Week 176

29th April, 2012

Pleasant but lazy day. Warm and windless, the temperature reached 23C. We read the papers. Pauline cooked the most wonderful piece of Sifnos lamb garnished with mint sauce made fresh and onion sauce that Mum would have been pleased with.

30th April, 2012

Probably the hottest day this year. The sun is intense and the temperature has reached 27 – 28C. We went in to Kamares for a walk and then returned for fresh coffee and the The Times.

We listened to the Today programme and then One o’Clock News on BBC Radio 4 with interest and surprise as they described the night of horrendous weather with trees down, floods and roads closed. We heard confirmation that April 2012 was the wettest one for 100 years. Amazing.

The constant sun here is starting to turn the Spring flowers over but flowering bushes like this Calistemon (Remember that I taught you last year this is a Greek name for Beautiful stamon or flower part. In English we called it bottle brush bush.) at the back of our house are in full bloom early. We are going to start testing the temperature of the sea soon.

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1st May, 2012

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Happy May!

Mine didn’t start particularly well. It was after midnight here when the Manchester Derby finished in a 1-0 win for City. Still, I suppose life could be worse. This is a fact that Pauline reminded me of when I said that I didn’t feel like doing what we had planned which was clean the car. She said, Well, we won’t bother. We can do what we like. We’re retired. And she’s right, of course. We drank fresh coffee on the patio where the temperature will be 25C today, read the paper on our iPad and discussed what we would have for lunch. After lunch, Pauline will cut my hair outside and then we may do a little gardening.

This weird plant appeared in our field today. Nobody seems to know what it is:

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Tonight we are going out to Dinner at Panos & Rania’s. We had a nice evening eating a beautiful chicken souvlaki.

2nd May, 2012

Another beautiful day which could reach 26-27C although it is a little breezy. We are going up to Apollonia to have my blood tested, to see the Accountant, to go to the phone shop, maybe drop in at the cafe and then go on to the Post Office. A busy morning!

Bought delicious, fresh vegetables from Nikos’ farm. The broadbeans are wonderful. I made broadbean and King Prawn risotto. It was lovely.

Watched two wonderful goals by Newcastle’s Cisè as they beat Chelsea 2-0

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3rd May, 2012

Another wonderful day in what has become a long run of good weather with slowly rising temperatures as we come towards the end of our first month on Sifnos. Yesterday we reached 26C and today we are predicted to get 1C higher. Big job on today. We are going to clean the car.

Actually, we’ve had a very lazy day. The temperature has reached 28C and we left it too late for car cleaning. We have spent the day reading and catching up with correspondence. Quite nice really. My blood test yesterday was perfect and I phoned it through to Woking hospital this afternoon. As usual, they were incredibly busy and only just had time to speak to me. It is so unlike Huddersfield hospital which was so much more relaxed and friendly.

4th May, 2012

A day that is forecast to reach 28-29C. We are up early to listen to the Today programme on Radio 4 for the local election results. I was pleased to see the Coalition getting a pasting and the Liberal Democrats particularly. We were also keen to check our bank account to see our pension. We were pleased to see a sizeable increase of just over 5%. No teacher in work will be seeing that. It will all go into an investment account in readiness for our next car.

Today we are going to our local phone shop, Germanos, which is an off-shoot of the Greek BT called OTE. We have to pay our first month’s internet bill which will be about £40.00 for 10Gb per month. Then we have to go to the Accountant to collect the final paperwork on our house. We’ll probably drop in to the cafe as well and then on to the supermarket for weekend shopping. They will be very busy tomorrow as voters return to the island for Sunday’s election.

Had a bit of a shock this afternoon. You may think this is an exaggeration but it hit me like a thunderbolt. I have spent the last forty years dropping my past behind me like sweet wrappers by an irresponsible child. I pay for street cleaning and my past has largely been swept up and been moved for me. Of course, I am haunted by highly significant people and events that have shaped my life and, today, one came back to pinch me. Pauline has always cautioned me about laying our life out in public, as I do, but it is the way I have lived my life. I trust people and expect it to be returned. I don’t dissemble and I don’t expect others to either. Most of the time this pays off.

Today I received an email from Kevin Dagg. We were close friends for quite a time at College and afterwards. He and his wife, Christine, helped me through lonely times in the 1970s. Kevin was my Best Man when Pauline & I married in 1978.

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Something Kevin did hurt me badly and I stopped my contact with him. It hasn’t stopped him inhabiting my thoughts on many occasions. Particularly, as we get older. The effect of his email was in proportion to his significance – large. I was not prepared for it. I will open a bottle of wine.

5th May, 2012

I wrote last week of going to visit two lovely new friends who live at the far end of the port. We stayed four hours in their house and, tomorrow, they are coming to visit us. Action stations cleaning and tidying! After breakfast I got the pressure washer out and cleaned down the drive. Pauline and I cleaned the car together. After coffee, I began to spray clean the whole patio surrounding the house. We did choose grey/white tiles outside and the wind does blow down red, volcanic mountain dust. Pauline is cleaning and tidying inside although my Study will be left for me to straighten up. Why did I tile so much patio and in white?

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