Life in Cyprus - February 2002

2nd Feb :

February seems to have brought rather warmer weather than January. Today it was really quite pleasantly warm in the sun - even Richard sat outside for a bit! It's cool in the evenings, still, but that will change when it gets dark a bit later- currently it gets dark about 5.45pm-6.00pm. We may have another cold spell before it stays predictably warm, but at least it feels as if the worst of winter is over. There are plenty of oranges on our tree still, though they're smaller than in previous years. Strange, when there has been so much rain. We're also having a reasonable number of lemons, though not a huge number. They're in the shops inexpensively now, too.

I'm cutting our 'grass' about once a week so it's looking reasonably under control, albeit full of weeds. I'm doing a little weeding every day as well, pulling out some of the dandelions and local varieties of weed that seem to multiply overnight, but it's a losing battle, really. Just keeping the whole lot shortish seems to work reasonably well and looks a great deal better than the 50cm high weeds that we would otherwise have by now (looking at some other gardens we can be quite certain of this!) 

Our cold water tank, looking very rusty and oldIt also keeps the flies and mosquitoes down, somewhat. We've noticed that our cold water tank is now looking very rusty.. presumably made worse due to the very wet winter. We've contacted our landlady, and she's agreed to get it changed, although as it's so high up on a scaffold tower, we're not sure how it will be done!

Daniel is getting busier and busier; he seems to be out almost every evening now, with one activity or another. The latest is that he's joined a drama group called Theatre Antidote. Apparently they're starting rehearsals on a new play which is going to be entered in a competition run by the London National Theatre. They allocate two people to each part, which seems like a good idea, rather than having a main actor and understudy. I gather they will do several performances around Cyprus.

It turns out that the drama group isn't just the regular Friday evening; last week there was a Saint's day on Wednesday, so the schools had a day off, and there was a drama rehearsal all morning. This week there's one on Wednesday evening, which is Daniel's only free evening, other than weekends. The people who run it seem very dedicated. I gather they run a group for younger children as well.

Tim is still happy just having his piano and guitar lessons, and going to youth group. I did ask him if he wanted to take up anything else but he said he's doing enough. He does quite a bit of practice for both instruments. Daniel is happy walking everywhere, if Richard isn't available to give him a lift for whatever reason, so it's good that Larnaka is safe.

Last night the youth group did a car 'treasure hunt' which Richard organised; he thought it would take a couple of hours but actually took him about a day and a half of planning, typing cryptic clues, organising envelopes for each team, dropping various clues in to people to be collected along the way, etc. Daniel helped him and made an excellent 'treasure map' for the final location - back in the church grounds! Not content with drawing it, he carefully burned the edges and rubbed in some dirt so they looked like 'real' treasure maps! It was an extremely successful evening, apparently. There was some 'treasure' (a small box of chocolate bars) for each team so it wasn't too competitive, and everybody enjoyed it.

Feb 7th:

Weather has been pretty good, up to about 18C and sunny during the daytime, though still chilly at night; however the barometer has dropped today, and rain is forecast for the weekend, along with rather cooler temps. There's usually a cold spell mid-February and then it warms up again by the end of the month, although March can sometimes be chilly..

organised dancing and a full reservoirThere's been a fair amount of rain this winter.  We attended a home educators' gathering near the Germasoyia reservoir at the outskirts of Limassol, and were amazed to see how full it is, after the recent droughts.

Tim and I cut the back garden today again. He likes using the lawnmower and usually does about half of it, then I finish off and do the awkward bits (of which there are many, with so many trees). For a couple of days after cutting it almost looks as if it might be grass everywhere, if we don't look too closely, but of course once the weeds get growing it becomes more uneven. 

Probably we ought to cut it twice a week, but it takes about 2 hours in all, so we've decided once a week is sufficient. Also, when it's beginning to look untidy it's more satisfying to cut it and see the difference! I shall throw out a bit more grass seed if I can manage it when rain is imminent but not falling; what we have does seem to be spreading, and I'm trying to get rid of dandelions etc in half an hour or so each day. At least if I can stop them flowering and seeding they shouldn't multiply too much this year.

Feb 25th:

We thought it wasn't particularly nice here, as it's been raining and was quite windy on Sunday, but it's not particularly cold; up to about 18C in the daytime and no less than 10C overnight. Apparently the UK has been having appalling weather with frosts and rain, so at least it's better than that!

Richard's been very busy working all hours with some people from Jordan who are over here for just under a week working with him on an Arabic web-site. Last night another visitor arrived - a young man from Colombia, who's here for a few weeks learning about dubbing and other technical stuff. He's staying in the office, where there are now 2 guest rooms. He and the Jordanian couple all came to supper tonight, although mostly I haven't been having to feed them as they've either had kebabs or something at the office, or eaten out.

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