Living in Cyprus - March 1999

1st Mar 1999

We’ve got a bit out of our regular pattern of home education recently, first with filming, and then with the flu; then the week before last was a sort of half-term break for the schools here - not all week, like in the UK, but the Thursday and Friday, and then Monday of this week which was ‘Green Monday’, a public holiday and the Eastern equivalent of Shrove Tuesday. One of the boys' friends came over for all of last Thursday and the three boys spent all day building a new den at the bottom of the garden while I did some weeding. They had a wonderful time!

Richard took the day off last Tuesday as well as Monday as he had been away all weekend, and we did yet more gardening. In the evening I was very tired and went to bed about 10pm, leaving Richard and Daniel both doing some programming together.

Normal activities continue with the various music and other groups and we seem to keep busy all the time. Richard would like to paint some shutters before it gets too hot to do anything strenuous, but there seem to be a lot of things happening at weekends, with work and the boys’ various activities, so it’s difficult to find the time. Also it’s not very inspiring when it’s not our own house and we may not even be here a year from now, if the landlady's family want it back at the end of the year. Our contract is just until the end of 1999 although they may extend it - we’ll have to find out nearer the time as they probably don’t know yet.

8th March

Since winter apparently ended mid-February, rather like it did last year, it's got steadily warmer ever since. Now we don't need sweaters or anything over tee-shirts outside during the daytime, though it still cools down in the evenings. I suppose it's about 20C or a little more in the afternoons, and feels quite hot in the sun, particularly when we're gardening. We're still trying to create some sort of sanity in the garden, moving all stones up to the far end to make a sort of path, and keeping the rest as free as possible of weeds. But stones seem to generate spontaneously, and weeds keep popping up despite no rain for nearly three weeks now. But it's better than it was.

our kittens in MarchThe three kittens continue to grow but have not yet opened their eyes. We had a shock when we got back from Church yesterday: we went into our bedroom to look at the kittens and had a big shock as only one of them was in the box! Cleo had come to greet us, and seemed to be anxious about something, so I was worried that they’d fallen out somehow, and were crawling around the floor or badly hurt by the fall. But when we looked for them, Daniel found the other two curled up snugly on his bed!

Cleo had apparently decided they needed a change of scenery, and must have worked out how to move them. We moved the box and the last kitten through to Daniel's room, and she purred loudly and settled down contentedly. Daniel was very pleased at first, but has found it a bit frustrating not being able to stretch his legs out properly at night. I think we’re going to have to move the box onto the floor soon, as soon as they start trying to climb out of the box.

12th March

The kittens' eyes are only just starting to open now, which is a bit later than I’d expected as they’re now two weeks old exactly. However they seem to be getting stronger and bigger so we’re not worried about them at all. They’re developing quite distinct characteristics though we still refer to them as One, Two and Three, according to their birth order! 

Number One has a sort of multi-coloured face, dark tabby and dark brown, and is quietly determined and pushy. Number Two, who is nearly all black has little orangey star shapes around her eyes, making her look almost like a clown. Her face is very round and her fur is incredibly soft and fluffy. She’s the wobbliest of the three still, and the sleepiest, but also the fattest! She’s the most sociable as well, she likes being taken out of the box and cuddled.

Number Three has the most character of all; he (we think he’s a he anyway) is striped rather like a tiger, and is very pushy and noisy. He hates being washed by Cleo; the others seem to like it, as they roll over and even purr a bit, but Three squeaks and squeaks and tries to get away. Today he was pushing his little paws against her face to keep her from licking him! He doesn’t like being picked up at all, but likes to look around and try to climb up our hands, so long as he does it himself. Clearly an independent thinker.

The boys and I have been working hard in the garden, moving stones down to the far end and getting rid of weeds as far as possible, but really it’s an impossible task. It’s not rained for three weeks now, so I watered our various trees on Wednesday morning when the mains came on. We all hope and pray that there will be some more good rain before about May when it always stops raining for the summer. 

a red rose blooming in Cyprus in MarchWe had wanted to put some more grass seed in the places where we’ve got rid of weeds, just to give some ground cover, but without rain of course it’s no good. The weeds seem to grow without rain!  However, slightly to our surprise we discovered a flourishing rose bush in our front yard.  It produced one magnificent bloom; it seems odd to have a rose in March but no doubt we will eventually get used to the rather different seasons in Cyprus.

March 25th

It poured with rain today after about five weeks of being extremely dry. It was beginning to get hot but is much cooler again today. Daniel is now slightly bigger than me and his feet are European size 44, which according to one guide we have is UK size 10. Cleo has moved the kittens through to Tim's room now - this time she led the way and they followed, since they're starting to get around, albeit on rather shaky legs. The box is on the floor and they still seem to be sleeping in it.

Cyprus diary February 1999 | Cyprus diary April 1999