Week 50

29th November, 2009

Pauline’s Mum was just preparing to be discharged from hospital when she had an angina attack. The clinical team decided that they would have to do more tests and keep her in over night again.

30th November, 2009

My turn to go to hospial today for the anti-coagulant clinic. Everything is fine. After lunch it was off to pick Pauline’s Mum up from Oldham Royal. This is it but look how dark it was at 2.30 this afternoon:


I had to drive round for about a week before I could find a parking spot. I drove past all the main car parks which were full. I drove through the reserve car park, the reserve reserve car park and the reserve, reserve, reserve car park and still they were full. I returned to the front entrance and dropped Pauline off. I continued to drive round and round for 40 mins without a single space becoming available. Bear in mind I could have parked in any small corner on double yellow lines because I had Pauline’s Mum’s Disabled Card in the car. As it approached 45 mins of driving, I found a space right outside the front entrance but by this time, Pauline was phoning me to say Mum was not being let out today. I read The Times and listened to Classic fm. Pauline appeared and we drove the 35 mins home.

We had just driven in to the garage when Pauline’s mobile went. We could pick her Mum up. She was being released. 70 mins driving later we got her back to our house where she will spend a few days recuperating.

1st December, 2009


Cold – very cold – and bright this morning. How wonderful. At last we can get in the garden to do some tidying. We’ve had a skip on hire for more than a week and we haven’t had one dry day until this morning. Still had to do the obligatory day’s work at the health club followed by a huge bowl of porridge. Outside for a couple of hours in the garden. The news told us that November has been the wettest on record. That wasn’t news to us.

Many, many years ago – maybe fifty, Granddad Coghlan woke Robert and myself and I think, possibly, Jane at 5.00 am and took us out across the fields to pick mushrooms. I have no recollection which fields we went across but I remember coming back with an empty basket ready for breakfast. The problem with wild mushrooms is not just where to find them but would you trust them. One of our lawns has suddenly become a mushroom farm.

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As you will all know, these funghi look quite like chanterelles but who would trust them enough to taste them? Not I. I will kill them with weed killer to get my lawn back.

It’s 9.00 pm and Manchester United are thrashing Spurs once again in torrential rain.

2nd December, 2009

Retiree’s dream – mild, dry and bright – did some gardening.

Good luck, Ruth, in the Turkish Belly Dancing Championships. I already have before and after photos.

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Well done, Ruth. Let’s hope Kevan is proud of you and your accomplishments!

3rd December, 2009

Took Pauline’s Mum home to her flat today. She wasn’t completely ready but it is doubtful she ever would be now and I couldn’t stand any more Home & Away, Emmerdale, Deal or No Deal, etc..

4th December, 2009

Lengthy swim today. Found myself in the changing room with two 80 year olds. Told them that when I was their age, they would be 100. We agreed to meet in the Gym on my 80th. As well as exercising my body, I am also exercising my mind. I am preparing to write a book about our experiences as travellers in Greece over the past 25 years. It is a period when Greece has moved from being a third world country almost to the first world. They are members of the European Community and of the Euro although they are under great economic pressure from the EEC at the moment. There is a whole oeuvre of writing in this area. I have twenty or thirty books about people adopting Greece, at least temporarily, finding and renovating or building a house and living in Greece for a while. Our building of a house in Greece started when I read a book by Austen Kark. He was the husband of Nina Bawden, a children’s author who had featured heavily in my early teaching. She wrote books like Carrie’s War, The Finding, etc..


Austen Kark had been Managing Director of The BBC World Service after being manager of its Eastern European Service.During that time he fell in love with Greece.


He and Nina Bawden bought a ruined old classical house in Nauplion (pronounced Nafplion) on the Peloponnese.


Austen Kark wrote a book about the experience of restoring his Greek house. He and his wife would fly out to Athens regularly and stay at the Electra Hotel, Athens.


I was captured and, since then, harboured the ambition to build a house in Greece. We also made The Electra Hotel  our regular haunt when we visited Athens. I also decided that there was a book I could write about the journey to a life in the Cyclades and on Sifnos. Currently, I am reading and analysing other people’s books. This week I am reading a book by Fionnuala Brennan, currently a lecturer in Dublin City University’s Business School. She is married to poet, Rory Brennan, with two daughters Orla and Fiona and they lived on Paros full time from 1971-1979. To be honest, I think I could do a much better job than this.


