Sunday, March 15, 2009

We're Back!

This photo shows what can happen in a few short weeks
during the Cypriot spring. If you scroll back a few entries
to February 10th's entry, you'll see a picture taken from
almost this spot. Compare!

Well, we’re back.

Best Beloved (someone whose wit I very much appreciate pointed out that implicit in my referring to my husband as Best Beloved, is the notion that I also have a Second, or perhaps Third Beloved... Indeed, possibly a stable. I deny it, but can't help smiling at the notion!) and I had a wonderful week in a flat in Whitechapel. We saw friends, visited museums and markets, went see The Reader and Gran Torino at the movies -- the first time I have been to a grown-up film in at least a decade (I think that the last one was The English Patient), ate out for breakfast and lunch (we cooked at night in the apartment), and generally had one of those wonderful weeks that middle-aged married folks who happen to be parents of four need occasionally.

We returned to controlled chaos.

Kay, our indispensable child-helper who had been scheduled to stay in the house and do much of the week’s driving (Phil was to do the rest) hadn’t been feeling well when we left, and got sicker and sicker over the next two days. She is no quitter (she couldn’t have stayed with us for the last eleven years had she had a feeble bone in her body), but Phil sent her home on Thursday and he and Mili stepped up to the plate. The Little Ones were supposed to stay with them Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights anyway (Alex can stay in the house alone – the Grand Folks are next door for meals, and Sophia was to spend the weekend with a friend), but they took over all the driving, cooking, and childcare without a murmur – and Mili even returned to me a box of the Little Ones’ clothes and uniforms, washed and ironed. As Sophia would say; “Your In-Laws Rock!”

The hospital told Kay that she has bronchitis, and gave her a note for a week off work. She goes on Tuesday for a check-up, and in the mean time I am running like a hairy goat (great Irish saying, that!). With Best Beloved in Nicosia from Monday to Thursday, the children’s and my week is constructed around having two active drivers: guitar lessons, tae kwan do, break-dancing, art class, and the Big Ones’ school run (the Littles fortunately can take the village bus) keep us busy from one until seven most afternoons, and Tuesday, when Alex has break-dancing, I don’t finish until nine and Sophia earns a few Euros bathing the Little Ones and putting them to bed. I get something of a break this week as Alex has torn a knee ligament and replaced break-dancing with visits to the physiotherapist. At least the hours are friendlier.

So we arrived Tuesday night and immediately slipped back into the Groove (or the Grind, depending on whether I’m feeling optimistic or pessimistic). Best Beloved went off to work, and I did five loads of washing and started to sort out the house. When Best Beloved came back Friday, we tackled the vegetable patch, garden, and field together – he managed to put the tractor though most of it again, before getting caught in a massive rain storm. Ha, the Grand Folks’ Vietnamese house and garden helper came over today to give us a hand, and I even managed to get the first set of cucumbers planted.

Did I mention that I’m Cyprus’ Queen of Organic Cucumbers? Ah, well, that’s another story…

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