Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Life back to normal in Cyprus... if 'normal' exists here.

This week, the schools started, the shops are open, and everything that closed over the Christmas/New Year period seems to have started up again.

It's also very cold. Down to about 4C overnight, and no more than 15-16C during the daytime.

Which means it isn't a good time for our central heating to be acting up. We're not entirely sure what the problem is, but although it comes on in the evening without problem, it fails to do so first thing in the morning. There's a 'reset' button on the boiler, and Richard's shown me how and where to press to make it come on again since I'm the first one to get up. It's a bit of a nuisance having to go downstairs (outside) and press a button every morning at 6.30am. Still, much better than not having heating at all, which was the situation in our old house!

'Back to normal' means that Richard goes to work some time between 9 and 10am each morning, coming back for an hour or so at lunch-time, and then returning in the evening about 7pm.

Except that he flew to Jordan on Monday night, for several lengthy meetings yesterday, and returned this morning. About three hours later than he expected, but at least he's home. So that's not quite normal...

On Mondays, after I've done various bits of housework, made fresh juice and put on bread, I go to the PO Box to see what mail is awaiting us. This week there were another four or five Christmas cards which didn't make it in time to go up on display. That isn't normal, at least I hope not.

Then I went to the Larnaka Christian Writers' group, which started last spring (and meets monthly), and we had a very good meeting. Then home to try and catch up on our accounts on the computer... and that was definitely not 'as usual' since I had to close down our various Cyprus pounds accounts, and transfer the money in them to euros. Richard had shown me how with a couple of our accounts, so I did it with the rest. I suppose we'll get used to euros eventually but they still feel a bit like Monopoly money.

Tim had his first piano lesson of the year on Monday. Usually he has this at the Municipal music school, as it's fairly convenient. But that was closed, since Epiphany was on a Sunday, and it should be a public holiday. So he had to walk to his piano teacher's house, which is rather further away. Not quite back to normal there, either.

On Tuesday mornings I help at the local Mother and Toddlers' group which meets at one of the churches. That too was rather different from usual, since the lady who usually runs it is in the UK for a couple of weeks, and two of the other regular volunteers weren't there either. One of the mothers was doing the organisation, and someone who usually only volunteers on Thursdays was helping out. There weren't a huge number of children there, and it all seemed very peaceful and quiet. Definitely not normal!

Tim helps out at one of the local English-speaking private schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so he was up early (schools start around 7.40am here ) - all went well until he was half-way home when he tripped and fell, twisting his knee somewhat. It seems all right today, thankfully, but he had to limp the rest of the way home, and didn't go out to the student group in the evening, where he usually plays guitar.

So much for 'back to normal'...

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