Week 250

29th September, 2013

The penultimate day of September. It is 22C/70F and there is little sign of Autumn yet. We were awake at 5.00 am (Still in Greek time) and up for fresh orange juice and Yorkshire tea. Last night felt quite fresh. Skiathan Man would have slept under the bed never mind under the sheet. I, of course, braved it and woke up freezing at 3.00 am..

After our drive yesterday, the car was running on empty. Went to Tesco petrol to fill up and paid £1.25 /€1.47 per litre which compares with €1.88 on the island. Filling the car cost just over £60.00 which feels ridiculous.

Spent the rest of the day watching football and opening six months backlog of post. A huge box took me three hours to open and file in three piles – ‘Interesting’ / ‘Worth Saving’ / ‘To be acted on urgently.’ Everything else was thrown back in the box to be taken up to the recycling bin.

30th September, 2013

Pleasant morning reaching 20C/68F but rather overcast. We took 40 Litres of Sauvignon Blanc which we bought in France round to Phyllis & Colin to get them through the next week.

We went on to our Health Club – Nuffield Health – to reactivate our membership.

hc1 hc2 hc3

We start tomorrow!

We went to have our car cleaned after 1000 miles drive back across Europe. It was covered in encrusted bodies of flies – Death on the road! It took three men ten minutes to bring it back to gleaming condition for just £10.00.

1st October, 2013


Happy October! October? I don’t believe it. Actually, it is very grey and overcast outside so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. My body clock is still in Greek mode and will be for a few more days. It is 8.30 am here but feels so much later. I am listening to a BBC Radio 4 interview with Greek MPs about the round up of these balmy people who support Golden Dawn. They are even madder than our National Front and believe that Hitler or the old Greek Junta would put manage their country better than the democratic process. You have to be pretty thick to believe that – but then they are!

We are arranging servicing of the car in a couple of weeks, our bodies at the surgery and our teeth at the dentist over the next few weeks. Today is the first appointment for Pauline. Later, I have to sort out new mobiles for the next couple of years from Tmobile/EE and then explore switching my Broadband service which I currently take from Sky with 6 Mb/s to BT Fibre Optic which will give me 76 Mb/s.

2nd October, 2013

My first trip to the Health Club yesterday left me more unhealthy than before I went in. After a wonderful swim and a spell in the sauna, we entered the jacuzzi. Well, Pauline walked in but I decided to slip and fall in. I lost my footing in the swirling foam and ended up on my back. I thought nothing of it until we started to climb out and I found that my ankle was extremely painful and wouldn’t support my weight. Well, who would?

I struggled to shower and dress and then to get to the car but, once home with a slave to bring me drinks as I sat with my foot raised, I watched a brilliant Arsenal display against Napoli and forgot my injury.

This morning, I could barely get out of bed and, with Pauline’s help, went down to Woking walk-in (in my case hobble) hospital to have my ankle checked. I was seen within 5 minutes of arriving. Fortunately, I was told I haven’t broken it but torn the ligaments – something I was regularly doing in my youth as a rugby player. I have to sit down for a few days and have things brought to me – so no change there then. Actually, this is the ideal day for it. I sat and watched (jeered at) the Tory Party Conference from Manchester and then we sat outside in delicious warm sunshine for an hour.

Tonight, after a Dinner of roast cod loin with asparagus, I will sit and watch Man. City lose (hopefully) before struggling up to bed. Why is life so hard?

3rd October, 2013

My ankle isn’t anywhere near as bad as I feared. I think I’ll be walking properly by Monday. Thank goodness for that! Sitting down all day is really boring. Spent the day doing correspondence at my computer.

Autumn suddenly seems to have arrived according to the trees outside our front door.


It is as warm as Athens today but we were warned that heavy rain was due. It hasn’t arrived yet.

4th October, 2013

In June 1980, Pauline and I were driving to school in our first brand new car. It was exam week and we were carrying exam papers in our pageant blue mini. As we approached the school, some chap going the opposite way lost control on the bend in his works Ford Cortina and crossed the road, ploughing into our new car, virtually cutting it in half. As a result, Pauline had horrible bruising and some minor cuts but the ambulance men thought I was dead.

