Week 310

30th November, 2014

November closes with the news that Autumn 2014 has been the third warmest on record. Monday sees the official start of Winter and we are warned that, temporarily at least, we can expect some seasonal weather. There is a lot to say for Seasons. They give life enjoyable variety. It is still very mild in Surrey. We went out today in short sleeved shirts quite happily. The one thing I am not particularly keen on is  dark early mornings and dark early evenings. One thing Winter does provide is an excuse to eat soup. Pauline made the most wonderful celeriac soup today.


I survive on six or so hours of sleep each night and we get up unwaveringly at 7.00 am. I would like to see the sun when I rise but, currently, we are waiting around for a couple of hours for true daylight to arrive. Admittedly we are surrounded by trees but the sun was already well on its way down by 3.00 pm. The shortest day is still three weeks away.

1st December, 2014


Happy December 2014. Let’s hope we don’t see any snow again this year. The Blog has 24 days until its 6th birthday. Let’s hope it lives that long.

Our grounds are host to dozens of Mahonias which are coming into full bloom right now. The are a delightful, even majestic shrub and put on a great display against a woodland backdrop.


Fascinating to see the Greeks up in arms about the most basic, economic changes that still don’t even bring them in to line with the rest of Europe. Raising the retirement age to 62. People in Britain would kill for such an achievement. The British have to work to 67 now and many can’t conceive of retiring at all. Putting up the VAT on hotel bills from 6.5% to 13%. Let them live in the real world! It should go up to the full rate. Anyone who can make an annual living on ten or twelve weeks occupancy a year is profiteering and shouldn’t be given concessions like this. This is why the coalition is struggling. The Greeks need to embrace reality.

2nd December, 2014

Up to a grey and damp start although not cold. Off to the Channel Tunnel just after 9.00 am for a short stay in France. We wait for all those poor people going to work to free up the roads before we leave. It takes just over an hour to Folkestone and half an hour checking in and driving on followed by half an hour crossing under the sea. Certainly much better than going by ferry. The train leaves at 11.30 am and, with time difference, we drive off at 1.00 pm. We will check in at our hotel before going out to do some shopping.

Lovely journey and crossing. Checked in, dropped off our bags and went shopping to Citè Europe. We decided to have a picnic meal in our room and bought various cheeses, cooked meats, salads and wines. It was a delightful indulgence. Back to the diet tomorrow! We bought white wine for Phyllis & Colin, red Bordeaux for us along with cases of champagne for Christmas.

3rd December, 2014

A hearty breakfast, check out of our hotel and off to Auchan in Coquelles.


We bought rabbit, duck, pork, huge loins of cabillaud (aka Cod), the biggest atlantic salmon in the fish market which will now feature in our Christmas meal starter. We stocked up on onions, shallots, garlic and salad vegetables.

Off to the Tunnel and an early afternoon crossing. We boarded at about 11.50 am and left at 12.20 pm.


We entered England about 11.50 am and the drive back of just over an hour was a delight. To hear the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement massively cutting Stamp Duty on house sales was a real welcome home.

4th December, 2014

An article quoted in Keep Talking Greece today reports that Italy, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria are seen as equally corrupt among EU countries as if that almost absolves the Greeks of duplicity. We certainly saw massive corruption at first hand in our time living there but it has become so endemic that those involved see it as normal and acceptable. No wonder the Germans insist on maintaining a boot on their throats until they really straighten up.

Off to the Health Club to straighten ourselves up this morning, delivering wine to our relatives on the way. Got to get out of the house without next door’s cat sneaking in and out of the chilly, damp air. Poor old Minnie. She should have been born in the Mediterranean.


She’s cunning enough for it!

5th December, 2014

Spoke to my big sister yesterday. She keeps up with the Blog and observed that for someone intent on losing weight, I certainly feature food a lot. It’s true. The difference is that nowadays all my consumption is ‘costed’ against my daily allowance and any exercise I take. Today, after an hour’s vigorous exercise at the Health Club, our only meal of the day was salad and cold pork followed by fruit and yoghurt. I eat a lot less and much more healthily. It is really working and much less effort than it used to be.

The Director of the British Museum said today that he hoped the Greeks would be happy that he was loaning out the Elgin Marbles to the Hermitage Museum in Russia. I don’t think so!


Week 309

23rd November, 2014

We move into the last week of November on a cool and wet day although The Woodland Trust are predicting Oaks will keep their leaves until well into December because of the mild and windless Autumn this year. It has felt depressingly dark all day and yet we are still four weeks away from the year’s shortest day.

