Week 117

13th March, 2011

Watched an interview with Rory McGrath the other day. I had no idea he had been born in to a Roman Catholic family – as I had – or that he had been forced to attend church and serve at mass and that he had bitterly resented it- as I had. I knew nothing about his fractured relationship with his mother or his total rejection of religion. The interview, presumably, was to publicise his new book – The Father, The Son and The Ghostly Hole – in which he describes how even as the most lapsed of Catholics, the religion has shaped him forever in just the way I believe it has me.

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The book arrived yesterday. I shall keep you informed on my view of it.

14th March, 2011

Early morning anti-coagulation check at the hospital. The last one before we leave. My INR is up from 1.9 to 2.6. The optimum is 2.5 so that’s good. The next one will be done by the Baker on Sifnos and phoned back to the Huddersfield Royal. We went on to Santander to discuss new ISAs for post April 6th. Our cash allowance has gone up to 2 x £5,340.00 = £10,680.00. I expect interest rates to go up in a couple of months and maybe by 0.5 % so we will miss out on that by being away but, at least, we can park some cash and make a bit at the same time. I have picked a flexible ISA guaranteed to pay 2.8% above Base Rate so I will at least profit from a rate rise.

After lunch – a bowl of Pea & Mint soup – I had an appointment at the Chiropody Department. I told them I was going away for six months and they have left me to make my next appointment in October.

15th March, 2011

Horribly grey, foggy and gloomy day today. We have spent the morning informing people – banks, insurance companies, etc – of our forthcoming change of address. Off to the Health Club at 12.30 pm but it is disappointingly busy.

16th March, 2011

Once again, the day is foggy and ugly. We will be swimming at mid day but up until then we are doing indoor things. Everything of significance is about leaving. Today, we have cancelled all further Council Tax payments and all further Contents Insurance payments. I have cancelled the BT phone and Broadband contract from the day we leave and Pauline is redirecting mail for 6 months to our new address. We have had a feeling for the last three months that we were largely marking time and this has increased as the days go on.

I have always had this problem of getting ahead of myself. From the moment I get to a birthday, I anticipate the next. I may be 59 but I’m in my 60th year. I may be living in Huddersfield but I am waiting to move to Woking. I maybe moving to Woking but I’m leaving for Greece. People say you should live for the moment as I prepare for my next five or ten year plan. It drives Pauline bonkers and I know ‘Life isn’t a rehearsal’ but I have to have goals, targets and purposes. I have to create my own structure around and through my life. I have to feel at least marginally in control of it. This feeling is hugely magnified by retirement.

And now the tragedy of the day – no Tarragon!


In the last few months I have become addicted to it. I’ve eaten it in years past and had to work quite hard to enjoy it but, just before Christmas, Pauline and I were in a mediterranean restaurant in Huddersfield (note the contradiction in terms) and I ordered a grilled chicken dish served with a tarragon cream sauce. It was sensational. I immediately went out to buy fresh tarragon. Only one supermarket in Kirklees was selling fresh tarragon – Asda which is a fair few miles away. Made a special trip there today only to find they had none. Why is life so hard?

17th March, 2011

Today we’ve been focussing on microwaves. All the big issues occupy us. Not for our time the minor concerns of Libya or the trivia going on in Japan. We need to consider a new microwave. We use ours for defrosting and for fast finishing food. We’ve had only three microwaves since I bought the first one – a Phillips, the size of a chest of drawers – in 1978. Our new kitchen will have a new microwave but, because our new kitchen will be installed before we move in, it will have to be free standing. We have also wanted a steam oven so we intend to combine the two functions in a multi-function steam microwave.

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Actually, these machines have microwave/oven/grill/steam functions combined and come in under £300.00. You can’t say fairer than that.

18th March, 2011

Glorious, sunny day today. Even Sainsburys looked beautiful. After shopping, we went to our favourite hardware shop to buy a new, steel, filleting knife.


While we were there, I had parked up and paid £1.50 for my parking ticket. As I was walking back to my car with the ticket, a large BMW pulled up behind me. The driver, a middle aged white man, put a disabled badge in the window, got out of the car and sprinted down the street. That really annoyed me but, just at that moment, a traffic warden, a little black lady, walked down the street. On the spur of the moment, I told her what I had just seen. At first, she just brushed me off. He might be able to sprint even if he is disabled, she said. She took one look at the disabled badge and asked, Was this man with any one? When I told her that he was on his own, she said, Well that’s interesting because this badge is for a woman. I didn’t wait around to watch the conclusion of this drama. By the time Pauline and I had come out of the knife shop, the warden was still waiting for the man to return.

Later we had a lovely swim as the sun shafted in through the windows and then sunbathed in the jacuzzi. Life can be so hard at times. For Dinner this evening, I cooked roast salmon with a garlic, lemon and tarragon crust. This was accompanied by roasted shallots and peppers. We both absolutely loved it.

19th March, 2011

A strange day. It was supposed to be beautiful but failed to live up to expectations. England were unexpectedly rubbish against the bog trotters of Ireland but, at least Man. Utd. managed to squeeze a win over Bolton. Poor old Ruth.

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