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.

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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.

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