Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Back in Nicosia
I know I've said this before, but this is very likely my last "tour of duty" in Cyprus, I go home on the 23rd and do not know yet if I come back here after Christmas... it depends upon the work permit situation, it seems.

I just heard also that HR, to add to their other sins, changed our on-assignment travel and health insurance policy without telling us. Not only that, but it looks like the new one only covers people who are away from home for 270 days or less in a year. Guess who is up to day 276 now? I was less than impressed, and have said terrible things to the Hologram.

Paris was quite eventful, although when I arrived on Thursday, I was shattered, and I really thought taking my case up four flights of stairs would be the end of me. I bought food and collected mail (lots of good stuff - sock yarn, Quaker charts, charts for Whitman's tins, magazines, I will report more on things as the case arises), then went to bed.

On Friday I went to Le Bon Marche and bought a picture frame, plastic sleeves and - yay! - mesh bags. These are quite hard to find in Paris, actually, and I bought four quite large ones. Then upstairs to La Droguerie, where I bought two scarf kits, so more knitting is in store for me.

At Brentano's I bought a book by Effie Mitrofanis, a Jennifer Chiaverini novel and a fascinating book called "Yiddish Civilisation". David, predictably, is going to borrow this after me, I started it on the plane yesterday. So far I have got to the Middle Ages, and Europe is just a swirling mass of peoples, religions and cultures. I love this sort of thing, and David, of course, thinks it is wonderful that non-Jewish people want to find out abour Jewish history, but really this is relevant for every European.

Then I went to work to pick up more parcels, books from Amazon and a Christmas present from my sister. Then back home to sleep.

Saturday I did a bit of shopping, necessary stuff at Sephora and so on, then slept for three hours before our work Christmas party. The last one before we become part of the big new company. This was at Bercy Village at Club Med World, I was of course one of the three people who were on time! Six people who were coming from near Versailles did not arrive until 9:30 pm because of the traffic and there were three people sick - there is some awful flu going around in Paris - but most people eventually turned up. We had foie gras, medallion of veal with new potatoes and extremely rich chocolate tart, so not a green vegetable in sight. I went home at 11 pm and did not stay for the nightclub part, because I had to get up on Sunday morning.

This was for Veronique's class in Motif Florentin, which was just a one-day effort. The motif is of course Bargello, but in such subtle colours - four shades of wool and two of linen - I shall photograph tomorrow. Veronique's techniques are great as usual. There were just two other students, so we all had lunch together with Veronique and Jean-Louis, it was fun.

Yesterday I just got up late, wrapped parcels and went to the Post Office, it was to send the presents to my mother and sister, then I went to the airport. The weather was vile, so I thought the plane might be late, and in fact the incoming plane from Larnaca was about 20 minutes late, but that didn't seem to affect us, we boarded slightly late as usual, but took off immediately instead of waiting in a queue. Sylvain was with me, but sat further back (with a magazine I found in the salon, about luxury watches, which are his passion). One is not supposed to remove magazines from the salon, but knowing that Sylvain has this passion, it would have been mean not to, and certainly his eyes lit up when he saw it. They saddened a little when we got on the plane and I said, my seat is just here, and he had to walk several rows back! He is here now, talking madly with Leo about PD type things.

I will post some pictures tomorrow, I hope, of Catherine Agnes and the Motif Florentin.... goodness I am looking forward to going home for Christmas and sorting things out, and being in my own apartment for two weeks at a time.
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