Week 111

30th January, 2011

Inspite of Sunday papers, I spent the day moaning and groaning and being a typical man who is ill. This stomach bug still has a grip. I have been trying to work on updating my Blog and website design but could only really feel sorry for myself. On the upside, at least I’m not eating much.

31st January, 2011

I’m getting rather tired of this and I’m not sure what’s wrong with me but I can’t keep food inside me for more than an hour and I’m not being sick. I couldn’t face swimming again today. Later in the evening I felt a little better and began to work on my website. I am toying with a view like this:


We exchanged contracts on our property this afternoon and we are going down next week to meet blind fitters (fitters of blinds) so that they can be fitted as soon as we get the keys on March 18th. We won’t live there until October when we’ve got carpets and wardrobes fitted.

1st February, 2011


I’m better and going to the Health Club this morning. I’m certainly glad that this bug is on its way out.

Swimming was great. The sun came out and lit up the pool but had disappeared by the time we drove home to our shoebox. As we parked up, it suddenly occured to me that we had never featured our shoebox in the Blog. I remedy that here.


There are currently no designated parking spots so, as you can see, we claimed the one by the front door. Not for too much longer now, thank goodness.

2nd February, 2011

After a bowl of cereals, it is soon obvious that my stomach bug hasn’t completely gone. We set off for town but come back early because of my discomfiture. Phyllis phones to say she has a problem with her printer. We try talking her through all the obvious work-arounds but to no avail. Telephone IT support must be a nightmare to work in.

I get twenty or so emails each day. When I was working, I was getting five times that many. A large proportion are skim-read and deleted. I have a huge structure of folders to save the others from ‘purchases’ to ‘travel’ to ‘family’ and ‘friends’. The best emails to receive after those confirming some lovely purchase or element of foreign travel are from Family and from Friends. Last night, just as I was going to bed at 11.30 pm, I got one of each. From Ruth I got an email arranging to meet before we leave for Surrey and for Greece. I look forward to that. I then got an email from lad who taught in my Department in Oldham. He moved on a year before I retired so it is almost three years since we communicated. Email is wonderful. I can’t get in to ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’ seems quite mindless. The clue is in the name.

3rd February, 2011

Porridge for breakfast this morning and, although my stomach is still a little fluttery, I have retained it for three hours so I’m going swimming. It’s a lovely day. I’ve written a grumpy-old-man email to Jeremy Paxman about the BBC World Service. He’s complaining about the service being cut and, although I not opposed to paying for the British Broadcasting Service to the world, anyone who listens to it in Europe will hear very little about Britain but will soon become experts on political and social conditions in Pakistan, India, Indonesia, etc..This is not the service I pay my money for. The clue is in the title. I want British Broadcasting news and culture of Britain being broadcast to the rest of the world in the hope the may emulate it.

4th February, 2011

One of those days when you’re glad not to have to go to work. Torrential rain and gales outside. We were going to drive down to the Honda garage this morning but local television tells us that the roundabout leading to them is closed due to flooding. Unfortunately, we have to go to Sainsburys and then we must go swimming. Perhaps we could combine the two.

Received an email from Malcolm last night and the same one copied from Ruth telling me about poor old Malcolm’s accident. Apparently, he went in to his garage on Saturday morning – still blind drunk from the previous night – and he lurched drunkenly, falling and breaking both bones in his left leg. Poor man. He was so drunk, they pinned his leg without anaesthetic. Below is a picture of Malcolm the night before he fell:


5th February, 2011

Saturday! Everyday is Saturday now. It’s throwing it down with rain but the gale-force winds have died down. Saturday papers! I’m not a Tory supporter and definitely not a Lib.Dem. supporter but, at last someone is addressing the ghastly, failed experiment of Multiculturalism. If you’d taught in Oldham, Burnley, Preston, Huddersfield, Bradford over the past forty years you couldn’t possibly disagree. In fact we have been desperate for someone in government to have the bravery to articulate it. We have said throughout our teaching life that the Asians of Oldham have to come out of their Pakistani enclave and embrace Britishness. A large proportion of the Mothers of Oldham’s Asian community still can’t speak English. The fathers prefer it that way. Learning the language should be a pre-requisite of permanent residency.

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