It's only three months ago that we had our family all together for a few weeks; Tim has moved back here for a year or two while Daniel and Becky came for a holiday. We had a good time, tinged with sadness at the end when my mother died. We then had a busy week in the UK, much of it with the family, but did not really expect to see Dan and Becky for some months.
While they were here in May, Richard had hoped to film a couple of episodes for a pilot video series which he has been thinking about for several years. Daniel was going to be the sound recordist/engineer. But there were too many delays and problems, so that in the end all we managed to do was spend a day in the mountains looking for suitable locations.
Then one thing after another conspired to put the project off until at last it all came together for the first half of August.
Except that there was nobody to do sound. Richard was directing and had found a local guy to do the camera, and his young friend Jacob to assist... but could not find anyone able and willing to do the sound. So he asked if Daniel would be available, and realised that the funding for the project would allow flights to be paid for... and hoped that Becky would come too, as stills photographer.
It all came together, very much at the last moment. They were in Germany working at a conference until almost two weeks ago, and when they arrived in Cyprus on August 4th they were exhausted.
They had few days in the sun, with plenty of time to sleep, and - naturally - a few games of Settlers of Catan - here shown with our friends Jörn and Sheila:
They had two busy days of filming with Richard in a school in Limassol, disguised so that it would not look Cypriot. They reported that it mostly went very well, although it was quite tiring.
Then a week ago, an old friend called Reti was in Cyprus, so came to dinner followed by a game of Dixit:
We followed that with a few games of Ligretto, but that's so fast that there was no way I could take a photo!
Tim, meanwhile, had been working all week at a church holiday club called Kingdom Rock; he roped Daniel in to play drums on the Sunday morning for the end-of-club service at LCC:
This week the filming days were Monday and Tuesday; despite having looked at a large number of villages, they ended up using part of Lefkara (with permission from the mayor). Here's Daniel... though I have no idea what he might be doing:
The days raced by. We did play a few other games; we hung out; Daniel and Tim helped Richard with some computer installations and discussion about various geeky/technical topics. I found it quite amazing that although Daniel went off - seven-and-a-half years ago - to work as a deckie on a book ship, mostly around the Far East, and Tim went off - five years ago - to do a theology degree in the UK, both have also kept up-to-date in the general media and technical world, and now often know more than Richard does on some of these topics.
Last night, Tim went to a party for some of his old friends from the inter-church youth group, and the rest of us decided to have ice cream at Richard's favourite place in the McKenzy area of the sea front. We were a little put off by the garishness of the plastic chairs (although they were quite comfortable) but the lure of real fruit yogurt ice cream was too strong for both Daniel and me, while Becky had a coconut/chocolate one, and Richard a dairy-free fruity one:
Afterwards Daniel and Becky took their flip-flops off and waded just a little way into the sea:
All good things come to an end; they're now packed and will be flying back to the UK tonight hoping to spend at least a few weeks in their home in Carlisle. But first, just a few more games - and Becky was eager to play Mahjong again:
It's been great having them here and we're going to miss them.