Week 258

24th November, 2013

Apparently, a calendar year consists of 52.1775 weeks. On that basis, five years is 260.8875 weeks. As a result, the Blog will start its sixth year on Sunday, December 15th. I’m sure all readers will want to put out the flags – or something. I suggest something like this could be flown for the week:


Still, you’ve got a couple of weeks to prepare.

25th November, 2013

Lovely, sunny morning through the autumn leaves of the oaks around the property. Pauline is refreshing the kitchen by re-painting the walls. It will take about an hour. Then, she will move on to the hall and stairs where furniture moving in created a few scrapes and re-settlement has left a few cracks. This sort of thing is an absolute joy for Pauline who thrives on it. She intends it to look perfect if and when we put it on the market. Someone else who lives in the Development dropped in for coffee on Sunday and confirmed our recent property valuation which had seemed so optimistic to us. A number of tenants had commissioned valuations and were thinking of cashing in on huge increases.

My job this morning is to find a new home for various ISAs which mature over the next few months – We have a number of 2-year fixes at 3.7% with Halifax coming towards conclusion in January and February and 4% ISAs with Santander maturing in April. These are rates one can only dream of today. The longest I’m prepared to fix for is two years and I don’t even want to do that. The best rate for a two year fix currently is 2.0%. With CPI currently running at 2.2% and RPI at 2.6%, they will lose us money. We also use an instant access, on-line savings account which our own bank, NatWest offers a generous 0.5% on. We use a Post Office account which at least offers 1.5% and we will still be losing money.

26th November, 2013

This is a week of high pressure bring settled weather with lots of clear, blue skies, strong, low sun and chilly nights and mornings. We are in the last days of November but the Autumn trees are still glorious and very slow to relinquish their leaves.

We went to shop in a newly extended Sainsburys in Knaphill. It is bigger than a number of football pitches put together and really could do with its own taxi service to get around the shelves. Certainly, I lost a few pounds in weight shopping there.


Later, we went on to the gym to lose a few more pounds. I’m aiming for a look-alike competition with Jane B.G..

27th November, 2013

I have spent the day working as an IT technician for Phyllis. Her ancient laptop has been in need of overhaul for some time. Hard drive clean-up, software tighten-up, virus protection, internet speed-up. Four hours later, things don’t look too bad and she is back on track. Part of the problem is that she is still on Vista .


The work took so long, we forwent swimming which we had intended to do. The evening ended well with United’s 0-5 demolition of Bayer Leverkusen.

28th November, 2013

It is remarkably mild for the dog days of November. This morning I have been instructed to prepare and print address labels for all our Christmas cards – about 60 in all. The Greek ones will be posted soon. Pauline is touching up the paintwork in the hall, stairs and landing. We are going to squeeze in an hour at the gym before the Burglar Alarm man returns to complete the renewal of our system.

29th November, 2013

At 10.30 am, the temperature here was 11C/5F which was exactly the same as Skiathan Man was reporting. I was driving Pauline to the dentist for a replacement (£700.00) front tooth veneer. She has needed since we were in Greece and, at last, it is ready. She is going off to London tomorrow with her sister Christmas shopping and needs to look her best.

So far this year we haven’t even seen any frost although the North has even seen a bit of snow. This picture appeared in the papers this morning:


It accompanied reports of a terrible three month winter on the way. This is the headline in the Daily Express:

100 DAYS OF HEAVY SNOW: Britain now facing worst winter in 60 YEARS 

and they accompany their article with a back copy of the newspaper from winter 1947 which is always cited as the worst winter of ‘modern times’ although, presumably, not as bad as the last Ice Age. Even so, it’s bound to all be blamed on Global Warming.


These forecasts are accompanied by those of airports closing for weeks on end and the lights going out because of demands made on the National Grid. And it all begins next week! Amusingly, we received our Winter Fuel Payment from the Government. The £200.00/€240.00 is just slightly more than the whole of our heating and hot water bill came to last year.

30th November, 2013

The last day of November and my wife has left me. Well, for a day. She has gone to London to do clothes shopping with her sister. They have booked a table at a lovely restaurant – The Opera Tavern which is just opposite the Drury Lane theatre and near Covent Garden. She will be able top eat with gay abandon without worrying about my diet. It will do her good.


It’s funny but I feel quite lost. Pauline and I are rarely more than a room away even when we were at work. We have only spent one night apart since 1978 and that was when she was in hospital. I’ve got to make my own coffee.

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