Week 305

26th October, 2014

Our daily routine of bed at midnight and up at 7.00 am was not interrupted by the clock changes last night. The only thing that was notable was the fact that all our clocks now change automatically with the exception of the one on the oven. It is a pity to have darker evenings now but it is lovely to acknowledge the seasons. We are deep in to Autumn. Three days ago, the gardener swept up and bagged huge amounts of leaves yet, already, the grounds are obscured by more. This morning, I looked out at 7.00 am to see squirrels tunnelling under heavy layers of crisp, brown leaves to hide their winter food store and next door’s cat using leaf fall as cover to stalk three foraging magpies.

fall

This week we are thinking of another south coast trip to view new houses. We know persistence will produce results. This time we have properties in the Battle, Hastings, Brighton areas.

27th October, 2014

A beautiful day of blue skies and sunshine and temperatures above Sifnos and Athens. It would have been a good day to go out house hunting but tomorrow is forecast to be similar so we will set off reasonably early for Sussex and Kent. Pauline has identified properties to look at and the round trip will take most of the day. This one looks interesting outside Hastings:

house4

Today has been a frustrating one of trying to set up two on-line managed ISAs, putting our allowance for this year into them and transferring a poorly performing Santander into them as well. Completing this task has been far from on-line and has involved two supplementary phone calls and now leaves us waiting for confirmation letters by post. It is certainly not very digital.

28th October, 2014

The day has been one of Summer in Autumn with fiery coloured trees glowing under blue skies with strong sun. We left for a 200 mile round, house-hunting trip stopping first in Hastings, Sussex and then moving on to Adlington (nr. Ashford), Sellindge and Staplehurst in Kent. We saw four developments but only one appealed to us and that was the Hastings one featured in yesterday’s Blog.

29th October, 2014

Continuing our weather obsession, today has started, in complete contrast to recent days, damp and grey although still very mild. The newspapers are equally obsessed with weather related stories and The Times this morning reports that:

strawberries

British strawberries will be available in December for the first time because warm weather and the use of polytunnels have given growers a nine-month season.

They also feature people sunbathing on deckchairs in London yesterday. While I write, Elerania has contacted us and we will speak on the phone later today. She is such a good friend and I bitterly regret not engaging her when I first moved to Sifnos – in line with one or two other regrets.

30th October, 2014

Long and involved shopping trip this morning that left us both tired. This afternoon, I am tidying the Study out while Pauline turns two pairs of new trousers up for me. She is convinced I’m shrinking. Wouldn’t you just love a dynamic life like this?

Honda contacted us to say they were ready to replace our brakes. It is set to be a lovely day tomorrow – probably the warmest last day of October day since records began is being forecast at 21C/70F – so we are setting off at 5.00 am for Huddersfield. We will be there around 8.30 am  for a couple of hours only and then off back home. We intend to be back in Huddersfield for 2.00 pm. Let’s hope the M25 and M1 motorways are kind.

Pauline has been discussing properties with developers and we are planning trips out next week. A trip to West Sussex – Hampshire for one day and another to East Sussex – Kent. Life can really be fun. We are flying to Greece in a couple of weeks and have a trip back to France at the beginning of December. We haven’t done so much varied travelling for years.

31st October, 2014

We began our valediction for October at 4.00 am and were on the empty M25 soon after 5.00 am. The darkness of early morning gave way to warm sunshine as we arrived in Yorkshire by 8.30 am. The temperature, as news bulletins kept informing us, reached an all time high for Halloween’s Night. In Surrey,it was 24C/75F. Tonight, as I write at 11.30 pm, the temperature outside is 16C/61F. In Sifnos, it is 14C/57F and in Athens it is 13C/55F. However, I don’t think this summer can last much longer.

We had returned to our Honda Dealership to have our brakes renewed. It was in Greece that they first started squeaking and we thought it was a consequence of the dry atmosphere.

crv2

The regular service identified the need for their replacement – a job that would have cost £600.00 but came free with our three year maintenance agreement. The job took two hours during which we drank coffee and read our iPad newspapers.

By 11.30 am, under a beautiful, summer sky, we set off back on our seven hour round trip. After a fairly problem-free journey up the M1, the M25 on a Friday afternoon was horrible. Instead of 3.00 pm, it was 4.30 pm by the time we got home and we were tired.

1st November, 2014

Happy November!

wrnov

Happy anything really. Time, day, month, year matter little – until you run out! Even so, we are entering the end stages of a momentous year for us.

Today is yet another beautiful, sunny and mild one. 18C/65F in Surrey and exactly the same on Sifnos. Only 16C/61F in Athens. To celebrate the new month, I’m watching football and Pauline’s sewing. We are still rather tired after our exertions of yesterday.