Week 294

10th August, 2014

We were told to expect the tail end of Hurricane Bertha to hit us during the night. It didn’t. No wind at all. We woke to a pleasant morning but, by 9.00 am rain started to fall and became quite torrential for about an hour and a half. Gutterings were overflowing but the trees and plants seemed to breathe a big sigh of relief. The Surrey Cycle Race chose exactly the wrong day and wrong start time but who likes cyclists anyway. Let them swim!

Talking of swimming, I dug out some photos of our first trip to Greece – Zakynthos as I wrote yesterday. It was August 1981. We had been married for three years and had just recovered from a very serious car smash. It was our first holiday together and our first time flying. I was 30 years old and Pauline 29. You will notice that we haven’t changed one bit.

zak1 zak2

11th August, 2014

Lovely sunny morning but much cooler today – only 21C/69F. We spent our last weeks giving things away on Sifnos. Now, we are doing the same thing here. We are off to the Woking Hospice with lots of unwanted bric-a-brac and clothing. On Sifnos, we gave away carloads of things we didn’t need and took more than thirty bags of ‘rubbish’ to the bins. By the time we’d finished, the house almost floated it was that empty.

12th August, 2014

Bright, sunny, brisk morning – 20C/68F. We didn’t go to the Health Club so we have to a double session today. Tomorrow the first lot of estate agents come to our apartment to do a valuation and then others on Thursday. Lovely contacts with the island over the past couple of days keep us up to date. My work on the Sifnos book is progressing well.

In three weeks we are off to Wells-next-the-Sea on the Norfolk coast – a place that has resonance with Pauline’s family. She’s talked about it throughout our married life so, at last, I’ll get to see it.

wnts2

13th August, 2014

Bright and sunny but cool morning. The apartment is prepared for its first valuation this afternoon. We had one done last November but estate agents tell us prices here have moved up markedly in the past ten months so we are having three, new ones done.

Pauline is fielding replies from her enquiries on new properties to buy. It still seems quite a hard sell is used by these agents. Fortunately, we are experienced enough to play them at their own game. We may go to pick plums at Garsons’ Farm next week after our valuations have been played out. Apparently, the Jubileum plums are ready. They are like Victoria plums but bigger and you can’t beat bigger plums!

plums1

14th August, 2014

Well, we thought house prices had gone up in since we went away but we were shocked to find our Duplex had put on £50,000 in nine months. However, we are struggling to find a property we really like. Stretching our budget to £550,000 has brought more in to view. We saw this, so far unbuilt, property in Kent. It is a one-off in a Kent village. It looks interesting although broadband speeds are poor there at the moment. The website says ‘superfast broadband’ is arriving in September 2014 but that must be a concern. Still, we’ll probably go and have a look.

housek

Two more valuations today and then we’ll decide whether to proceed or not. Exciting times!

Well, the outcome has been astonishing. Of three valuations, there is a variance of £125,000. The lowest estimate was beaten by £75,000 in the second and by £125,000 in the third. As the third has just sold an adjacent property, we are pleased to go with that. We were told that it should go within six weeks so we’ve got to get a move on and find our ideal property in our ideal area but where that is, we haven’t a clue. We are going to explore some areas next week. The fifth Test starts tomorrow so I will be ‘busy’.

15th August, 2014

Went shopping at Sainsburys Knaphill which is about five miles away. It is huge and well stocked and points up why Tesco is suffering at the moment.

sainsburysknaphill

We took our current prescriptions with us because there is a pharmacy within the supermarket. I was shocked to see the notice on the counter announcing that prescription charges have gone up to £8.05/10.04€ per item. I have a list of 9 items and Pauline has one more so our bill would have come to £80.50/100.40€ – an enormous bill. Fortunately, it costs us nothing because we are over 60. In fact it has cost me nothing for nearly ten years because of my Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis but the cost otherwise would be huge. At least we can easily get the drugs. In Greece it would be far less certain.

The cricket’s going well. At the time of writing – 3.35 pm – the Indians are 83 for 8. They don’t like it up ’em! …… The day finished India 148 all out and England 62-0. England will now definitely win the series.

16th August, 2014

A quiet day working on projects in hand. I had correspondence to write for the Management Group of our Development and progressed the book I am putting together.

Unfortunately, I was being constantly side tracked by the Test Match which was certainly going well and three football matches which weren’t – if you’re a United supporter. Roasted tarragon chicken with a medley of roasted vegetables for our meal. Overall, it was a lovely day.