4th December, 2011
Just an ordinary day. I’ve just looked back to this day last year in my Blog and my first words were exactly the same but followed by “….surrounded by snow”. We had been snowbound in the shoebox for about three or four days and we were feeling trapped. Quite the reverse this year. We drove out in sunshine through clouds of Autumn leaves to get the Sunday papers.
I watched a poor Wolves v Sunderland match and then continued to set up the Study while Pauline unpacked some of the last remaining items and tried to find homes for them.
5th December, 2011
We got the car ready for a trip to France tomorrow. Made sure we had warning triangle and reflective jackets readily available in the back. Made sure the travel bag contained passports, tickets, insurance documents, etc.. Early start tomorrow and we won’t have time to check things then. I made sure all our destinations are pre-programmed in to the Sat. Nav. in advance.
We drive round to see Phyllis & Colin and take them some cut glassware we didn’t need but we thought they would like. We are going to buy a large, flat-screen television for the Study so we offered them our smaller one and they seemed pleased with that.
This evening, I watched quite a good Fulham v Liverpool match which Fulham won. Earlier night because we have to be up and out tomorrow. Ironically, snow is forecast on our old route over the Pennines tonight. We may even wake up to a bit of frost.
6th December, 2011
Our Tunnel crossing is just after 9.00 am UK time. We set the alarm for 5.00 am, leave the house at 6.30 am and the fields around are showing signs of frost. The journey is quiet and enjoyable. We arrive at the tunnel, go through automatic check-in and park up before heading for a coffee shop. By 9.00 am we are driving on to the train and by 10.30 Central European Time, we are on the French motorway en route to our favourite wine store. After buying our wine, the store give us a free ferry crossing voucher for our next trip. By 12.00 pm, we are in the shopping centre Cité Europe shopping in Carrefour.
We bought a bottle of whisky and a bottle of champagne to say thank you to Colin & Phyllis. We bought joints of pork, duck breasts, chicken joints, fresh fish, wonderful cheeses, saucisons, salamis, tins of Confit of Duck, jars of Paté of different sorts and some more red wine – mainly claret.
We went off and had lunch and then drove back to the tunnnel where we caught our train at 3.30 pm. We were back in UK at 3.00 pm and back in Surrey by 4.30 pm.. It is certainly very different from having to do four hours from Northern England and the same back and then taking a couple of days to recover.
7th December, 2011
Another beautiful day. We took presents round to Phyllis & Colin. I’m going to have to take the ‘Richard Chair’ round to Bob’s house. I haven’t got room for it. One of Bob’s sons has Richard as a middle name and, therefore, is entitled to the chair. I offered it two him a couple of years ago at Mum’s funeral and he expressed an interest but hasn’t contacted me since. I checked Bob’s address and was shocked to find he only lived 17 miles away from me. And yet so far apart.
Something miraculous happened this afternoon. Our broken (new) dryer was collected and we were in to hand it over.
Watched a poor United lose to Basel in Basel. We drive through Basel twice a year and it is a nightmare, a horrible place which is constantly ‘under development’ and has been for more than ten years. Those roads must have got to United!
8th December, 2011
Had to be up at 6.00 am today. Out of the house by 6.30 am and at the Woking Walk-in Health Centre by 7.00 am. It was another INR test because it doesn’t seem in check at the moment. I’ve given pints of blood recently and my arm is constantly bruised and plastered.
Back home for breakfast while the rush hour dies down and then off to Weybridge to have my brake pedal unit replaced because the old one developed a squeak. Coffee, biscuits, newspapers for an hour and then off again.
I phoned to check on the timing of delivery of our settees this afternoon. It was a bit depressing to hear that it would be December 21st/22nd before we got them. Still at least that is less than two weeks away.
9th December, 2011
Today, we had to go to the Bank to get our identity and new address certified. We want to move some ISAs and open some new investment accounts on-line. I had scanned in our passports and driver’s licences and printed out these scans to send off to the financial institutions that I had chosen. We were shocked to find that our bank of 40 years, Nat. West had recently decided to only provide such a service for people who are investing in their funds. This is a change and quite disgraceful and I shall be telling them so.
I have stayed glued to news of Cameron’s Euro nonsense. We are going to find ourselves out of Europe very quickly if we are not careful. How the Lib.Dems. can live with themselves, I have no idea.
We went off to Guildford this afternoon. Pauline wanted to go to Lakeland (the shop she has only ever bought from at a distance in the past.) but we got stuck in a multi-storey carpark which was full of Christmas shoppers and decided that claustrophobia dictated a different action. We drove home.
10th December, 2011
We have been in our new home for just two weeks now and in England for two months. We feel we have achieved a lot.
Today, we went in to Woking early to miss the crowds. We sorted out some new investments with the Halifax Bank and booked Pauline a hair appointment at Headmasters (ironically!).