Life in Cyprus - February 2003

2nd February:

We've been trying to attack the garden a bit this weekend, as we had a couple of days without rain so it dried out somewhat. We lit a bonfire in the old oil drum thing near the garage, and have burnt a lot of old branches and twigs; Richard did a bit more pruning, and I got the lawnmower out and did most of the garden. Of course there's always more to do.  Today we burnt some more... but it's a long job. Still, at least it looks a little tidier.

14th February:

This week we've had rain - an unbelievable amount of rain! I've managed to do a little weeding, and even to cut the "grass" once, and have also put out a few bedding plants. But most of the time has been dominated by the weather, which seems to be as wet as England at present (although there, I gather, there has been snow). 

Getting washing dry is a major undertaking when I can't simply hang it out on the line and bring it in a few hours later. I have an indoor rack, which just about takes one load from the washing machine; if there aren't any dry patches during the day, I move it in front of the kerosene heater in the evening, and then rotate the damp clothes until they dry with the heat. We seem to have been lighting the heater, and using the air-conditioning on 'heat' for just about every day recently, starting about 3pm when the weather gets chillier.

24th February:

The beach at Kiti in FebruaryMy parents have been here for 10 days now - having chosen a very chilly time of year (down to 5C overnight, raining all day yesterday and most of today so far) although I don't think they quite believed me when I said it wasn't warm at this time of year! They're quite happy just to be in the house most of the time, reading or whatever, since they've been to most of the interesting places in previous trips, and it's not beach weather at all - though we did manage a walk along our favourite Kiti beach one afternoon when it was dry. 

My mother and I went on a guided walk of the pottery studios in Larnaka last week, which was pretty interesting. I've seen these guided tours advertised, but never found a suitable time to go. This one started at the fort, and took us to about five or six different pottery places, where the owners gave a little talk about their style of craftsmanship, and then we went into their showrooms where it was possible to buy different pieces.

After some years of having nobody in their 20s in our church (Daniel being the oldest boy in the church, and the next youngest people being in their mid-30s) we're suddenly overrun with YWAMmers, since a new DTS (discipleship training school) has opened just outside Larnaka. So there was a large group here for three months training, most of them coming to our church on Sundays, then about six of them stayed in Cyprus for the outreach part, which involved working with the youth group and Sunday School, going around the island praying and doing street evangelism, etc. 

Others went to Uganda or Jordan, and are back this week, but in the meantime further groups who did their training elsewhere have come here for their outreach work.... so there's a steady stream coming and going. They've invited Daniel along to several of their events - last week he spent a day in Nicosia, and then Saturday in Paphos doing some open-air worship, and last night he went to a service at the place where they're all staying. It's so good to have these people around who aren't much older than him, and who treat him almost as one of themselves.

26th February:

Today was fine again in the morning, so my mother and I decided to go to the 'historic Larnaka' guided walk. This one set off from the CTO (Cyprus Tourism) office, with a Cypriot in charge. Despite having lived here over five years now, there were places I hadn't seen, and parts of the history I didn't know. The guide explained just how strong the Greek Orthodox Church has been over the centuries; often the one consistent force in a country which has been taken over by so many other world powers in its history.

28th February:

This has to have been the coldest February since we've been here. The forecast doesn't look like it's going to improve in early March, either. Today was at least sunny and not too windy; as it was the last day of my parents' visit, we drove out to Kiti beach for a walk. It was really quite pleasant in the sunshine, so long as we kept walking, and good to get some sea air.

Yesterday we drove to Limassol, since Richard had a meeting there.  We were amazed at how green the scenery looked beside the motorway - greener than I can remember it in the five years we've been here.  

The scenery at the side of the motorway looked very green on the way to LimassolWe went to visit my favourite second-hand bookshop, 'Marilyn's', which is run by British staff, and stocks an excellent variety of novels - mostly British - and some non-fiction. I managed to find a few books I'd been looking for, plus one or two for the boys (who stayed at home), and my parents found some as well. Since I was able to return some books we didn't want to keep - or had duplicates of - we got a large discount on the books we wanted anyway. A great place to visit.

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