Week 263

29th December, 2013

A surprisingly sharp frost this morning followed by a wonderfully sunny day. Our next door neighbour came round with a bunch of flowers. They are lovely. I really love cut flowers in the house. The General is very generous and they brighten up the table.


We are having a fairly quiet day in today. Pauline is making fresh cream ice cream for our anniversary meal tomorrow. I am hard at work with The Sunday Times and a couple of football matches.

At this time 35 years ago, we were both exhausted having done everything we could to prepare for our wedding. We lived on the edge of the Pennines – on the Yorkshire side – and it had begun to snow heavily. To make matters worse, the Council workers and particularly the Gritting Team, had gone on strike. Paulines’s family would be trying to get to us across the treacherous Pennines from Lancashire and my family were arriving from Derbyshire and all other points around the country.

30th December, 2013

At this time (9.30 am) on this day in 1978 I was nervous. I was getting married at 11.30 am but it wasn’t that. Pauline’s family who only lived 15 miles away but over the Pennines had just phoned to say they were struggling to get to us. I hadn’t heard from members of mine at all who were driving from points all over the country.

wedding1  wedding2

You have to remember that fashions were different in 1978! Suffice it to say, we had an absolutely magical day. Everybody DID manage to arrive and the day was a joy but not as wonderful as the ensuing 35 years. It is hard to believe, now, that it was so long ago.

31st December, 2013

Having spent the past twelve months denying myself carbohydrates, I celebrated our Wedding Anniversary by cooking Risotto for Dinner which we ate with a bottle of Champagne. Pauline’s contribution was chocolate soufflé with melting middle and delicious, homemade, double cream ice cream. Anyway, we’re back on the waggon on Wednesday.

Today we’ve done an hour at the gym which was busy with workers on holiday. Disgraceful! They should all be back at work by now.

This evening’s meal will be barbecued spare ribs with a really good bottle of red wine and then Champagne at midnight. When (if) we wake up in 2014, the discipline starts again for another twelve months. Pauline’s already got the clothes catalogues out – but no Boden!

1st January, 2014


We wish you all a wonderful New Year. Of course, we remember welcoming in 1960 and the ‘white hot revolution of Technology; 1984 with excitement and trepidation of ‘Big Brother’s’ visit; 2000 and the ‘Millennium Bug’ that failed to materialise. What will 2014 bring? Let’s hope it brings our family and friends what they would wish for themselves and Skiathan Man more fish than he can eat. Maybe we will meet sometime soon. Happy New Year to Bart Simpson, to the Skopelos team , to those at Simi Dream and to Simon Baddeley at Democracy Street.

2nd January, 2014

Up at 6.00 am and down to the hospital by 6.40 am. Urgent blood test and home by 7.00 am.. The darkness at 7.00 am gave way to a beautifully sunny morning with bright, clear blue skies. After some ‘Office’ work, we went off to the gym for an hour or so. It was reasonably quiet although not all have gone back to work yet. Workers are just being too indulged by those soft employers these days.

Beginning of the new year is always software renewal time for me. My strongest I.T. advice to anyone on the internet is to purchase and install a good virus checker. I wouldn’t advise freeware for this. I use Norton 360 for my machines. It has dug me out of lots of problems.


It can be expensive. A standard price from Norton is around £59.99 for 12 months cover for three machines. Norton flag up the date for renewal constantly and it is easy to click and pay. Two minutes search on the net reveals the same product half price from Total Computing – £29.99. We use a desktop and two laptops so the cover is very economical.

3rd January, 2014

Up a bit later today after a long day yesterday but we were out at the supermarket for weekly shopping by 9.30 am. Television news was full of flooding, high tides and strong winds but there is no sign of any at the moment. Apparently, Cobham, which is less than nine miles away, is cut off by floods.

Now 12.30 pm and the skies have gone black and we have thunder & lightning and heavy rain. Neighbours are just in the middle of having a satellite dish erected on the roof. What fun!

Although I can hardly believe what I am writing and the old me would never have done so, our only meal today has been a fish salad with a glass of sparkling water and I’ve loved it. Cold cured salmon and smoked salmon dressed with olive oil and lemon on a bed of mixed leaves. All this fish I’m eating, I’ll turn into Skiathan Man soon! I also opened a pack of coffee I received for Christmas. It was a revelation.


I must say thank you to Mandy. I shall certainly buy some more of this.

4th January, 2014

An unpleasant day outside today – wet, cold and windy. Unfortunately, I have to take Pauline to the Nuffield Hospital in Runnymede to see a Specialist about a little cyst on the joint of her toe.

The newspapers are headlining runaway house prices across the UK over the past year. The area we left three years ago is still showing a negative figure – of minus 1.5% whereas our area is galloping away with +11.5%. All our lives in the North of England we have been watching this disparity grow. Now we are hitching a ride on it although we don’t know for how long.

When I had my blood test at the hospital on Monday, I came straight home and tested it myself with my new machine. The home test produced INR = 3.7. Today, my hospital result arrived by post. It said INR = 3.7. Although the result is outside my 2.0 – 3.0 range, it was reassuring to know that my machine and process was accurate. I have just got to stop eating green leaf vegetables because the vitamin K decreases my coagulant capacity. What does one eat to lose weight?

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