I've been somewhat caught up with other things recently and haven't done much in the way of blogging, so I figured it was about time I wrote again.
Sunday was Liturgy in the morning, of course, but this time it had been promised in english - or more than usual, so I brought my family including my grandmother who has been staying with us. My parents have been before so knew the drill, though they'd never been since I was baptised (ie when I could receive Communion) which I thought might be a problem given the debates I have with my Dad about closed Communion but it wasn't, doxa to Theo. My grandmother is anglican/church of england/episcopalian (we say anglican in Australia) so it wasn't all that foreign to her, all she commented was that it was a very high service but she quite enjoyed it. I was glad, I wanted her to see what it was that I'm always talking about and that it's not totally nuts or weird. My sister didn't come. She doesn't really like Orthodox churches/services for varying reasons, plus she ate a bunch of stuff she was allergic to the day before, so I wasn't surprised by that.
Father made me laugh because just about every time he had a chance to on Sunday he said 'tomorrow, the feast day of St Kyriaki! Your name day!' and I just laughed and said yes. I learned how to write Kyriaki in Arabic too while we introduced my grandmother to lebanese coffee (which she liked, though I made hers up as sweet as I drink mine - which is very!) and my family chatted to people after the service. We have a lot of new icons in frames along the walls of the Church too so we went to have a look and I explained who everyone was in the icons to my Mum (who knew the ones on the iconostasis but not the new ones) and my grandmother. Who was supremely unpeturbed by all this, much to my delight - she's actually quite happy I've gone back to the liturgical churches, it was my Mum who moved away from anglicanism.
We went home to roast lamb for dinner and cheesecake for my nameday - I like chocolate mud cake but noone else does so I compromised with a half caramel half lemon cheesecake which everyone liked :) Nona (my godmother) came as well, and after a long meal and chat I quickly packed a few things and I went with her to stay at her house, since she lives within walking distance of the Church and I like 40min by car...2 hours (ish) by public transport... I did NOT feel like getting up at 5am on a Monday to get to Church for my name day. No thankyou. So she had things to do that night and I curled up on the couch in front of the tv and was a vegetable, and about 9:30ish she made up my bed on a futon on the floor and I fell asleep watching tv. I woke up in the morning not feeling at all cooperative towards getting up (having set my alarm so I could get to the service before the Liturgy itself, which you don't have to go to but I like to) but after resetting my alarm to get me up for Liturgy I was awake enough and finally dragged myself out of bed - to discover that the forecasters were right, and it was about 3*C! I grabbed my clothes and dressed as much as I could under the blankets, but thankfully I had enough layers to stay reasonably warm once I was dressed. Nona lent me a shawl which I could use as a scarf because in a fit of being brain-dead I'd forgotten one for Church, and she dropped me at the Church on the way to work.
The service was as beautiful as ever, all in Greek as is normal for this particular parish. The Gospel was read twice though, once in Greek once in English, because the priest usually does and I was thankful for that. I know the service, more or less, so language barriers don't really bother me these days - I went to the Russian Church sorta near me after Vespers on Saturday night for Vespers again (theirs goes much longer) and it was all in Russian - and it didn't matter :) As I went up to get Father's blessing and some bread at the end (antidoron - blessed bread, not Communion...hard to explain) he commented that he'd never seen so many Κυριακήs on a Monday before. Heh, heh. For those who don't get it, Kyriaki is also the Greek name for Sunday. (So Nicole Kidman's baby and I share a name, cool! Even better, she was born on her feast day...)
I was wished happy name day a thousand times in varying languages, and stayed for coffee and food after, chatting to Nikos and Daniel and then to other friends who were around helping with things or just wanting to chat. After a bit of that it was decided that we needed to have coffee so Eleni and I were sent (with her baby girl who is adorable) to the nearby mall with a list of coffee requests, and picked up donuts and some cake, too. Carrying seven full coffees, in the rain, trying not to get your touch-the-floor-when-not-wearing-heels skirts wet, is not easy. We spilled some, yup. But the important thing was that we got there (and got rescued because trying to get out of the car with those coffees was going to be even harder than getting IN) and had a lovely time talking and eating.
Daniel gave me a lift to the city and my Mum and grandmother picked me up, and we had a reasonably quiet afternoon, and the last two days have been equally quiet. I sewed for a lot of yesterday and got a good amount of my new dress done (and woke up with my arms reminding me that I have fibromyalgia, sigh) which was fun, and went out to a lecture at the Russian Church on science/evolution and the Church, which I enjoyed - especially since we did the Akathist first which I happen to love, in both the byzantine and the russian styles - the music is very different.
My parents have gone to take my grandmother home and stay with her for a while, so my sister and I are housesitting. We haven't killed each other yet. We have almost completely different tastes in food though (not to mention dietary requirements for both of us) so we're cooking seperate meals, which is interesting! We don't have a car, which means I'll have to grab some groceries tomorrow night when I'm out with people who do, but other than that things are pretty good. Koukla and I watched about 10 episodes of "Last Exile" which is an anime from a few years ago that Daniel lent me the box set of, and I watched a stupid amount of tv tonight while stitching on St Nicholas. Speaking of which...
Here we are after tonight's work. The mini-icon of Christ is starting to take shape, though it will always be a little blurry since there's only so much detail you can put into the smaller parts of the icon. His plaque is done, there's a lot more progress in the border and the background is starting to get filled in too...and some of the cloud, which is done in about fiftyzillion (ok, i exaggerate) shades of white and grey. Oh joy. White on white! I'm doing small bits on that at a time.
...and I showed this on Monday too, and now another Nikos wants to pay me to do one. I told him to get in line ;) I'll probably do it though if I get this done soon enough. We'll see.