Week 202

28th October, 2012

Another fine day meandering down retirement lane. Sunday papers with fresh coffee. Smoked salmon sandwiches for lunch. A wonderful afternoon of football on TV. Liverpool drew with Everton in an excellent game and then United beat 9-man Chelsea in a strange but captivating victory.

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Dinner was chicken, red onion and sweetcorn with wonderful, Italian pasta and a bottle of Tuscan Sangiovese followed by Pauline’s dark chocolate and amaretti Torte with autumn raspberries. Wonderful!


Pauline has been cooking all weekend. Two Christmas Puddings, a Christmas Cake, Amaretto-Chocolate Tortes in readiness for December. A dozen salmon and cod fishcakes for meals in the future. Our rule is that we never eat a pre-prepared meal unless we are dining out. Everything is fresh and made with the best ingredients.

29th October, 2012

I’m on the last leg with my latest website construction. I am fighting with a couple of difficult pages which just don’t work yet. A pleasant day. We went out for a walk. The trees are losing their leaves but still glorious.


30th October, 2012

We decided to take advantage of the special offers still being made by Eurotunnel and book another French trip before Christmas. An offer of £22.00 return just cannot be turned down. We will do our monthly shop there on November 13th and December 12th.

My new website is at the proof reading and testing stage. I aim to have it up and working in the next couple of days.

31st October, 2012

We have been discussing joining a Health Club since we got back and there is a good one near where we live. The Nuffield Health Club in West Byfleet is huge and has wonderful facilities. It has lots of machinery, a pool, jacuzzi, and steam room for me. It also hosts lots of exercise groups like Pilates and Zumba for Pauline. At £100.00 per month, it works out cost effective as long as we go four or five times each week – which we will.

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1st November, 2012

Kalo μηνα  Happy November


I launched the new website today and sent a link to the Notary. Ironically, we received a phone call from our amanuensis on the island. They had been chopping wood for their burner in anticipation of a cold winter. They were informing us of our electricity bill which will amount to about £150.00 for the six months. Not bad.


2nd November, 2012

We received a call for help from Phyllis & Colin to go round and assist them ……………. build a fluorescent green mountain bike that had been ordered over the internet. It is a birthday present for one of the boys but it beat us. Half an hour was all we needed to know it was a job for the professionals. A quick call to the local Halfords and a quote of £40.00 was enough to drop the project.


We bought a very expensive pheasant in a local butcher’s shop the other day. We had it for dinner this evening and it was absolutely wonderful. We must buy plenty more from the farm shop in Huddersfield when we go.

3rd November, 2012

Torrential rain all night gave way to a lovely, bright morning. TV News reported snow in the South West. It is still quite mild here. We haven’t had to turn the heating on yet. Long may it continue. Even though we went out early this morning to do the weekly shop, by the time we had got home and had coffee, it was time to watch United destroy Arsenal.

Christmas arrangements have been made: we have agreed to meet for a meal with the family on Christmas Eve at our local country pub – The Inn at Maybury. On Christmas Day, Pauline & I will cook for eleven people with traditional turkey as the main course. Starter will be finger food – smoked salmon, etc. Pauline has made the Christmas Puddings and the cake already giving them time to mature  – like me.

The website went up this week and already has been visited 37 times. We have already had two couples looking round the house. A Sifnos couple went round last week and thought the price reasonable. I think it is although that was the hardest thing to get right. Certainly, we could have put it on at a higher price but it will only sell if it is considered a reasonable price and I think this is. The irony is that, two years ago, we could have added an extra €200,000.00. It is not a problem. My abiding principle in building the house was that it should not compromise our life and finances in UK. What will be, will be! I’m already planning our return to Sifnos next Spring.

Week 201

21st October, 2012

It is a real sign of old age when a brief jaunt away takes days to recover from. I plead guilty. I did drive 650 miles over those three days but I think it was the socialising that really tired me out. Pauline and I live so much in our own little bubble that social intercourse spread over three days really took it out of us. I have slumped with the Sunday Times today, watched a couple of games of football and written a few emails.

Tomorrow is the 55th birthdays of my brother, Mike, and Sister, Liz. I still picture them as 10 or 11 not 55! Ruth met Liz recently and said she was limping with arthritis and that Mike had it so badly he had been unable to get out of bed one day. I am not aware of it in our family at all. Ruth told me that she and David are going with Jane to Buckingham Palace in a week or two when she receives her CBE. Liz will be the next one. She has already had lunch with the queen and her job is likely to lead to some automatic honour in the end.

