Week 293

3rd August, 2014

The day began overcast but humid and has developed in to a wonderfully sunny summer’s day with bright light and a gentle breeze. Sunday (digital) newspapers this morning and some business to finish in a communication with our Management Company.

I have a

  • Desktop computer (1 year old) with Colour Laser printer and Mono Laser printer
  • Toshiba Laptop (3 years old)
  • iPad Wi-Fi  (2 years old)

Pauline has a

  • Toshiba Laptop ( 1 year old)
  • Amazon Kindle (3 years old)
  • Amazon Kindle (1 year old)

We have been discussing updating for a little while and, today, I ordered a new iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular from the Apple Store.


I also ordered a new leather case for my old iPad which is going to Pauline and a case for my new one. We are going to need a new laptop sometime this year as well but, first, our mobile contracts will be up in September and EE will be offering us new smartphones to tempt us to stay with them. They are offering a new shared 4G Data plan with unlimited calls and texts which will do nicely for two smartphones and two iPads. We couldn’t do that on Sifnos although I do rather envy Bart Simpson on Paros who has been gorging on fresh figs picked in his garden. We completed our sale just a few weeks too soon.

Interestingly, Bart muses on the origin of the saying:  ‘I couldn’t give a fig!’ It goes all the way back to Middle English when a fig was considered a free fruit of no worth so it meant to care almost nothing. You wouldn’t say that if you saw individual figs wrapped in tissue paper to protect them being sold in Waitrose at 50p/60c each.

The day was completed with a lovely call from my friend, Brian, who I haven’t seen since last October. He is on a three month tour of England’s coastline and was phoning me from Bude in Cornwall. We have agreed to meet for lunch in October when we drive up to Yorkshire.

4th August, 2014

Blue skies, bright sunshine, clear diary – what more could one want. Actually, Pauline is contacting Estate Agents for three valuations of our property and I am planning out the sections of my Sifnos Book. We will, of course, have an hour or so at the Health Club and we have been asked to cat-sit for our neighbour, Rosina, who is going away for ten days. Minnie (who is so big she should be renamed Maxi) is a lovely, friendly cat who will be fun to look after.


5th August, 2014

I was so preoccupied today that I am having to write my Blog in retrospect. Couldn’t go out because we were expecting deliveries. Pauline continued to contact builders/developers in the Kent/Sussex/Berkshire areas and prepared to grill them on things like:

  • Are you in a Flood Zone?
  • Where’s the nearest Health Club?
  • Can we have underfloor heating?
  • Can we re-specify the kitchen?

Meanwhile, I was collating material for the Sifnos book and preparing the sections. When the new iPad arrived at around mid day, I was consumed with setting it up and altering the old one for Pauline. This took me the rest of the day and I still wasn’t finished by bedtime. Altering email settings gave me a headache for a while. I do everything in the Cloud and Pauline doesn’t yet. We use on-line calendars which we both want to edit, read and share. This is still giving me a bit of a headache. Lots of apps specific to my interests had to be reinstalled on my new iPad and taken off Pauline’s.

The second delivery – the leather covers – didn’t arrive until 3.00 pm by which time it was too late to go out. We cooked our meal – wonderful, farmshop lamb steaks with broadbeans, onions and tomatoes. It was delightful.


6th August, 2014

Woken by torrential rain in the night but, by morning, the skies had cleared and the sun was out. In our Greek home, we had become accustomed to cooking outside and our main method was griddling meat and vegetables. It’s not so easy to do in a smaller, apartment kitchen so we will look to install in any new house kitchen a built in griddle plate and heavy duty extractor fan. For a temporary measure, I’ve just ordered a large, cast iron griddle plate to put over our hob.


The temperature here reached 25C/77F with considerable humidity. Work in the gym was decidedly sweaty. It’s amazing how physical effort is affected by one’s mental state. Today, I did 45 mins exercise on a couple of pieces of equipment. All the pieces of equipment have mini TVs integrated into one’s personal exercise data. Today, Sky Sports were showing the Ashes victory which was dominated by Freddie Flintoff. I was so engrossed in the games that I didn’t see the time flowing away. That’s definitely the way to do it.

7th August, 2014

Went to Sainsbury’s today to do the shopping. Not only is it much better than Tesco – so much more choice – but makes shopping on Sifnos look like visiting a third world country. The temperature here was a sunny and comfortable 24C/75F.

sainsburys sainsburys2

The choice is unbelievable so much so that we over bought. As we drove home, I began to think that we would never eat all that fresh produce before it went over but this is what the fantastic choice of a British supermarket engenders – almost unlimited choice.

An hour at the Health Club was enjoyable this afternoon and then Pauline cooked Salmon fillet in tarragon sauce with asparagus and griddled oyster mushrooms. Absolutely delightful!

8th August, 2014

A steamy day – only 24C/75F but humid and we had five minutes of heavy rain before the skies cleared again. Pauline has spent the morning arranging valuation meetings for our Duplex. She has chosen three companies – Townends, who will come next Wednesday and Curchods and Aston Meads on Thursday. We may invite Gascoigne-Pees on Friday. We are in the lovely position of not being in a hurry to move. We will go for the top-end valuation and then wait for the required offer. Not only have we not found another property to go to but haven’t even confidently identified the area along the southern coast that we want to move to.

Fortunately, the weather is dry at Old Trafford at the moment so I am watching the cricket. England are currently hauling the Indian total back and will soon overtake it.

Unfortunately, we had just returned from a couple of hours at the Health Club when the cricket was rained off for the day. England were going well but you can never trust the weather ‘up North’. Pauline cooked a wonderful meal of griddled vegetables – peppers, onions, mushrooms and asparagus to accompany griddled sea bream.


No wonder we rarely go out to eat. She is such a brilliant cook! As we finished our meal, the heavens opened here. Everywhere outside soon smelled so clean and fresh.

9th August, 2014

Gloriously hot and sunny day here undisturbed by weird tourists. A light breeze helped but it still felt rather humid. A day at home watching the cricket and what a result! I could hear Ruth applauding all the way up in Bolton. The nonsense that commentators talked about Cook before the game was completely dispelled and England won an easy victory. The Indians just aren’t very good in UK conditions.


Pauline reminded me that it was 33 years ago this coming week that we first went to Greece. We spent three weeks on Zakynthos (Zante) island. There was no airport on the island in those days. We flew cheap charter in the middle of the night to Athens and then went by minibus across the Peloponnese – through the now very familiar Patras – to the port of Kyllini where we got a ferry to the island. By the time we got there, we were so exhausted that we wanted to go home. Three weeks later, we didn’t want to leave and were firmly hooked on Greece. The rest is history.

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