Week 271

23rd February, 2014

A quiet but very mild day which reached 14C/57F which is well above the seasonal average which is 8C/46F on this day. We’ve had a quiet day but Pauline’s sister and her husband had some bad news.

Colin’s younger brother died in hospital this morning of a heart attack. Pauline & I both know from experience that the death of someone closely related jolts one’s system and forces one to confront one’s own mortality.

24th February, 2014

Glorious, glorious day in Surrey with clear blue skies, strong sun and relatively mild temperatures predicted to reach 14C/57F today. I’ve spent the morning sorting out the next batch of ISAs which mature in a week’s time. We have some more to do in early April although we’ve decided not to buy new ones until the end of the year this time giving us time to get more clarity about interest rates. We can shelter £11,880.00 from tax for the new financial year but the amount earnable on that is small. If we both put in our maximum cash allowance we would earn £178.00. One has to wonder if it’s worth the bother. The only upside caveat to that is the CPI has dropped to 1.9%.

25th February, 2014

The day started with sun but soon moved in to torrential rain. It feels mild although it is only 12C/54F. We have been finalising visits for our trip to Yorkshire/Lancashire at the beginning of April. It centres around our information seeking visit to Pauline’s relatives to check out our research on the Family Tree and  then to have Dinner with two, old school colleagues. We are staying in a Holiday Inn at Brighouse as we did last winter and we will have our car serviced while we are there.

I’m really looking forward to the moorland between Lancashire and Yorkshire. I don’t think you can beat it for emotional contact with the world.

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Today, we are free to do what we like so we are off to the Health Centre to work on our fitness. We are expecting Jane Bennett to appear at the Centre one day soon – probably as a Trainer.

26th February, 2014

Another delicious day of warm sunshine in Surrey. We went out early for Pauline’s appointment with a ‘hearing test’. For ages now I’ve been telling her she’s going deaf and she’s been replying that I mumble. Today we got the definitive answer. I am going for elocution lessons!

The next task today is to sort out my wardrobe and bag up all the clothes to go to the charity shop. For the last ten years, I have been spending £30.00 – £40.00 per shirt from CTShirts (Charles Tyrrwhitt). I notice that the price has come down since the recession and they probably wouldn’t set the world of fashion alight particularly if you shop at Boden but I loved them.


They are now far too big and I rarely wear a shirt & tie now anyway. They are going for someone else to enjoy. Pauline is happily disposing of them as well as many other items some of which were bought as transitional garments last year.

I had a bit of a heart/blood pressure blip at the gym yesterday so we are giving it a miss today.

27th February, 2014

I’ve had a postal relationship with my friend, Caroline, for the past twenty years. I employed her as an Attendance Officer at my school all those years ago. She had attended the school as a pupil from the first day it opened in 1951 – the year I was born – and had come back to serve as a representative of the Local Authority until I bought her in as a privatised service when the LEA retreated under financial stress. Since she retired, she has travelled to almost all points of the Globe and sent me cards, hundreds of them, when she wanted to share her experiences with a friend. I have tried to reciprocate.

Not so long ago, Caroline was writing to me from South America and, yesterday, I received a card from Goathland. I had to check the map to see where it was and suddenly realised that I had once been near it when I did the Lyke Wake Walk with College friends one inebriated night. It is in North Yorkshire near Robin Hood’s Bay. It is a beautiful spot.


28th February, 2014

Farewell to February and officially welcome Spring tomorrow. Actually, Spring arrived in Surrey some time ago. Mild and sunny, the weather has been one of the nine warmest winters on record along with the wettest. The trees are in blossom and the daffodils are blooming. The trees are bursting with the weight of new buds.


We were visited last night, in the South, by the Northern Lights or as we learned in school is called the Aurora Borealis. How wonderful is this?

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On a more mundane level, I had to see the dentist today to be delivered the wonderful news that I require a crown at the cost of £650.00. It will be done in the next couple of weeks at the practice in Westminster near Pimlico.

1st March, 2014

Welcome March and welcome Spring. The sun is out. It’s warm and bright and daffodils are opening. Happy new month to you all.


The Skiathan is a bit downbeat as he records: It’s another dreary start to the day. Skopelos News is anticipating: dreary weekend with a big chance of rain. Symi Dream says: Let’s hope the rain holds off. It can only get better!

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