Saturday, January 18, 2014

A week in the life....

Some of my Facebook friends aim to take (and post) a photo every day for a year, to chart the course of their lives. I thought it a great idea, but forgot to take any pictures on January 1st - so that put paid to that idea. I have my camera with me most of the time, but still often forget to pull it out of my bag.

Or perhaps there just aren't so many photographic moments. How many more sunrises can I capture, after all?

Well, maybe just this one, from Thursday:

I only walk along the trail three times each week; my friend Sheila goes out every morning, but she usually wakes earlier than I do. And the rest of the week, I like to have a few hours to myself. Tim gets up early three mornings a week when he has to be at work by 7.30am, but we're not very chatty first thing.

So I potter around, and clean the floors, and do laundry, and read, and chat to God, and squeeze oranges for our morning juice, and perhaps put something in the slow-cooker for our evening meal, or make more coconut milk... or whatever needs doing. There always seems to be something.

Sometimes I put the ingredients for a loaf of bread into the breadmaker, if we've run out of frozen slices from previous loaves, but this week Tim said he would bake a 'white bloomer' on his day at home. It turned out very well indeed:

At times I feel that I should be able to get things done more efficiently, but somehow it always takes me at least four hours from the time I wake up to the time I am out of the shower and looking respectable once more.

So how does a typical week look, once I've finished walking/chores/cooking/etc?

On Monday mornings I do our account and pay any bills (such as utilities) online. On Tuesdays, Sheila and her two youngest daughters come over so the little girls can play/colour pictures/listen to stories. And on Fridays, Richard and I try to work through a list of jobs outstanding for the house, or our life in general - and usually do some shopping.

A couple of days ago we finally got around to submitting our tax return, two weeks before the deadline. Richard extracted the information from our accounts package, and entered it online; meanwhile I dug out our financial records (statements, utility bills etc) from nine years ago and shredded them, and moved a more recent year's information to a box file to store. Then we went fruit and veg shopping. At some point we plan to do some repainting of parts of the house, but haven't yet got around to that.

In the afternoons (and Wednesday/Thursday mornings) I tend to write, or do other things at the computer: sometimes email, sometimes a book review or DVD review on the relevant blogs. I've been working on my home education site this week, changing broken links and adding in a few more; I've also fully updated and re-printed our family recipe folder, which I last did in 2010. I'm also doing other writing - for other blogs, bits of fiction, ideas that may come to nothing. It's been reasonably productive this week, spurred on by a group I'm part of which aims to write 1000 words per day for 100 days. I'm pretty much on track so far, which is encouraging.

I'm also trying, yet again, to learn a bit more Greek, although as ever it feels like one step forwards and two steps back. Nobody speaks Greek to me, as I'm so fair-skinned and obviously not Cypriot. Vocabulary is a stumbling block for most foreigners, unless they're married to a Cypriot, and as for the grammar... all I can say is that it's been simplified since the days of Ancient Greek (which I studied at school many decades ago). But it's still confusing and I'm not good with languages.

In between working, or attempting to work, I catch up on Facebook, or do the day's puzzles on a couple of different sites; relaxing and also (I hope) helping to stimulate my brain cells.

Around 5.30pm I do meal preparation, usually; I pull the curtains, and perhaps put away laundry or empty the dishwasher, and generally potter some more. We aim to eat about 6.30pm, and try to do something as a family at least three or four times a week - either a board game or a DVD. On Thursday this week Richard and I had been invited to some friends for a meal, which was very pleasant; on Fridays we all go to a low-key 'home group' with other friends.

This morning (Saturday) I went for a walk, then after general pottering and a bit of reading, I made some tomato and apple chutney, since we were on our last jar of the previous batch, made about a year ago, and I also made some more tomato ketchup as we had almost finished our last pot, made about four weeks ago. I was very pleased to have found a small crate of about 4kg tomatoes for a euro at the fruit stall yesterday, which makes them even better value.

Of course there are variations on the above themes. But this past week has been reasonably typical, as much as any week can be.. and, I hope, answers the question I'm asked, from time to time, 'So what do YOU do in Cyprus?'

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