Week 232

26th May, 2013

Where is May going? It feels like we only just arrived and yet we have been here for five weeks and away from Surrey for six. That is the crucial thing for tax purposes. We are only allowed to be out of UK for 180 days per year. This means, we have to be back in Surrey for Friday, October 11th. This will mean leaving Sifnos somewhere around October 4th this year. We have an open ticket with Superfast so we can plan ahead.

Went out early into a wonderful morning taking the rubbish to the bin store and then on to the Cafe for coffee annd a chat with Christos. We talked about his Uncle Nikolaos who did our garden and about his Aunt who makes jam. We will go up to see her next week. The Economist magazine in Britain has a distinctly optimistic article about the turning Greek economy this week. This article says:

This summer should see a record 17m tourists crowding Greek beaches. Bookings from Germany and Russia are soaring, say travel agents. A projected rise of €1.5 billion-2 billion in tourist revenues will give the budget a boost.

I quoted it to Christos but he is extremely pessimistic and says the ferry situation will mean that these tourists will never make it to Sifnos. I told him that I had read of a plan for the Wester Cycladic islands to access European money to finance their own ferry build and deployment. Once again he was pessimistic. This is Greece, you know, he said. It will never happen.

27th May, 2013

I’ve got to stop writing this but it is THE MOST WONDERFUL DAY. Where else could one want to be on a day like to day but in Sifnos countryside? We worked hard today raking up all the final rubbish that the gardeners grubbbed up last week. Someone will appear with a lorry to take it all away in the next few days. The local farmers have had their fill.

Working outside is a joy. It is so far removed from what we both did in our professional life that it doesn’t feel like working at all. When we first bought this land in 2000, it only had an unmade track running by. It was one of our concerns in the purchase. We returned the next summer to find a metalled road instead of a dusty track. The surfacing only went just past our house (as if it was just for us) but now goes right across the island. What that means is that quite a bit more traffic drives up and down the mountain each day. Every day, the lovely Kiki drives up taking her shepherd husband to his farm. She toots and waves enthusiastically. Giannis and,  even his father wave numerous times a day as they drive  up and down. Apostolis and his son, Nikos toot and wave as they trundle past with lorry loads of hay or freewheel down on their bikes to save petrol. ‘Smiler’ waves five times a day particularly as he rides down in the evening with his dog on the back. Water carriers, dustbin lorries, soil lorries, taxi drivers – all the Sifnos world goes past our house and acknowledges two mad English people out in the midday sun, working in their garden.

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In Surrey where we have lived for two years, apart from family, we know two people on speaking terms. It is a different world.

28th May, 2013

My Best Man sent me a photo of how I used to look forty years ago. Actually, it flatters me but that’s why he is my best man.


If you think I look similar to Jeff Lynne of ELO, you could be right.

The Post Office and Parcelforce are about to be privatised in Britain. We’ve been using the latter extensively to move ‘stuff’ to Greece for years. It is remarkably economical way to do it compared to with alternative carriers. As we drive to Greece, our 4×4 is stuffed to the roof with ‘stuff’ including wine and cheese bought en route in France and Italy. There are bulky but light things – for example, six month’s supply of Italia ESE coffee pods that go in boxes to be posted. In all, we post about 80 – 90 Kgs of ‘stuff’ a couple of days before we set off and they are usually in our small, island post office by the time we arrive. This year we sent four boxes but only three arrived. It turned out that two, small bottles of after shave were accidently packed but are prohibited. For that reason, the parcel was returned to our home in Surrey after being scanned.

The full consignment of four boxes was charged at £190.00. The fourth box was picked up by Pauline’s sister who removed the offending bottles and reposted the box. We heard this morning that Parcelforce have returned the sum of £155.00 in compensation for our trouble even though it was of our own making. After costs, one wonders how much profit Parcelforce made on that procedure. Certainly, their customers are happy here. Surely privatisation will change this!

Went out to collect the post at 9.00 am and returned without mail but with a huge cheese and a dozen farm-fresh eggs in a basket courtesy of the lovely Kiki. Later, after finishing off a little work, we went out for a late lunch at 3.00 pm. Kalamari and salad was delightful down by the lapping waves and the darting fish. A lovely conversation with our amanuensis about footpaths and things finished off the afternoon. We drove back up to the house to coffee and a short snooze. Bliss.

