Week 300

21st September, 2014

The morning has opened fresh but sunny with a temperature of 16C/60F. The Blog is 300 not out! Can’t believe it. We have just 12 weeks to go before completing 6 years. You have to admit that it shows stamina if nothing else.

Sunday is special. In my childhood, it was the enforced attendance at Mass. For the past 40 or so years, it has been the enthusiastic attention to the Sunday papers and political journalism. It couldn’t be more exciting this weekend post-Scotland poll and the great Constitutional Debate. The West Lothian Question is being used by Cameron and Lynton Crosby to attempt to skewer Miliboots and the Labour Party. Should Scottish MPs be barred from voting on purely English matters thus depriving the Labour Party of 40 Scottish Labour MPs? Suddenly, the country is galvanised by things they know nothing about like The Barnett Formula. I remember Joel Barnett well. He was the MP for Heywood & Royton in Oldham between 1964 – 1983. He was also Secretary to the Treasury under Wilson and Callaghan.


Barnett devised a formula which could be used to devolve public spending to the regions of the UK. This process from the early 1970s persists in devolving higher per capita public spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland than it gives to English citizens and has been a source of discontent amongst those who realise this for a long time. Not only has Cameron appeared to entrench the persistence of this Formula but pile additional, political bribes into the equation as well. It doesn’t bode well for the United Kingdom.

22nd September, 2014

Lovely sunny morning. We drove down to Caterham, a quaint, market town, on the Surrey border to look at a property



and then on to Longfield, just over the border into Kent, to look at another. Both were interesting but neither made us leap with joy. The search continues.

23rd September, 2014

Cool start to a lovely, sunny day. Got a bit of a bug that comes and goes. Went out to see Phyllis & Colin and then on to the Health Club. We did 45 minutes and 425 calories by which time I felt much better.

I am trying to renew my downward trend in weigh loss by limiting myself to 1520 calories per day. That’s why earning an extra 400 a day through exercise is so worthwhile. Today I have consumed

  • a large cup of tea
  • 3 cups of fresh coffee with skimmed milk
  • a banana
  • 250g of fruit yoghurt
  • 60g of smoked salmon
  • 77g of kipper fillet
  • 2 x sticks of celery
  • 4 x cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large glasses of red wine

and I still have 60 calories left because of my exercise contribution.

As an out and out politics geek, I luxuriated in the speech of the Leader of the Labour Party this afternoon.


Fascinating stuff which is rolling the Blairite world of New Labour back and resounding with echoes of Gas & Water Socialism.

Fascinating ‘Love in the Sun’ documentary on British television which featured women who had married Greeks and lived on their islands. With one exception, all the marriages had failed. The men had exhibited liberalism and multiculturalism for a period but, ultimately reverted to type and the marriages had broken down. The island of Symi featured heavily and reminded us how pleased we were to find it in the early 1990s when we were getting so fed up of all the noise outside Hotel Kamari on Sifnos. Traffic on the road was making it impossible to sleep. We rented a lovely, quiet house up the Kalistrata and got really fit walking up and down the steps each day.


24th September, 2014

If you want to buy an Sony Xperia M2 Smart phone, PC World will sell you one for £200.00.


This morning, EE gave me two for free – which was nice of them. One is for Pauline and the other for me. We both have unlimited calls and unlimited texts plus 2Gb of data. In addition, our allowance is fully usable in any EU country so driving through Europe, staying in Greece will be much more comfortable next year. The whole package for the two of us costs just £55.00 per month. How things have improved recently.

25th September, 2014

Lovely, lovely day! Sunny and wonderful. Shopping at Sainsbury’s, hard work at the Health Club and then Elerania contacted us to keep us up with events. What fun!

Life is so much fun. It is only a three weeks until we go to Yorkshire and I visit my sister and acquaintances from a previous life. In an extra three weeks we are going back to Greece. Who knows what will happen there.

26th September, 2014

A lovely, warm day that registered 24F/75C although with only weak sunshine. Did a really hard workout at the Health Club after going round to sort Phyllis’s iPad out. Pauline phoned Elerania back. I spent the day wrestling with apps on new smartphones, apps on iPads and apps on PCs so that our calendars are common to all platforms and all update each other. It was nice to hear the confirming ‘dings’ as entries on one machine began to populate all the others. In just the same way, I have ensured our exercise and diet app is available across platforms and the same with internet banking and email. The next integration will be contacts.

In spite of the warm, dry weather, Autumn is increasingly showing itself and evening darkness comes quickly and takes us by surprise. As Pauline perceptibly observed this morning, the trees sound very different now.


The breeze which once fluttered leaves is now producing dry and spiky sounds of old leaves breaking away and falling in a death spiral to the ground. Only the failing vestiges of Summer maintain their hold and Winter cannot be too far away. How lucky are we in Britain to experience these distinct and qualitatively different seasons in our lives.

27th September, 2014

A calm and warm morning was disturbed by the realisation that we had no hot water. A trip to the ‘engine room’ of the Development revealed that there had been a momentary power service blip over night and the boilers had gone off. The room is huge and houses the woodchip Biomass, three gas turbines and a CHP unit but resetting is easy and Pauline can soon have her shower.

The newspapers are dominated by emergency Parliamentary proceedings yesterday rubber stamping bombing raids on Iraq and, probably, Syria to drive back those who would establish an Islamic Caliphate on the shores of the Mediterranean. I am writing to my MP to ask for the total annihilation of Golden Dawn in Greece to be included in forward plans. Talking about Greece, it looks as if the coalition’s attempts to loosen the economic reform programme’s fiscal targets and to shed EU control allowing lower taxes and higher pensions will fail. The Troika, quite rightly, just won’t allow it as ekathimerini reports.


It would be folly to go back to old ways after all the suffering people have been put through.

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