Week 169

11th March 2012

A day of tooth ache and painkillers was lightened by an excellent England win in France at Rugby Union and then the defeat of City by Swansea followed by the victory of United over West Brom.

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12th March 2012

After a week of agony, we went off to the hospital to get an INR test. They were extremely efficient and I had a result within an hour. It was satisfactory for my operation to go ahead in the afternoon.

We turned up half an hour early at the surgery and went straight in for a process which took nearly an hour. The little girl dentist did her best and she was ably assisted by a polish girl who was designated to hold me down. Three or four injections and she was underway with a pair of pliers – pulling and levering and twisting – until the top of my tooth cracked and fell in my mouth. She was struggling, she told me, to get the roots out. After half an hour, the injections were starting to wear off and she turned to drilling the bone to release the roots. The pain became intense and action had to be halted for another round of injections. My little girl dentist was showing visible signs of tiredness and stress. She had used all her strength to lever out this tooth and was failing. The Polish assistant holding me down was amazed how strongly anchored the tooth was. I said, I told you how good that tooth was. Shall we cap it instead? They didn’t really see the funny side. In fact, it was the first sign of stress that I had seen on their faces. Another twenty minutes struggling produced two, long and bloody roots which clinked into the ceramic bowl. The third refused to come and is still inside the cavity. The little dentist said it was probably dead and would could to the surface itself later. I hope to hell she’s right. I’m going back for a review in a couple of weeks and just before we leave.

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An hour after we got home, the injections were wearing off and the pain became excruciating. I was climbing the walls and trying to pull my face off. The problem is that I can only take Paracetamol because of my warfarin and it wasn’t strong enough. Pauline phoned the Doctor who kindly found something stronger I can take and wrote a quick prescription which we picked up and took to the chemist. Within an hour, I was out of pain – until I saw Arsenal score a late winner against Newastle.

13th March 2012

A remarkably good night without pain but a pillow covered in blood in the morning. I was made, by Pauline, to mouth wash with tepid salt solution but, after twelve hours without pain killers, my only discomfort was bruising and aching down one side of my face. I have been told to rest for 48 hrs and I am taking it seriously.

The new iPad (3?) goes on sale on Friday. I want one to take to Greece with me but, when I phoned up to order one, they told me that delivery would be two or three weeks and even that could not be guaranteed. This takes us so close to leaving day that I may have to wait until October.

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The new iPad has retina display which makes the screen resolution so good that pixels are not seen by the naked eye. Apple say the processor is twice as fast as that in iPad2. The screen is coated with finger print resistant coating. Voice typing will be a new addition allowing one to dictate to the word processor and multiple languages and characters simultaneously which will be helpful in Greek. The new iPad comes with much better 5mp cameras and lots of new apps including high-end photo editing software. I look forward to it.

14th March 2012

We leave for Greece three weeks today. It is a beautiful, warm and sunny day. Pauline & I have sat outside with our coffee and reviewed all our arrangements but particularly:

  • Greek House Insurance from Intasure
  • Travel & Medical Insurance from Insure&Go
  • Our Travel Plan with all Dates and Booking References
  • All Hotel Confirmations
  • All Ferry Confirmations

Our apartment development really is in a delightful oasis of calm. It was, after all, originally chosen for a convent. Our front door and windows are bathed in sun most of the day and our patio takes full advantage. Most surprising of all is the bird song – it seems much more than in rural Yorkshire. Blackbirds and song thrushes compete throughout the day from the tops of the towering spruce and Scots pine trees fringing the property. They perform from dawn till dusk at the moment only disturbed by energetic squirrels.

15th March 2012

I know I have left it late and I will be hard pushed to get a new iPad before I go but, if I do, I will want wi-fi to put through it. I pay €40.00 for a 10Gb Cosmote broadband USB dongle which is alright but it won’t allow Pauline on at the same time with her laptop nor will it communicate with an iPad. I have finally found a company on line who will sell me a USB dongle dock which will create a wi-fi hotspot and allow me to connect other things. I phoned up the entrepreneur selling these things in Scotland and ordered one. The GoBaby Dongle Dock seems to fit the bill.

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Just a few minutes sitting outside in the sun brought my face colour up to what it was when we left Greece last October. Apparently, South East England was warmer than Greece and Spain yesterday.

16th March 2012

Decidedly cooler and greyer today – only about 10C. We bought our last tranche of euros today and again got £1.00 = €1.174. It will make things feel more reasonable as we purchase in Greece.

We have been getting more and more dissatisfied with our Tesco supermarket – a hypermarket built in the grounds of the old Brooklands motor racing track. The track, with its sloped sides to cope with the speed, was hand dug in 1906.  Malcolm Campbell and John Cobb drove here and set records. The colour photo shows part of the track as it is now on the fringe of the Tesco carpark.

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Tesco has become grubbier, less attractive and less well stocked. It is not the pleasant experience it should be. Strangely, that is what national surveys are saying too and that is why the UK Chief – Richard Brasher – has stepped down.

Today, we went back to Sainsburys which was our supermarket of choice in Huddersfield but is four miles further away here. It was immediately cleaner and more welcoming. When we came to pay the £100.00 bill, Pauline found she still had about £25.00 points credit on her Sainsburys card and cashed them in. It was worth going.

17th March 2012

Love Saturdays. Early breakfast and out for the papers. Discuss current tasks with Pauline. Postman calls with a package of €2350.00 which I bought from ICE (International Currency Exchange) yesterday. We have now bought £10,000.00 of euros at excellent rates over the past couple of months and it will easily get us through the next six months including paying about £4000.00 for building and maintenance work and possible ‘house owners’ tax. We are a careful couple and we bought in tranches to avoid losing out to surprise fluctuations. Fortunately, the rate has stayed quite stable. Tourists have been getting around €1.13 – 1.14 = £1.00. We have been getting about €1.175 which will do at the moment.

As many will know, Pauline records every financial transaction that we make from Sainsburys shopping to petrol purchases. It is impossible to escape her records however small and she has done this since we married in 1978. We wanted to interrogate our computer accounting system. How much are we spending on petrol nowadays? Answer – £25.00 per week. How much were we spending in our last weeks of teaching? Answer – £50.00 per week. Currently, because our outgoings are so much reduced, we worked out that we have 10% additional disposable income than in our final months of teaching. Next month, we get a 5.2% increase in our pensions. Next March, Pauline gets an additional £5000.00 State Pension. We should have retired long ago!