After a couple of weeks in hospital with a serious head injury, I started to become aware that something had happened to me. I went with Pauline to stay with her sister so that I could be looked after. After a week or two, I started to become aware of the concept of ‘time’ because Pauline had bought me a new watch to replace the one broken in the accident. I have worn it for 33 years and I have loved it. Unfortunately, it has been showing signs of wear for a number of years and, finally and reluctantly, I have had to replace it. This is the original watch will I will always treasure:


I have returned to my youth by replacing it with a digital one. I used to have a black, plastic one as a student in the 60s/70s.


5th October, 2013

Happy Birthday to my wonderful wife. Pauline is 62 today. I find it hard to believe.


Pauline has been able to spend some time indulging herself with a favourite hobby. She has been buying clothes on-line. Neither of us have clothes to fit us. Pauline has dropped two dress sizes over the past six months and I have lost 12″ from my waistline. Even my shoes feel big. At least my ties still fit.

Had a celebratory lunch of ….Salad?…with a little Coulommiers cheese and a bottle of champagne.


Duck and vegetables for Dinner. Celebration meals will never be the same.


Week 249

22nd September, 2013

Packed our bags, fed the cat and drove down to the port. Went to Meropi Restaurant for lunch. Chick pea soup and fried squid. Drove on to the F/b Aqua Jewel bound for Syros. We went via Serifos and Paros which I haven’t seen for years. It could be 25 years since we were there. Have been on Syros before although only for a few hours on a day trip. This time we are staying until Tuesday.


Journey was quite interesting although these trips always seem too long for me. I like to be in control and under my own steam. We drove off reasonably on time at 9.00 pm and to our 4*, neo-classical hotel which turned out to be just disappointingly dated. Well we are on a mission and only here for two nights. It will do.


23rd September, 2013

Nice day. We spent the first half of it in the Town Hall. It houses the Law Court and Land Registry. The Urban Planner met us there. He was very helpful and it was really worth the trouble.

town hall

Unfortunately, while we were in the meeting, we learnt that a general strike is planned for Tuesday – Wednesday. No one knew if it involves transport and ferries. We may have over reacted but, after spending hours on the phone to our amanuensis, we decided to radically change our plans. There is a Blue Star ferry leaving at 4.00 pm from Syros bound for Piraeus. We have decided to take it. Our friend will sort the house out. We will drive on  through Patras to Kaminia.

24th September, 2013

We were meant to dock in Piraeus at 8.00 pm. For some reason, it was nearer 9.00pm. We had phoned Poseidon Palace Hotel to check they had a spare room. Fortunately, it was sparsely populated and we got our favourite room. The late docking means it was 11.30 pm before we checked in – too late for a meal. We had pistachio nuts and a bottle of champagne, a shower and bed.

We woke early to a glorious morning with sun shining through the Rio Bridge and across fields and fields of citrus trees. Immediately after Breakfast at 6.00 am, we have driven down to the new port checking offices and, although they are not open yet, we have already been told that an Anek will leave at 5.00 pm tonight for Ancona. We hope to get a cabin.

It is 10.00 am and not only do we have a cabin but we have a Luxury one. We are going on Helenic Spirit.


We sail at 5.00 pm and dock in Ancona at 4.00 pm on Wednesday. We have come back to our hotel for a swim and coffee. We check out at lunchtime but won’t go down to the port until 3.00 pm. Our amanuensis has already phoned to say that everything has been sorted out at the Sifnos end so we can relax

I have to book a night in Parma for Wednesday. Next Blog will be from there I suspect.

25th September, 2013

A delightful crossing although we arrived an hour late. Drove to the local supermarket to buy 60 bottles of wine and then drove like a bat out of hell down the autostrada to reach Parma in  two and a half hours. We arrived in time for Dinner – Fish & Salad.

Fell into bed. Early start tomorrow because we’ve got six hours to Strasbourg.

26th September, 2013

Early Breakfast and off by 7.30 am. Just as well because the 6 hours soon became 7 when we had an hour’s hold-up as a huge lorry took the motorway exit bend too fast and shed its entire load of shampoo across the carriageway causing local chaos and kilometres of queues.

We still arrived about 2.30 pm. The hotel, which looked so good on the web with a pool and fine dining, was rather disappointing. We ate early, slept early and planned to leave early.

27th September, 2013

Actually, the bed turned out to be delightful and we woke rather late. We had a cup opf tea and left at 8.00 pm. Our last leg of the Continental journey was a 6 hour drive to Coquelles where we had booked an old, favourite hotel.

We ate an early Dinner and luxuriated in English television channels for our last evening in France. Tomorrow we will do our weekly supermarket shop before taking the tunnel train to UK.