22nd October, 2012

Happy 55th Birthday to Mike & Liz. How grown up are they?

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Sent an email to Liz and got a nice and immediate reply. Sent a card to Mike who refuses to embrace technology. I don’t know why. He’s extremely intelligent. I might hear from him in a year or two.

23rd October, 2012

We are developing a very busy schedule over the next few weeks so I’m desperately trying to get this new website completed and published. It’s not one I have to maintain other than fielding correspondence so, when it’s finished, it won’t take up a lot of time.

When I got back from Greece, I was shocked to find a letter from a member of the Bristol & Avon Family History Society. The correspondent had long been investigating their own family and finally found that it became entangled with ours. The letter was asking for help. I will deal with that next and that may also result in a website redesign ultimately.

Before Christmas, we have a trip to London for shopping. We want to visit Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Borough Market. We would like to do a second one to visit the Pre-Raphaelite Exhibition at the Tate. We have at least one shopping trip to France and a trip to Yorkshire to collect the new car. I will visit Repton on the way back.

In addition to these, we have a string of Doctors’, Dentists’, Hygenists’, Hospital, Diabetic Clinic appointments. I have so many friends/correspondents to get back up to date with that my emails are likely to blend in to the Christmas Card List. Still, it’s better than being bored, isn’t it?

Watched Man. Utd. splutter through to victory against Braga in the Champion’s League. They will have to do better than this.


24th October, 2012

The mornings have been grey for a few days now. It isn’t cold – by British standards – at 16C/61F but it is a bit depressing. It’s only 18C/64F in Athens and Skiathos so the difference isn’t as great as one imagines. My morning starts at 7.30 am with a glass of fresh orange, a huge cup (bucket) of breakfast tea and then a bowl of cereals – usually Shreddies which I love. After downloading The Times on to my iPad, I make a cup of fresh coffee. My coffee maker produces a wonderful cup of Capuccino for about 22p. It would cost about £2.20 at Costa Coffee. The newspaper this morning, like the news bulletins for days, is dominated by the BBC’s relationship with Jimmy Saville. To hear executives say they didn’t know is ridiculous. I heard him say back in the 70s that he liked to take young girls back to his caravan.

This afternoon, Pauline is going for a fitting for a new veneer on her front tooth. She lost the last one in Greece. The new one will cost £320.00.

25th October, 2012

Had to be out early this morning. Blood tests – a standard INR plus my annual diabetic check. The nurse really did take an armful. After that, we had to drive a couple of miles to take Pauline to visit the Doctor. She is prone to developing ganglions or little fatty cysts. Five years ago, we had a real scare when she developed one in her forearm that was initially thought to be more serious but, fortunately, turned out to be completely benign. We had to go down to Birmingham to have it removed by a Specialist. Now she has one on her shoulder which is starting to impact on her mobility and which will also have to come out. This time, it will be done locally. Later, Pauline had a second ‘fitting’ for a veneer at the dentist. Neither of us has seen a doctor or dentist for over six months so to return to this kind of regime makes us feel our age.

26th October, 2012

For years now Pauline and I have loved cooking with and eating game – pheasant, partridge, pigeon, quail, rabbit & hare. In Yorkshire it was cheap and readily available. Pheasants, in the shooting season, cost £3.00 each from our farm shop. A good sized rabbit was about the same price. We have just found a butcher down here selling fresh pheasants for £6.75. Fortunately, we are off back to Yorkshire to pick the new car up and we will go loaded with cool boxes which we will stuff full of cheap game from Hinchcliffe’s Farm Shop in Netherton.

After buying up all the supermarkets this morning, Pauline is making the Christmas Cake and Christmas puddings this afternoon. Let’s hope they last until Christmas.

27th October, 2012

The national weather forecasts have been predicting freezing temperatures to replace the current mild days. As the week has gone on, the heavily trailed predictions just haven’t been matched by the reality. Last year, the huge fig tree in the garden next door was totally denuded over night by one frost. Every time I go past, I warn it to enjoy its last day of leaves but next day it remains in all its finery. The media have managed to find evidence of cold – snow in Scotland and a smattering around Newcastle. Big Deal! Tomorrow the non-cold weather is replaced by mild again. Get the gritters out. We put the clocks back tonight. This was a big deal when we were working. An extra hour in bed. Now retired, it means nothing. All our clocks update themselves automatically these days.

In Greece it is Ochi Day tomorrow. You might think it’s that day every day for many Greeks. At least it is looking much more hopeful that Samaras has managed to bring off the impossible and to get a deal with Europe which will include a two year extension. Who knows. It just might work.

Week 200

14th October, 2012

A quiet day of Sunday papers and some time developing a new web for a special order. I use Macromedia’s Dreamweaver and Fireworks usually but I am trialling a new piece of software and finding it very exciting. It’s nice to find you can’t do something and have to fight to understand it.

15th October, 2012

A nice, sunny morning. Pauline has gone off to her Pilates class with her sister. I’m getting on with my web design. In my email this morning I received one of these regular offers for a day return crossing of car and passengers through the channel tunnel for a total of £22.00. We booked our monthly shopping trip immediately.

I am beginning to get really concerned by time. I’m sure it’s speeding up. Today, it was announced, is the 25th anniversary of the Great Storm which Michael Fish denied and we woke to find trees blown down everywhere across the south of England. Twenty five years!


16th October, 2012

Fascinating focus in the media today. We’ve been talking about the lack of reciprocity in Europe vis a vis Health Treatment. Britain is such an easy touch. Wherever one goes in Europe, one is asked to pay up front and possibly claim some of it back through the EHIC card.


Up until now, British doctors and hospitals seem to treat anyone free of charge. Well soon it may be closing that open-door policy even for ex-pat British passport holders. The pressure on the NHS is so great now that rationing is being openly employed for British taxpayers. Essential things like cataracts and hip replacements are being put on hold for lack of funding. The Tory Government are looking at policing Healthcare access and confining it to those who can prove they have spent at least 180 days each year living in the UK. We know people who live abroad for all but the odd week back in UK but who expect their country of origin to provide the healthcare when things get serious or expensive. The government must cut that out.

17th October, 2012

Still working on this new website today. I’m really enjoying it but it is intricate and labour-intensive. We are going away for a few days tomorrow so it won’t be finished until next week.

We’ve been in Woking, officially, for a whole year now and I haven’t actually seen a doctor at our new practice. I see nurses for blood tests, etc. but nobody of real substance. Today, I am going for my Annual Review with an actual doctor – a cardiac specialist. That will be interesting. I’m bound to have my blood pressure checked. It won’t be good. I’m watching England being run ragged by Poland. What are they doing?

18th October, 2012

This morning we drive to Lancashire. It is the second anniversary of Mum Barnes’ death. She would have been 98 now.


We are going to the Crematorium to pay our respects and to remember her. En route, we will stop in Repton to visit my Mum’s grave.


Neither Pauline nor I believe in an after life but we still feel the visit evokes the memory more than just a thought. While in Oldham, I will visit my old friend, Brian – ex Drugs Squad, ex Murder Squad. He is the most wonderful man and about the only person (other than my wife) that I would trust with my life.


We got off at 5.30 am and had an excellent journey in fine weather. We felt that we were a bit under pressure to get everything done and decided to visit Repton on the return journey. On reaching Oldham, we went straight to look at the new school buildings going up all over the town at a cost of tens of millions of pounds. This is how our reborn school will look as Waterhead Academy with its 2000 pupils. The photos below are poor because I took them on my iPad but you will get the idea.

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Appropriately, we went on to see Kath (aka The Maltese Falcon because she was born there) who was my cleaner in school and who went on to clean for Pauline’s Mum and adopt her as a surrogate Mother. When we arrived, on the second anniversary of Mum’s death, Kath and her husband had ‘lit a candle’ in memory of her. It was very touching. We went on to see all the other friends and relatives we had arranged and then drove back to Huddersfield – actually, Brighouse where we were staying at the Holiday Inn. It’s not a brilliant hotel but, for years, we visited it five or six times a week to use the Health Centre – pool, jacuzzi, gym, steam room, etc. It was familiar and comfortable.

At 6.30 pm we drove down to the most unlikely and unprepossessing part of Huddersfield fringed by the railway viaduct to visit Bradleys Restaurant. Until weeks ago we knew nothing about it and we have been kicking ourselves having long decried the lack of good restaurants in Huddersfield. Apparently, it has featured in the Good Food Guide for seven, consecutive years. Our friends and ex-school colleagues met us at the door and we went in to a lovely interior. I asked how long the restaurant had been there and was flabbergasted to be told that it was nineteen years. We have to get out more. The meal was absolutely wonderful. I had pigeon breast and black pudding to start and it was a revelation. Designer Belly Pork on a bed of garlic mash was fantastic and tarte aux pommes with elderberry ice cream really finished it beautifully. The amazing thing was, after paying European and Surrey prices over the past twelve months, the bill for four people each having three courses and sharing two bottles of wine came to just £93.00. Quite amazing for that quality.

It was a lovely end to the day with lovely, wine, food and friends. Tomorrow is Yorkshire day.

19th October, 2012

A beautiful, sunny day. We were up fairly early and had quite pleasant, buffet breakfast although we were still full from the night before. We set off for Bolton to visit my lovely sister, Ruth, and her friendly husband, Kevan. They seem very happy and relaxed in their new apartment. They seem to have coped with retirement and down sizing rather better than Pauline & I on first impressions. Driving back, we returned to our old house to visit Jean & Perry, our former neighbours. They are the most delightful friends and had lots of tales to tell us. Perry is a lecturer at Bradford College. He would like to retire but is in his mid-50s and feels trapped until his mid-60s. Jean is already in her 60s. We lived in a former quarry and often speculated about the security of its 35 ft. wall.


When we returned we were told that, shortly after we left, a huge block of sandstone cracked and fell on to the back lawn. Nobody could crack or split it and no one could move it so they’ve decided to make a feature of it with shrubs and trees around it and insurance companies will be told that it has always been there.

We left Jean & Perry and this is where we made our great mistake. Over the years, we have built up a strong friendship with Chris, our Honda salesman. Yes, he is a salesman but we have bought cars from him over more than thirty years. In fact, we have bought twenty five new cars during our thirty two year marriage and nineteen of them have been from Chris. We have had a new Mini, a Nissan (Datsun) Cherry, a Nissan Stanza and then in 1984, we bought our first Honda. It was an Accord and cost £7,400.00. We kept that for four years and then moved on to Preludes. We bought a new one virtually each year until we started driving to Greece in 2000 when we moved on to 4×4 CRVs. We just popped in to say ‘Hello’ although we did know that they were launching the latest model of our car today. When we arrived, the launch party hadn’t quite started. By the time we left, half an hour later, they had just sold their first car of the new model and we had just bought it. Our first new car back, in 1979, cost just over £1000.00 and we struggled to afford it. This new car costs a little bit more at £32,000.00 but they begged us to accept 0% finance. How could we refuse.


We have to return in a month to pick it up. Should be an enjoyable trip.

20th October, 2012

After a light breakfast from the buffet – I had yoghurt & berry compote – we made an early start. First we had to nip off to buy a batch of Hollands Pies for Colin who gets homesick without them. By some, strange coincidence, they had just been reduced from £1.53 to 50p each so we bought the shop out. Let’s hope his freezer’s big enough.


The weather was sunny and the motorway quiet. We have decided to visit Mum’s grave when we return next month. We were home for 1.15 pm. It was only then that I realised how tiring the three days had been. I fell asleep through the Chelsea v Spurs match.

Week 199

7th October, 2012


The trees at our front door are showing signs of Autumn and an army of squirrels believe it to be true as they scurry underneath to hide nuts in a store for the winter.

Drove over to Epsom this morning – not to the races but to our nearest branch of Staples. I needed a new colour printer. I have a Brother Mono Laser printer which has been a wonderful workhorse for years and backed it up with an inkjet colour because I used it so rarely. I think the inkjet printer cost less than £50.00 which is really a throwaway price. The last colour laser bought for school, I remember distinctly, cost £3,570.00. I remember because I had a tussle with the Local Authority about which one to order to use for publicity work. I chose a Kyocera and it turned out to be a wonderful quality but one would never pay that for it now. It was as big as a dishwasher. Even the toner cost £400.00. It’s rather like OCR software which, in the 1990s was the holy grail and cost hundreds of pounds, now comes free with a scanner.

Anyway, I chose a Brother HL-3040CN colour laser because it was being advertised by Staples on-line at £107.00. I thought it was ridiculously cheap and, when I got there, it turned out to be so. The store had it advertised for £237.00, which is still unbelievably cheap. When I showed the Manager my web printout, he said it must be a typing error but he had to honour the lower price. Set up and used as soon as we got home, it looks a good buy.


8th October, 2012

The skies opened this morning soon after breakfast and rain poured torrentially. It was a delight to see after months of strong sun. Spent my morning writing to people in Sifnos – emails and hard copies. I interspersed this by watching coverage of the Tory Party Conference from Birmingham and a pretty sterile and tawdry affair it is. They are a caricature of 1970s Toryism. We are still, according to them, all in this together. Later in the evening, Channel 4 ran an investigative piece illustrating the hugely divergent and continually diverging levels of reward between those at the top of companies and those at the very bottom. It really did little more than reiterate the involvement of cronyism on Remuneration Boards but it did serve as a counterpoint to a Tory Chancellor looking to cut Welfare budgets.

9th October, 2012

A delightful day. I drove Pauline and her sister to Guildford. It’s less than ten miles away and is a charming place with much of the charm of somewhere like York.


For Pauline, it was like a walk through all the clothes catalogues that arrive so regularly in the post:

The only shop I accompanied them to was Lakeland because I wanted to look at a Sousvide machine but it was disappointingly missing.


10th October, 2012

The day has opened with beautiful, warm sunshine. The squirrels are going wild. The morning was spent helping Phyllis & Colin book a break in Tenerife. We used three, separate methods – internet helped me isolate the sort of holidays available. All websites offered internet reductions. Hard copy brochures had the same holidays but at even cheaper prices. Phyllis ultimately booked the holiday by phone and got it cheaper again. What was interesting was to find the internet site and the brochure disagreed about the flight times and the final booking confirmed different flight times again.

This afternoon a friend from Sifnos phoned with exciting news for us. She also said that, although the weather had been wonderful since we left, there was a lot of illness going round. Her children had been ill and she now had it.

We are driving up to Lancashire & Yorkshire for a couple of days next week and we made some phone calls to make arrangements to meet family, old friends, ex-neighbours and ex-colleagues. Every minute of the two or so days is now fixed up. We will be exhausted by the time we leave for Surrey.

11th October, 2012

Had to be at Woking Walk-in Centre for 9.00 am for my blood test. We then drove on to our dentist’s appointments. Pauline needs an expensive veneer on her front tooth to replace the one that she lost while in Greece.

We drove home through increasingly heavy rain and prepared lunch. We roasted red peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic with oregano and later made soup from them. I then did the most ridiculous thing. I applied for my Winter Fuel Allowance. I qualify for £200.00 per year. I don’t need £200.00. Last year our total heating bill was about £100.00. Even with our underfloor heating for a month in Sifnos we wouldn’t have spent £200.00 but, because we are entitled to it, I have applied for it.

Honda have invited us to preview the new CRV model out next month. I’m trying to resist it. I’ve had a new Honda most years over the past thirty. I occasionally have a hankering for a change of maker. These are the models I would consider at the moment:

  • The new CRV
  • The Volvo XC90
  • The Land Rover
  • The Range Rover

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12th October, 2012

Had to visit Honda this morning to show them stone chip we got to our windscreen on the way through France. It seems it’s not as bad as we feared and can just be filled and buffed away. Autoglass are coming round this afternoon and will do it for free. The wine merchants I visit in Calais have sent us free return tickets so we will probably use them in November. I got an email from Friends Reunited yesterday saying someone had uploaded a photograph which featured me. When I found it:


I couldn’t remember a thing about it other than it was in Masham where we used to visit Theakston’s Brewery which, in those days only had an outlet in two or three pubs. Nowadays, you can buy it in Supermarkets across the country. The trouble with the photo is that I am surrounded by youngsters who I have no memory of. I can see Chris Tolley in the background, leaning against the wall. I can see John ???? in the door of the pub but the others are distant memories. It must have been 1971/2. Now this next one, I remember well. I’m the hairy monster with his hand up surrounded by some of his closest peers. I suspect this was 1970/71. There is Judy, Christine, Bill & Nigel in the back row and Anne, Kevin, Robert & Me in the front row.


Where are those days? Well the times are certainly changing. The Autoglass man who came round to fix the chip in our windscreen turned out to be a 40 year old, bi-lingual law graduate who had fallen on hard times and was driving round the south east of England, filling or replacing windscreens. Quite amazing but he did an excellent job for me. Strange to think that my pension for doing nothing is greater than his take home pay for five and a half days work.

13th October, 2012

A lovely, mild, Autumn day of sun and showers. All the lawns were cut yesterday, stray leaves vacuumed up and the rich, green stripes look great in the sunshine. Although we are doing fairly mundane things today, after six months in Greece, a trip to Tesco is magical.

Week 198

30th September, 2012

Weird waking up in England. Opened the blinds and trees in full and vivid green leaf everywhere with green striped lawns below. At least the staff have been doing their job while we were away.

Breakfast was even stranger. I couldn’t remember which cupboards the cups were in. I turned to the oven in looking for the fridge. I downloaded the Sunday Times in a quarter of the time it took on Sifnos. I couldn’t work the handsets out for the TV and Sky. I struggled with the burglar alarm and wandered into one of the bathrooms and couldn’t find the light switches.

In the afternoon, we went round to have lunch with Phyllis and Colin. Mandy and the boys dropped in to see us. We’ve arranged to take Phyllis & Colin out to Dinner on Saturday to celebrate Pauline’s birthday. Her birthday is on Friday but Phyllis is going to the theatre on Friday to enjoy a belated birthday treat with Mandy. Enjoy the show.

Tried to watch Match of the Day but Greek time kicked in and I had to go to bed.

1st October, 2012

Stop the world. I want to get off! October already. Happy new month everyone.


Rain, grey skies and the news that Europe won the Ryder Cup. Excellent. New breakfast routine kicks in today – porridge. Now we have to make doctors’ appointments, dentists’ appointments, eye tests, diabetic checkup for me and hair for Pauline. We must have the car valeted and serviced.

2nd October, 2012

As we boarded F/b Adamas Korais a week ago, we said goodbye to our dear amenuensis. Without her and the many friends she introduced us to, we could not have achieved what we have. Today we spoke to her by phone. Unfortunately, she is in mourning for her nephew who has died of cancer. We felt so sorry for her loss. Rather unexpectedly, I also received an email from the Notary hoping that we had had a good journey home which was nice. Such a contrast with those who abandoned us.

Rather nice surprise today. Had a letter from Barclays Bank – not our bank – to be told they were holding money in a savings account for us. It looks like a carry over from when we sold our house two years ago. I thought the account had been closed. It will be tomorrow. This afternoon, we finished emptying the car and racking the wines. Booked a restaurant for a meal to celebrate Pauline’s birthday on Saturday.

I don’t know if you saw Ed. Milliband’s Leader’s speech in Manchester. I was captivated by it. It was an impressive tour de force of 70 mins. without notes. I do hope that is a springboard for the next stage.

3rd October, 2012

Out early today in a crisp, dry morning of 12C/54F to have the car valeted then on to Barclays Bank to extract a wad of cash and close the old account. Had to show our passports to prove our identity.

In to town to Specsavers for eye tests. They are free for both of us – me because I am diabetic and Pauline because she is so old. No change for me. Pauline needs stronger reading lenses. She hates going to the supermarket and having to have her glasses round her neck but it comes to most. In my case, I have to take my glasses off to read. Pauline tried to drag me in to a couple of dress shops but she could see I couldn’t stand it so we dropped in to Pre a Manger for a bit of lunch. Pauline went off to her hairdressers’ appointment at the Headmasters chain and I sat in Costa Coffee reading my newspaper.

This evening I watched a disappointing performance by Man. City or an impressive performance by Borussia Dortmund. They needed a penalty from Balotelli penalty to get an undeserved 1-1 draw.


Topped the evening off marvelling at the Tories total incompetence as evidenced by their staggering mess of the rail franchise. What a way to run a railway!

4th October, 2012

A day of research, thinking and writing. I’d forgotten how tiring it was. After six months on a Greek island doing not much more challenging than painting the pergola, brain work left me exhausted. Thankfully, it was punctuated by trips out to take Pauline to buy a kettle – she has been using her Mum’s for the last couple of years for sentimental reasons but now it has to go. Pauline also needed a new watch. Gone are the days when they cost a fortune. Pauline’s preferred one was £4.99 from Argos.


5th October, 2012

Happy Birthday to Pauline. She is 61 today and still looks under 50. It must be being married to me. We celebrated by me cooking dinner. We ate Salmon & Cod (well Saumon et Cabillaud actually because we bought it in France) with a Parmigiano crust with saute potatoes, green beans and an onion marmalade. I have to say, it was surprisingly good.

6th October, 2012

To celebrate Pauline’s birthday we went out for dinner with Pauline’s sister, Phyllis, and her husband, Colin. It was Chinese at Chu Chin Chow in Byfleet.


The meal was incredibly good, particularly the duck and squid dishes. We had lovely conversation and were surprised when we left that we’d been there for over two hours.