29th May, 2013

Don’t want you to get too excited but I am having my haircut this morning out on the patio. There is quite a strong breeze so I probably won’t have to sweep up afterwards. Half my head will be floating across the valley by the afternoon. The weather forecaster is predicting new clouds of Saharan dust falling over the next few days. If my hair arrives first, it could prove puzzling to local farmers.

Discussions with the Notary about our house sale this morning. I always find that unsettling. Here we are, sailing blissfully along and reality keeps trying to intrude. Never mind. All will be as it will be!

30th May, 2013

Glorious morning. Kamares is sleepy and quiet. Kiki drove her husband up the mountain to his farm in the third different car this week. Still waving and tooting. Got a second viewing of the house this morning. I’m enjoying so much, I’m inclined not to sell it although I know I will if the acceptable opportunity arises.

Simon Baddeley has returned from his Greek home on Democracy Street in Corfu to his English home in Handsworth, Birmingham. He contrasts the experience in two, simple photographs.

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These photos are snatched from his interesting Blog, Democracy Street, illustrating the blue seas on the West Coast of Corfu as he left and the cold, wet walk around Handsworth, Birmingham as he walked the dog. Where would you rather be?

It has turned out to be one of the best days we have ever spent on Sifnos. Two wonderful pieces of news came our way this morning which have lifted us and could change our lives. Tantalisingly, I can reveal neither of them to you today but I will in the fullness of time. So good was the news that we went out for lunch at Captain Andreas Fish Restaurant.


Salad and platefuls of small, fried fish with a glass or two of cold, white wine completed the day.

31st May, 2013

Early out this morning. Meeting with Notary in the Prego Coffee Shop in Apollonia. If you’re going to have a meeting, there is no better place. Lots of interesting matters raised.


We went on to the Accountants. It was lovely. The girls (women) there are so friendly and good fun. It is not often one visits an accountant’s office for a good laugh but we did. This year, our visit was quick, easy and cheap compared with the frenzy of last year. This was followed with a strangely delightful and productive discussion by phone with the architect. Back home, I read up the Agenda & minutes of the Sifnos Council Meeting from earlier in the week. Thank goodness for Google Translate.

1st June, 2013


An especially Happy June to you all.

We have a lorry coming tomorrow to take all our garden rubbish away plus ‘stuff’ that has cluttered the back of the garage for years. The cane mat topping that was replaced three years ago with a solid, waterproof roof can now be got rid of along with old, outdoor chairs that are falling apart, etc., you get the idea. The grounds will breathe a sigh of relief when it all goes.

Rain is forecast for today and, perhaps, overnight. It looks like it will be too light to make much difference to the garden. It is lovely to see even a prospect of rain in June. As we drove up to the supermarket in Exambella this morning, one or two drops fell on the windscreen. I stopped and took this photo en route. The clouds are promising but not much.


Spent the afternoon staking the tomatoes and peppers. We hope it will be enough support against the inevitable winds. I have been told to get some sulphur to dust the leaves with. That is a job for Monday. I’ve grown about twenty mixed pepper plants. The gardeners (Pensioners) put some in for me. I have been left to do the rest. Everything is growing so quickly. I’m quite astonished.

Week 231

19th May, 2013

Wonderful day. Hot, sunny and peaceful. We went dow to the Cafe for coffee this morning. We had an enjoyable chat with Christos who runs it. We were telling him about the Pensioners (who have a day off today and he says that Nikos from Artemon is his relation. We are not surprised. Everyone is related to another here. Pauline bought two, huge, home-grown, pork steaks from the supermarket and a cheese.

We drove back home to get on with the day’s job. The Pensioners have cleared all the vegetation and left it in bales on the land. We are going to move it down towards the gate so someone can come with a truck and remove it. We hadn’t been working more than half an hour when our neighbour, Giannis, stopped and said he would like it for his animals. We are only too pleased. He will move it over the next few days. The Pensioners work six hours or so each day. We managed four today and are staggering around with fatigue. The owl was with us and watching us intently throughout the day. Presumably, it was looking for disturbed prey.

The Pork steaks improved our mood. Pauline marinated them for three or four hours in garlic, sage, lemon and olive oil and the slow cooked them for a couple of hours. I’m tempted to say that the flavour was out of this world but that would be hyperbolically silly.

