Week 302

5th October, 2014

Wonderfully sunny day for Pauline’s Birthday. She is 63 today. Happy Birthday Darling.


We went out to an Italian restaurant with family to celebrate it. Interesting meal.

6th October, 2014

A cool, windy and wet day. We dedicated it to financial management work. Pauline prepared dressed crab for our meal and it was absolutely delicious.


Felt a bit under the weather so we didn’t go out to exercise. We did visit the new, Asda Megastore – out of interest and to do a bit of shopping. Our big shop this week will be in France.

7th October, 2014

A lovely, sunny day. I have to go out for a blood test. Life’s full of fun. I had my free ‘flu jab as well.


Apparently, middle-aged people with heart trouble could halve their risk of a heart attack by getting a flu jab, research suggests. Usually, after a ‘flu jab, I feel under the weather for a couple of days. As we are going to France tomorrow, I hope that isn’t repeated this year.

We’ve had a flurry of communications with Sifnos in the past 24hrs. It feels strange now we don’t live there. Under normal circumstances, we would have been back in Surrey for a month anyway but speaking to people we know in situations we picture in our mind’s eye is strangely unsettling.

8th October, 2014

A damp and rather dull, autumnal morning. Off to France for a couple of days shopping. First, I had to do some urgent communications with people on Sifnos.

Leave at 10.00 am for the Folkestone Tunnel. We will be in France by mid day. Pauline has written a shopping list as long as two men’s arms so the car is full of refrigerators, cool bags, shopping bags, etc.. Let’s hope the back axle survives!

The rain was heavy as we drove down to the Tunnel but the sun shone over Calais and Coquelle as we drove off the Shuttle and to our hotel. Coffee and a banana and then off to Cite Europe to do some shopping.

9th October, 2014

Heavy rain and strong winds over night but the morning has dawned bright, mild and blustery. After Breakfast, we set of for the Calais Wine Superstore. As we drove the five miles there, we noticed numerous, small knots of Asylum Seekers dotted around the area.


As we approached the Wine Store, a large bunch of these people were being ‘monitored’ by French police in a white van. This is where the immediate problem lies. Dozens, maybe hundreds of people cross from Africa and Asia through Greece and Italy to France with one intention – get to Britain, the Land of Milk & Honey. They destroy their documents of origin and cannot be made stateless so the French police do nothing more than harass them. There is no mileage in picking them up. They merely roam the countryside constantly trying to board a vehicle to get across the Channel.

We are the lucky ones. We live in Britain. We spent the morning indulging ourselves in a splurge of shopping on things that Asylum Seekers could only dream of. After buying 150 bottles of wine, we moved on to Auchan in Coquelles.


There we bought packs of Duck Legs, Duck Breasts, joints Pork and Beef. On to Carrefour in Cité Europe where we bought a week’s fruit and vegetables, cold meats, cheese and lots of fish. We bought a side of salmon, loins of cod, fillets of ling and two, huge, live crabs.

We filled our car fridge, cool boxes and cool bags and set off for the Tunnel. Two hours later, the crabs were swimming in the sink at home in Surrey, staring and waving at Pauline. They didn’t swim for long in a stock pot of boiling, salted water. They will be on the menu tomorrow.

10th October, 2014

A relaxing day. We ‘dressed’ the crabs – a time-consuming process but great fun. Next door’s cat got very excited and was rewarded with some scraps. Our reward was a lovely, crab meal. We’ll probably have to repaint the kitchen having scraped the walls clean of shell fragments but – no pain no gain.

Looks like Europe is heading for a triple dip recession which will be disastrous for Greece, killing off its nascent recovery. Samaras is struggling to maintain equilibrium as it is. If the German economy is wobbling as it appears to be currently then the Greek situation must be parlous. It seems that we just got out in time!

11th October, 2014

Went to the EE Shop in Woking for some technical help with our SIM cards. A lovely, little girl who has just graduated as an architect served us and sorted out the problem within half an hour.


We drove home delighted because an hour of our attempts through the phone’s settings had achieved nothing. It turns out that the SIM card settings could only be edited from within an iPhone and not our Sony Xperia.

Next, I have turned to financial matters – moving an ISA that had lost its Bonus %age and investing in a new one for each of us under this year’s allowance and regulations. Now we can each invest £15,000.00 each tax year in a tax-free ISA wrapper. We have always invested our maximum allowable since we retired and this year will be no different although the rate is appalling. We can get 1.4 – 1.5% for an easy access ISA at the moment so for £30,000.00 over a year we will just earn £450.00. We will try to avoid using ISA money but we don’t want to tie it up at the moment so we have accepted that position. If we can put a lot of money into property, we are likely to make 9 – 12% p.a. around here so that is a much better bet.

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