Week 253

20th October, 2013

We have been away from our Greek home for four weeks now and back in Surrey for three. Who is winding thast clock? After a busy and social few days, it is nice to have some solitude and quiet. Sunday papers and making plans for the next two or three weeks. At lunch, Pauline made tomato, roast garlic and basil soup. It was delicious. I had a glass of Castle Hill beer. Anybody who knows Hudderfield – like Kevin – will know that Castle Hill is a famous, Huddersfield landmark. I rarely drink beer but I couldn’t resist a couple of bottles from Mallinsons, a micro-brewery from Lockwood in Huddersfield. I bought Castle Hill Premium beer and Emley Moor Mild. I drank the former today and it was just lovely.

beer1 beer2

21st October, 2013

Looks like a wet and windy week ahead. It’s alright for Skiathan Man lazing round in the sun. I am back on the Health Club treadmill – literally!

Pauline’s booked us Dentist Appointments, Doctors Appointments and my Annual Diabetic Review. I’ve booked two return trips to France with Eurotunnel for November and December. You’ve got to get your priorities right.

After a few indulgences after the past few weeks – driving back across Europe and staying in a string of Hotels then driving up to Yorkshire and eating out with friends – my weight has been on a plateau. Now all of that is over, I have decided to refocus. I am going to do three months without alcohol and to tighten up on my food intake. At the same time, I am going to increase my activity level. I aim to lose two stone by Christmas and another two stone by mid-March when we leave for Greece.

Went for a really enjoyable session at the Health Club including a hard swim. My one meal today, cooked by Pauline, was absolutely fantastic. We ate oven-baked loin of halibut with roasted tomatoes, asparagus and samphire tossed in garlic oil all accompanied by sparkling water. I haven’t eaten samphire before. I really enjoyed it and will certainly eat it again.


22nd October, 2013

For the past two years – since we downsized – I have been storing 30 or so large framed prints that were hanging on the walls of our previous house. They are Pre-Raphaelite and the years immediately afterwards – including Waterhouse and Whistler. They are generally 3ft x 2 ft in dimension and they will never fit in a property that we own in the future.

This is Dante Gabriel Rosetti : Beata Beatrix


and Proserpine (1874)


This is Waterhouse – The Soul of the Rose (1908)


and Miranda – The Tempest (1916)


Each one cost £100 – £150.00 and, although I don’t expect that for them, I do want a reasonable return on them. How shall I sell them? They are impossible to send in the post. I don’t want dozens of buyers trekking to our house. We are going to a local art shop in West Byfleet to get some advice.

23rd October, 2013

Lovely, warm and dry sunny day where the temperature reached 20C/68F and the autumn trees glowed with colour. A morning of minor jobs.

  • Collected a new pressure cooker from Argos.
  • Wrote to Margaret.
  • Investigated Campervan sites near Woking for Brian to try.
  • Paid money into the Bank.
  • Read the paper.

Watched Primeminister’s Question Time as Ed Miliband took Cameron’s Energy ‘policy’ apart and left him spluttering. The Tories now – in the face of their Coalition partners – pledge to get rid of Green Taxes. It’s all coming apart at the seams.

Went for a lovely swim in a deserted pool and came home about 4.00 pm to cook our one meal of the day – Pork chops with grilled onions and garlic mushrooms. We are on Day 3 of the alcohol ban and it is not a problem.

24th October, 2013

A beautiful, sunny day and how do I spend it? Tidying out the garage. I must be mad!

The day turned into one of real disappointment. I have been really looking forward to moving to superfast, fibre-optic broadband from BT. It should be installed next week. Having read through the paperwork, however, I find that I can only access it via Ethernet to the main socket which is used by Sky TV in the corner of the lounge. I have two, unusable (for fibre-optic) phone sockets in the Study upstairs. I’ve had to phone to cancel the installation. To their credit, both companies made the process of cancelling and reinstating my broadband connection so easy. It’s a disappointment but that’s life!

25th October, 2013

A beautiful, Autumnal morning in which the temperature reached 21C/69F. We are off to a new Dentist in Chobham. Pauline is told she needs two fillings and a veneer whch will cost about £600.00. I need just to clean my teeth better. What a cheek! I had had to pay £28.00 to be told that.

Yesterday I searched the internet for pheasants sold in Surrey. I picked a farm shop called Garsons in Esher. It’s only about fifteen minutes drive away. It is also a Garden Centre. I phoned them and they said they would put half a dozen birds aside for me. Today we drove there and found a foodies’ wonderland. This was the view outside this morning:


This is what we bought.

gc2 gc3

Large pheasant cost £4.49 which is a very reasonable price. They were sourced in Hampshire by Bevan’s Butchers which had an outlet inside.

26th October, 2013

A disappointingly dull day and we are waiting for the storms to come. Of course, Nature provides strong winds at this time to encourage the trees to strip but this is forecast to be the worst storm for 25 or so years. As we live totally surrounded by tall trees, it will be an interesting Sunday night. If you see leaves on trees, get out and look now. They will be gone by Tuesday.


Newspapers and football have become the order of Saturdays. When you’re retired, it is far wiser to avoid shopping with the Great Unwashed at the weekend. Last night, Pauline cooked braised pheasant with cauliflower and sprouts. It was great to have those lovely, strong gamey flavours. Today, it is my turn and I’m doing Moules Marinières again because I’m addicted to it and it really sits well with my diet as long as I leave out the cream.


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