Life in Cyprus - September 2002

23rd September:

We hoped the weather was going to get autumnal earlier than usual when we had torrential rain about 10 days ago - two hours worth! - but after 48 hours or so it was back to 30C in the shade during the daytime, 20C overnight. The humidity seems to have reduced somewhat, though, so that's good. And we were very thankful that our roof was finally mended a couple of days before the rain - so although I kept going from room to room expecting drips, the inside stayed dry.

Tim mowing the lawnLeaves are falling all over the place and our pomegranates are ripe - far too many for us to eat - but those are about the only signs of Autumn so far. The garden has been looking a real mess, but it's  too hot for me to get the lawnmower out or do anything very energetic until the evening - and as it's dark by 7pm it's then too late.  Tim did make an effort with the lawnmower one afternoon so part of it is better - but we're hoping the weather will cool down soon.

We had quite a busy weekend - two of the home educating families over for Saturday, then there was a performance of the Greek 'Nuts' in the evening, so Daniel was helping backstage; Richard and Tim went along to help setting up the lights and video projector, and ended up staying to control them both, with Tim trying desperately to keep his place in the script, able to read Greek (which is phonetic) but not easily able to keep his place, particularly when lines were improvised or slightly changed! Anyway, I gather it went well, but they were back pretty late.

Yesterday was Tim's birthday, but all he wanted event-wise was two friends over for the afternoon, a couple of rented DVDs, and some ordered pizza for supper, followed by a cake which he made in the morning, and a batch of the easy-to-make chocolate ice cream. So nothing complicated. Much easier than hosting parties for small children! When I mentioned this on a British email list, someone expressed surprise that we could order pizza and rent DVDs in Cyprus: it seems that this country has been developing very rapidly in the past ten years or so.

30th September:

Fnally we got started on repainting the house.  We discovered a small but useful Crown paint shop not far away, with a much wider selection of paint colours than we had previously found anywhere on the island. We decided to paint all the bedrooms, the living-room/dining-room and the Atrium. 

Since the ceilings are so high (four metres above the ground) and there is boarding up to about 1.5 metres from the ground to cover rising damp in the plaster, we decided to do split-level painting with an off-white for the ceilings and upper parts of the walls, and brighter colours to blend in with the curtains and carpets on the lower boarding. The light colours should keep the rooms looking large and airy, but the darker colours will both brighten the general appearance and - we hope! - not get quite so dirty as rapidly as magnolia has done in the past few years.

Daniel's room after re-paintingSo as Daniel is the older, we decided to do his room first. He chose a blue that matched well with his curtains, and an off-white for the ceilings and higher parts of his walls. Of course painting a ceiling four metres from the ground is not an easy task! We didn't want to have to go to the huge expense of renting scaffolding - even supposing that is possible in Cyprus - and the only step-ladder we have is a bit rickety. 

So we used the Cypriot method of attaching a long extension pole to a roller and painting from the floor. This is effective, but extremely hard work. Neither Tim nor I were strong enough to control such a long piece of equipment, so Dan and Richard had to do all the high painting. I could manage a roller on a shorter extension for the lower parts of the upper walls, and of course we could all paint the brightly coloured section at the bottom.

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