Week 61

14th February, 2010

Be still my beating heart!


Click Heart for Passion.

I walked in to Sainsburys yesterday morning and was hit by an overwhelming perfume. At the doors they always display the fresh flowers and they seemed to be overwhelmingly roses – red roses. I remember thinking how strange it was as I almost fell over a display of pink champagne on my way to pick up a paper. Suddenly, I twigged – Valentine’s Day. Of course, in school one was never allowed to forget that. Kids sending cards to kids. Kids sending cards to teachers. It was a hothouse of hormones. Then one would smile indulgently at the never changing merry-go-round of the cycle of development. But now how irrelevant and tacky it seemed.

Much more importantly, the downward spiral of the Climate Change religion goes on apace. The Sunday Times ran a story of a report by leading scientist who cast doubt on the accuracy of the warming data because of where the weather stations are sited. their siting is clearly important to their accuracy and conditions have changed since some or many were put in place. For example, a weather station at Manchester Airport was originally set in green fields but has been gradually built around until it is now based on and surrounded by concrete. Concrete absorbs and emits heat thus providing falsely higher  temperatures. Other stations are positioned near air conditioning units, etc. It is this data upon which we are building costly plans for the future. You can read the full article below:


15th February, 2010

Having survived Valentine’s Day, I now find myself having to survive Half Term. Pauline & I have had some memorable Half Term breaks –

Milan was great but cold and foggy.

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Furteventura in the Canaries was hot and humid:

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Lille was very French:

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Venice was just unforgettable:

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Paris was all restaurants:

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Arras was medieval:

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This Half Term we went to the Health Club to find Mothers taking their children to swimming lessons – in our pool! We went home and resolved not to return until next Monday. I honestly think Half Terms are an unnecessary distraction from school work, an unwarranted interruption to learning. These sorts of hiatus could scar children for life. I think we should be arguing for a 5 Term Year with a week’s break at the end of each one. Five weeks holiday should be enough for anyone.

The Greeks, of course, who are really in the mire and are desperately trying to drag everyone into it with them, the Greeks are on holiday. Today is ‘Clean Monday’ (Καθαρή Δευτέρα). This is the first day of the Greek Orthodox Lent. The common term for this day, “Clean Monday”, refers to the leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods. (I’ll drink to that!) Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major days, but shellfish is permitted. The other activity on Clean Monday is to fly kites. All Greeks go out to fly their kites after lunch. Lent is the beginning of spring. We must go out to greet the first outdoor day of the new year. The community celebrates this day by climbing the nearest hill and flying kites on the fresh spring wind!

16th February, 2010

Mum was a big admirer of the Jesuits and she would not have enjoyed the article in The Times today that started:

The sexual abuse scandal in Jesuit-run German schools is spreading rapidly and is likely to involve more than a hundred former pupils, according to the head of one of the affected colleges

This is classic Roman Catholicism and beats the Climate Change scandal into a cocked hat in all but the cost to us. Read the full article here:


17th February, 2010

Found a fascinating string of Blogs today. Firstly, a Japanese girl who has married a Greek from Piraeus. She has studied in England (Birmingham) and Italy (Pisa) as well as Japan and Greece. She is a Doctor of Philosophy but her Blog is about living in Greece and focusses on Greek food. It can be found here:


18th February, 2010

Got an email from Liz today. She sounded very up-beat:

I have been to lunch today at house of Lords. Really wish Mum was alive to tell her.
You know how easily impressed she was. Me Lizzie dripping hob nobbing with Lords
There are 17 bars there! And I met the speaker. I was so excited.

I replied:

Well Lizzie Dripping
What were you doing there? Did you drink in all 17 bars

Liz got back to me to say she was lobbying Lord Victor Abedowale who looks a bit like the Tories answer to Bob Marley. Apparently, he is the CEO of Turning Point.


19th February, 2010

Bob’s 58th birthday. Got a nice email from him. Had to be up and out by 8.30 this morning because Pauline’s Mum had final assessment in Oldham Royal before cataract operation. As usual, travelling was a nightmare. Five or six hours of snow had fallen last night. The M62 was completely closed. It had police cars across it. A car was stranded half way up the grass of the roundabout with its back end staved in from an earlier collision.There had been accidents at 5.30 am, 6.15 am, 6.45 am and 7.00 am. Black ice was said to be the problem and there was a 12 mile tail back amounting to 2.5 hours. Of course, the mooors road was out of the question because that would have been impassable. We had to go on a long, circuitous route many miles out of our way in huge lines of frustrated cars. We got there in the end but it was scarey and not fun.

Pauline’s Mum is our post office. We do most of our shopping on-line and have everything delivered to her. She’s always in and it means she gets visitors. Today we collected three parcels: some 6 x Kingsize Egyptian Cotton Sheets from BHS central delivery; Magix Video & Audio Editing software package from Amazon and some kitchenware from Lakeland.

20th February, 2010

Saturday is always Sainsburys Day even in retirement. It is hard to believe but early on Saturday morning is still the quietest time to get through the weekly shop. I am indulging my love of offal again this week. I am addicted to liver and kidney in red wine sauce. This is eaten with shredded savoy cabbage cooked in butter and garlic. Wonderful. I love it. It will take my mind off Man U..

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I bet you just want it!

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