Photo gallery index, 2003

Here are a few photos showing our family, our house, and life here in Cyprus in 2003. You should be able to click on any of them to get bigger pictures.

Country dancing in January

Country dancing We enjoy getting together monthly with the island-wide home education group. Sometimes we meet at the home of one of the families who live just outside Limassol, in a gorgeous location overlooking a lake. Whatever the weather in the preceding week, the sun always seems to shine at our meetings! Here's a small group doing some country dancing outside at our January meeting.

Scene from 'The Frog Prince'

Scene from the Frog Prince Daniel played the title role in the Antidote Theatre Christmas production, a pantomime-style play they wrote themelves called 'The Frog Prince'. Here he is, with the Princess, the King, and the Burger Queen being squashed between two large pieces of polystyrene 'bread'. This production occupied him for much of January with performances around the island, both public ones and in some schools.

Kiti Beach in February

Kiti Beach in February My parents came to stay in February, and although it was quite cold for much of the time, there were a few sunny days. One one of them, Richard took some time off work and we went for an exhiliarating walk along Kiti Beach. In warmer weather this is one of our favourite beaches, but it wasn't really suitable weather for sunbathing or paddling!

Greenery next to the motorway

Greenery next to the motorway
We only go to Limassol about once a month, on average, and always enjoy noting the changes in the scenery dependent on the weather. We'd had such a wet winter that there was grass (and weeds) springing up almost everywhere, making the island look greener than we had ever seen it. This is a view taken from the car as we drove along the motorway to Limassol in late February.

Kritou Terra walk

Kritou Terra walk In March we had a home educators' day in Kritou Terra, where one of the families were living. Sadly we had to say goodbye to them, as they were moving back to the UK within the next few weeks. Nevertheless we had a very pleasant day - it was surprisingly warm and sunny, and we had a leisurely - and most interesting - walk around the neighbourhood.

Our garden in March

Our garden in March After all the rain, and a determined effort on my behalf to keep the garden tidy, it looked surprisingly good from a distance by the end of March! The lawnmower helped to keep the weeds short, and to encourge what grass there was; a sickle helped to cut down the worst of the couch-grass and tidy up some of the garden which we'd never tackled before.

Our garden in April

Our garden in April I was so pleased with how the garden looked that I kept going - weeding, and pruning, and tidying up in general. Where there had been piles of leaves and garden rubbish, lovely smooth compost had appeared, so I spread that around the garden too, and then built new compost heaps so that we could be a little more environmentally friendly, putting kitchen peelings and grass cuttings etc on this to feed the garden next year. I even spent some of my birthday money on a new wheelbarrow to help with shifting the compost! By the end of April, when the weather was starting to warm up, we almost felt that the garden was finished at least until the Autumn.

Greek Easter Monday lunch

Greek Easter Monday lunch Although Easter for us was on April 20th, the Greek Church celebrated a week later. Our church always has a lunch on Greek Easter Monday, with the Greek Evangelical Church who share their building with us. It takes place in the church grounds, and is usually beautifully sunny and warm. Someone prepares meat the night before, and it's cooked for several hours in the morning in a traditional stone oven.

Our bougainvillea

Our bougainvillea My parents bought me a Bougainvillea five years ago, which we planted in our front garden. It was only about 60cm high, and I knew nothing about these plants! However several people in our street had gorgeous ones so we decided the location was probably good. Sure enough, it grew rapidly that first summer, and each year it's had more and more pink bracts from about April through the summer. Here it is in May, when it was probably at its best. We haven't quite mastered the pruning yet - it has to be cut back each Spring or it would wind its way around all the other trees!

Sailing with friends

Sailing with friends In half-term week at the end of May, some friends from the UK came out to see us, and chartered a yacht for three days. They're qualified sailors, although as they haven't had much experience we had to take a local skipper with us, meaning we didn't have quite as much freedom as we'd have liked. Still, it was an interesting experience, and Richard in particular had a wonderful time.

Our garden in June

 Our garden in June Already in June, after only a month without rain, and increasing heat, our garden began to look dry and brown. We tried watering with a sprinkler a couple of times a week, but it was very time-consuming, and seemed to make little difference. To keep the grass growing, it would probably be necessary to water every day, which would be rather expensive! The grass all grows back once it starts raining again, so we decided just to leave it.

Mackenzy beach picnic

Mackenzy beach picnic At the end of June ( which is the end of the school year in Cyprus) there's usually an inter-church beach picnic on MacKenzy beach, near the airport. This year was well-supported, and at the end some of the youth group did a sketch. Here's Daniel taking part as a presenter.

