Week 274

16th March, 2014

It can’t last much longer but today has been glorious again with clear, blue skies and strong sunshine. The temperature has reached 20C/68F and the windows have been open all day. Pauline has been outside doing some garden tidying. In this weather, everybody has been outside somewhere.

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Today we ordered a new Kindle E-Book Reader from Amazon. Pauline loves hers which is entering its fourth year and this is a newer, lighter and more powerful edition. She has literally hundreds of books on it. The real beauty of it is the free, 3G wireless internet connection which allows her to buy and download books and magazines but also to get email and even browse the web.

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The Tablet, a leather cover and superfast charger all delivered in two days only cost £200.00. A Bargain! Pauline will get hours, days and years of happy reading from it. She can have one in the Lounge and one in the bedroom and they will both synchronise to open at the right page for her reading automatically.

17th March, 2014

The beautiful weather has gone! It was still here at 7.00 am but, as predicted, clouded over by 10.30 am. Fortunately, I stumbled across this infallible weather forecasting kit on Twitter.


We’ve reached 17C/62F this afternoon and it feels pleasant. The countryside surrounding our drive to the Health Club is a riot of optimistic colour.

18th March, 2014

A day of sun and cloud. The little cherry sapling planted outside our home is starting to come in to its own.


We haven’t seen snow or even cold weather this year. We are hoping that spell won’t be broken when we go up to Yorkshire in a week or so.

Our grounds were those of a Nineteenth Century Convent. All the planting is from the brooding, peaceful past. Deep in our wooded surrounds, huge Camellia trees are blossoming profusely but out of sight. Ever the intrepid explorer, I waded in with secateurs and brought back a bounty of pink and white blooms. Pauline trimmed them up and arranged them beautifully.


We touched 17C/63F this afternoon with pleasant, intermittent sunshine and one, brief, light shower. It has rained on five of the past ten March 18ths.

19th March, 2014

An overcast morning which is forecast to reach 17C/63F. We are leaving for a holiday in Yorkshire in a week or so and Pauline is organising our requirements while I am contacting friends to make arrangements to meet up. We’ve booked hotels and restaurants for reunion meals already. It is Budget Day in Britain so I will be glued to the Broadcast of the speeches at midday. With a election only just over a year away, we can expect some (bribes) giveaways.

As we drove away from the Health Centre this afternoon, the gauge on the dashboard reported 21C/69F outside. It certainly felt like Summer although are told there are cooler times ahead.

Certainly, the Budget warmed things up a little. The tax we pay doesn’t kick in until each person has earned £10,000.00 and that will increase by another £500.00 next year. The ISA, tax-free cash savings allowance is going up from £5,760.00 per year to £15,000.00 per person. Pauline & I can stash away £30,000.00 jointly per annum without paying tax. The Help to Buy Scheme which appears to be fuelling house prices down here is being extended to 2020. A new (4.0%) National Savings Bond will come in by 2015 to help savers. We will take this help and then vote Labour in next year. Ironically, Santander wrote to us today to say that our £24,000.00 at 4.0%, two year ISA would mature in May and be transferred into a 1.00% alternative which will be less than half the inflation rate.

20th March, 2014

Out early to the local hospital for an INR check to assure myself that my own machine is working accurately. This will be the third and last time this year. I agreed with my GP that I would have it serviced and recalibrated after 12 months. We were there at 6.40 am but only third in the queue. Home by 7.10 am.

I’ve got into a bad habit of watching a programme called Heir Hunters which is shown at 9.15 am each weekday. I could easily save it to watch later but it doesn’t seem to have the same enjoyment so Pauline had to wait until 10.00 am before we did they weekly trip to the supermarket. It was chaos – old people everywhere – and impossible to navigate the aisles without being mown down by a mad Granny!

The Camellias I scrumped a couple of days ago are really opening up to show their true glory.


21st March, 2014

A nice, sunny morning but not too warm at 10C/50F. My INR result has come back by email today and, pleasingly, is just within parameters. The Doctor has written asking me to contact him about the results of my 24hr ECG.

Today and for the rest of this weekend I will be researching the Farrow/Houldsworth side of Pauline’s family because we will be visiting relatives in Oldham when we stay in Yorkshire. Some are Primary Sources for our research and the time with them will be valuable. It’s going to be a busy few days.

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