5th December, 2009

Lovely day today. Man U. beat West Ham who I’ve always hated and Man City beat Chelsea who I’ve come to hate. Happy Days!

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Week 49

22nd November, 2009

Do you remember the chimney sweep coming to the fireplace in the Dining Room of 81 High Street? I can’t work out how many of you are old enough for that. It was the first time I learnt the word BRUNCH. It must have been 1956-57. Being sent to bed about 7.30 pm (at the age of 5 or 6) and told that tomorrow we would not be allowed downstairs until the chimney sweep had come and gone. Mum always got het up about the Plan of Campaign she had to put into operation. When we were finally allowed downstairs for BRUNCH it was hard to see what all the fuss was about. One fireplace; one chimney; a few dust sheets; job done. But Mum was certainly red in the face and noughty throughout the whole process.


23rd November, 2009

This morning we had a Plan of Campaign. We had already emptied the loft of literally dozens of boxes containing warranties dating back to 1994 and tens of rolls of carpet off-cuts in the most lurid colours and patterns imaginable. At 7.00 am there was no breakfast, no huge cup of tea or bowl of porridge. All the hall, stairs, landing had to be covered in dust sheets – not for the chimney sweep but for the loft insullation man. Our house was built in 1990 and the loft was insullated to an industry-standard 4″. Currently the industry-standard is 12″. Kirklees Council sent a little man round with twelve huge rolls of Rockwool.


It took him three hours of hard labour. Our loft is boarded but I never go up there so he just laid it over the boards. Throughout the time he was here, neither Pauline or I got red in the face or worked up. The whole thing, after all, was done completely free of charge. Seems strange really that such money should be lavished on a middle class household who could easily afford to pay for it but who are we to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Pauline is loving having the time to indulge her real passion (no, not me!), cooking. She has always made our bread and pasta but she has cured our olives to perfection and the quince jam she made is delicious.  Now she is making minced meat, Christmas Pudding and Christmas Cake. It is a few years since she bothered or had the time to do that. We don’t even celebrate Christmas other than nominally. We do have a Turkey or a Goose. A couple of years ago we had a trendy five bird roast with turkey, goose, pheasant, partridge & pigeon but that was just greedy. We are very keen on game birds nowadays. We usually go to our local farmshop and buy pheasant, mallard, partridge, etc. They are so cheap and low in fat and wonderfully tasty. A brace of pheasants up here cost £5.00 and a couple of partridge would be £6.00. We buy rabbits for £2.00 and they almost give wood pigeons away. Game Pie or Game Pate is wonderful or maybe pheasant breast wrapped with Parma ham.



 Pheasant breasts wrapped in Parma ham

Serves 6


6 pheasant breasts
12 slices of Parma ham
12 large sage leaves
Salt and pepper
Olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  • Season each breast and place two sage leaves on each one. Lie two slices of Parma ham out flat and place a pheasant breast at one end. Roll the pheasant breast up quite tightly. Repeat with each breast.
  • Melt a little butter with some olive oil in a large frying pan and sear the pheasant parcels on each side for 1 minute or so. Then place in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow to rest for 2-4 minutes before serving.


Served with garlic mash and red wine jus you can’t beat it. I’m starving!

24th November, 2009

After two hours at the Health Club this morning, we went off to Hinchcliffe’s Farm shop for meat. It’s only a couple of miles away from us and wonderfully stocked. We came away with groaning bags:

  • 6 Pheasant
  • 4 Woodcock
  • 2 huge belly pork
  • 2K of best minced beef
  • 4 Lamb Shanks
  • 8 Lamb chops
  • 8 Chicken Livers (for pate)

Should see us through to the weekend! I’ll have to save some and invite Jane BG around. Hinchcliffe’s Farm Shop is renowned round here and well worth the visit as you can see below. They are very happy butchers.


