Week 295

17th August, 2014

We have been back in Surrey for four weeks. If we’d stayed to full time, we would have left the island in three more weeks this year. As it is, we are enjoying the cool of a lovely, English Summer and planning our next trips. We intend to go down to the south coast this week and in two weeks, we are off to Norfolk. Poor, old Barty Simpson on Paros is talking of hot and sticky days. I don’t miss those.

At least England won the Test match and, with it the series 3-1. The Indians rather gave up really.

test win

18th August, 2014

Just heard from my little sister, Liz, at 7.00 am. She’s off to Portugal this morning. Liz is Tri-borough Executive Director of Adult Social Care Services for three, leading London councils: Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea. She is pictured here with her grand daughter, Georgia Rose.


Well Autumn temperatures seem to have arrived early. Only 20C/68F is forecast for the week ahead. It feels rather as it used to do when we had left Italy in mid-September, driven through the night and woken up in France. Cool and unusual!

Today, we are contacting the estate agents who came to value our Duplex to tell them which one we have chosen to sell it. A trip to the Health Club to stay alive and then planning a day or two driving to the areas we have chosen to explore for our future property.

The Notary on Sifnos, our friend, Elerania,  contacted us and we had a long chat. It was lovely to hear news of what’s going on but the more one hears, the more one despairs of the country ever throwing off its Third World mantle. At least we sold to the right people!

19th August, 2014

You will notice a change. I thought I couldn’t continue with a Header that was a view from someone else’s house. It does not signal any less commitment to Greece or Sifnos but acknowledges a change of location. The Sifnos book has been proof-read and despatched. We await its return.

I must report the winning joke from the Edinburgh Fringe by Tim Vine was:

I decided to sell my Hoover… well it was just collecting dust.

Four years ago he won with:

I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again.

although I rather liked:

I picked up a hitch hiker. You’ve got to when you hit them.

We are still struggling to choose which Estate Agent to ask to sell our Duplex. Two out of the three were asking 1% and the third was 1.5%. This morning, one phoned to say they were having a new promotion and would do it for 0% just to get our business. It doesn’t necessarily persuade us but it makes the decision more complicated. We are going to discuss it with Phyllis this morning.

This afternoon, on impulse, we drove down to Hampshire to look at a property which was just being built. Although the illustration on the web looked fine and the actual structure was acceptable, it was too near the road with all the attendant noise to make it worth following up.

20th August, 2014

Quite a cool start to the morning although it was bright and sunny and reached 22C/70F by early afternoon. Having finally made a decision, I contacted the two Estate Agencies we were rejecting and Pauline phoned the one we had chosen. They are coming to take photographs tomorrow afternoon.

We were supposed to be going to pick Victoria plums on a Surrey farm but, after an hour in the gym, we decided to pick them from a shelf in Waitrose instead. It was far less time consuming.

We are entering the last third of August and the summer is running out. Barty on Paros is already talking about boats to Piraeus being booked up as Greeks go home in their droves. It is amazing how short the ‘season’ is in Greece.

21st August, 2014

A cold night. Got down to 7C/45F (in mid-August!). Had to sleep under a sheet for the first time. Currently, at 11.00 am, it’s only 18C/65F but lovely and sunny. The gardeners are outside mowing the lawns and tidying the flower beds. The smell of new-mown grass is heady in the sunshine. A quintessential English Summer’s day.

Photo shoot by the Estate Agency this afternoon. Pauline and I have a process we go through when selling a property – and this is the fifth one. We try to de-personalise it, removing as much clutter as possible. I then take photos to see what stands out as good or bad so that, when the professional turns up, as many problems have been eliminated as possible. This is one of the bedrooms after de-cluttering:

bedroom1 bedroom2

22nd August, 2014

She has been dead for six years now but Mum would be 91 today. I’m sorry she hasn’t made it. She wouldn’t thank me for sharing this and I’m amazed how young she actually is but this photo was taken in 1981 when she was only 58 – five years younger than I am now – in her retirement bungalow that she and Gordon bought on Bretby Lane.


Happy Birthday, Mum.

Another chilly night has given way to a sunny day of 22C/70F. The phone doesn’t stop ringing. Pauline has emailed so many Property Developments that Sales Office staff keep bombarding her with invitations to view. Actually, we are going to look at one in Surrey on Sunday.

It feels like we are constantly on the move at the moment. We will be driving down to Sussex next week to view some more Developments. The week after, we are going to Norfolk for a few days. We are going to Yorkshire in mid-October and I am currently planning a trip to Athens in November plus a trip to France in November. Should keep us on our toes.

23rd August, 2014

A morning of on-line Property Searching, talking to Sales Staff over the phone, planning trips next week. One of our problems is that so many houses we like – and we want a brand new one – are still at the drawings stage and won’t be built until Spring 2015.

Went to the Health Club for an hour. We expected Saturday morning to be busy. It was quite the reverse. Something about an hour’s exercise makes one feel deserving of a rest. When we got home, I watched the football & Cricket and Pauline did the hoovering – well, she gets bored easily.

I looked for flights to Athens Eleftherios Venizelos airport in early November. I was very pleased to find that British Airways was as cheap as easyJet who also charge for Baggage. Two return flights cost us £313.96/392.87€ all in. You can’t say fairer than that.

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