20th May, 2013

A hot one with no breeze at all. The Pensioners arrived at 7.00 am and have completely transformed the ‘veg. patch’ by 10.am. In that time, Pauline & I had been to the garden shop and bought good, strong, flowering pepper plants (the bell peppers), sweet basil and two types of tomato – plum and cherry. Having prepared the ground in harmony, the pensioners are enjoying arguing about where everything should go.

peppers toms basil

By 1.00 pm, everything was planted, the garden looked absolutely wonderful, the Pensioners were friends again and were preparing to leave. As we drove Nikolaos back to his home in the village of Artemonas, the temperature gauge hit 30C/86F. He will be back for his eighth and last day tomorrow at 7.00 am.

No rest for the wicked. Pauline is making another batch of orange and whisky marmalade this afternoon. She is beginning to get requests. I have been delegated to clean the patio.

Death by Marmalade
Death by Marmalade

I didn’t finish the cleaning.

21st May, 2013

A humid start to the Pensioner’s last day. We had to say Chronia Polla to Costas. He looked surprised that the English should even know about the tradition. Our vegetable patch finished and planted out, they set about clearing the section that fronts on to the road and to assess the damaged wall running up the Community Path at the side. We will have to do something about this when they’ve finished.

Leaving them working happily, we went down to collect the post for us and friends. Only an internet bill for us to pay but remarkably cheap. It was €46.00 for a month and a half. It is so lovely and fast, one hardly remembers it is only 3G. On to the garden shop for bags of soil and Geraniums (Pelargoniums). The owner and I had an argument about what they should be called. I still bought six. I will propogate cuttings from these and make thirty six for later in the season. Most will over-winter.


We filled up with petrol for only the second time in five weeks even though we have done a return journey to Artemonas for the past eight days. It came to €71.00 (£60.00) and will probably last us another five weeks. We always go to Elinoil because the people are so lovely. They want us to drop in again on Saturday so they can give us some presents from their land – fresh eggs from their hens and early vegetables. That’s the sort of people they are – the sort of lovely people we like.

22nd May, 2013

Where are the Pensioners? We are lost without them. If you can adopt a pair of Grandads, we would adopt them. Still, we will invite them back next year. It is the most glorious, still, warm day. Another local farmer who we have nicknamed ‘Smiler’ over the years as he has passed our house on his motorbike , smiling and nodding, has turned up unannounced and started to bale and clear huge amounts of dried grass and material for his animals. We are very pleased.

It has been an emotional early morning. Over the past few days, we have been inundated with emails and contacts from past pupils and ex-collegues of our school. It closed to be replaced by a £26 million Academy. I seem to have that effect on schools. In the early 80s, I was Head of what looked like a Victorian prison but was actually an old Board School built in 1880 in the fashionable pagoda style.

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I haven’t looked at these photos since 1982. It is hard to believe this wasn’t a prison looking in on it now. The kids certainly called it that.

Now, our last school has gone and thousands have posted memories on the web. Hundreds have been moved enough to witness the demolition. I rather wish I could have been there.

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It is really quite moving to think of all those lives, those connections that are no longer made. I’m almost forgetting my life-long motto: Move On!

23rd May, 2013

Everything is moving on particularly in the gale force winds that arrived in the night. Last evening, Apostolis tooted and waved wildly as he came down on his bike from his farm up the road. ‘Smiler’ came to bale some more cuttings for his animals and left with his dog on the back. This morning his bales have been blown to the lower level as the destructive winds took hold. We drove down to pick up the post and got the car sand-blasted near the beach. We may be outside less today.

My lovely sister, Ruth, can no longer sing the Beatles classic, When I’m 64 because she is. Happy Birthday, Ruthie!


What a blustery day – Octo Beaufort, as the weatherman calls it or 8 on the Beaufort Scale. We have spent most of it indoors after driving up to Apollonia to collect a delivery. It turns out to be three, free, replacement doors for our kitchen cupboards courtesy of IKEA UK. What a wonderful act on their part. I emailed the IKEA girl who searched the doors out from their European Store and despatched them to the Sifnos Post Office free of charge. I have also contacted the CEO of IKEA UK to thank her for the generosity of the act.


While we were out, we called at Mario’s Supermarket. Flora gave Pauline some punnets of strawberries free. They were just starting to go a little too soft. Within a couple of hours at home, Pauline had turned them into the most wonderful strawberry compôte to be eaten with yoghurt. Flora will get a jar tomorrow.


24th May, 2013

An incredibly windy night. Our gate was blocked with cut grass and branch prunings this morning. We will have to tidy the road up outside as well. It will be a general clear-up day today.

We were sorry to hear that the nice little Mrs. Simos died yesterday. Her funeral was undertaken in gale force winds. Life and Death can be very cruel.

25th May, 2013

It has been a wonderful week. It started off with glorious weather, had a blip of a couple of days of strong wind and is finishing off as it started. This morning has opened beautifully. We have drunk our fresh orange juice and Yorkshire Tea and reflected on how lucky we are.  A week today will be the first day of June and we will start swimming. Got an email from a friend in Lancashire who said they had just experienced a massive hail storm and then a phone call to Surrey confirmed that they had seen a bit of that as well. The Swiss Alps have had a huge fall of snow over night and the whole of our journey route down to Greece will be shrouded in rain this weekend. How lucky are we?

We went up to Apollonia to do our shopping and then called in to see the lovely family at the Elinoil garage and were rewarded with a large basket of fresh eggs and three, big cheeses made by the family.


My Cosmote Mobile Internet contract provides for 10Gb of down/upload. That is huge and should be enough for anyone. This month – with six days to go – I have used 8.5 Gb already so I will have to be a bit more sparing for the rest of next week. I have been listening to wall-wall Radio 4 and researching material on-line too much this month. We have also been using it as our English phone via Skype.



Week 230

12th May, 2013

It is a delightful day. Not to hot but sunny and windless. The chances of rain appear to be receding by the day. Downloaded The Sunday Times but didn’t seem to have much time to read it. I laughed at the article headed, Pregnant women will be tested for smoking. I want to know what will happen to the guilty ones. Will they be shot? We spent a few hours watering all the trees and bushes. We have some men coming tomorrow to help with the garden clearing.

Manchester United dominated the afternoon with their late winner against Swansea making it a pleasant end to the career of Ferguson which was all shown here on Nova TV. I was sorry Rooney was not joining in. Why have things gone so wrong for him. Ferguson and Scholes retired together and both looked happy.


13th May, 2013

Up at 6.30 am today. Garden workers arrived at just after 7.00 am. The men make me feel like a spring chicken. Two Greek pensioners arrive with mattocks and bottles of water. They say they will work from 7.00 am – 2.00 am non-stop, clearing this unforgiving ground. We know what it is like. We clear the vegetable patch and two hours puts me on my back for the rest of the week. The only real connection between me and these two, old men is the instrument we use to clear the ground here in Greece. We all use an incredibly useful tool called a mattock.


We are off to the Post Office to see if our box arrived over the weekend. A trip to the Garden Shop as well will provide some excitement – I’m easily pleased.

Not sure who was more pleased – us or the Post Office – to discover that our box containing about 15Kg of stuff had arrived. Phyllis & Colin may be old but you can always rely on them.

14th May, 2013

Well, at last its happened. RAIN – real rain for at least an hour last night. Lightning over Kamares bay at around 10.00 pm although no thunder so it wasn’t centred over us. It certainly wasn’t on the Biblical proportions described by Skiathan Man this morning and the islanders will probably say that the rain wasn’t heavy enough to be significant but it will make the ground clearing efforts of our pensioners easier this morning. It is 7.15 am and they have already arrived and started work. They should be at the Old People’s Club or Silver Surfers or something like that not pounding hard ground with a mattock for seven hours a day.

Went down to collect the post this morning and the heavens opened, briefly, at 9.00 am. Pauline got soaked but I kept the car warm for her. Now Easter is over and the season has not really started, the streets are very quiet.


When we got back home, the pensioners were sheltering in the garage. We made them coffee until the storm passed and then they were sent back down the mines.

15th May, 2013

The pensioners arrived at 7.00 am. We had only been up for about half an hour. It was forecast and looks like being a delicious day. Lovely, sunny, windless and warm but not to hot. We are told it will just peak at 25C/77F.

We have been listening to the Today programme. The weather tells us that there could be some snow over the Pennines this afternoon. Cameron’s balmy backbencher’s are really making life tedious and filling the airwaves. This is how The Times cartoonist depicts it:


The pensioners managed their six hours of continuous work in the garden and then we managed an hour ourselves. Sitting under the pergola, gazing out over the valley towards the sea, the warm sun shining down beneficently, I tried to bottle the moment but, as always, it is not possible.