25th November, 2009

I’m sitting in Sainsbury’s carpark after going swimming. Pauline’s gone in to buy some mint sauce for dinner. I’m reading The Times and suddenly I hear a crunch. A scruffy, maroon car comes to rest against my bumper. Out steps a spotty youth who can’t stop saying sorry. I felt sorry for him, really. His car – which turned out to be his Mother’s car – had a small scratch. Mine had a small scratch above and below the bumper. It also damaged the numberplate and its mount. His car was already time-worn and, to him, it must have seemed like nothing. Our car was less than it was before he hit us and is valuable enough to maintain properly. We exchanged insurance details and he went back on his way to College. We went to Honda for assessment. The body man said, I can disguise the scratches for next to nothing but it won’t be the same. I advise a new bumper unit, a new numberplate and mount. We don’t have a price yet but it will come to something around £600.00 – £700.00. The lad’s Mother will think I’m taking them for a ride but it has to be done.


26th November, 2009

A cold, blustery and intermittently soggy day. After an hour or so swimming we prepare to drive over the Pennines to Oldham. Pauline’s Mum is still struggling badly. The shingles are still giving her awful headaches and making her very fed up. We are going to cook lunch for her in her flat. Lamb chops and mashed potato is all she can manage to eat. In fact, she struggles with one, small lamb chop because her appetite is really diminishing. Pauline made a lovely lunch and then her Mum settled down to watch Darling Buds of May. She has seen every episode at least three times but it is rather warm and comforting to live in a perfick world and she is watching it again. We left her to it and she was almost falling asleep before we got out of the door. She is spending more and more time sleeping now.

As we drove home, we had the wild Pennine Moorland in our eyes

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but we still had her and her frailties in our hearts. Growing so old is no great fun if you become increasingly dependent. If she thinks of doing something, it doesn’t matter what the time-frame is, she has to do it straight away. When she was strong enough to travel, we only had to say to her in October that we would take her to Surrey in December and she would select her clothes and pack immediately. Her suitcase would be packed and under the bed for a couple of months. We received a Christmast card from her two weeks ago and a card for our 31st wedding anniversary on December 30th at the same time.

27th November, 2009

One of the things we have lost by retiring is that ‘Friday Feeling’, a phrase that  originated from a ‘Crunchy’ advert and used to sum up a host of feelings like: Thank Goodness for That’, ‘We can actually put our Life (Garden / House / Etc.) in order’. Friday night was eating out or Chinese Takeaway night depending on how tired we felt. It was probably two bottles of wine evening and general wind down evening. When the weekday constraints no longer pertain, the weekend loses a little of its edge. I still love Saturday sport and Sunday papers but the release of Friday evening is not quite the same.

We have found a way to put Feeling back in to Friday by making our morning trip to the Health Club the equivalent of going to work. We have to get up at 7.00 am each week day. We have to leave the house by 8.30 am and do a solid 30 mins swimming. In that time we complete circa 50 lengths of our 20 metre pool or one kilometre. We spend 10 – 15 minutes in the huge jacuzzi and about the same time again in the steam room. After that the day purrs. We only do this Monday – Friday so Saturday & Sunday are indulgence days restoring the demarcation by that Friday Feeling.

28th November, 2009

Pauline & I have always tried to avoid the crowds. We would always go to Sainsburys at 7.30 am on Saturdays when we were working just to avoid the crush. When we retired, we thought that we could access services off-peak and avoid the crowds. We were totally wrong. Sainsburys  at 11.00 am on a Wednesday is an absolute nightmare. It is jammed with old people who think doing the weekly shop is the social event of their week. They shuffle down the aisles and stand in groups chatting and blocking the way. They are slow in thought and slow in movement. After all, they’ve got all day and all week! We have reverted to Saturday at 7.30 am when like-minded shoppers zip around, grabbing items for their list and fight to be first out of the car park and on their way.

We set off today at 7.30 am in a blizzard of snow. It was 4C and thick with snow. Although it quickly melted around our house, all day the Pennines were covered in white.


Pauline’s Mum was unwell and Pauline went over to see her. They spent the day in hospital and Mum will not be home until tomorrow. Irritable Bowel Syndrome has been diagnosed. She was so dehydrated from constantly going to the loo that they are keeping her on a drip all night.

