Week 159

1st January, 2012


Happy New Year. Happy January to you all! Got a text and then a nice email from Liz today. She hadn’t got my card and change of address because she’d moved. She’s talking about going to live in India. I can’t see it myself but who am I to judge. I chose Greece!

Sunday papers and no wine today. A bitter sweet start to the New Year.

2nd January, 2012

Went shopping in Sainsburys Knaphill this morning. Pauline wanted to take back some pillows that she had bought there and considered rubbish when she took them out of their wrapping. A nice old lady who looked a bit like Mum was trying to cross the carpark road. She seemed surprised and delighted when I stopped the car and waved her across. It doesn’t happen much down here. They’re more inclined to run old ladies over. When I got in to the store, she made a beeline for me. Our eyes met over the rhubarb. “Oh that would make a nice change”, she said. “I grow it in my garden but, of course, it’s not ready yet.” It was one of those nice moments of the day.

This afternoon, we donated our smaller television to Phyllis & Colin for their second set. We have a new one being delivered on Friday and mounted on the wall in the Study. Tomorrow, our little man is coming to put shelves up in the Study. We had to make room for it all.

3rd January, 2012

Our little man, Graham, came from Epsom to put shelves in the study, more towel rings in the bathrooms, three mirrors in various rooms and sundry other small jobs. Working in a apartment is decidedly different to a detached house. For example, he had to wait until after 8.00 am before he started drilling. Then, when you’d predict electricity cables coming up from the floor, in the apartment, they come down from above and Graham, luckily, just missed one as he put up the shelves. We sat on tenterhooks downstairs while he worked.

Actually, I am exhausted. There is no way I could have gone back to work this morning. I was replying to emails until after midnight and the up at 6.00 am to be ready for Graham’s arrival. It’s always the same with us. We can’t wait until the person doing the work has finished, been paid and left. It is not as if Graham is not a delightful and interesting person. He is but we are both uncomfortable with someone doing the work while we are sitting around.

4th January, 2012

Things have gone a bit weird this morning. My friend of 30 years and Honda car salesman, Chris Woods, has sent me a photograph oh him in 1978. He is a lovely man about the same age as me; Grammar School educated; well travelled. I sent him the 2004 Honda pricelist I found and a photo of Pauline & I in 2003. He sent me back a photo of him in 1978.


Our little man, Graham Simkins, did all the final jobs yesterday including putting up shelves in the Study. Today, we are reconstructing the services: plugging back in mono printers, colour printers, label printers, scanners, audio systems, internet hubs, wireless transmitters, DVD and Video editors and checking everything works. On Friday, a large plasma television is being delivered and mounted on the wall. I will then release ‘official’ photos of the new study.

5th January, 2012

We went to the Doctors surgery to collect a repeat prescription for me. We are having something of a tussle. Apparently, NHS guidelines say that prescriptions should not be written for more than three months at a time. We go to Geece for six months. Our lovely doctor in Huddersfield would give us two three month prescriptions and tell us to take them to two separate chemists. She knew we wouldn’t abuse that position. Coming to Woking has put us in a whole, new position. Apparently, they suffer from ‘health tourism’ quite badly here. People sign up, get lots of drugs and then never return. We are struggling to find a way round it at the moment.

6th January, 2012

I know I keep saying this but, in the last three months, we have had so many deliveries, tradesmen, service people coming to our new home. They must number in the twenties by now. Almost without exception, they have been eye-openingly lovely people who are desperate to provide not just a good service but better than that and cheerfully. I ordered a 43″ Flat Screen television with wall mounts from Comet on-line. Because I don’t do ‘work’, I ordered the wall mounting service to go with it from Comet. It was about £100.00 extra. It turned out to be an excellent £100.00’s worth. Two lovely blokes phoned from their wagon to say they would arrive in half an hour. They wished us Happy New Year, brought in the large-ish tv and carried it upstair to the Study. With it they brought the wall mounts, two tool boxes and a vacuum cleaner. The van driver was the passenger’s support in this. I told them exactly where I wanted the television.

Within minutes, they had three different drills out. The wall mounts I’d ordered were universal and came with fittings for fifteen different makes. I would have been thinking about the job for months before calling for ‘a little man’ to fit it for me. Lovely people who had driven all the way from Southampton at 7.30 am did it for me in fifteen minutes with no mess or mistakes. The cost of £100.00 was cheap. Now I have a Study with broadband at the desk, a sofa a widescreen Sky Sports. What more could a man want……apart from nice food, plenty of red wine, female company occasionally???


7th January, 2012

The most beautiful day today. No wonder we don’t need the heating. It is 11C outside and full sun. Squirrels are leaping through the trees here shouting, “When does Winter start? I want to dig up my nuts!” Well, you know what squirrels are like.We read the papers while watch/listening to The Pirates of Penzance which Pauline performed in forty years ago.

We have been back in the UK for 13 weeks and we have 13 left before we leave. Next week is ‘Planning Week’ for our return.

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