Wednesday, January 09, 2013

End of the Christmas season, and an empty nest once more

When Tim decided, a few months ago, that he would come to Cyprus for nearly four weeks over Christmas and the New Year, we all hoped he would have a good break after working and studying hard all term. We had hoped that Daniel and Becky would also be joining us. However, as I wrote in a post about families, Dan and Becky went early to the Logos Hope and spent Christmas in Hong Kong, and Tim had a nasty accident shortly before the end of November, leaving him almost immobile for a while and in a lot of pain.

When he arrived, mid-December, he was limping and using a crutch, although happily he was able to discard that fairly soon. And while there was a lot of rain - not the warm sunshine Tim had hoped for - his first ten days were, I think, relaxing. We certainly enjoyed having him here, and I very much appreciated him on Christmas Eve when Richard and I were trying to recover from a nasty tummy bug. 

Then Tim himself caught the bug, rather badly, and was out of action for a couple of days. We all went down with nasty coughs and colds, perhaps due to having lowered resistance, and Tim managed to fight off an ear infection... I was pleased to get out for a walk, the Saturday after Christmas, though still coughing... and we all decided we were well enough to go to our friends' house for home-made pizza and some board games on New Year's Eve: 

This shows Tim learning the game 'Torres' which is about some castle ruins being restored. He did pretty well and liked it very much. 

At the other end of the table some serious Rummikub was happening: 

However, by about 10.15pm Richard, Tim and I were all tired, and decided that we would not make the effort to stay awake until midnight. So we came back home and I think I was asleep by about 10.30, sleeping right through the fireworks which unfortunately kept Tim awake for most of the night. 

We didn't do anything much on New Year's Day, which was fine... we kept coughing and feeling weak, although we did manage to entertain two couples for an evening meal on the Thursday evening. It was very enjoyable, but, alas, that night Tim managed to develop a second bout of the tummy bug. Not fun.  Still, he bounced back rather more quickly, if gingerly, only to manage to jab his finger quite badly while helping Richard with some electronics.  

While all feeling rather tired and convalescent, we nevertheless managed to play several games of Agricola, the new game Tim bought us, and which we all like very much indeed: 

On Saturday Richard and Tim went to see the first part of The Hobbit at the cinema; I was feeling pretty wiped out, so I took the Christmas decorations down and then spent an hour reading in bed before falling asleep about 9.30pm and sleeping for ten hours straight!

Sunday was busy, Monday was mostly quiet. Yesterday was the last day of Tim's holiday. He had planned to go out for a walk but the sky was grey and the temperatures dropping, so instead he stayed in and read Dr Seuss's famous story about racism to my small friends, here for their usual Tuesday morning:

Their sister Katie, meanwhile, who has become a fluent and avid reader in the past year, was devouring some of my old Enid Blyton books: 

In the afternoon we played one more Agricola game - now using the cards which make it all the more complicated, but more interesting too - and in the evening a round of Cities and Knights. It was a strange game, which Tim suddenly realised that he had won, quite resoundingly: 

So he finished his packing, and we all set alarms on our phones, because he had to be at the airport for about 6.30am. Not early for me, but when I set my alarm I tend to wake a few times in the night - so I'm remarkably tired today. 

Tim had checked in online, so we didn't have long together at the airport. We sat down for a few minutes after he had dropped off his luggage - a seasoned traveller now, he managed to pack exactly 19.8kg by good judgement - and looked at these slightly incongruous balls hanging from the ceiling. Presumably Christmas decorations which somebody had forgotten to take down .Or maybe they couldn't find a suitable ladder: 

Tim pointed out that I had forgotten to take my usual photo of him wheeling luggage into the airport. So I took one of him sitting with his hand luggage, waiting to go and board:

'So, Mum,' he said, 'I'll expect a new blog post featuring this photo by the time I get home'... 

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