Week 48

15th & 16th November, 2009

Spent the whole two days researching our trip to Kent. We are determined to have new-build and to have excellent facilities close at hand – Health Club, shops, restaurants, theatre/opera, etc. Pauline is quite keen to see the sea or be close to it as well. Hours and hours of Googling New Build Kent produced reams of Builders, Estate Agents and properties. I worked out an itinerary in best teacher fashion. On Tuesday we will drive down early and, in the afternoon, look at all the developments in Maidstone where we were staying followed by a trip down to Ashford, Folkestone, Hythe, Dover & Deal. On Wednesday, we will do the Medway towns of Rochester, Gillingham & Chatham followed by Sittingbourne. Pauline thought I was being optimistic.


17th November, 2009

We set off at 6.00 am up the M62 and down the M1. We had been told the weather would be foul – wet and windy. In fact, it was bright, beautiful and warm. There was little or no traffic. It was one of those occasions when cruise control works uninterrupted. Stopping only at Watford Gap for a revolting breakfast, we reached the Hilton Hotel, Maidstone by 10.00 am..


They don’t ‘check-in’ until 2.00 pm so we started straight in to our tour of the new build sites of Maidstone. Crest Nicholson, Bryant and Ward Homes. We toured Site Office with pushy sales woman (no men) after Site Office with pushy sales woman (no men) looking at badly built match boxes with ghastly decorations in much vaunted show homes.

Although the drive down had been wonderful and the optimism had been high, by the time we left our last Maidstone site, it was 3.30 pm and our spirits were on the floor. We hated everything we saw and everyone who showed them to us. We thought we were prepared for downsizing but there is a limit! The itinerary said we should go on to Ashford, Folkestone, Hythe, Dover & Deal. Our hearts said, No chance! We stopped at the nearest Sainsburys, bought a lovely bottle of red wine and some nuts and checked in to the hotel. We had booked a double room with breakfast. The gave us what they call a Double Double. This is a huge room with two double beds in it. In what circumstances would anyone want two double beds. I have led a very sheltered life and there may be certain positions that require two enormous beds but I am past all that. We drank our wine, ate our peanuts and watched Countdown.

We had dinner in the hotel and it was very pleasant. Our room was too. It had a settee and armchairs and a large, flatscreen television. There were coffee/tee making facilities and, although there were too many beds, the one we slept in was magical. There was a pool and gym, etc but we were too deflated to use it. We did, however, sleep like logs. During the night, a copy of tomorrows Times newspaper is slipped under the door.

18th November, 2009

Up at 7.00 am for breakfast. Normally, we have a huge cup of Breakfast tea and a plate of hot buttered toast (Pauline’s home made bread & home made raspberry jam) or we have porridge which I am really learning to like again. Neither of us can eat much at that time in the morning. Why does one’s constitution change, I wonder, when one wakes up in a hotel? Pauline washes her hair and dries it every morning of her life. It is 8.00 am before we get to the restaurant. A buffet breakfast of fresh fruit, fruit juice, bacon, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, hash browns (sic), black pudding and sausages is accompanied by slices of toast and completed by a couple of croissants with apricot jam.

We staggered out to the car and programmed the Sat. Nav. for Sittingbourne. More unmentionable houses that we were desperately trying to like built by Barratt, Bryant, Bovis, etc.. We drove on to Rochester trying to tell each other we had seen something worth coming for. The drive from Sittingbourne to Rochester was delightful – lots of fruit fields  and autumn trees, small villages and quaint old pubs.

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That’s not what we want but at least we could relate to it. Rochester was impoverished and run down – much more than I had remembered or expected. Chatham wasn’t much better. We even went to Snodland but decided we couldn’t possibly live in a place called SNODLAND. We were fairly dispirited as we drove into the Sainsburys carpark in Maidstone for another bottle of red. We shared it sitting on the settee in our room with salted peanuts and watching Place in the Country. It’s a programme that retired people watch about retired people leaving their urban/city homes from which they have set out to work each day for the past 40 years and who now want to realise their rural idyll with a thatched roof, dark low beams, an Aga and enough land to keep chickens, pigs, llamas, etc..


