Week 139

14th August, 2011

A quiet day of swimming and watching football. It was good to see Chelsea held to a draw by Stoke although it wasn’t a particularly good match. It was great to watch United get the winning goal against West Brom. It was a bit lucky but the Rooney goal was excellent.

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15th August, 2011

A difficult day. Soon after toast and tea and before we got out in the garden, Pauline began to feel unwell. She felt rather faint – a little dizzy. She lay down on a settee and slept all morning. She had no interest in lunch and still felt unwell. She looked unwell – drawn and lacking in colour. Her condition was unpleasant although not desperate but it presents one with an awful dilemma. In a foreign country on a little island with two, young doctors who don’t speak English, what do you do for medical advice? Today is a National Holiday and the Medical Centre will be closed. All I could do is call an emergency mobile number. Pauline’s condition was not an emergency although I didn’t know what to suggest to help her feel better.

Although her condition continued throughout the afternoon, she felt well enough to eat my meal of 3Ps – Pork & Peppers with Pasta. We bought a lot pasta in Italy on the way down and we have really enjoyed it. It may be all in the mind but the pasta we bought in Italy seems to be far more flavoursome than that bought in Sainsburys. Of course my meal really perked her up and I allowed her to stay up to watch the first goal by Man. City before sending her off to bed.

16th August, 2011

We both got up feeling well today. After breakfast we went out to do a morning’s gardening. By mid day we were shattered in the heat and came in for a shower and a huge bowl of fresh fruit salad. We have been eating this once or twice a day for the past few months. Peaches, nectarines, huge purple plums, grapes, pears, strawberries and bananas all cut up and mixed in a juice. It is like eating pure summer and so refreshing.

Lovely long swim this afternoon and then I made rissoto for our meal. Tonight I’m watching Arsenal trying to qualify for the Champions’ League. Thank goodness Joey Barton isn’t there.

17th August, 2011

A hot blowy day today. We went out early and worked ourselves senseless in the garden. We have about three acres of land planted with trees – olive and fruit. It sounds nice but it is incredibly hard work to keep under control. Every tree and bush is fed by a leaky pipe system. It was laid down five or six years ago when the trees were planted. It is fed from a central system that I control manually when we are here and automatically when we are away. A lot of it has become overgrown because, in the early years, we were only here for five weeks at a stretch. Now we are trying to get to grips with it – clearing pipes and repairing any splits, making sure sprinklers are not clogged, taking out weeds from around the base of trees, etc. Soon we will have to get a little man in but, at the moment, the effort is doing us good.

Fantastic swim after we had recovered from gardening and then Pauline found the energy to cook Rack of Lamb with a wonderful barbecue sauce and roast potatoes. I contributed roasted peppers stuffed with two cheeses – Feta, Danish Blue and then coated with Parmigiano. Lovely!

lamb.jpg  peppers.jpg

18th August, 2011

Another lovely day but we have 35C/36C (95F/97F) forecasted as maximums for today and tomorrow. Gardening, shopping, swimmming, eating, Test Match will all fill the day. Had a horrible dream that I hadn’t done my marking last night. I suddenly woke up telling myself – John, you’re not a teacher any more and you never did your marking when you were. So that was alright.

Lovely report in the newspaper this morning about the top ten strangest items left in a rental car from Europcar. All the usual suspects appeared like false legs and furry handcuffs but what amused me was an ammunition case and a stretcher in Bradford, a wheelchair in Sheffield and, the best of all, half a pint of beer with a CD titled The Art of Speed Seduction in Reading. Priceless!

19th August, 2011

Coincidence is a surprising and barely explainable meeting of occurrences. Pauline & I have been together for 33 years and you would expect, after that length of time, for our thought processes to mesh at times. I had been thinking about what I fancied for Dinner and garlic chicken sprang in to my head. I don’t know why. We hadn’t eaten it for months. Pauline walks in to the lounge and says, Do you fancy garlic chicken for dinner? I am surprised but not absolutely amazed. A few days ago, I woke up thinking about the keys to our Greek house. We have a front door key on the ring and a small, silver one which we haven’t used for five years. It opened the temporary garage doors which no longer exist. As we lock the door to go swimming, Pauline asks, Can you remember what this little, silver key was for? Now I was really quite taken aback but an event this morning really took my breath away.

We swam in the sea for an hour, walked back to the car and, as we did so, I said to Pauline, I wonder what Lisa Mills is doing now? Lisa Mills was a girl we worked with in School for about ten years. We weren’t particularly friendly but she was a good teacher and I cultivated her for a project I was launching. Pauline said, Did you see her in the sea? Which, of course, I had. We had both seen a woman in the sea who bore a strong resemblance to Lisa Mills. There is nothing very surprising about that although neither of us had seen her for two and a half years. However, I could not believe it when I had an email from Facebook this morning – It was a ‘friend request’ from Lisa Mills.

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20th August, 2011

Blowing a gale this morning although hot and sunny. Swimming is going to be ‘choppy’. Test Match and Football will dominate the afternoon. Four matches today, three on Sunday and one on Monday night. I will be exhausted!

I can’t believe it’s Saturday again already. We only have six weeks left before our journey back. We are already looking at dates and routes for our return next April. We may sail from Venice to Patras next year instead of from Ancona.