Living in Cyprus - July 2000

11th July: 

It's been extremely hot - there's been a heatwave all around the Mediterranean, apparently. It's been up to about 36C in the shade during the daytimes, humid as well, and no less than 30C overnight. We are extremely thankful for the air conditioning unit in the living room which makes the days bearable.

two cats sitting on Daniel's lapNone of us has yet slept in the a/c, as there's sufficient breeze (combined with fans) to make the bedrooms not too bad overnight. But even the early mornings are hot and humid, much worse than last year when it was very pleasant at 6am each day. It can be rather warm when the cats want to sit on us, particularly when there are two at once!

A week ago my computer hard drive became corrupted... but it was 10 years old and had been extremely reliable up to that point. We managed to retrieve most of the data, thank goodness, and copy it temporarily to the boys' computer. 

The cat Jemima watching paper emerge from the printerThen as it was so old and not replaceable, we decided to go ahead and get a new computer - something we'd considered with our Christmas money but hadn't yet done, as the old one continued working adequately. Jemima continues to be surprisingly interested in anything to do with computers, and is fascinated by the printer.

Richard compared prices locally with the UK but found little difference, and obviously it's better to get equipment here as it's warrantied and easy to get repaired if necessary. So I now have a new and very fast computer with 8 gig of hard drive... I can't imagine ever using up much of that as my old one had only 500 meg which was plenty, but it's nice to have something faster and able to go on the Internet.

25th July: 

Thank goodness, the heatwave ended about 10 days ago, so now it's 'only' about 30-32C in the shade during the daytime, down to 24C overnight. But unfortunately it's eveng more humid, as we would expect now August is approaching. We use the a/c to reduce humidity as much as temperature - running it at 28C for the sake of the computers, so it goes off and on via the thermostat, but the lack of humidity makes it seem so much cooler. We collect about 10 litres of water outside where it drips every day! Not that we collect it all, but it seems a good way of recycling water, so I pour most of it on the plants.

The water shortage is still severe but the government say they are finally building a desalination plant and promising constant water right across the island by the end of the year. However as they also promised that by the end of 1999 we're not holding our breaths. Currently we're having 2 days of mains water per week, equally spaced (Tuesday daytime, Friday night) and coping fine with that - tanks haven't run out since our visitors in April were here, when the schedule changed without warning.

Last week Richard and I went away for a couple of days to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary - we went to stay at a hotel near Limassol that had a swimming pool, not far from the beach. The boys stayed both nights with some friends locally, but came back to the house during the daytime so they could look after the cats, and have their books and computer etc. That worked out very well.

We managed to discover a real second-hand bookshop in Limassol, possibly the only one in Cyprus! It's run by a retired British woman who's married to a Cypriot, and is full of English novels and a few interesting reference books. Richard bought some biographies, and I picked up yet more general fiction. I've recently discovered Susan Howatch, particularly her amazing 'Starbridge' series, and got some more of those. 

We bought about thirty books in all! That worked out very well as we has been given two new bookcases the week before, by another missionary family (from a different organisation) who were leaving the country to go back to the USA. They are rather nice looking mahogany type bookcases, but over 2 metres tall, so nobody else wanted them as we are the only family with such large rooms and high ceilings.

Right now grapes are in season, very cheap, sweet and delicious. Daniel seems to eat about half a kilogram of grapes every day at present! We're going to be in the UK for most of August, but our pomegranates should be ready around the time we come back. While they're quite nice, we don't want to eat them in vast quantities, and seem to have a hard time giving them away. I'm not sure quite why the landlady's family planted so many pomegranate trees - there must be at least six in the back garden.

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