28th September, 2013

By 11.00 am we were loaded with vegetables, salad things, meat – duck, rabbit, pork and chicken – and fish – salmon, cod and hake – plus half the European wine lake. We staggered off to the Tunnel. Our tickets were for 2.00 pm but we arrived at 11.30 am and were put on the next train at 12.20 pm.

Rolling off the train in UK 30 minutes later at 11.50 am (It’s always nice to arrive before you leave.), we set off up the motorway ….. and that’s where our trouble started. Our sat. nav. told us that ahead on the M25 we would run in to 6 miles of queuing traffic with very long delays. It offered us a detour and we pressed ‘yes’ to take it. We were re-routed …. right through central London. The las 34 miles took us two and a half hours as we toured the delights of Peckham and Balham High Street.

No matter. We were back in sunny Surrey having completed our 28th journey across Europe by car and all without any real mishap. My digital odometer in the car told me that I had only driven 3700 miles from our garage in Surrey and back. That includes the two drives and all island driving. The car will be 12 months old on November 1st and will only have done 6000 miles – less than half our normal total for the working year.

Of course, Sifnos is so small. Nowhere is far away. It is only when you have gone – given oneself the chance to stand back and look in – that you realise the actors are minnows in a goldfish bowl believing they are sharks.





Week 248

15th September, 2013

Lovely day to start the week. Interesting mackerel cloud formation over the port at 7.00 am had disappeared by 10.00 am and the rain forecast for Monday seems to be written out of the story now as well. We were looking forward to that.

Normal Sunday start – down to the café for coffee and news gathering. Back home to read the papers. Out for a lovely swim in crystal clear and virtually deserted waters and then home for late lunch – about 3.30 pm – of pork, onions and peppers and a bottle of champagne. Lovely!


A football match between West ham and Southampton was interesting but no more. It certainly didn’t set the world alight with a 0-0 draw.

16th September, 2013

Very useful meeting with the Notary this morning. We agreed to meet for fifteen minutes and stayed an hour and a half. We have agreed to meet again for coffee on Friday.

For a few days we have been promised rain. Gradually, promises softened. As we prepared to go for a swim, light cloud gathered. We forced ourselves on and enjoyed the sea but didn’t linger. Pauline cooked a delightful meal of chicken in garlic and tarragon sauce with mushrooms and onions. Suddenly, as it went dark, the rain came. It wasn’t heavy but it was welcome. I don’t think it will be significant.

17th September, 2013

It wasn’t – the rain significant. Just enough to stain all the outside areas. Never mind. One can’t complain. The weather generally is wonderful. Unfortunately, the weeks are running out. Just two left after this.

Went out to eat at Kamaron Restaurant because we couldn’t be bothered cooking tonight. We only had chicken souvlakia with griddled vegetables. I got into an argument with them about paying taxes. Rania said it wasn’t worth running the restaurant any more because they paid more in taxes than they earned. I couldn’t let it pass because it was so patently untrue. One minute she was telling us about the wonderful time she and her daughter had just had in Athens and the plays they had been to see and the hotel they had stayed in and the next she was telling us that they earned absolutely no money at all. She wasn’t pleased to be contradicted and it is definitely the Greek psyche at the moment but it will change and they will gradually accept the change.

18th September, 2013

The day started off well with warm sunshine. We did lots of jobs around the house and garden. On-line banking – paying a window cleaner for cleaning windows of our Surrey Duplex while in Greece feels strange but useful. Moving money out of Current Accounts and in to Investment Accounts although we still fail to achieve the CPI of 2.7%. We have more or less resolved to move out of cash ISA’s and into Equities when we get back in the Winter.

Watered all the trees and shrubs as the rain was so dismal. Washed the patio down and, at 1.00 pm, looked up to see where the sun had gone. A cast of cloud had crept up on us and blanketed the sun. The temperature is still warm at 28C/83F but it definitely feels cooler. We have decided against swimming.

Pauline is cooking Chicken & Sage casserole with onions, peppers & peas. I’m looking forward to that. Pauline will be allowed bread with hers.


Almost looks like a winter dish doesn’t it.

We were just finishing our meal when the plumber turned up. He had been summoned to replace two leaking, outside taps. They were only replaced two years ago. Is there something substandard about Greek taps? They are certainly cheap. Anyway, a ten minute job was completed satisfactorily and everything is back under control.

19th September, 2013

We have English friends coming out to Greece this weekend. Sunday officially marks the first day of Autumn but many Britains have already turned the central heating on because temperatures dipped to an average of 14C/57F this September. Autumn has made an early appearance in Nature.


Forecasters expect a gradual return to average temperatures for this time of year, with a high of 20C on Sunday and possibly 24C early next week.

The summary for policymakers of the most recent report from the IPCC – Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change, states that the world is warming at a rate of 0.12C per decade since 1951, compared to a prediction of 0.13C per decade in their last assessment published in 2007. Another admission in the latest document includes the suggestion that forecast computers may not have taken enough notice of natural variability in the climate, therefore exaggerating the effect of increased carbon emissions on world temperatures.


One of the central issues is believed to be why the IPCC failed to account for the “pause” in global warming, which they admit that they did not predict in their computer models. Since 1997, world average temperatures have not shown any statistically significant increase. The summary also shows that scientist have now discovered that between 950 and 1250 AD, before the Industrial Revolution, parts of the world were as warm for decades at a time as they are now.

The proportion of people who do not believe in climate change has more than quadrupled since 2005, according to a government-funded survey. Public support for wind and solar power as an alternative to fossil fuels has fallen sharply over the same period, with gas the only form of electricity production now perceived more favourably.

20th September, 2013

Beautiful, cool – 20C/68F – morning at 7.00 am. The sky has a pinky orange hue and a silver moon still shines through the thin cloud.


Looks like some illegal work is going on on the community path at the side of our land today. Thought we’d go up and invite an official – maybe the Mayor – to witness it.

It may be his fever but Skiathan Man seems to have become obsessed with IKEA bags and crushed boxes. Never mind, I’m obsessed with Pinot Grigio bottles and crushed ice. The only difference is, I don’t bother to count them!

As Skiathan Man will recall, the 19th century, romantic poet, William Wordsworth, wrote in his celebrated poem, Ode: Intimations of Immortality:

…trailing clouds of glory do we come
 From God….


Well, these clouds came from Milos but where is the rain?

21st September, 2013

An overcast early morning with a hint of rain was soon replaced by dry, hot sun.

The motorway development continues apace:



Week 247

8th September, 2013

Coffee at the café and then jobs around the garden. We meet our friend the proprietor of Absynthe Pauline finished cleaning the bathrooms. They look as if they were newly tiled yesterday. I have been uprooting leaky pipe from mature trees that don’t need it any longer. I will use it in the vegetable garden next year.

Early and wonderful swim in beautifully clear but quite crisp water. Hardly anyone there at 1.30 pm on a Sunday. Home for shower and then out to Vathi for lunch to our favourite restaurant on the beach. We had salad and grilled fish in idyllic surroundings. We were amazed to find little, secluded Vathi really busy with lots of older, well-heeled tourists who were lingering over expensive meals.


9th September, 2013

Reasonably warm – about 27C/81F – but rather breezy day. September wind has an edge to it and can be particularly felt first thing in the morning and when the sun goes down. As a result, we decided swimming wouldn’t be the most pleasurable experience and gave it a miss.

Spent some time in the garden grubbing up kilometres of leaky pipe which have been down since the trees and bushes were planted. They have largely outgrown the system’s capabilities. I will recycle it in the vegetable garden next year.

I have certainly written before that my daily drug prescription is enough to increase my weight in itself and would certainly require a pension of its own if it were not entirely free. Diabetics get free prescriptions. Over-60s get free prescriptions . Being an over-60 diabetic, I am considering charging the Health Service for the right to supply me. I get pills for my diabetes, for my blood pressure, statins like every other person in the world and warfarin for my atrial fibrillation. I am not proud of it, I can tell you, and I’d much rather not take them but, if they give me a better life, so be it.

Eyebrows were raised in the new surgery in Surrey when I asked for a six month’s supply of my prescription. I told them, quite innocently, that we were going to our Greek house. They told me that they could only write prescriptions for two months duration and, if we were out of the country for more than three months, we would be taken off our surgery’s books. Apparently, new rules about health tourism mean that people cheat the system so regularly that they had to tighten up the rules. As soon as they realised that we were genuine, a doctor took us aside and told us how to build up a increasing supply of our prescription drugs by reordering early so that, by the time we come away, I have more than a six month supply with me. Originally, they said I should buy my own drugs in Greece. That was never going to happen. For one thing, I probably couldn’t source half the items and, for another, after 40 years of paying in to the system, there was no way we were going to be disadvantaged because of those not entitled cheating the system. I have just put in a repeat prescription and will return to 6 months drugs when I get back.

