Life in Cyprus - January 2002

Jan 2nd:

We weren't planning to do anything special for the New Year. There was some kind of party organised by the Greek Evangelical Church, but we went once or twice before and didn't really feel inspired this time. 

Making music with friends on New Year's DayHowever some friends from Limassol came over for the day on December 31st so that Richard could help them prepare a family video to show when they visit the USA in the Summer. They went on so late that we suggested they stay overnight and continue the following day. So we did after all have guests for the New Year, and the boys certainly enjoyed having their friends, and spent quite a bit of time playing music with them.

Jan 6th: 

I looked at online weather forecasts yesterday, as it's been so cold here (and likely to continue) with grey skies and British-style rain. To my surprise I noticed that this weekend our maximum temp (11C) is identical to that of Birmingham, our home in the UK! However although the Birmingham minimum is apparently -3C, ours is 'only' +5; just as well, as a heavy frost here would do irreparable damage to citrus trees, and the various semi-tropical plants that grow so well.

At least the sun came out here today, which enabled me to dry a bit of washing, but as the sky is still clear, it will probably be very chilly tonight. Thank goodness for extra-thick quilts and hot water bottles. We are running our kerosene heater constantly, so the house is staying at a steady 16-18C, not too bad, but we're all wearing fleeces on top of warm jumpers, and the cats are mostly staying inside.

Everything pretty much closed down for the past two weeks, but this week all the boys' various activities will start up again. Daniel seems to go out to something almost every evening now - Town Band on Mondays and Thursdays, Greek lesson on Wednesdays, Youth Group on Fridays, and he's started helping with an outreach group for students (mostly Chinese) on Tuesdays. In addition he's planning to join a men's 'keep fit' session our church is running on Thursday early evenings, and also to help at a group for 5-10-year-olds on Friday afternoons.

Jan 8th:

The Salt Lake is fuller than we've ever seen it before. We haven't had much sunshine for weeks; today was sunny for a change, but no more than 8C outside. We've been running the kerosene heater continually for about four days now, probably the longest continual period since we've been here, as cold spells don't usually last more than a day or two.

Our garden, covered with weeds, in January The garden looks like a disaster area at present. I've found that the strimmer really wasn't coping with the amount of greenery (I hesitate to call it 'lawn' or even 'grass') that's been proliferating, and would overheat if I ran it more than about ten minutes. I'm beginning to lose hope of making any kind of sanity out of the garden, as we haven't had a 24-hour period of dry weather since mid-December, so it's all been much too wet to cut anyway - and so there are weeds between 15 and 30cm just about everywhere! I would go out and do some weeding, at least of the bigger weeds, except that it's so bitterly cold I'd just about freeze, since weeding isn't really very energetic.

Jan 22nd: 

After about a month of continuous rain (or so it seemed) the weather got a little dryer around 10 days ago. After much searching and discussion we went ahead and bought a small electric lawnmower with some of our Christmas money, and made great inroads into the weeds in the back garden. What a difference it makes having something that collects the clippings at the back, even though at first I was having to empty it about every five minutes, the weeds were so long!

Last week Richard was away and the weather stayed fine, so I spent about three hours every afternoon in the garden, pulling up some of the thicker weeds, and then re-cutting the whole thing on Thursday. We were all amazed at how much better it looked to have short green everywhere rather than wild weeds. I'm progressively moving stones to the far end, and also picking more obvious weeds in the lawn through the week, in the hope of now keeping it reasonably under control.

I've put a little more grass seed out in the barest patches, but the ants are stealing it so I don't know if it's going to be much use. Of course I now hope there will be some more rain in between cutting, so the grass will spread a bit. Richard thinks perhaps we should get a sprinkler to keep it going through the summer, now that there's no water shortage, but I suspect that would mean it would need cutting through the summer too, and in the kind of temperatures we have here grass-cutting would NOT be fun in the summer!!

Thank goodness the really cold weather seems to have finished - I hope that's it for the year as it really was bitter. In Paphos there was even some snow, and also just outside Larnaka, although it didn't last long. We didn't get any here but there was a frost one morning. Now it's up to about 15C during the daytime and mostly sunny again.

On Sunday evening the Vicar at the Anglican church organised an inter-church informal service for the week of Christian Unity. Daniel played clarinet and the two girl violists from our church also played, so Tim and I went along and the church was packed. It was a very good service and well represented by all the English-speaking Protestant churches, as well as the Greek Evangelical.

Previous (December 2001) | Next (February 2002)