Week 161

15th January, 2012

A cold, bright and delicious day here today. Sunday papers and football. The temperature outside hardly rose above -3 but we suddenly realised as we went to bed that the heating hadn’t been on all day and we hadn’t noticed.

16th January, 2012

Sun and blue skies in Surrey as Greece play poker right up to the deadlines in Europe. I still expect a deal to be done but they are beginning to make me nervous.

I don’t think I’ve told you before but I am having this recurring dream where I am an English teacher, it is time for a lesson but, when I look in the books, I haven’t marked them. No great deal really but I wake up anxious and then, suddenly, realise that I’m not a teacher any more. Relief floods across me and I go back to sleep. As a teacher, I regularly hadn’t marked the books but it rarely gave me anxiety and I haven’t been an English teacher for nearly twenty years. I could do with ditching this dream. Perhaps I’ll retire from it.

17th January, 2012

Now I’ve retired from it, I’ve got time top watch the cricket. Unfortunately, England decided to have an off day. Pakistan easily bowled them out for under 200.

Spent some time helping Pauline back up her files in the cloud. She uses Windows Live. It really makes sense because her files will always be safe there – as long as she remembers her login and password.

We had an email from our friend, Rania, on Sifnos. We are having about 50 metres of walling built at the front of our property. It is being done by an Albanian friend of ours called Nikos and his team. He doesn’t speak any English but has been to see Rania to tell her that our big, iron gate has been damaged and goats have got in to the garden. He wants permission to go ahead and get the gate repaired. I have had to tell him to do it immediately and I will pay him in April.

18th January, 2012

I’ve enjoyed fresh coffee for a long time and, over the years, I’ve bought a lot of coffee making machines/gadgets. Some have been so complicated, I gave up with them, some have been barely adequate and they sit in a cupboard and some have been great but expensive to use. For example, I have two espresso makers in Greece which I had given up on while we were working in England because they were so messy and time consuming. For five or six years, we have been using pod machines because they are so much more convenient. We have had two Bosch Tassimo machines which have worked well, produced a consistent cup of coffee from a wide choice of pods but cost 25p per cup.


The machine costs about £100.00 and we have had two over the years. Now, however, the second one has gone ‘phut’. I have decided to go back to ground coffee machines but which also take ESE or Easy Serving Espresso pods.

pods.jpg  cuisinart.jpg

I have chosen a Cuisinart Espresso Maker which is reasonably priced at about £170.00. I have also found an on-line firm that will sell me ESE pods at 16p per time.

19th January, 2012

Went to the pool for a swim this morning. It is a competition-sized pool and twice the length of the one we used to use at our Health Club. I was absolutely knackered after six lengths. We haven’t swum for four months and it told on my arms and legs. We just have to keep going back until it improves.

Recently my INR has been all over the place. We couldn’t find a reason for a long time but we now think it is because we have stepped up our intake of green vegetables to try to help me lose weight. Unfortunately, Warfarin is interferred with by Vitamin K. I should avoid things carrying vitamin K like all my favourites:

Asparagus Lettuce
Blueberries Parsley
Broccoli  Peas

Pauline is tearing her hair out trying to sort out a diet for me! She’s just made some biscuits.

20th January, 2012

How Amazon managed without us when it started, I cannot imagine. Pauline & I have sustained this economy for all the months we have been back in England but the 0.6% growth in sales in January can be tracked, in its entirety, through our ‘Home Accounts’. Today, a series of delivery men have been ringing our door bell with parcels of items that are going to Greece to get us through the next six months. I think today we have had four since 8.00 am and we still have one to come.

It’s just arrived and it’s beautiful. Typically Italian machined steel. It is heavy and sexy. I love it. It has a three year warranty as well which should just about see me out – not before I die but until I want another one.

You will not believe this. It does not work. IT DOES NOT WORK! It is dead as a dodo even when plugged in. We’ve check the plug and fuse to no avail. It came from Reading this morning by van. I am going to throw it back to Reading from the roof top tomorrow.

21st January, 2012

A grey day illuminated by the emergence of our hyacinth. It seems to be straining a bit but it has been in the downstairs toilet since Phyllis gave it us in November. I think it’s nice.


Didn’t Norwich do well but Chelsea were pretty poor. I can’t feel sorry for Torres. He shouldn’t have deserted Liverpool.


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