Week 211

30th December, 2012

A beautiful, blue sky and sunny day heralds our 34th Wedding Anniversary. This day of 1978 was thick with snow. We lived on the edge of the Pennines and friends and relatives from all over the country were driving to Meltham in Yorkshire. For many of them, the weather made it touch and go but they all made it. Mind you, they weren’t helped by the council gritter men going on strike. I genuinely remember it as the best day of my life. I loved every minute. I’m afraid that, although our love has got stronger over the years, the photographs are deteriorating. Never mind, I remember it clearly:


31st December, 2012

I remember someone asking me when I stopped working, What achievements will you have to aim for? It brought me up short. Pauline & I have always lived our lives by that sort of measurement. Five year plans to be completed have always been our ruler. We have continued to set out our plan and to push towards completion. In some respects, we have more now than when we were in employment but now they all concerned with our lives and not our jobs. Today was the day to discuss them. I’m afraid I’m not going to share our plans with you.

Having set our world in order, we went for a long swim. We had been swimming for about twenty minutes when some middle aged chap came in to the pool and decided to launch himself between Pauline & I doing a flailing and over exuberant crawl stroke. He was clearly there to make a point that he was a stronger, faster swimmer and old wrinklies were just in the way. I’m not having people call Pauline an ‘old wrinkly’. He quite deliberately struck in to me as he went past. What he didn’t realise was that I am rather like an iceberg – 10% above the water and 90% elsewhere – so he proceeded to attack Pauline. What he didn’t realise is that Pauline is genuinely scarey. He soon stormed off in a huff, shouting at children as he did.

At 10.00 pm precisely, Pauline sent Happy New Year texts to friends in Greece and I made sure the champagne was chilling well. We’ll probably open it at 11.30 pm or we’ll never get to bed and we wrinklies need our sleep if only to stay alive long enough to achieve our dreams 5-year plans.

1st January, 2013

Happy New Year to all our readers – Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος


All years should start like this. A bottle of champagne with my favourite girl. Bed by 2.00 am. Up a little bit late to the most glorious, sunny morning. Emails and texts of good wishes from lots of friends and relatives. A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a bucket of Yorkshire Tea. The Times arriving on my iPad. No commitments. Absolute Bliss! 2013 is going to be a very good year.

2nd January, 2013

I was just thinking of my old friend, Jonathan. We were friends from Repton during the 1960s. He married an American girl – a teacher – and moved to Acton, Masachusetts where he has remained ever since. I last saw him forty years ago in about 1972. We have been corresponding since Mum died four years ago but he is still working and doesn’t have time to write. I was at my desk, in front of my computer, thinking of Jonathan, when up popped an email from him – the first for quite a few months. To be honest, I don’t think he’s to comfortable writing chit-chat. He’s more at home with scientific test reports. But he’s in America and I am never comfortable on a phone. I love writing so he has to do the same. His wife is retiring this year and Jonathan is beginning to think about it even if he says he can’t afford it. He is a very careful man by nature and seems to still worry about affording Healthcare when he leaves his company’s scheme.

3rd January, 2013

Pauline paid a lot of money to have a front tooth veneered to cover a permanent brown blemish I believe was caused by a childhood infection. Over Christmas, the veneer has turned decidedly light brown. We have gone back today, to have it reappraised. The dentist immediately agrees to redo the whole thing next week so Pauline has heaved a sigh of relief.

When I had my Desktop computer serviced the other day, we realised that I had bought it eight years ago and fitted a new hard drive four years ago. Delighted though I am with my machine, I made a resolution that I would take Backup more seriously. Pauline & I have important data on a desktop and two laptops in UK and a Desktop in Greece. We would be devastated if we lost things like financial or medical records, photographs, research material, correspondence, etc.. We do back it up sporadically on USB sticks but I’ve decided it is time to embrace backing up in the Cloud. I used Microsoft ‘Live’ for a while but found it slow and cumbersome. I’ve turned to Google Drive as a possible solution and I think it’s going to be fine.


I get 5 Gb free and that should be plenty for quite a while. What’s more, it is automatically synchronised with my computer so that when I open or close my machine, files I have worked on are automatically backed up. That’s the theory. I’ll let you know.

4th January, 2013

Greece is colder than Surrey today. As I write, Athens in 45F/7C whereas Surrey is 52F/11C. It probably doesn’t help to know that but it’s interesting. We received a Christmas card from Sifnos this morning from our friend, the plumber and his family. It was lovely to open in our English apartment.

Great swim today – 30 lengths – and then home for smoked salmon salad lunch. I’ve been trying to get some records out of Derbyshire County Council. They haven’t made it easy and, just as I get close, they close their Office in preparation for moving it. I can have nothing until the middle of February. They directed me to a Blog with pictures like this to prove it.


5th January, 2013

Another mild day. We’ve spent it indoors. I’ve been working on an upgrade for Sanders Web. It is strange making all ones mistakes in public but I am past worrying about it.


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