Week 81

5th July, 2010

I have always been prone to introspection, self analysis, list making, daily, weekly, monthly, annual, five-year and ten-year planning. I have never known why or where it came from. I would be interested to know if anyone else is as anal as me. If you look at those proclivities as a spectrum you will see that they move from negative to positive, from reflective to activating, from passive to positively pushy. This latter end of the range is particularly helpful and to the fore in the world of work. The former traits are pushed in to the background and labelled ‘self indulgent’.

When you are retired, of course, there is so much time for reflection, for analysis, for indulgence that it can hurt. If left unchecked, thoughts can destroy one. I need little encouragement for self destruction. I have worn my heart on my sleeve all my life – and proudly. Ruth will tell you that I am ‘soft’ and I wouldn’t argue. In softness sits compassion, charity and love. I hope the truth is also to be found there.

Tonight I sat outside under an ink blue sky studded with stars, listening to the owls calling against the backdrop of the gentling breaking waves and wept for the times I have known but will never know again, for the people who have walked through my life but are no more. Sometimes the pain of loss seems almost unbearable.

6th July, 2010

Drove up to Apollonia to the Post Office. I was expecting an invoice for my Broadband supply from Cosmote. The PO said they had given it to Stavros ten days ago. (Turns out he had paid it for me ten days ago as well.) However, one of the two huge boxes we posted from Huddersfield five days ago had arrived. Two burly postmen carried it out to my car. Well, I have got a bad back. The box weighed 26Kg and was full of things that came to mind as we packed up the house – for example, a watering can, a multiple tap connector, our best kitchen knives, all that half price, all-day sun cream that Pauline purchased, etc.. The second parcel – the tyre – hadn’t appeared which rather worried us.

Swimming was such a delight. The temperature was in the 30s, the sun was beating down, the sea really was azure-blue reflecting the cloudless sky and a gentle breeze kept everything under control. Of course, it is pre-tourist season so beautifully quiet. Pauline and I swam for an hour, drove back to the house and, after showering, checked the bank account. The money from the house sale was just arriving. We dressed and drove into the port for lunch. During lunch of Greek Salad, fried Kalamari and potatoes washed down with ice-cold house white wine, my phone rang. It was our Bank Manager to confirm the money had arrived and that it was being distributed to the accounts I had specifically set up.

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Really enjoyed the match tonight. Holland deserved their victory without question but I felt sorry for Diego Forlan. He ran his heart out throughout the tournament. He didn’t cheat. He showed English players what you can achieve with effort. He also asked some uncomfortable questions of Alex Ferguson who never got anywhere near the best out of a talented and committed player who really could have fitted into the Man. U. style.

7th July, 2010

Went out early this morning to the Post Office and there was the parcel containing our new, CRV tyre: Dunlop ST30  225 60 R18 100H Grand Trek. You can’t get them in Greece. We bought it instantly at Quickfit in Huddersfield for £183.00. What a price and then we had to pay postage! At least we now have our new tyre.

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When we got home, we were just having coffee when Frangiskus, the electrician, arrived to move a couple of electrical sockets in the kitchen before the tiler does his work. It was a major job with drilling and plastering but, when he’d gone, we started to get phone calls from Banks to confirm that monies in £100,000.00 lots had been arriving. We can now sit back and let events take care of themselves for a few months. We went swimming at about 3.00 pm and the temperature was 36. The water was wonderful and we stayed in for nearly an hour and a half.

Spain easily outclassed Germany tonight and deserve a final place.

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8th July, 2010

Today a huge lorry with lifting gear backed up our drive. On to the ground they proceeded to lift pallets of tiles – 200 sq m for the surrounds of the house and 5 sq m for the kitchen. It also deposited new dining chairs and a table for the patio. I like the furniture style and quality but I ultimately chose this furniture from a French company in Greece because the style was called Burton. There is nothing like going for a Burton. Stavros will book a man to come and build perimeter walls to edge the walk ways round the house and a tiler to complete the job. Let’s hope we get it done this year.

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9th July, 2010

Now I’m cash rich and property poor, I’m hoping for a severe double dip recession. I really need house prices to drop another 20% and then I can go in with cash in hand and drive a hard bargain. According to The Economist magazine, US house prices have fallen every month for the past six. I need that trend exporting to the UK now. According to The Guardian, that is just what is beginning to happen as house prices have fallen for three consecutive months.

I’m really enjoying Oldham’s embarrassment at providing ridiculously generous redundancies to people like Pauline & I only to find their Academy plans back up ‘for discussion’. Does Gove know what he is doing? On Friday my old school held a valedictory reunion for ex-staff and on Monday heard that they will remain as they were for the foreseeable future. Actually, I don’t blame the government for cutting the funding. They should be saying that it will come but not yet. I’m advocating a 40% cut in Public Sector wages frozen for ten years. In Greece, they are even cutting and freezing Private Sector wages.  On the other hand, if you are going to do something potentially, harsh, controversial and unpopular, you check every word of your communication minutely because anger will settle on the slightest weakness. Has Gove actually got it in him? I don’t think so. He could even be a Liberal Democrat in disguise.

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10th July, 2010

Lovely day – a little cooler – only 26°C Pauline’s been cleaning the windows while I’ve been sowing the next batch of lettuces. We had lunch on our new table and chairs today. We covered the table with the tablecloth Liz gave us for a wedding present 32 years ago. I like things like that. Went up the land to check out the Fig Trees and was pleasantly suprised. They are laden with fruit.

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