16th May, 2013

Overcast and cool this morning. The pensioners love it. They are hammering the garden with increased vigour. I’m not sure what they would think of the UK climate. This is the scene this morning in Shropshire and snow has fallen right through to our old stomping ground on the Pennines in Yorkshire/Lancashire.


Mother Cat called for her Dinner this evening accompanied by a friend. Not many keep their friends on their ear but she does. She obviously spent such a hard afternoon of inactivity on the wall that a snail clamped itself firmly to the back of her ear.


17th May, 2013

At 6.50 am, we heard the gate pulled back and the inward march of the Pensioners. Where do they get their energy? By 7.00 am, they were pounding the ground with mattocks at the start of another mammoth stint. They are coming for a sixth day on Saturday as agreed and then I have asked them to return for two additional days next week to clear and prepare the vegetable patch where Pauline & I have failed.

We have been ambling down Memory Lane this morning. I received an email from an ex-pupil to let me know that the old school that Pauline & I left four years ago and which has now been replaced by a brand, spanking new eleven million pound Academy, was nearly completely demolished and would be by the end of this week. This is a photo at the beginning of the job:

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Sitting down to afternoon tea after the Pensioners had gone home, we suddenly noticed we were being watched. We often hear this lovely, little chap in the darkness of a hot, mediterranean evening but rarely see him/her. Even Mother Cat looked a little nervous when she came for Dinner.


18th May, 2013

A pleasant and not over-wam day for the Pensioners to do their sixth consecutive day in the garden. I have asked them to return next week for two more days to complete the work.

Had a lovely trip up to the woodman and and his wife with a jar of Pauline’s beetroot chutney and some homemade shortbread. It is lovely to give something to them for a change. They are constantly giving us things and refusing to charge. On to Olga and her husband who has been refusing to allow his wife to eat the marmalade because he “wants to look at it on the shelf”. We took an extra jar specifically for eating plus a copy of the recipe. On to Flora at the supermarket to give her back the beetroot we bought but now in a jar of chutney.


Met up with the Notary for a quick chat and she has invited us over to her house.

Had a lovely meal and debate with Panos & Rania last night. We both had their wonderful Chicken Souvlaki with grilled vegetables. Pauline had bread as well. Met an interested potential customer for the house while we were there. They are coming for a viewing.

Week 229

5th May, 2013

Καλό Πάσχα  to all our Greek readers. You could not ask for a more perfect day. Still, bright and warm – 27C/81F. A delicious day to relax and enjoy.

Mother Cat didn’t turn up for breakfast until 2.00 pm. Goodness knows what she was up to last night.

6th May, 2013

Perhaps it is the prerogative of old men to muse upon the passage of time. Certainly, it has been a preoccupation of mine for quite a while and only underlined by retirement. As you will see on the right hand side, I follow lots of Greek Blogs. Some are constant companions like The Skiathan and Simi Dream. Some take quite a bit of reading and I dip in and out of like Ramblings from Rhodes or are occasional interest reads like Gate to Greece and Living in Greece. And then there is Democracy Street.

It is written by Simon Baddeley – sporadically when the spirit takes him. I go back to check a couple of times a week and sometimes he has written and sometimes he hasn’t. The author is an interesting man in his early 70s, I think, who lives in Birmingham and Corfu – to and fro between Handsworth in Birmingham and the village of Ano Korakiana in Corfu where he has a house on ODOS DHMOKRATIAS. He is a grandson of a man who appeared weekly on Midlands and the network television in the 1970s & 80s – Jack Hargreaves – who could be seen presenting Out of Town.


Although beyond retirement age, he still works as a part-time lecturer in Local Governance at the University of Birmingham. He is active in his two, local communities and is a keen allotment grower.Recently, Mr Baddeley’s Mother has died and he has reflected his reactions in his Blog. I measured my own against them. He has a penchant for assessing the passing of time which accords with my own. And that brings me to the point. Today, his Blog muses on the how time speeds up as we get older and posits: Time passes faster for us because we’ve got less of it. Maybe that is true.


7th May, 2013

Interesting day. Started off warm and sunny; became overcast and humid by lunchtime; gave us a deliciously cool afternoon’s gardening and then turned back to warm and sunny in the evening. In Greece, of course, it is May Day (deferred) and the Big, post-Easter exit.

It has been so hot and dry that we have been furiously watering trees and shrubs since we arrived. That was first on the agenda this morning after downloading and browsing the newspaper. Last summer, we planted out some herbs that we particularly like in our cooking and that cannot be found growing wild around the house. Sage, mint and tarragon are important to our flavours as well as the naturally occurring thyme and oregano. We also have enough rosemary bushes to start our own business. Everything has been successful apart from the tarragon. Having cleared the cover of weed and watered the plants, they are bushing up nicely. We grow basil, parsley and chives as annuals and they are under way.

I am trying to cultivate quick-growing salad vegetables – cut and come again lettuces of different varieties – before the weather just becomes too hot. I am growing lots of peppers and a few courgettes and I intend to buy a few tomato plants from the garden shop.

Olga called this afternoon to bring us an Easter present. She didn’t stay long because she and her husband are up to their eyeballs in cooking. Their restaurant is supplying food for a wedding party on Saturday with a potential guest list of 700. Scary or what?

8th May, 2013

As we expected, the morning opened grey and overcast and decidedly cooler than our first two weeks this year. It appears to be mirrored by UK weather where this morning’s forecast opened with Summer’s over. By the time we had finished breakfast, light rain began to fall. It will help loosen the weeds for garden clearing – when we get out there. The big question of the day will not be What is in the Queen’s Speech? but more Will Alex Ferguson retire?

We bought the kitchen in our Greek house from IKEA in UK. It was half the price of the same kitchen in IKEA (Athens). We had a shipping container booked so it all went in that and then was delivered by lorry to the house. Over the winter, some kind Greek built and installed the whole kitchen from flat-pack. It felt like a miracle.


This was in 2005. Eight years on, three of the doors have slight paint damage on their top edge – two under the sink and one above the built in oven. I emailed IKEA to ask what could be done. They told me that the kitchen had been discontinued but that they did carry some back stock across Europe. To be sure of the exact dimensions, we had to wait until we were back in Greece. As soon as we got here, I measured up and contacted IKEA (UK) with photos and the details and quoting my credit card details to be charged. Within two hours, I received an email back to tell me that three doors had been located and were in despatch for our house on Sifnos. There would be no charge. It would be a pleasure to help us out.

It is moments like that which are so life-affirming. Three doors – cost in themselves £120.00 – and transport across Europe – another £100.00 – adds up to a fair piece of support from a company who didn’t need to do it. All I can say to people out there is BUY IKEA (products or shares).

9th May, 2013

A cooler more cloudy day but with sunshine. Over the mountain, potential rain clouds periodically fall but fail to drop their rain. Our amanuensis phoned at 8.30 am to say she was up a mountain an would not be at the postal delivery this morning. We collected it and delivered post to Panos & Rania. We then walked on to the cafe, saying Good Morning to our friend, Kiki en route.

Over coffee, we had a good chat with Christos and he finally got round to bringing up the sale of our house. We wondered when he would. We assured him that we had no intention of selling cheaply and losing money. We are quite happy to wait a few years if that is what it takes. Nor do we intend to leave Sifnos when we do sell. He thought Greeks wouldn’t be able to afford our house but we’ve already had two Greek couples look round and not balk at the price plus an Australian couple and a British couple. It suggests to us that we are just about right on price even if it takes a while to be found.

10th May, 2013

We didn’t hear it but, when we got up at 7.00 am, there was evidence of overnight rain. Puddles on the road. (Good title for my book?) The surrounding mountains were cloaked in low cloud and the air felt damp. After breakfast, which was attended by Mother Cat, we went out shopping. Off to the Post Office first to see if our errant box had arrived. It hadn’t so it will be Monday at the earliest now. No fresh coffee until then.

I wrote yesterday about the kindness (enlightenment) of IKEA in providing us with three, replacement, kitchen cupboard doors at their own expense. Today, we had more largesse heaped upon us. Flora, at the supermarket, keeps giving us produce from her garden and, when we asked the woodman for things, he insisted on not asking for payment. Life can be a joy – not because of the money but because of the spirit.

11th May, 2013

A cooler day today not reaching above 22C/70F. After reading the newspaper, we did some gardening. The weather forecast for days has been trailing rain to come. Suddenly it looks very unlikely which probably means no more rain until September. I will have to get on with the watering.

I watched Chelsea beat Aston Villa in a reasonable, end of season match but we didn’t get the Cup Final here which would have been nice to see. It so often appears that relegation teams do well in the Cup. Well done, Wigan.


Pauline made beetroot chutney while I lazed around watching the football.