Life in Cyprus - March 2004

March 13th:

As ever time seems to fly by... we've had some quite pleasant weather, sunny but not too hot, so have been doing quite a lot in the garden. We're still keeping it short using the lawnmower and I've got rid of most of the long weeds that sprung up over the winter. My first load of compost was ready to spread around the bases of all the citrus trees, and my 'current' pile is taller than I am with all the recent weeds, grass clippings etc! Once I've finished with the matured compost I'll start a new 'current' pile. There are three on the go, so to speak, so the next one should be ready around October.

Lemons on our treesWe're delighted to see how many lemons are on the trees this year. They're bigger than I can ever remember them, and they're forming clusters rather than just being single lemons. I'm not sure if this is due to all the extra rain, or the compost which I spread around last Autumn - not from my compost heaps, but from piles of rotted leaves that had formed their own compost in various places.

Richard's trip to Northern Iraq begins tomorrow evening with a flight to Jordan, then after a couple of days he has to take a small plane run by a private organisation. He's going to be away for three weeks, and should get back on around April 5th, a few days before some relatives arrive for a break over Easter. The boys won't have too many activities going on since for once Western Easter coincides with Orthodox Easter. Easter weekend itself will be extremely busy with Tim playing piano or keyboard for several events, but at least there won't be the various lessons and groups they go to for a couple of weeks.

Daniel's been at a drama rehearsal since 4pm this evening, as tomorrow night is the premiere of 'The Musicians', the current youth play in which he has a small part. Tomorrow he will be even busier with rehearsals most of the day. Tim will help set up the sound and lights for some of the afternoon, but then at 4.30 he has to be at our church to play piano for the Easter choir practising, and at 6.30pm he and the youth band 'Narrow Gate' are playing for the St Helena's (the Anglican Church) evening service again. He's hoping to be able to rush off from that to get to the Municipal Theatre by 8pm in time to see 'The Musicians' with me. Unfortunately as Richard's flight to Jordan is at 10.30pm he has to check in at 8.30, so will be unable to see the premiere - however he's going to give them a hand setting up in the afternoon, and will see the dress rehearsal instead.

17th March:

'The Musicians' went very well indeed on Sunday - the theatre was packed, and the audience loved it. I gather Antidote have had phone calls all week from people saying how much they enjoyed it, some of whom had never before seen one of their productions. So that's very encouraging.

Our third cat, Jemima, was on the roof of the house this morning and couldn't remember how to get down! I was alerted when I heard her mewing loudly as I opened a window, but couldn't see her anywhere. Eventually I went out, wondering if she was somewhere stuck next-door, and spotted her peering down looking rather scared, and asking me to pick her up! I had to walk a few paces towards the back of the house calling her, several times, until I got to the old tree by the study which has branches up to the roof - at which point she apparently remembered the route to the ground via the tree and came leaping down in great relief.

25th March:

The Larnaka municipal band marches for a national holiday There seem to be several national holidays at this time of year, so the main streets are lined with flags and the schools and uniformed organisations march down to the sea-front in formation. The Town Band usually play for at least one of them. Today they were 'on duty' so I went to watch for a while as Daniel still plays clarinet for them.

It's a relief when they're all over, since for weeks in advance we hear drums played loudly almost every morning as the various schools practise their marching. Not that it seems to help much; it's quite clear when observing the parade that while some chilren have a natural sense of rhythm, and march in time perfectly, others are trying hard but manage to stay out of step the whole time, while yet others seem to be taking a gentle stroll.

The Town Band, on the other hand, who never practice their marching, are all exactly in step with each other. Not surprising, since they're all musicians, but I wonder why the schools haven't yet realised that if a child doesn't have a natural sense of rhythm, no amount of marching practice is going to change them!

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