Recorder playing at Troodos camp

Recorder playing at Troodos camp Every summer the island-wide Cyprus home educators' group try to get away for at least a few days in the mountains, at a campsite in Troodos. This year we went away at the start of July, although only three families managed to get there! Here's a small group (including Daniel) playing recorders one morning, with Timothy on percussion.

Water-balloon volleyball in Troodos

Water-balloon volleyball in Troodos One of the activities which always proves popular at our summer camps is volleyball with a difference.. instead of a ball, we blow up balloons and fill them with water. Each team takes a large sheet, and they volley the balloons (one at a time) to and fro over the net for as long as possible. Inevitably the balloons burst eventually, but in July - even up in the mountains - that leads to a refreshing splash.

Visit to Aztekas

 Visit to Aztekas In August some friends came out to stay from the UK for a week. It was hot, but they rented a car and went out to various places, as well as swimming every day. One evening they took us out for a meal, and we went to the Mexican restaurant Aztekas which we all enjoy, and which does an excellent vegetarian selection (since two of the party are veggie). We ate outside and had a very pleasant evening.

A music day

A music day Since our friends are musical, and the boys had been wanting to arrange a 'music day' with a couple of other families we know, we decided to have this while our friends were here, right at the end of August. We stayed in the air conditioning for most of the time, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves in various musical combinations. Here's Tim on the guitar.

In Sussex

In Sussex In September we returned to the UK for four weeks. When we arrived we spent a few days with Richard's mother in Sussex, and Tim was reunited with one of the neighbour's cats who befriended him last time we were there, and who seems to consider him her personal property. Here they are lying on the lawn on one of the warm days that England surprised us with.

A wedding in Reading

A wedding in Reading The reason we went to the UK in September was that Sue's brother was getting married. The wedding was held in Reading University, and it was lovely to catch up with the extended family. Here's a general shot showing the huge tree that was outside the hall where the actual wedding was held. The weather was just about perfect - 26C and sunny all day.

Daniel learns to make 'poi'

Daniel learns to make 'poi' A few days after we returned to Cyprus in October, a home educating family from the UK came to spend a week in Cyprus, and that included a day with us. We got talking about juggling, one of Daniel's hobbies, and they told us how to make 'poi', using tennis balls, old socks, and string! These can be used for warming up, or for general exercise. Daniel quickly learned how to do the basics, and learned more through searching the Internet for relevant instructions and videos.

Our dry garden

Our dry garden By October, the garden is always brown, and looks almost dead. It's hard to believe that it will spring to life again within a couple of months. There was a little rain in September, and a bit more in October, but nothing like enough to encourage the grass to start growing. At least it looked reasonably tidy after our efforts earlier in the year.

A refurbished house

 A refurbished house There's lots of building work in Larnaka, partly because so many people keep moving here, and partly because many of the houses - like ours - are fifty or more years old, and in need of a lot of work. All too often they're knocked down and replaced with blocks of flats. There were two houses not far from ours, both of which were in terrible condition, so we were very pleased to see that one of them was stripped down and refurbished in traditional style rather than being replaced by flats. It took over a year, but was finally complete by November.

Two of our cats, feeling the cold

Two of our cats, feeling the cold Cats all have quite distinct personalities - something which isn't nearly so obvious in a single-cat household. Our four have developed their own hierarchy, and will only eat or play together in certain combinations. The two who seem to dislike each other the most are Cleo (our first, and most nervous cat) and Tessa (our fourth, unrelated to the others). Yet once the weather cools down, and they begin to sleep indoors again, there seems to be some kind of truce: I was surprised to find Tessa and Cleo asleep on the same sofa one day in November.

Larnaka beach, deserted in December

 Larnaka beach, deserted in December Although Larnaka is a hive of activity, and the beaches - even the small one along the sea-front - are packed with people from about March until the end of October, they become quite deserted in the Winter. The mattresses from the sunbeds and the covers from the parasols are all packed away, to protect them from the hail and extreme winds that sometimes arrive. Walking along the beach on a cold, grey day in December, it looks almost like a ghost beach, with only the skeletons of the parasols and the empty sunbeds visible.

The Larnaka Municipal Band play carols

The Larnaka Municipal Band play carols Daniel plays clarinet with the Larnaka Municipal Band, who practise two evenings per week,and take part in various concerts throughout the year. One of the popular events is their carol concert which takes place in December, usually the Sunday before Christmas, at around 11am. In previous years this has been outside the CYTA building right in the centre of Larnaka, but in 2003 it was outside St Lazarus Church - a much nicer spot.