Week 167

26th February, 2012

Pauline & I sat outside to read The Sunday Times. It was delightful. The sun was surprisingly hot and my face and arms are instantly recognising the signs. In fact, they are both surprised to hear me still speaking English. The temperature was a pleasant 17C but soon chilled as cloud came over.

Quite an enjoyable football afternoon. It was a joy to watch Arsenal humble Redknap and that was elevated to another level when I saw Scholes and Giggs bring United three points although I felt sorry for Ruth whern I heard of Bolton’s battering.


27th February, 2012

A grey day. Heavy cloud but mild. In Greece, it is Clean Monday – a National Holiday marking the start of Orthodox Lent – when believers are meant to start the cleansing of their bodies and souls by denying themselves meat and meat products. Traditionally, cooks devise ever more clever ways of using fish and shellfish with vegetables. On this day, which is usually blessed with warm, Spring sun, the landscape is carpeted in a blaze of Spring flowers and Greek families take a picnic up on to a high point where they fly kites.


Unfortunately for the Greeks, it is not their year. Today, snow has carpeted Northern Greece. Torrential rain has drenched much of Greece. Gale force winds have kept all ferries in harbour. Happy holiday. May your God go with you!

28th February, 2012

Today is box day. Regular readers will be sick of hearing that, each year, our journey to Greece is preceded by boxes of items we can’t fit in the car being despatched by Parcelforce. In the past few days, Pauline has reviewed more box sites than I knew existed. It is time to buy them. After all the research, we order them from Amazon. They were the cheapest and certainly the easiest to oder from. That is happening so much now. Amazon are beginning to beat the High Street even on price. Delivery is free and the wait is less than three days. The High Street are going to have to beat that or die. Pauline has forward bought most of the things that we need to send – bulk buying when they are on special offer. We use a supermarket comparison site and savings are quite incredible. The boxes, totalling 60 – 80Kg, will be despatched on the Tueday as we set off on the Wednesday morning. We arrive on the Sunday and the parcels will be waiting for us in the island Post Office on the Monday morning. It is a fantastic service.


29th February, 2012

Big day today. We gave the garden its Spring clear-up prior to leaving it for six months. In Slade House our acre of garden would have taken the whole of March to tidy. In Quarry Court, it would have taken two or three days. In our new property where we own a patio and a strip of garden bordering it, two hours was all it took us to prune back and clear. Everything else is taken care of under the Service Agreement which pays for cleaning gutters, sweeping paths, cutting lawns, etc.. It was soon all finished and we were sitting outside with a cup of tea in the sunshine.

Watched the England match – interesting but, ultimately, depressing.

1st March, 2012

Happy first day of March.


Up before 6.00 am this morning. By 6.45 am, we were standing outside Woking Walk-in Hospital entrance for yet another blood test. It is incredibly light, suddenly. Clear blue sky and early sun promise a beautiful day. Usually there are a couple of commuters and a dog waiting for the doors to open at 7.00 am. Today, I was 10th and there were at least another 20 behind me. What is happening in Woking? There must be too much blood around. Last week was the first that my INR was almost correct – 2.7. Now I have to keep it there. Pauline finally persuaded me to like salads, green vegetables, lots of fruit berries. She thought it would help me lose weight. Shortly after the breakthrough, we were instructed not to eat them because the are high in vitamin K which mitigates Warfarin. What a nightmare – a life condemned to meat and roasted root vegetables!

A lovely, mild, sunny day in Surrey. Greece, on the other hand, is suffering a terrible winter. A blogger on the Greek island of Skiathos writes this morning: March has arrived like the months before it, Cold Grey and very wet …In fact it’s tipping it down once again. They had snow two days ago. Greece is really going through it, hence the gallows humour below:


2nd March, 2012

Another absolutely beautiful day that started off a little foggy but soon saw the sun breaking through and the temperature rising to 16C by the time we went out shopping after lunch.

Found this wonderful photo in the paper today.


Thought of pretending it was mine but no one would believe me.

Our development is supposed to be heated by Biomass. This was a condition that the eco-warriors of Woking placed on our builders. Of course, the builders were only bothered about profits and factored in the instalment of this technology. Running costs were worked out on the back of a fag packet and put in the literature as fact. As soon as we moved in, the Management Company told us that the builders had grossly underestimated the costings which would be at least double. A Residents meeting immediately decided to drop use of the Biomass but it remains as a back up. This week, a huge fire broke out in a power station in Tilbury, Essex.

The biomass fuel is usually pellets made from waste sawdust. It is poured down a hopper into the burning chamber. Obviously, a large store of such material is required but it is, by definition, highly combustible. Some say it is even prone to spontaneous combustion like a compost heap if it gets a little moisture in it. Our biomass store and burner is in the undercroft carpark. Pauline & I think that is a bit too close for comfort and we’ve begun to agitate for its removal.


2nd March, 2012

Pauline is leaving me. Well for a couple of hours. We have hardly ever been apart for that long over the past two or three years. She is going ‘girl-shopping’ with her sister and her niece. It will do her good. I am going to watch Liverpool v Arsenal.

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