10th September, 2013

Magical, magical day. Wonderful weather – calm and reaching 31C/88F – and very quiet island. This is the quietest September we can remember. The beach and sea were almost deserted when we had a wonderful swim at around 4.00 pm..

This morning we went down for the Postal ritual. Then back home to read the paper before I did watering while Pauline threw the strongest weed-killer known to man at every plant that has had the temerity to grow where we didn’t invite it. I did a bit more ground clearance and then collapsed exhausted. After that, the swim was so refreshing.

The cat has gone beserk. Our local supermarket has an Italian brand of catfood for the discerning cat. Mother Cat loves – with a passion – a mix of salmon and beef with gravy. She can’t get enough of it. Well, I’m quite tempted myself. Today, however, Pauline had some Lamb which she has had in the freezer since Easter. We have just under a month until we leave and her judgement is that we won’t eat this lamb after all this time. She decided to give it to the cat. It was enough for two, big, cat meals.

After the first meal at 6.00 pm which was bolted down, Mother Cat sat at the back door until Pauline relented and gave her half of the other portion. Ten minutes later, Mother Cat broke all known conventions and walked all round the outside of the house to where we were sitting under the pergola to demand more lamb. She has never done anything like that before. We couldn’t refuse her. Pauline gave her the rest of the lamb. Goodness knows how she ate it. This really is a feral cat with style.


Apostolis, our neighbour who works at the Electricity Company called round to discuss recent developments. I’m glad we’ve got to know him. Going round to our amanuensis and husband for lunch in the next couple of weeks. Should be fun.

11th September, 2013

The Community path alongside our road has been attacked again. Fortunately, I’ve been photo-cataloguing it. This time, on the pretext of sorting out the drainage, what was once a donkey track is being turned into a motorway. The photos taken today show that digging out yesterday went far into the rock beyond what was needed for drainage pipes and the preparation work is clearly for concrete to build improved access. As you can clearly see, the gable of our wall has been badly damaged in the process.


Our neighbour came by this evening to see what had been done and then brought others to look at it. The police have been round a few times recently. I expect them again tomorrow. Fortunately, I have plenty of ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos to illustrate the enormous changes taking place.

12th September, 2013

The unauthorised desecration of this Community path continues along its author’s ‘slowly slowly’ plan. Locals have checked with Syros and Milos in the last couple of days and no authorisation has been given for this activity. There was no need for the drainage work. The gully was good enough as it was. We know a number of locals who are furious about the cavalier behaviour. We will hand stage by stage photographs to them from pre-digging to now so they can illustrate their complaints to the police and we are off to Syros in just over a week to make our own case.


As you can see, the one thing this is not about is drainage.

13th September, 2013

A hot, muggy, sticky day. This sort of weather rather saps one’s energy. However, we had a good swim in a pleasantly deserted sea.

Our amanuensis phoned to invite us to lunch tomorrow. That will be nice. The Notary has invited us for Monday. It is good to talk.

14th September, 2013

A really enjoyable day. Simple pleasures like shopping started the day. Later, we read the newspapers and relaxed. A sharp swim across the bay and back and then off to Lunch at the home of our amanuensis. We had a delicious salad with spinach pie


followed by a wonderful dish of chicken and celery and finishing with bitter chocolate ice cream. The food was wonderful but the conversation was even better. We stayed for at least three hours and arranged for them to come up to us next week.

Drove home to watch the football. Really enjoyed Man. City held to a draw by Stoke and then Chelsea being beaten by Everton. Both were good matches.

Week 246

1st September, 2013


A new week, a new month, a new season. Same old world. Happy September everyone.

Last night, the road outside our house was like a motorway for a couple of hours as all the world drove through the darkness up to the monastery – Agios Simeon. Cars, taxis, bikes – they all roared up the mountain and, soon afterwards, roared back down. We are thinking of turning it into a toll road – a small fee of, perhaps, €10.00 each way would suffice and make us a bit of pocket money.

2nd September, 2013

Spent the entire day preparing a legal submission. I am absolutely exhausted. Must be a sign of age. This depth of research, analysis and argument presentation I could usually knock up between meetings. I’m just completely out of practice. I’m told it has been a lovely day. I’ve seen none of it.

