Living in Cyprus - August 1998

14th August:

It’s been so extremely hot and humid that even typing seems energetic! Yesterday it was a little cooler and the humidity was lower; today it remains cooler (by ‘cooler’ I mean about 35C rather than 45C in the sun!) but the humidity seems to be higher again. It’s so difficult to get anything done, I just feel like flopping the whole time. Richard has been doing all the cooking which is wonderful, but next week he’s going to be in Jordan so I hope it will be a little better, otherwise we’ll be eating a lot of salad!!

We had a great time in the UK in July; the flights back went well, all pretty much on time, and although one of our suitcases was missing, the airline found it again on Monday so we were able to collect it. As Daniel’s roller blades were in it, as well as Tim’s Cyprus Cubs uniform, we were glad they did find it!

Sadly, while we were away, the feral kitten (who we named Felix as he was so friendly) who we had half adopted in June died. However it wasn't long before we adopted another - not a wild one from our garden this time. This time it was found by someone else, in Nicosia (the capital city) in a cardboard box with three very weak siblings. Richard was in Nicosia with two girls who’d been helping at work; they found this box and decided to rescue the strongest kitten. Someone had tried to be helpful and poured a carton of chocolate milk into the box!

One of the girls took it back to her house and gave it a bath, then Richard gave her the Lactol and syringes we’d bought to feed Felix (not that he ever took much). After a few days the kitten got much stronger and as she had to go back to college and her parents were going on holiday, Richard offered to look after the kitten while they were all gone. Apparently their older cat refused to accept the kitten so they asked if we’d like to keep her... which of course delighted the boys! We think she’s about 3-4 weeks old, she’s black and fluffy and very lively. The girl who found her named her Cleo (short for Cleopatra, because she was found bathing in milk...)

Our Cyprus kitten Cleo being bottle-fedSo we’re bottle-feeding a kitten; the pet shop had some little pet bottles and she takes it beautifully. She’s started eating a tiny bit of minced chicken as well but so far refuses to touch kitten food or anything else so we hope she’s not going to require chicken all her life! At present she’s drinking so much Lactol that she gets all she needs from that. She doesn’t seem to have any idea how to lap from a saucer, so we hope she learns that somehow. But she’s more or less house-trained to a litter box. We’re keeping her in the house so she doesn’t go near other cats until we manage to get her vaccinated against enteritis and whatever else is rife here. At least there’s no rabies.

Richard is working all hours this week to finish the Arabic/English catalogue of videos and books that was started earlier in the year. He seems to get frequent interruptions and says he’s only done about one day of work he’d planned to do this week; all the rest is things that have cropped up unexpectedly and phone calls, etc. He goes to Jordan on Sunday night and really needs it finished before then. He’s encouraged that more people are coming to join the team and that funding has been half-promised for one of the big programmes they are hoping to make in the Autumn.

Our kitten Cleo exploring our front gardenThe week seems to have dragged a little with the weather being so unpleasantly hot, but we hope it will start to get cooler and dryer now. Someone said it can stay humid until the end of September - we hope not! 

There isn’t much breeze, which makes it worse, and although I move around the house during the day opening and shutting shutters and windows as appropriate, the house still gets rather hot, though not as bad as outside. I gather it’s the hottest Summer for 60 years; lots of people have put in air conditioning this year despite some of them having lived all their lives here without it. If we end up staying here longer than two years, we may have to consider it ourselves.

Cyprus diary June 1998 -  Cyprus diary September 1998

Family Books

Sue's home ed book:

Richard's book:

Sue's father's memoirs: