I knew it was optimistic when I wrote, at the start of August, that we should be half-way through Summer. Cyprus Summers don't finish at the end of August. I knew it would still be hot at the start of September. What I didn't expect was another heatwave, temperatures up to 37 degrees in the shade (over 40 in Nicosia), and humidity worse than it was in July or August.
It's been a strange year, and an unusual summer. Usually our younger son comes out for at least ten days or so. But with cancelled flights and the need for Covid testing, not to mention the way the Cyprus 'categories' changed almost by the day, it didn't make sense this year. Two weeks of self-isolation is not so bad for someone arriving for a month or more. But it would be terrible for a short visit.
We didn't leave the island, either, and don't expect we will until at least the spring. The pandemic is not over. Numbers remain low in Cyprus, and we have a lot more freedom than many countries; but it could come back any time. Much of Europe is seeing a spike, possibly a second wave. Treatment for the worst cases is improving, and, at least in Europe, fewer people are dying. But until there's a reliable vaccine or a breakthrough in curing the disease, any travelling is going to be risky.
We didn't go to the beach this year, either. I think that's a first. In previous years we've gone on Friday evenings with our friends, and we've often gone there on other evenings, too, for a brief swim. But this year everything is different. We didn't want to risk a crowded beach, early in the summer, and somehow we never got around to it. The days passed slowly, but the weeks whizzed by. I could have gone to a friend's daughter's birthday party on a beach ten days ago, but the predicted temperature was about 35C and we had no idea if there would be any shade. So I didn't.
I haven't used the oven since the end of June. I thought I might when September started, but it's remained too hot and sticky. We managed to eat salads in some form, albeit sometimes accompanied by hot potato wedges or slices, until the end of August. Since then we've had some cold food, some hot, but made in the air fryer or over the stove top, or a combination of the two.
Having said that, I've experimented a few times - with the kitchen air conditioning on - with different foods. I've been particularly pleased with some dairy-free vanilla ice cream, based on a recipe I found somewhere else, involving (among other things) a can of full-fat coconut milk and some whipped aquafaba. Gold syrup gives an almost caramel flavour, and canned coconut milk whips pretty well, after the more watery part is removed (and made into a custard to combine, when cold).