Pauline & I want just the opposite. We have lived the rural life and we now want minimal, town life. We found a version of that but we didn’t want it made out of second hand Lego.

19th November, 2009

Another breakfast to contend with. We settled the bill and left Kent feeling quite fed up. (Us that is not Kent. Kent didn’t really express an opinion although a number of the sales staff at the site offices almost threw us out on the spot when we admitted our property was still on the market. We drove up to Surrey at about 10.00 am on an earily empty M25. We were going to stay the night with Pauline’s sister, Phyllis and her husband, Colin who retired down there to be near their daughter, Mandy (Director and General Manager Xerox Global Services) This is Phyllis and Pauline:


They live in West Byfleet and, out of idle curiosity and thinking we wouldn’t be able to afford anything there, I looked for new builds in West Byfleet. It threw up a couple of places and we called at the first one as we drove there for lunch. It was an apartment in a gated community with high tech security and covered courtyard parking. It was a two bedroomed apartment on the first floor with a lovely big lounge, a fully fitted kitchen, a good bathroom and an excellent en-suite. The whole apartment had underfloor heating. It was absolutely ideal if a little expensive for what we want to pay knowing that we would only be there for 6 months per year. It was within walking distance of two excelklent Italian restaurants, a Waitrose and a Sainsburys, a Health Club with a pool and is not far from a theatre. We would have bought it on the spot if we could but we need to sell our house and then, as a cash buyer, we will negotiate on the price – if the apartment hasn’t gone. There are ten left so we have a chance.


Mandy had a career break from a very high powered job and adopted three little boys from one family. They came from a drug addict in Newcastle. They are delightful but very tiring. They all attend private schools. David is now 11 and goes to a fee-paying Grammar School. James is 9 and is a very good rugby player. Daniel is 6 and he is currently having trials for Fulham F.C.. Yes, you read it right. He was spotted playing for his local little boys team. They like his aggression, apparently. He likes kicking other boys and why not?

20th November, 2009

We set off thinking it would be a bad journey back to the North. We expected terrible traffic and awful weather. We had neither. The M25 & M1 were wonderfully quiet at 8.30 am  although we did have to shield our eyes from the sun. We were back in Huddersfield for 1.00 pm. It doesn’t matter where one goes or wants to go, arriving home is delightful. And yet, what this week has taught us is that we consider nowhere particular home. We can be happy anywhere as long as the property is right. As soon as we got home, all the stress and tiredness of the past four days overwhelmed us. How do these travelling salespeople survive? Drive 200 or 300 miles and then bound enthusiastically in to a client meeting as if nothing had happened. Amazing.

21st November, 2009

Watched England lose to the All Blacks again. Pathetic! In a week when we have been away for four days we have still used 1.5 cm of water. I got an email from Jane BG this week to say that she only used 14cm in six months. I really do think I must be washing too much.

Week 47

8th November, 2009

Man. U. were robbed this afternoon. Did you see it? They were definitely the better team.

9th November, 2009

Still the requests for references roll in from ex-staff. We spent part of the day planning our trip down to Kent next week. We think we will stay in Maidstone and then spend one day looking around the Ashford, Folkestone, Dover, Sandwich, Canterbury areas and the second day looking round Rochester, Gillingham, Chatham area.

Spent a couple of hours swimming, steaming, jacuzzi-ing this morning and then Pauline went for a Facial (£55.00!!!) at the local Beauty Parlour. I got the job of taking rubbish to the tip. It was such a beautiful day I didn’t mind. I still had time to take some photos over the Colne Valley from the front of our house.

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10th November, 2009

Pauline’s Mum has been desperate for a new chair. At 95 she is rather flat-bound. Any chance to break out is an adventure. We were going to a shop in Dewsbury where she had seen a chair advertised. Unfortunately, we had only got her down to the ground floor of her flats when she couldn’t go any further and we had to take her back up to her flat. It was all too much for her. She said that the Spirit was willing but the flesh failed her. Pauline & I were delegated to get the chair.

We drove over to Dewsbury to a shop called HSL Chairs. A long established chain of shops specialising in ‘comfy’ arm chairs.

