Photo gallery index, 2005

This page shows a few photos showing our family, our house, and life here in Cyprus in 2005. Click on any of them to get bigger pictures.  For more recent photos and descriptions of life in Cyprus, see my Cyprus blog

Wet patio in January

Wet patio in January January this year was wet, but not too cold. There has been so much rain this winter that our back garden was looking greener than we could ever remember it for this time of year - and as everything grows so fast, I had to keep up with the weeding too. Early in the month leaves fall from the pomegranate and some other trees, giving an almost Autumnal image despite being the middle of winter.

Jemima on the steps

Jemima on the steps Our cats all like to sit on the steps outside the back door, watching life go by and occasionally stalking birds or small reptiles. Here's Jemima, looking very fluffy with her thick winter coat, sitting in the sunshine. There's a ledge over the steps meaning that this spot stays dry even when it's pouring outside. You can just about see how much work really needs to be done on this house - the whole outside could do with painting, and the door-frame is really in quite bad condition. But nobody knows if the house will remain standing more than a couple more years.

Lemon tree

Lemon tree February was also quite wet, with a distintly chilly patch towards the beginning. An advantage of a wet winter is prolifically fruiting citrus trees - here's just one of our four lemon trees which continually fruited from about December onwards. I expect the compost helped too, and my regular watering last summer, but the rain of this winter must have made a significant difference too. We were making lemonade every week and hardly making any difference to the number of fruit on the trees.

Green garden

Green garden Every year I take photos of the back garden - to people in England it seems obvious that a garden would be green, but even after seven and a half years in Cyprus, it still feels like a novelty! And every year the garden gets greener as more bare patches start producing grass and weeds. Keeping it cut regularly gives the impression of a lawn, something we missed very much when we first moved here.

New sofas

New sofas In March we finally bought a couple of new two-seater sofas, to replace an ancient (and very uncomfortable) one we bought second-hand when we moved here. These were made by a local furniture store at a very reasonable price, and are remarkably comfortable. Most sofas available here are leather or leather-look, at great price, but even if we had liked them they would have been silly to buy with four cats in the house. We chose a style which shouldn't show the odd scratch, although of course we're discouraging the cats from treating them like trees!

Far end flowers

Far end flowers This is the first year I've seriously weeded the far end of the garden, and planted out some flowers. Just the usual geraniums, petunias and the like which should last until June or so. Bedding plant season is very different from the UK! I don't know how well they'll grow - this part of the garden gets a lot of sun, which is fine at this time of year but may be too much for them once it gets hotter. Still, it's nice to have a bit of extra colour and an interesting experiment. Of course the weeds continue to grow much faster than any flowers.

Looking down the garden

Looking down the garden In April the garden was greener than I think we had ever seen it before, and tidier too! The plants at the far end were becoming well-established, Tim was keeping the 'lawn' cut almost weekly, and there was still a reasonable amount of rain. Of course the weeds kept growing, and it was a losing battle trying to keep them down, but still I felt quite pleased with how it all looked, certainly compared to how it was a few years ago.

Mespila, almost ripe

 Mespila, almost ripe The first of our fruit - the loquats, or mespila as they're called in Cyprus, are usually ripe around the last week of April. At first I cook them to freeze or make jam as they're a bit tart, but by May they're delicious to eat fresh from the tree. There weren't too many on the tree we have in the back garden, but the one in the front was loaded with fruit this year.

Feral kittens

Feral kittens Just as we thought we were all settled and not much was going to change, we found ourselves having to foster seven feral kittens whose mother was run over. In the middle of May we found these poor little orphans in a hedge near the front of our driveway, only about three weeks old. I bottle -fed them at first, and kept them clean, and to my delight (and surprise) they all survived the first few weeks.

Cyprus rain!

Cyprus rain! Rain at this time of year is fairly unusual - although it happened a couple of years ago - but two hours of torrential rain on the last day of the month was almost unbelievable! We watched the patio flooding, and the garden too since the soil had hardened in the sunshine. Friends mentioned that they collected about two inches of water - a huge amount for two hours. Of course Tim's ceiling leaked too...

Goodbye kitties

 Goodbye kitties Alas, we couldn't find homes for the feral kittens, and there was no way we could keep all seven of them. Several people advised us to send them to the Animal Sanctuary in Paphos, where they would either be well-fed and looked after, or would be adopted by people looking for kittens. So we borrowed a fairly large cage, so at the end of June we took them to the Cat Protection League charity shop in Larnaka, where they were taken by lorry to Paphos.

Sophia

Sophia Our four cats had been rather suspicious of the feral kittens, but hadn't actually attacked them. However it probably wouldn't have been long before they were seen as a threat, so although it was sad, it was just as well to let them go. Here's one of our cats, Sophia, sitting at the front of the house and generally watching the world go by. Or perhaps she was hoping Daniel would return from his trip to the Doulos..

Tugboat in Limassol

Tugboat in Limassol July was a special month for us, as we celebrated 25 years of marriage. At the start of the month, we took a five-day mini-cruise around some Greek islands on the SS Aussonia. It was excellent despite a few minor problems. Here we are being towed out of Limassol harbour the first afternoon, by a little tugboat.

Anniversary flowers

Anniversary flowers On the actual anniversary date my sister sent us these wonderful flowers - ordered from the UK, sent from Nicosia by the local courier. It was a lovely surprise! They looked gorgeous and lasted over a week; we kept the basket to use for fruit afterwards.

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