Living in Cyprus - October 1999

12th October:

Nothing much seems to have happened in the past few weeks, except that it’s very slightly cooler. It still doesn’t feel like Autumn, although there are more leaves than usual on the patio each morning. It’s been overcast and a little thundery the last couple of days, but no more than a few spots of rain; today it’s bright and sunny again, and back to 28C outside.

Daniel and Richard haven’t any idea what they want to do on their birthday, later this week. The family who came out with us on Tim's birthday are no longer here, and Daniel’s other main friend is living in Egypt for a year, so there’s nobody he wants to invite over. However that doesn’t seem to worry him too much. He said he would like home-made lasagne best of all, and then to go out for yogurt ice cream, so perhaps that’s what we’ll do. In the afternoon the Anglican church will be holding their Autumn Fayre, which appeals to both Tim and me but not particularly to either Richard or Daniel; still it’s only five minutes’ walk away so we may well go and see if there’s anything interesting, particularly second-hand books!

Sophia and Jemima are now almost as big as Cleo although they still look like large kittens rather than small cats. Jemima is extremely fluffy and very affectionate, particularly to me. They all love to be outdoors, now it's cooler, and the three of them play games together: chasing each other around and hiding, then pouncing out on each other. They still bring insects into the house, which is bad enough, but today Sophia brought a baby mouse in, much to my horror. The poor little thing was squeaking with fright. We managed to get Sophia shut in a bedroom and the mouse outside again, but although it was still alive and walking, one of its back legs appeared to be broken.

Half an hour later Jemima brought the same mouse in the house, but by then it was dead so at least it was out of pain. We swept it out yet again and then saw Cleo keeping guard over it on the patio! She was trying to get it to move again, apparently. We refused to let any of them in again for a while although Sophia came round each window with the dead mouse in her mouth. Finally she came to the front door and I could see she wasn’t carrying anything so I let her in. She’s extremely noisy and complains loudly if she’s shut in (or out) when she doesn’t want to be.

Richard has been as busy as ever, working lots of evenings to get things finished, and with all kinds of plans for other projects.

Tim's guitar teacher seems to be very pleased with Tim’s playing, even though he doesn’t practise enough! He suggested Tim should go to the official music school around the corner from us, so he could take an exam, but Tim didn’t really want to do that. His teacher agreed that he didn’t need to: he just wanted Tim to have an official ‘level’. Apparently too the teacher at the music school doesn’t speak any English, so that would make it difficult! 

Tim might take some exams when he’s more advanced, but there doesn’t seem much point doing the early ones. Daniel has already told his clarinet teacher he doesn’t want to do exams, or not at this stage anyway, and apparently that’s fine. What’s important is that he still enjoys playing, of course. He is still in the church band, gaining in confidence all the time.

Piano lessons are going well too: apparently their teacher, never did any exams herself as she was too timid as a teenager, so she certainly isn’t going to try to make them do anything of the sort unless they want to. Daniel seems to be progressing fast, and Tim is also doing well although his sense of timing is unpredictable, so his teacher plays a lot of duets with him. Tim has joined the Greek choir again, but the first week there were only 8 people including the conductor (his guitar teacher) and his wife (playing piano) so I don’t know how successful that will be this year.

30th October 1999

Site at Kurium, showing the amphitheatreFriends from the UK came out for half-term, which was very enjoyable. We had learned that the Kurium amphitheatre where we saw 'Twelfth Night' at the start of July is part of a preserved site of some antiquity, so we drove there for a day and enjoyed seeing the mosaics and ancient buildings.  We had lunch nearby, then In the afternoon we drove in the mountains for a while and visited a vineyard where vast amounts of local wine is bottled. 

We went to a rocky, unspoilt beach another day and had a picnic. Our friends went swimming in the sea a couple of times, and Tim went in with them, although it was too cold for the rest of us! 

swings at the Salt Lake ParkWe also went for some walks locally, to the beach and to the Salt Lake Park. There's a little playground there, where the boys and friends enjoyed the swings and climbing apparatus. The weather is just about perfect at this time of year, even for me now I seem to have acclimatised somewhat. 

It was lovely to have a week off like that, however we were all tired by the end of it. 

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