago now. I got as far as our anniversary on Thursday 19th July, but that wasn't the end of the busy period. On Friday we had our usual 'cell group' get-together on the beach, as we do during July and August. We hang out, swim a little, play with the children, eat our picnics, and chat about life, children, and anything else that comes to mind, staying there until darkness falls shortly after 8.00pm.

On Saturday we were out in the evening again, playing a Settlers game with our usual game-friends, and on Sunday they came to us for a DVD (for the children to watch) and yet another game for the adults, followed by a cold shared supper.

Then on Monday we were privileged, once again, to be invited to the 'family dinner' for our friends' daughter Katie, who was about to turn seven:

It was actually a day before her birthday, but she was about to go to Germany for ten days with her mother and two younger sisters, so she had an early celebration including a star-shaped cake:

I contributed some home-made ice cream, as I usually do.  Katie was expecting to have a 'proper' party after her return from Germany, but for various reasons there were no dates that worked with her chosen guests, so it was all the more special that we were counted as part of the family for her birthday meal. 

And then... 

We had a VERY quiet ten days. I don't just mean because we didn't see my three favourite small people who were away for that time, but we didn't see the rest of their family either, other than for a couple of minutes when they came to borrow a drill. 

And I didn't see any other friends, since just about everyone else we know seemed to have gone away to the UK, or US for a while. It makes sense to get out of the heat and humidity of Cyprus during the summer months, but I don't recall quite such a mass exodus last year.  

Besides, last year Tim came home for a couple of months, which was wonderful. This year he has a job, so is not coming back until Christmas. 

Richard has been working on cataloguing the various tools and other bits and pieces we have in multiple locations, and I've been reviewing and writing and reading, and keeping the house going, and generally coping with the high temperatures. In the evenings we played games, and watched more DVDs than usual, but by Sunday afternoon I was feeling in the need of something different. 

Richard had made the comment a few days earlier that I hadn't done any jigsaws this year. I replied that I hadn't done any jigsaws for, probably, seven years.  Other than a couple of small ones done for fun with friends at Christmas, the last time I did any real amount of jigsaws was Summer 2005 - I posted about the completed jigsaws in September that year. 

I pointed out that we no longer have the huge table where it was easy to do jigsaws and cover them with a cloth for meals. And I don't have anyone to do the puzzles with, now the boys have left home. And since we have small people visiting quite regularly, I don't think a puzzle would be very safe to leave out.  There were lot of good reasons for not doing them... 

Then on Thursday morning Richard needed to get some glue on special offer at Lidl. I wanted to go to the nut warehouse nearby, so I went with him, and in wandering around I spotted a 'jigsaw roll'. It supposedly allows a jigsaw puzzle up to 2000 pieces to be rolled up when partly done and put away.  It wasn't expensive, and I have a hard time finding anything I want to buy with my birthday or Christmas money, so I decided to be impulsive and buy it.

On the Friday evening the Olympics opening ceremony was broadcast and Richard had a link to watch it via his computer... but since it didn't start until 9.00pm UK time, that was 11.00 here, which is past the time I like to be asleep. He'd been sailing with a 

And on Sunday I got it out. It was just the right size for our small Ikea kitchen table. I also found a puzzle that I was given last Christmas, but had never done. Actually there were two puzzles in the box, so I picked one at random, not knowing which one it might be.

It was a bit strange working on green felt, and I had a bit of a battle to keep the cats from jumping onto it but at least pieces didn't go flying everywhere.  And it was useful having the approximate outline for a 1000-piece puzzle. It looked quite tricky, with patches of colour and not much to focus on, but I sorted, off and on, while cooking lunch, and then set to work on the sky, and it was a lot easier than I had expected: 

After lunch I pottered a bit, and kept sitting down to do just a little more to the puzzle, but had to give up eventually as I was getting neck-ache.  Still, I was quite pleased with what I'd achieved: 

So then I rolled it up and put it away!  I haven't got it out again yet... 

On Monday evening we watched an entire film on DVD (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) - something we do maybe two or three times a month at most. And on Tuesday evening, we played a game of Seafarers of Catan (Fog Island), where Richard insisted I take a photo at the end to show my rather excessively long 'trade route' - I think it was 28 roads and/or ships in all:

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