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Pride of place in the showroom were Parker Knoll chairs. Do you remember those? The two, green, wing backed chairs in the Front Room at 81 High Street. Some of the younger ones, perhaps, won’t remember that not only were we barred from the Front Room but, on the exceptional occasions, we definitely were not allowed to sit on the Parker Knoll chairs. They were distinguishable by one have a black and yellow striped panel in the head rest position. I can’t quite remember the other one. The Front Room had a fairly undistinguished bookcase with remarkably few books for a Mother who prided herself in literacy and Art. There was a highly polished small table by the french windows with a highly polished wireless on it.When the inglenook fireplace was replaced with a coke stove, the hearth was fronted by a lemon yellow mat the we were told not to walk on. You wouldn’t believe the memories a trip to a chair shop can evoke.

Pauline’s mum had seen the chair she wanted, she knew exactly which colour she wanted. We had our orders. When we got to the shop we were confronted with ‘Special Offers’. Unbelievably, the very chair we had been despatched for was half price at £300.00. The same chair in a different colour was £600.00. We were able to fit it into our car with the seats down and rush the 30 miles or so over the Pennines to Oldham with it. A 95 year old lady was very pleased when we took it up in the lift and placed it exactly in her lounge.

12th November, 2009

The days are so dark and uninviting but Pauline still gets us up at 7.00 am. There’s no time for breakfast now. Just a huge cup of tea. Then it’s off to the Health Club. Thirty minutes hard swimming followed bu Jacuzzi and the Steam Room. Home for coffee and toast with The Times before catching up on correspondence. Before you know where you are, it’s lunchtime. Pauline’s Mum fell last night and sprained her hand. After breakfast Pauline had to drive over to Oldham and get the doctor to check her over. She might have cracked a rib but there is no treatment for it only painkillers which upset her stomach.

We have also upset her. We have an awful dilemma. We have a Greek house and the plan to spend six months there. We have our house up for sale and want to move to the South of England. Although Pauline’s Mum knows all this, she doesn’t really believe it. Recently we told her we were going down to Kent house hunting. This has thrown her and us in to turmoil. Should we give up our lives and wait for her to die before we start to live again? Should we try to persuade her to move South to be near us in the Winter and Phyllis & Colin in the Summer? At 95 that will be a difficult trick to achieve. Should we try to build up a network around her so we feel free to go our own way? This latter is what we have been doing but it feels treacherous.  What should we do? Answers on a postcard.

13th November, 2009

Diabetic Clinic at 7.50 am with the gorgeous Doctor Judith. This is the Lindley Street Practice.


Doctor Judith said she had never seen me looking better. I should have retired years ago, she said. I couldn’t disagree.

14th November, 2009

Off to Leeds at 8.00 am today. Pauline has her hair done at Vidal Sassoon’s there.


It’s only £90.00 to have your hair cut there. Here I am saving water by not washing and she blows the entire savings on a hair cut. Thankfully my haircut has been free since 1969 so I’m just about breaking even.

In the three weeks we have been on a meter, we have used 12 cubic metres of water – 4 cubic meters per week. Is that reasonable for two people, do you think? According to Yorkshire Water, that is the equivalent of 132 baths in 3 weeks. I am getting Athlete’s Foot. Maybe I’ve just been too wet! We have been measuring our Gas consumption for the past six weeks and, in that time, we have used 61 KWH at a total cost of £18.06. It is the electricity which is charging away. From the end of August to the middle of October and empty house (lights on timers, Fridge, Freezer) used 544 KWH and, to date, we have used another £17.38 worth of electricity per week. I hope you’re keeping up with this.

Week 46

 1st November, 2009


We have used 4 cubic metres of water in one week! Yorkshire Water say that one cubic meter is equivalent to eleven baths. We each have a shower in the morning and we have always shared a bath every night. We have a huge corner bath and it has been a ritual of our marriage for over 30 years that we have a bath together and talk over the day before going to bed. Be that as it may, we can’t believe we’ve used the equivalent of 44 baths in a week. One of us is washing too much. And it is not me!

