Week 79

20th June, 2010

Seemed to spend the whole day driving – about eight hours in total – and in a rented, manual Vaxhaul Meriva. I was certainly tired at the end of it. We left home just before 5.00 am in beautiful sunshine. The motorway was absolutely empty. It felt like the 1960s. We arrived in Surrey half an hour early and walked round the property. It was still a nice, quality build but, when we got up to the three-bedroomed second floor apartment, we were disappointed with the layout and the size of a number of rooms. There was nothing for it but to say, “No”, and come home.

Got home to find two emails – one from Ruth and one from Jane (1). Ruth said:

Photos taken today  in Bolton Jane came up to run a 5k Masters race. I went to cheer her on then invited her to lunch.We had a lovely afternoon before she caught the train back down south !

I must admit, I remember Ruth as being a better cook than that. It doesn’t look as if Jane (2) ate much.

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Jane (1) said:

Hi John
Hope all arrangements for sale and packing up your home and possessions have gone smoothly? Moving is a trauma – I have done it very few times because I hate the disruption. When do you return to Sifnos?

I had a wonderful time in New York – shopped and bought shoes, handbag, dresses, running gear etc. Went to see La Traviata at the Met, ate in the revolving restaurant in Time Sq and took the boat round Manhattan et etc. It was a lovely interlude from the demands of life. I also got my iPad and am rapidly learning all its benefits. It’s absolutely beautiful. I am sending you this message from it so you have my personal email. Would you you use this from now on when sending me your blog etc.

Work is going to be demanding given how many cases we have on the go. It seems we’re likely to get the new govt’s support but I will be working v intensively to protect IPCC’s budget during the spending review/ cuts. So I am glad we have our next hol booked – 3 weeks in Peru in Aug. David is in Singapore and I hope he’ll be home next weekend. He is then due to go to Ireland again so I don’t think we’ll get much time together over the next month.

Hope all well for you and Pauline and enjoy your return to Sifnos. Sent from my iPad.

Jane’s email address is: jane@janemail.force9.co.uk (You could have a gale of a time with that, couldn’t you?)

21st June, 2010

Still tired this morning. I could never have been a travelling salesman for all sorts of reasons. I couldn’t face any more packing up this morning.

Started to pack up the Study this afternoon. Where to begin. Two desktop computers and a laptop, a mono laser, colour inkjet, a label printer, more speakers than you’d need at a pop concert, two computer chairs, two stuffed filing cabinets, book on books on books, every salary slip and tax return we’ve ever received since 1972. Most signicant Birthday, Christmas, Anniversary cards over thirty years. Two, huge boxes of photographs, dozens of assorted IT leads that I thought might be helpful at some stage.

22nd June, 2010

Heard this morning that our buyers’ buyers have not received their final mortgage offer yet. They’ve had it in principle and it is said to be ‘in the post’. At the moment, this doesn’t threaten our dates but, even if it does, we have signed our side of the contract and will return to Greece, leaving our buyers to get on with it in their own time.

23rd June, 2010

Just as England scored their one, lucky goal, we received a phone call to confirm that our buyers’ buyers had received their mortgage confirmation and that we were all-systems-go for June 30th. Pauline rang our solicitor to give him the news only to be told he had ‘gone home ill’. When Pauline pointed out that it was a bit of a coincidence with England playing, his secretary laughed. I don’t know what the professions are coming to these days! We have one day’s packing left and then we can relax and enjoy the house for its last six days.

What did you think of England? It was better but not that much better to make one convinced they can beat Germany on Sunday. Rooney still wasn’t really there. Gerrard was still quiet as was Lampard. Defoe’s goal was fairly flukey.

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24th June, 2010

We packed the last boxes today. We are hoping to persuade our wonderful neighbours to store our widescreen tv and stand but, apart from that, we are ready.

I enjoyed watching Italy go out this afternoon. Slovakia were delightful.

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I did something wrong today. It is probably because I don’t understand the principles of Facebook. I needed a rest from packing and idly logged in to Facebook. I thought that I might actually fill out my Profile page. When it came to ‘Relationship Status’, I put ‘Married’. Within minutes I go two sarcastic contacts from Jill Wilson saying “Married – and your point is?” and from my friend, Martin, who just said he had thought Pauline & I were just good friends. I then listed my interests as “Travelling, Cooking, Wines, Reading, Writing”. Shortly afterwards Ruth wrote to me and said I had put Reading the place when I must have meant reading. I’m beginning to think I’m on a different planet.

25th June, 2010

I have set today as the last, serious day of packing. I have had enough and I want to watch Portugal – Brazil this afternoon happy in the knowledge that we have finished. Can’t wait to get back to Greece, to swimming in the sea and tending my vegetable patch.

Not a good match. The Chile – Spain match looked better at first but ambled to a predictable conclusion.

26th June, 2010

If you ever wanted to know why the Liberal Democrats haven’t enjoyed power for almost a century, you only have to look at that liar and hypocrite, Clegg. No one in their right minds who believed the Lib Dems when they denounced the idea of a VAT rise could possibly vote for them again. No one who followed their policy of greater European integration could ever believe that they are allied to Hague’s withdraw from Europe policy. The are crooks and swindlers and must be removed immediately. There should be action in the streets. Unfortunately, I will be in Greece. Let me know when it’s over.

Great cartoon in The Times today about expecting the aging population to stay in work rather than draw pension. I remember,  when they couldn’t afford more teachers, the Thatcher government discovered an ‘expert’ who asserted that bigger classes were better for learning. Now they can’t afford to pay out on the Ponzi scheme bigger even than Madoff, they discover that working longer is better for you.

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Fantastic leader article in The Times once again about the currupt meddling of Prince Charles. I couldn’t have written better myself.

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