Living in Cyprus - February 2000

February 9th: 

We were still in the UK at the start of February. We moved out of our own house, as a new pastor and his wife moved in, and went to stay with my parents for a few days. Tim decided he wouldn't have another week at school - it would have meant lengthy bus journeys each day, and by this stage he had decided that, much as he liked the staff and the atmosphere of his school, there was too much time spent on irrelevancies and waiting around. Being back for a month helped him decide that he did in fact prefer home education, and did not want to go to secondary school in the Autumn.

So we spent our last few days in Birmingham doing some shopping: clothes for the boys from Bewise, and more home education resources and other books for the next couple of years. I enjoyed visiting as many charity shops as possible and picking up bargains (mostly books) at around 20p each. Then we drove down to Richard's mother in Sussex for just under a week, returned the car to Ichthus Motors, and flew back to Cyprus.

All went well with the flights, we even arrived early at Larnaka so were out with all our luggage before a friend arrived to drive us home. Richard unpacked all the cases before we went to bed, thinking that otherwise they would get left for weeks, so we have piles of books and clothes around the place but the majority of stuff has gone away already. 

our garden, overgrown with weeds after our return to CyprusIt's been quite cold and wet for Cyprus, down to 4C at night fairly often, apparently. This means that some of the tropical plants - rubber tree and the bougie, in particular - are looking a bit yellow although they seem to be alive, and the bougainvillea is still producing plenty of pink bracts. It also means that the back garden has weeds everywhere, literally (and I mean literally!) two feet high. I've pulled out a few - the ground is very soft but not wet - so can see we'll be doing a lot of weeding to get it under control. They come up in handfuls so it's not too hard.

The house feels quite cold although it's pleasant outside in the sunshine. I don't think it's any warmer than it was when we left the UK (it was apparently 12-14C in Sussex) but at least it feels warmer when it's sunny rather than raining. 

Jemima, the fluffy cat, sitting outside on our patioThe cats were a bit surprised to see us but the 'kittens' (who don't seem to have grown at all) were very friendly almost immediately, although Cleo kept hiding and wouldn't come near as at first. But she slept on Tim (she had obviously been sleeping on his bed all the time we were away, from the state of the duvet cover!), while Sophia snuggled up with Daniel like she always used to, and Jemima slept on me. Daniel is very relieved as he was worried that they wouldn't remember us at all, or might have gone 'wild' like the outdoor cats who live at the end of the garden.

26th February: 

It's been distinctly chilly here; sunny and not bad in the daytime (perhaps 15-16C in the shade) but by about 4.30pm it's feeling cold, and overnight it's down to 8 or thereabouts. Without central heating (and with these large rooms and marble floors) we've been finding it hard to keep warm. However it's apparently been colder than usual this winter. The lady staying in our house during January found it extremely cold.

I've been trying to get the back garden under control again: the rain while we were away meant that the weeds were everywhere once again; however the ground is soft enough that they come out in handfuls so I've been trying to do an hour or so each day of solid weeding, and once a week Tim and I have been strimming anything remotely grass-like in an attempt to encourage whatever grass (wild or otherwise) grows here. 

We've tried several kinds of grass seed but not been awfully successful. Unfortunately it's not possible to buy selective weedkiller here: we thought about bringing some from England our luggage was heavy enough as it was! The only kind of weedkiller here not only kills anything green, but is dangerous for cats as well.

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