23rd January, 2011
Fresh coffee and the Sunday papers. Say no more.
24th January, 2011
This week starts with three themes:
- producing a timetable/plan for the next two months.
- completing arrangements for the following six months
- dispatching legal documents & deposit for the apartment
This morning, it is the last point first. The signed legal documents are packaged up and taken down to the post office for ‘registered mail’ delivery. Next, our internet banking site. We have immediate access to our current and deposit accounts. We often transfer cash from our English to our Greek banks and expect the same process to our solicitor’s account to be easy. It isn’t. We find that we can only transfer £10,000.00 ourselves. Anything further needs Bank involvement. What’s the point? A number of phone calls later and at the cost of £20.00, the job is done. So much for internet banking. Our solicitor, who is in Southampton, by the way, confirms receipt of everything. We are now totally committed and on our way.
Wonderful couple of hours at the Health Club. We were wondering why it was so quiet. I was talking to a chap in the sauna who told me that people were cancelling their subscriptions. Some were going to a new, Local Authority Health Club a couple of miles away. Others were cancelling because the recession made it too expensive. As so many new contracts are taken out in January, it is this month that sees them not renewing. All the more room for us!
25th January, 2011
Today, after our swim, we drew up this rough plan for the period up to going abroad:
Measuring for Blinds (Monday)
|Familiarisation Meeting for new property||10/3/11|
|Completion of new property and get keys||18/3/11|
|Hospital (Monday) Anti coag.||28/3/11|
|Doctor (Friday) Diabetic Check||1/4/11|
|Car holiday check||?|
|Load Lorry & drive to Surrey (Monday)||4/4/11|
|Furniture arrives Surrey||5/4/11|
|Return to Huddersfield / Hotel night 1 Clean shoebox||6/4/11|
|Hotel night 2 Hand back keys||7/4/11|
|Return to Surrey (Friday)||8/4/11|
|Pauline has hair done. Has to last 6 months.||9/4/11|
|Leave for Greece (Monday)||11/4/11|
We still have about ten weeks before we leave and, in that time, I must visit Ruth and wish her Good Luck in selling her property and moving on. I must go to Oldham for the first time since we left after Pauline’s Mum’s death. We will visit Margaret, the Anchor House warden, Cath, the cleaner and Brian, my friend from school. These are responsibilities before we leave for the South and for Europe.
26th January, 2011
Today after swimming I have turned my attention back to the drive across Europe. We need two hotels en route; one in France and one in Italy. I try to do 5 – 6 hrs driving each day for the first two days and then only 2 – 3 hours on the final morning before we board the ferry in Ancona. Because of that, it means we hit the same areas on the map each time. Last year we stayed in Colmar in Alsace and we will do again. We will try a different hotel. The next day, once again, we will stay in Modena for night two but we will try another hotel there as well.
I have found Booking.com to provide an excellent service for booking hotels in Europe, particularly last year when we had to change our dates at the last minute. In Colmar, this year, I have chosen Hotel l’Europe – Horbourg-Wihr, Colmar.
In Modena, I have chosen Hotel Real Fini Baia Del Re:
Both hotels are 4* and both are close to our route. In very low season, the French hotel only cost £70.00 for a double room for a night. We will eat dinner in the LEden des Gourmets restaurant but we won’t have time for breakfast. Italian hotels are almost always more expensive than equivalent French ones. Hotel Real Fini Baia Del Re is no exception but still only £105.00 for a double room for a night.
27th January, 2011
A wonderful swim today. In fact, after two swims, two jacuzzis, a sauna and a steam-room session, I could hardly walk back to the car and Pauline was too tired to carry me.
28th January, 2011
Must have overdone it yesterday because I woke up stiff, aching and tired. We decided to give the Health Club a miss today. Instead, we did our Sainsburys’ shop and then went on to the farm shop. We bought a couple of pheasants and wanted some rabbit but non was available. A pheasant easily does a meal for two and costs £3.30. It’s so tasty. On the way back, we drove through the Yorkshire countryside reminiscing on times past – so sentimental but nice.
29th January, 2011
I have an upset stomach today. I don’t know if it is something I have eaten but the feeling is unpleasant. Today, I have just had a bowl of porridge but the flutters go on.
I think it is time for the Blog to have a refresh so I am experimenting with different skins at the moment. This is one I quite like:
These are other possibilities: