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.

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