Week 66

21st March, 2010

United powered majestically past Liverpool and Chelsea faltered pathetically at Blackburn. Increasingly, Chelsea are looking like an ageing bunch who will have to be replaced for next season.

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22nd March, 2010

Whenever we are away, the house is automatically lit. We currently have twelve timed lights including one outside permanently on a dusk/dawn switch. Because six months is a long time, I have had to break the rule of a life time and purchase energy-saving, long-life bulbs. I almost had to get a mortgage to pay for them. Fortunately, Pauline had save up £140.00 in Sainsburys points which went towards defraying the cost. We needed them. Our weekly shop leapt from £100.00 to nearly £500.00 with all the items we needed to take or send before us by freight. You wouldn’t believe that toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, toothbrush heads, coffee, tea, etc., could cost so much but when you are buying for 6 months it soon mounts up.

23rd March, 2010

Lovely day today. Went to see Ruth & Kevan in Bolton. We went for coffee. It took 30 minutes from house to house. Ruth’s house is neat as a new pin. In fact, every house on her estate looks neat as a new pin. The lawns are manicured to within an inch of their lives. It was lovely to see them both but particularly Ruth who has been so kind and supportive of me since Mum died and over this first year of our retirement. She is a lovely girl who we should all count ourselves grateful to have as a sister.

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Kevan doesn’t look any different to the man I remember in 1972. He must be the Peter Pan of Bolton. He is gentle, mild mannered and empathetic.  No wonder Ruth chose him. Perhaps he chose her. We leave for Greece three weeks today and Ruth and I will keep in contact with Skype. Anybody else on Skype?

24th March, 2010

Terrible memories today of the sweep coming to 81 High Street. I’ve probably written about this before so you must excuse me but I always remember the Dining Room beings swathed in sheets and towels on the floor and the table right up to the hearth. We were banished to our bedrooms until the big clean up had been completed and then Brunch was served. Today we spent hours covering every carpet upstairs and down, taking down curtains and blinds. Coral Windows are coming tomorrow to fit new patio windows, new back door, new windows at the back of the house. On Friday, the blind man comes. Let’s hope he can find his way here.

25th March, 2010

After Mum, the alarm got us up at 6.00 am. Pauline shot out of bed. Within half an hour, I was awake. After tea and toast, we put the finishing touches to covering up the televisions, computers, etc. By 8.00 am I was off to Sainsburys to buy biscuits for the workers. As I arrived home, I met my neighbour, Jean, who told me that her husband, Peregrine, who is lecturer in a tertiary college in Bradford, was informed by email yesterday that he had been identified in a small pool of lecturers for possible redundancy. He is 48. This is an immediate sign of the slimming of public sector provision in general and tertiary education in particular. The fact that Perry is in the business of skilling young apprentices is of little importance apparently.

At about 9.00 am, the van arrived and the banging began:

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Perigrine’s wife, Jean, is a bird lover. The lawn is covered with bits of bread in the morning but our lounge carpet is covered in bits of bread by the evening. It is a straight forward process of redistribution mainly done by magpies. They sit on our chimney and yell down it before carpet bombing with stale white sliced. I’ve asked Jean for a healthier brown but to no avail. Before we go away, we are determined to get a cowell put on the chimney. We don’t want to come home to six months of stale bread.

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I’m going to be known as the man with the diseased phallus on the top of his house.

26th March, 2010

Went round to speak to my next door neighbour this afternoon. Put one foot on their ‘decking’ which had a winter’s litchen and water on it. It was like stepping on to black ice. I fell quite comically headlong but managed to avoid damaging the woodwork. Struggling to my knees and then feet a little shaken and with green-stained knees and elbows, I dismissed the fall with a wry smile but, as the evening wore on, I became increasingly stiff and my ankle throbbed. I had quite a bit of pain to get upstairs for bath and bed. I really don’t think it is broken.

27th March, 2010

Got up in the middle of the night, forgetting about my ankle damage and nearly fell headlong again with the pain. As the day goes on, however, the pain eases and it is clearly just a sprain or slight ligament damage. Saw my doctor today to obtain medication for the next 200 days. This amounts to:

  • Amlodipine -1000mg
  • Atorvastatin – 4000mg
  • Doxazosin – 400mg
  • Losartan – 20,000mg
  • Pioglitazone – 9000mg
  • Metformin – 200,000mg
  • Warfarin – 1740mg

I feel quite ashamed of the fact that this is what is keeping me alive. Spent a lot of today preparing the launch of a new (additional) blog which will allow me to limber up for writing a book on our Greek experiences. I will maintain it over the six months abroad with vignettes of small island life particularly under the scrutiny of economic hardship and reducing European subsidies.

You will notice that a ladybird has dropped by to keep a close eye on the Blog. She is very welcome just as you are.

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Everyone who goes to Bolton has a nice time. Pauline and I went on Tuesday and had coffee and conversation. Man. United went today and had three points.

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I posted a letter to Mike today.

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