Week 254

27th October, 2013

Well, what a lazy day. Newspapers and football like a real couch potato. Quite enjoyed it really. Warm outside and has just started raining late into the evening. The TV News is all about the coming storm. It has started to hit the south coast already.


Rush hour is cancelled tomorrow. Trains and flights in London are on hold and commuters are told to stay at home. Our house is totally surrounded by thirty foot trees. Sleep well!

28th October, 2013

Well the Big Wind turned out to be a small puff for us. We heard and saw nothing. Stories in the morning media of trees down in central London, 99 mph gales on the south coast, torrential rain in Wales. Surrey was like a mild and dry oasis of calm for us but this is a house demollished by a fallen tree in Edenbridge, just 39 miles from our house.


This morning it is bright and 11C/51F at 9.00 am. We are off to the Health Club for a good, long swim after an inactive weekend. Tonight we are at the Nuffield Hospital for Pauline to see a consultant about a problem with her foot. Private Healthcare bought by the NHS. This is how Pauline & I did it before we retired. You don’t often see this on the NHS. It’s nice of them to keep in the manner to which we are accustomed!


I wonder how much they are paying?

29th October, 2013

It is an absolutely gorgeous morning. Blue skies and strong sun. We still haven’t seen (felt) any wind. I am off to look at my sister-in-law’s broadband router which is playing up and then for a swim.

Nowadays I am confident to weigh myself every morning. Since arriving back in Surrey, four weeks ago, the scales are reading 19 lbs/8.6 kg/1st 5 lbs less. I have been losing just over half a pound per day. I’m hoping that this will accelerate now that I am on my no-alcohol three months.

30th October, 2013

It looks a bit as if Greek Islands are becoming no-go areas during these winter months. We are thinking of making a flying visit to the house next month but the connections are awful. At the moment, I can only find to ferries in and two out in a week. Kathimerini has been reporting the laying up of ferries because the price of fuel has made them uneconomic during winter. Skiathan Man  and Skopelos Woman report major changes to their connections.


We had a request from someone desperate to buy our duplex apartment this morning. They’re moving into the area and need to be within walking distance of the train to London Waterloo. They want two bedrooms and are prepared to pay a premium for the seclusion that our gated development would afford them. Pauline has booked a valuer to see what we can reasonably ask after three years of ownership. Once again, if we were to sell, I would prefer to sell it furnished. Anyway, we will see what transpires.

31st October, 2013

A man from Townends Estate Agents called this morning. He walked round and appraised our duplex apartment. He gave us a valuation that left us gasping. It meant that, in just under three years ownership, it had increased its value by just under £100,000.00. His estimate was that, if we put it on the market in the next month, he would have a signed up a buyer within six weeks. It all makes the Yorkshire property market look pretty sick.

Having got over the shock, we went round to see Phyllis and Colin. The new BT Hub had arrived so I installed it for them and set their ipad up to wirelessly access it. By the time we got home, it was time for my own IT Engineer to arrive to install a new powerpack in my seven year old desktop computer. It took him forty minutes and, with the price of the new pack, cost me £100.00.

1st November, 2013


My lovely sister asked me recently what the white rabbit was all about. Of course, anybody who has been out of Bolton will know that white rabbits are lucky and that, traditionally, one tries to be the first to wish one’s loved ones ‘White Rabbit’ on the first day of a new month to make their days filled with luck. Of course, we don’t all have a spouse who prods us in the ribs at one minute after midnight – asleep or not – to wish us ‘White Rabbit’. That takes real love – or something!

A calm and mild but not too bright day for the start of November. The apartment has a narrow fluctuation of temperature between 22C/70F – 24C/75F but it is all maintained by the lights and our body temperatures. We just do not use the heating at all. Last winter, in the deepest cold, we needed the central heating occasionally but the total cost of all our heating and hot water for the year was £199.00.

It looks as if my much-loved seven year old computer could not be revived with the just a new powerpack installed yesterday. It needs a new motherboard and that is a step too far. I might as well buy a new computer. I ordered one this morning. Even that was a fraught process. As I tried to pay on-line, I was told that my credit card was blocked. I phoned the card company who put me through to the ‘Fraud Department’ who told me it was just a routine action to make sure my card was not being used by anyone else. I had to go through the whole process all over again. The new computer will be ready to pick up tomorrow. I’m going to order a new iPad Air as well. Pauline will take over my old one.


2nd November, 2013

A special friend from Sifnos phoned this morning to tell us we had received an electricity bill. Fortunately, not only is it paid directly from our Greek Bank Account but I monitor it remotely on the internet. However, it was lovely to hear from her and about what’s going on on the island. What hasn’t been happening is rain. She is going to activate a watering programme immediately.

I don’t know if I dare tell you this but retirement has made me even more of a ‘thrifty geek’ than before. We have time to search out the best prices for everything. When a supermarket offers ‘two for one’, half price items, I can’t see the point in buying a few. Why not forward buy for the year. Dishwasher tablets are expensive items. Today, they were on a half price offer. We bought enough to last a year. Half will go to Greece. We have a huge storage cupboard in the garage which is a wine cellar but now also contains lots of comparatively expensive products which, just over the past couple of days, have cost/saved us £300.00. It does feel a little ‘confessional’ admitting that to you.

I’m going to spend the rest of the weekend setting up my new omputer and installing software – in between football matches. Ruth will be pleased this weekend because Bolton have won.

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