Living in Cyprus - June 1999

4th June

We seem to be pretty well settled now, and it looks like we’ll be staying here long-term, or at least long-ish term. We’ll just take a couple of years at a time. With the world situation these days there’s not much point looking too far into the future, after all! Richard is happy in his work: extremely busy, but fulfilled, and he also loves the climate. 

It’s beginning to get too hot for me, though early mornings are still pleasant. I get up about 6.00am each day and have some time to myself, to read email or potter in the kitchen or whatever. Richard and the boys get up about 8.00am usually and Richard has to be at work (five minutes’ walk away) about 8.30am when he’s here. He travels maybe once a month to the Middle East, usually for about 4-5 days.

Home education continues to be a complete delight, and so enjoyable for me as well as for the boys. I suppose I’ve always had a hankering to teach, but knew I wouldn’t be very good in a big classroom where half the teaching seems to be crowd control. I loved helping in the boys’ school, working with small groups and helping individual children but would never have coped with the stress of being a classroom teacher - all those rules and regulations, lesson plans and marking, ‘differentiation’ to make sure all children are taught at the right level, and parents convinced their children are being pushed too hard (or not enough)...

The kittens are now over three months old and still devoted to each other, so although we hoped to find other homes for them, it looks like we’ll be keeping them. Neither kitten is happy without the other, and though Cleo goes out for long periods hunting on her own, she always wants to know where they are when she gets in. 

Jemima learns about the computerSomehow they've become part of the family. Sophia seems particularly deoted to Daniel, and Jemima appears to be evolving an affection for me, although I wonder if it's mainly my computer that fascinates her.  She loves to watch the screen-savers, and wants to help me typing sometimes. 

28th June

Our schedule seems to be pretty full despite things closing down now for the summer, since schools are shut for half of June, and all of July and August. We went to a birthday party on a boat, one evening a couple of weeks ago - that was pleasant to be out in the bay, relaxing with friends and colleagues.

We're also delighted to have discovered - at last! - some other home educators! There are four or five families, all American, most of whom are in Limassol, and one in Nicosia. They organised an 'end of year' get-together and we were invited. I was a bit apprehensive as it sounded rather over-organised, with something about presenting certificates for finishing 'grades', and also encouraging the children to tell stories or sing songs or whatever... however we went, and were glad we did as there were some very nice children around the age of our two, and younger. 

All in all it was a lovely afternoon. Some of the American families apparently do 'school-at-home', focussing on specific US grades, and did indeed present certificates, but it didn't seem to matter that we didn't. Richard explained that we don't home educate like that at all.

Tim plays guitar at the home educators meeting in Limassol Tim decided to sing a song, accompanying himself with guitar, and this went down very well - people seemed quite impressed that he'd only been learning for 9 months. But then he always has been confident about performing in front of an audience. 

Daniel didn't want to do anything, but I think he had a good time. At the end of the meeting we were amused that all the children and teenagers were exchanging email addresses - it's not phone numbers any more!

Cyprus diary May 1999 | Cyprus diary July 1999