2nd November ,  2009

I’m beginning to worry that I rattle. Because I am so fat, I am a type 2 diabetic. My blood pressure was high and so was my blood sugar. When I can be bothered, I measure these things. Usually that is before I see my doctor who is a bit scarey. Dr Judith is a gorgeous blond. When I see her for Diabetic Clinic, my blood pressure goes sky high. She calls it ‘white coat’ syndrome. I know different. Most of the time, however, my blood sugar , blood pressure and heart rate are all fine. I monitored them every day for three months in Greece. The average of my blood pressure readings over 90 days taken at 8.00 pm was 114/68. My resting pulse was 63. Even Jane BG would be hard pushed to beat that. My blood sugar reading averaged 6.4 which is not bad. Of course, none of this is down to me. It is entirely resting on the gorgeous Judith and the pills she prescribes:

  • Amlodipine
  • Atorvastatin
  • Doxazosin
  • Lossartan
  • Metformin
  • Pioglitazone
  • Warfarin

I am the original junkie. Pauline calculated the other day that these drugs alone would cost me £70.00 per month if my prescriptions weren’t all free. I also get eye tests free. It’s a wonderful world even though I rattle.

3rd November, 2009

We can’t shake school off however much we try. Today, we had three phone calls from our old school plus a letter. In each case it was someone wanting information that nobody else in the school could provide. I had one chap who is doing a teaching qualification on-site asking me to Mentor him because I did it last year as well. I then had a lad who I appointed over a year ago wanting to catch up on things. Then a request for a reference arrived for a girl I managed two years ago. Then Pauline had a visit from the police to discuss a child molestation case she had dealt with twelve months ago.  It may seem strange but we don’t want this. We want to make a clean break and move forward. That is why three months in Greece was so useful. We are looking forward to going back.

4th November, 2009

Pauline & I lived in Meltham & Helme for a long time 1978 – 2000. Our dentist is still there. Today we had to go for a check-up and driving through reminded me how beautiful it is and how wonderful Yorkshire is. I may miss it a bit when we leave.

This is the centre of the village and the road leading up to Marsden Moor.

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5th November, 2009

Our house is south facing which makes it incredibly hot but it looks over the Valley and to the Pennines. We can see a long way and we are looking down from quite a height. On Bonfire Night, we have the benefit of dozens of spectacular firework displays without leaving our lounge. Unfortunately, I find it very hard to photograph as you will see.


6th November, 2009

In my spare time this week I have been finalising investment opportunities (I have begun to sound like Mum.) and researching Granddad Coghlan and his father, Daniel – our Great Grandfather.

Our Great Grandmother Coghlan was Mary and she was born in 1856 in Brighton but I don’t know her Maiden name yet. By 1881, she was described as a wardrobe dealer. I don’t know if she dealt in clothes or wardrobes. Great Granddad Daniel Coghlan was born in 1851 but he gave a number of different places of birth. In 1881, he said he was born in Craford, Kent. In 1891, he said he was born in Farningham, Sussex. In 1901, he said he was born in Mary Cray, Kent. In 1881, at the age of 30, he describes himself as a Greengrocer. By 1891 & 1901, he describes himself as a Gardener.

In 1881, Daniel was 30 and Mary was 25. They were living at 35 Jubilee Street, Brighton with two children: Mary aged 2 and Catherine aged 5 months. Ten years later, they had moved down the street to 24 Jubilee Street and had three more sons and another daughter: Daniel aged 9, Julia aged 7, John aged 4 and ‘William M’ aged 1. In 1901, at the ages of 50 and 45 respectively, Daniel and Mary were still living in Jubilee Street and had three more children: ‘James J’ (our Granddad) aged 7, Ellen aged 5 and ‘Maurice P’ aged 3. In all, I have found nine children.

7th November, 2009

We are going back to the Health Club. We are missing our swimming. We have been members of the Spirit Health Club for years. Now we actually have time to use it. We belong to the Leeds/Brighouse one (or we did) with these facilities:

  • Fitness
  • Pool
  • Jacuzzi
  • Steam
  • Sauna
  • Reflexology

The wonderful thing is that now we are old and wrinkly, it only costs £70.00 per month for two of us. It is based inside the Holiday Inn Hotel.

spirit.jpg  pool.jpg