Week 10

Got an email from Bob today. Not desperately friendly but never mind. His daughter is appearing in a ballet performance in Inverness next Saturday. It is Ballet West’s peformance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. If you want to book a seat, from what I can see they are all available at the Eden Court Theatre.


Gorgeous sky tonight over the Colne Valley from our house.


We spent the afternoon preparing the garden for Spring. It doesn’t feel far away. In six weeks we will be in our Greek house. Bliss!

February 23rd, 2009

The day has been so eventful I will tell you what I had for tea – Chicken Supreme made by Pauline. It was delicious.


508 days – Can you believe it?

February 24th, 2009

We first came to Greece in 1981, the only source of inter-island travel was Ferry. The craft were almost entirely ex-British Channel, old and uncomfortable. Tickets were sold in umpteen different offices across the country without any real regulation on numbers. The ferries chugged along desperately slowly. It took 6 hours to get from Piraeus to Sifnos. Gradually the ferries got newer and a little quicker. Sometimes they could do it in 5 hours. I’ve already featured the F/B Agios Georgios


It was first built in Holland in 1974. It ran under the name of F/B Free Enterprise VIII own by Thonsend Thorenson.


It was bought by P&O in 1989 and was renamed F/B pride of Canterbury.


It first came to Greece in 2000 for GA Ferries and called F/B Romilda.


Recently it has been owned by Ventiuris Ferries under the name Agios Georgios.

During the good weather we now have catamarans that can do the trip in just 3hours. It is like a dream to get Hi-speed or Speed Runner.


February 25th, 2009

When we go to the house on Saturday/Sunday April 5th/6th, Speed Runner leaves Piraeus at 11.00 am and arrives in Kamares, Sifnos at 2.15 pm. We don’t need an overnight in Athens on the way out. This has just been announced on the inter-island ferry site.

Only 506 days!

February 26th, 2009

I am becoming what the kids in school call a Demic! A sickly old bugger. For 15 years in my 30s and 40s I didn’t visit the doctor once. Now, I’m thinking of marrying one. I spend so much time with them. All I talk about is Hospital appointments I have to juggle, diagnoses I have received and treatments I am receiving.

I am going to try to sum them up and then never mention them again:

Just before Christmas 2008 I go up one Sunday morning at 7.00 am, bleary eyed and drove down to the paper shop for the Sunday Times & the Sunday Telegraph. Arriving back home to tea & toast made by Pauline. I sat down to read the Times and found I couldn’t see the print. I got my reading glasses out (which I rarely use) and I still struggled to read it. I put it down to tiredness and strain particularly when I struggled to read my computer screen. I live on the web and thought I must have been overworking like most teachers. On Monday, I had to teach a lesson and couldn’t read the text on a computer without putting my face so close I could lick the screen. I panicked.

What do you do when you’re panicking? Go to Specsavers! Obviously. My eyesight returned to normal by Tuesday but I had booked an appointment and  on the Friday I went to Specsavers. This gorgeous girl (I could see by then.) tested my eyes. My sight was perfect, she said, for a 57 year old, short sighted diabetic man with only one eye. However, she would take the precaution of writing to my GP. My GP is also gorgeous and blonde. She immediately referred me to an Opthalmologist who was (You’ll never believe it.) an absolutely gorgeous, black eyed beauty – a young Peruvian lady – called Ms D’Souza. I kept wanting to ask her if she played the tuba but I couldn’t stop drewelling. The black eyed Ms D’Souza found that I had a split in the membrane at the centre of the retina of my one good eye. It had sealed itself but she was concerned that it might have been caused by a small stroke. She referred me on to a stroke specialist, Dr Rana.

Unfortunately, Dr Rana was neither female nor gorgeous although he was a skinny Asian man who looked like he ran 5 miles in between meals. He conducted a carotid duplex uiltrasound and a ECG which established categorically that I hadn’t had a stroke but that my heart was in Atrial Fibrillation. Apparently lots of people suffer from this, particularly in their 50s and many don’t know about it. He prescribed the blood thinning agent Warfarin which I will take for the rest of my life and ordered an Echo Cardiogram which checks all the functions of the heart. I used my BUPA insurance to short cut the wait for this and found out to my horror that ………………my heart is in perfect working order. I have the hear of an Olympic rower …………..who has been dead for twenty years.

So I can go on abusing all my organs – red wine by the barrel, Italian meals twice a day and my only risk is going blind. At the hospital today I noticed a little old man shuffling across the carpark. It was Mario Bortoletto who, for 30 years had run a wonderful and our favourite Italian restaurant – Sole Mio


– in our home town. I asked him what he was doing there. My eyesight, he said, I am losing my eyesight! Is that what happens after eating Italian food all your life? I think I’ll have some toast.

February 27th, 2009

Received a letter today containing a cheque. I don’t remember ever crying at receiving a cheque before.

Re: The Estate of Catherine Lily Bennett – DECEASED

That word hit me like a hammer blow and I crumpled instantly. The episodes are coming less frequently now but still they come.

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