Week 223

24th March, 2013

Strange, dark day with very light and wet snow flurries. Nothing settled but only a few miles away we are told things were very different and, in Yorkshire, one young man died last night. The newspapers tonight are reporting record low temperatures of -15C/5F to be reached by Easter. The trans-Pennine M62 was closed last night and this is Northumbria:


25th March, 2013

Light but ineffective snow again this morning. Busy day – Diabetic Review, Visit Santander to discuss April’s ISA, Swimming at the Health Club, Prepare for Residents Management Committee Meeting.

There was something quite wretched about seeing the Greek Cypriots marching to celebrate Greek Independence Day on a day when the palpably were not independent. They were mortgaged to the hilt to the Germans. I have a horrible feeling that this kernel of Euro failure may grow to destroy the whole Euro plan as bank accounts plundered freely by politicians pull the rug from depositors confidence across the whole Union.


The weather was fine but the financial and political climate was definitely not.

26th March, 2013

A grey day. We had a pre-management meeting prior to this evening’s Housing Development Meeting. Pauline & I have done a lot of work for the residents but will not be at the evening meeting so we briefed our neighbour, Vicky. The electric gates at the entrance are an issue and it needs urgently addressing. External lighting needs reviewing. We should be considering appointing a new Management Company.

Just received the Minutes of the Management Meeting and all our hard work has paid off. The representatives siezed the day and brought the Management Company to see our requirements. Our Service Charge payments will be used as we intend them. I’m pleased that Pauline & I took control and drove the Agenda.

27th March, 2013

Finally got the date right. Sorry about that. I’ve been a bit preoccupied with other things this week. It’s been a really good day.

One of the things about leaving employment and embracing retirement has been the lack of ‘targets to achieve’. Every day in Education there was something to achieve. In the early days it was learning to cope with a difficult class in a large inner city school. Climbing the slippery pole of career was always there. In later life it may have been managing a difficult meeting or cajoling funding out of somebody but there was always something to aim for.

Retirement means setting your own targets. I have done that in a number of ways by setting writing projects to complete, financial targets to achieve, health targets to work towards. I am someone who needs to think as he gets up in the morning, What am I going to get through today? I need to have an aim. Pauline & I have a To Do List and today felt really satisfied by reducing it.

  • The Development we live on had some items to be addressed. We were able to lay that to rest today.
  • My contribution to the Family History research has left me using Derbyshire Records Office to find information about Mabel Lilian Sanders née Flook, the Grandmother non of us ever met because she was taken in to the Pastures Hospital in Mickleover in 1930 never to be seen again although she didn’t die until 1962. I phoned the Records Office again today and they assured me I would receive papers next week.
  • Fixed an appointment in early April to open two new ISAs and switched the money – £11520.00 which is the maximum for 2013/14 – electronically from a savings account ready for that. We will now have each invested our maximum ISA each year for five years.
  • Spoke to our mobile phone provider – EE (T-Mobile+Orange) about our tariff and adjusted it to make it more useful. Excellent Company who gave exactly what I wanted even though I had to phone India and speak to someone who spoke only broken English.
  • Did our 30 lengths swimming and got home feeling good if a little tired.

We are down, now, to one meal a day and, even then, as soon as we start to eat we are full. We had freshly squeezed orange juice and tea for breakfast. Just before we went swimming, we had a banana and a couple of dried figs. For Dinner, we had Duck Breast with a red currant sauce and some pea shoot salad. It was wonderful. On Monday, we will have done three calendar months of our new regime and we will celebrate with a glass of wine.

28th March, 2013

A bitterly cold day:  4C/39F (Feels -4/25F). Today is Tesco day. We had some phone calls to deal with before we go out. Taylor Wimpey representatives phone to find out whether we are happy. We have been making quite a few waves recently but it has paid off. Now, they phone us rather than the other way round.

When we got to Tesco, at about 10.00 am, it was packed. The huge car park had virtually no spaces left. I thought I had got it wrong and it was Christmas Eve. There was a time when one went to a supermarket to buy things. In exchange for groceries, one paid money. Nowadays, the supermarkets pay us to shop there. We continually have money off vouchers posted to us through the mail, by email, etc. Then there are the in store offers – spend £40.00 and get £5.00 off, two bundles of asparagus for the price of one – and the comparison promises – We will refund the difference with other supermarkets. We spent just £65.00 today and paid only £48.00 – a 26% saving. Soon it will be free.

tesco1 tesco2

Our meal today was smoked salmon, prawns lightly dressed with garlic mayonaise and Waldorf salad. On Monday, I shall have a glass of claret.

Happy Birthday to sister, Mary Jane.  59 years old today.


29th March, 2013

A beautiful morning. Delightful, strong sun. Everyone here from the thrusting, striving, achieving community are still in bed. No walking urgently down to Woking station for the 6.30 am commuter train to the City.They feel they have earned a holiday. Pauline & I are up with the larks as usual having earned nothing but enjoying everything.

Pauline is making Lemon Marmalade. I love it but when will we eat it. We’ve given up bread. Actually, Monday will be three calendar months without carbohydrates. Might celebrate with a piece of toast.


I had a lovely suit made about 10 years ago now. Cost me about £350.00. By the time I was ready to wear it, I had piled weight on and it was already uncomfortable. I had to have another made immediately. I never slimmed in to the initial suit. My aim is to get in to it in the Autumn when we go on holiday. I will report my success or failure honestly.

30th March, 2013

Clocks go forward tonight (well 1.00 am tomorrow actually but who is going to stay up for that?) although it really doesn’t matter any more. I remember when we were working that clocks forward meant an hour less in bed and clocks back meant more sleep. In retirement, who cares? You can’t waste your time in bed. There’s too much living to do!


We used to spend the first hour of the Summer time adjusting all our clocks. Not now. They all adjust themselves with the exception of the oven and our watches. Time has moved on.

Ruth has just phoned to tell me that Liz has fallen at work and badly broken her wrist. Today she is having an operation under general anaesthetic to repair the damage. We wish her luck.

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