Booked a couple of days in Syros soon to speak to officials in Ermoupolis. Also, must go up to the Community Office this week.

3rd September, 2013

Going up to Apollonia after the Post this morning. Spoke to our amanuensis for advice. Will speak on the phone later. Called in at Germanos to enquire about our OTE TV bill. We haven’t had one yet. When we speak to them, we are told our first few months are free on special introductory offer. Our mobile internet is still free also. We just can’t get them to take our money.

4th September, 2013

Just one of those magic days. September is delightful. The temperature has reached 29C/85F but it was a cool night and a delightfully cool start to the day.

The vegetable patch has been running out of steam for a week now and, although I could feed it to keep it going, we only have four and a half week left so I decided to give up on it. Today we cleared the vegetable garden with the exception of the Rocket plants which are going strong and should get through the winter. I then dug it and limed it in readiness for the winter rains. Let’s hope they come.

Later, we had a lovely, long swim although the water wasn’t as warm as we would have liked. We felt better for having put in the effort. We ate roast pork for Dinner outside. The temperature was decidedly cool. It isn’t hard to believe it’s September and we’ll soon be in long sleeves.

5th September, 2013

Another wonderful day. The temperature was just 23C/73F when we left the house at 8.00 am and, although it did climb to 29C/85F by mid-afternoon, it never really felt terribly hot. There was always a slight, Autumn-ish edge on the breeze. In spite of this, we did some more garden clearing and then went down for a lovely, long swim. Went to Captain Andreas tavern for a late lunch – very simple but delicious. We had a huge Greek Salad to start and followed that with large platefuls of small silver fishes dusted in flour and then deep fried with garlic sauce and a gallon of crisp white wine plus a bottle of water. A sign of the times – the whole lot came to €29.00 or less than £25.00.

Each year at this time, Sifnos hosts a three-day festival of traditional Greek cooking. The festival is entitled Nikolaos Tselementes, who was the most famous Greek cook from Sifnos and was the first who wrote a Greek recipe book, describing the entire traditional Greek kitchen.


Representatives of 10 Cycladic islands have stalls to advertise their wares and there is music and socialising.


We usually go on one of the evenings but this year, especially, we went to support our friend and amanuensis who had a stall there. We met lots of friends. We saw Sophia who retired from the restaurant business last year. She was looking very brown and relaxed. She said she now had time for sun bathing. We met Apostelos, our neighbour, carrying a huge bag of cheeses which we know he loves. We met our butcher without blood on his hands for once and we met Dinos who fitted our OTE TV box. All lovely people who it is a delight to talk to.

The one person who we had hoped to meet because we need to speak to him was the Mayor. We know him well and have done since he was a shy teenager but he is now very much man about town doing an important job. We didn’t see him there. We will probably have to make an appointment.

6th September, 2013

The glorious days keep coming. Little breeze, a pleasant temperature of 26C/79F after a night time temperature of 22C/70F. Last year at the Food Festival where we were last night we remember being uncomfortably sweaty. Not last night. It was perfect.

Catching up with British and American correspondence this morning. later, I am contracted by my wife to clean the patio. Those pesky grasshoppers keep messing up all round the plants.


7th September, 2013

Another lovely day as we have just four weeks left in our house for this year. We have reached 31C/88F at mid-afternoon.

Our bedside alarm goes off at 6.30 am come rain or shine. Pauline leaps out of bed as if she’s been shot at 7.00 am on the dot where ever we are. Now, we also have a natural alarm clock. Right outside our bedroom patio doors we have a Bottlebrush bush or Callistemon to give it its correct name. Ours is flowering again and providing September food for clouds of small bees. I woke at five this morning to the loud and distinctive hum of the swarm as they fed outside our bedroom.


I’ve been pruning bushes and watering while Pauline’s been cleaning bathrooms. Going swimming to relax after the One o’clock News on BBC Radio 4. ….Been swimming. It was delightful. Hardly anyone on the beach or in the sea. And this is a Saturday. It means the Season is over. Kids go back to school on Wednesday. Go kids!

Talking about crickets, which we were doing yesterday, there is a report in The Times of a chap who loved the sound of crickets in the Mediterranean buying a thousand over the internet and releasing them in his English garden. Not only will they almost certainly die during the winter but he is being severely censured for running the risk of importing diseases to the UK.