Life in Cyprus - October 2004

4th October:

The weather has stayed hot - more so than usual for this time of year, up to about 30-32 most days in September, although thankfully a bit cooler overnight. We've even had to use the air conditioning a few times recently, something I don't ever remember doing in October. My father was out with us for the past fortnight and flew back early yesterday morning, but Richard was pretty busy at work and it was really too hot to do anything much. He did go out for a walk most mornings before the temperatures got too high, but as he's seen most of the interesting things in Cyprus before he was quite happy to spend most of his time here reading, or sitting in the sun, or playing games or watching DVDs with the boys.

Daniel is now working at the theatre group with rehearsals most mornings for their next production, and various things in afternoons and evenings. Richard has been helping with installing lighting and sound in the new theatre, and ensuring that they meet European safety regulations. Cypriots tend to be very 'relaxed' about rules and regulations, which isn't a bad thing in some circumstances, but where safety is concerned Richard is pretty inflexible.

Tim has already started working on Christmas music; the inter-church choir who sing annually at a public concert had their first rehearsal yesterday, which I gather went quite well. Tim will be accompanying them as pianist again, so he had the music to work on about a week ago, but says it's extremely difficult. 

crust of salt at the Salt Lake in October../../gallery2004/Octpics04.htmlThe boys' other activities are slowly starting up again after the summer, and we keep hoping for the first rain - I don't think we've had any at all here since March, although last winter was extremely wet, and the Salt Lake has not dried out completely even without any rain recently, although it looks dry and crusty in places. Richard is enjoying the long summer but I begin to feel the need for some Autumn!

17th October: 

It's been a busy weekend! Daniel celebrated his 18th birthday yesterday, and although he hasn't wanted a party for the last few years, we thought it would be a good idea to have one this year, particularly as it fell on a Saturday. Unlike teenage parties of my own memories, he definitely wanted Richard and me to be about, and my mother who is staying with us. He invited about forty people in all, and I suppose thirty or more turned up, which was good. One or two who were expected did not arrive, but apparently that's quite normal in Cyprus.

Again unlike parties from my teenage years, they spent most of their time sitting around chatting with a pencil-and-paper game at the beginning to help people get to know each other. I'd produced a large amount of buffet food: far too much, as ever, so we'll be eating pasta salad and peanuts all week, if not longer. We did buy some wine and beer but very little of those were taken; we also had large quantities of fruit juice and fizzy drinks, and of course many teenagers here only drink water. All in all it was very pleasant. It officially started at 5pm, but instead of going on until past 11pm as expected, everyone has gone by nine o'clock. Just as well really as we were all exhausted but I think everyone enjoyed it.

Daniel's main birthday present - a special one for his 18th, bought with money from Richhrd's mother as well as from us, is a drum kit. He's continued teaching himself drumming via the Internet on the church's electronic kit, and occasionally practising on the munipal music school kit, so it did seem like a good idea for him to have a proper one. After a great deal of discussion, and trying out several in the shop, he chose one that's blue which goes well in his bedroom. He's going to arrange some drum lessons soon as we've heard of a good teacher locally.

bougainvillea in our back garden in OctoberI've very much neglected the garden in the past few weeks other than continuing to water all the plants on Saturday evenings - I really feel as if I've had enough of using that hose for this year! Most of it's still very dried out, but one pleasant surprise is that the bougainvillea planted against a sunny wall at the end of the back garden in the spring has flourished amazingly and is now producing gorgeous deep pink bracts while almost everything else looks dry and sad.

31st October

We're having another very busy weekend, dominated by yesterday's Grand Opening of the new Antidote Theatre and premiere of the new play, 'The Little Man's Best Friend'. All week in every spare moment Richard was getting the lighting system organised - including getting a full script and rehearsing with them. It went extremely well! It's an unusual play about a lonely man, adapted from a children's book. 

They're advertising it as being a children's play, but I think it may be rather over the heads of some small Cypriot children who are used to fast action and humour. The audience were mostly adults including some local VIPs, and it was filmed by the Cyprus television company. The play is mainly music-driven with very few lines; it was done in Greek but English friends who are staying with us had no problem understanding, since most of the drama is in the acting.

This morning here was a youth service at church with Tim helping to organise and mostly lead the music, then our housegroup had a potluck lunch at someone else's house. In the evening we were hosting nearly 50 people for a friend's 65th birthday! We're having to reorganise the house somewhat as they have arranged for various 'cultural items', mostly musical, and want everyone to be able to sit down with as many as possible in the living room! 

We moved our big table out to the central 'atrium' room, and just about every chair we possess into the living/dining room, plus cleaning up all the white plastic garden chairs (we have 14 of those) and bringing those in. Tim will be exhausted by the end of the day as he's taking part in two of the musical items; just to add to his busy day he had to play the guitar between church and the potluck for a sea-baptism - and he's playing piano for the inter-church choir practice before the evening party.

Still, at least we got an extra hour's sleep with the clock change for daylight savings time, meaning we were all up bright and early. The dark evenings will be a bit depressing, but it's nice to see it almost light at 6am again.

There was about half an hour of heavy rain on Friday night, really the first since March. Richard was still up and at the theatre, so he noticed it; however it wasnt' loud enough to wake me, and by the morning it had all dried up again. The weather doesn't seem to be noticeably cooler either, although at least it's less humid than it was at the start of the month. There are Autumnal leaves falling all over our garden, but it still feels like the end of Summer.

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