Pauline has spent the day making and baking the Christmas Cake and steaming two Christmas Puddings. One is for this year and one will be set aside for Christmas 2015.

ccake  cpud

There’s nothing like planning ahead.

24th November, 2014

Bright and sunny but cold and slightly frosty this morning – a good, old fashioned, early winter’s morning. We spent an hour at the Health Club and came out sweating.

Heard from Martin yesterday. Haven’t spoken to him for a couple of months. Nice to know he’s alright. Interesting to see that Greece ambles on in its own, contrary way. Thursday will be a General Strike which will isolate the country and the islands with Air Traffic Controllers and Ferry services being disrupted. At the same time and because of the European Troika’s foot on their neck, the Greek Government ‘say’ they are scrapping operating permits for almost 900 professions. In other words, they are dismantling closed-shops which limit business freedom in the Greek economy. The measure of how far they go with this will indicate how far the country has moved in the past seven years. If the Coalition falls this Spring over the issue of a new President then all bets are off and they will certainly fall back into the primordial slime. Still, the goldfish will feel at home there!

25th November, 2014

Cool and damp morning without sun. Pauline is researching our trip to Kent on Friday. House hunting is really turning out to be an education. I know so little about my own country! This week, we are heading towards the Maidstone area. We are hoping to look at a number of houses but this one in particular.


Looks alright but you never know until you see it in the brick. The top temperature here today has been a steamy but dark 9C/48F without the steam.

26th November, 2014

The negotiations failed. The Troika saw a fiscal gap of 2.5 billion euro for 2015 and demanded further reduction in pensions, increase by 10% to 13% Value Added Tax as being applied on the islands and additional taxes.UK continues to be blanketed by grey, damp cloud and looks like it will remain so in to next week. We struggled to 10C/50F but things are forecast to get warmer towards the weekend and beyond. I hope so. We are driving down to Kent on Friday and then over to France next Tuesday for a couple of days.

27th November, 2014

Dark & Damp Again! We were out early for Pauline to have her hair cut at Headmasters.


We had toyed with the idea of her having it cut in Athens a couple of weeks ago but didn’t find the time. Bought a book in The Works – the bookshop where my friend from Sifnos, Martin Reynolds, works.


Haven’t bought a physical book for quite some time. They are incredibly cheap. Pauline & I received our £200.00 Winter Heating subsidy from the Government today. It almost pays our total heating bill for the year which is nice.

In Greece, in spite of a General Strike, reality hits. The negotiations of the Coalition and all their hopeful bluster has failed. The Troika saw a fiscal gap of 2.5 billion euro for 2015 and demanded further reduction in pensions, and an increase by 10% to 13% on Value Added Tax to being applied on the islands and additional taxes. Samaras has tried to remain buoyant. He must feel very deflated.

My INR has been rather erratic recently which has led to me eschewing alcohol. It hasn’t made any difference. I dropped from 2.6 – 2.0 in a week in which my diet was exemplary. I don’t know if this has any significance but I found this afternoon that my weight has dropped by half a stone in quite a short spell. You lose some and you gain some.

28th November, 2014

Must learn to check the calendar! Today, we visited two developments on the outskirts of Maidstone, Kent.


The town isn’t particularly prepossessing but, strategically, it is well placed for us. It doesn’t take long to drive or take the train up to London and it is a quick & easy journey to the Channel Tunnel for our drives across Europe. It has good provision of Health & Fitness Clubs including David Lloyds and reasonable distribution of good supermarkets, Farmers’ Markets as well as Hospitals and Dr Surgeries. There are lots of restaurants and visitor attractions in the surrounding area. Unfortunately, property developers had all but shut up shop for Christmas and things we would be interested in are not on stream until next year. Looks like we’ll have to be patient.

29th November, 2014

Warm and sunny today and predicted to reach 15C/60F. We are going to the Health Club for an hour or so of exercise before settling in to the weekend. Actually, weekends really don’t mean anything any more when one’s not working. Days are days are days. As Larkin said, Days are where we live. As we got up this morning, like every morning, at 7.00 am, I did muse on the fact that, irrespective of which time zone we have been in, the past six years of retirement have seen us rise at 7.00 am unflinchingly  to meet and greet the day. When you don’t have to go to work, getting up is a joy and the world is your lobster.


Talking about lobsters, we’re off to France on Tuesday and might pick some up. While the Troika looks like forcing the Greek coalition to cut pensions more and increase some areas of VAT, our government insists on giving us money that, to be honest, we don’t need. In the past week, Pauline & I have both received Winter Fuel Allowances of £100.00 each and now the Christmas Bonus of £10.00 arrives. What will we do with it? I like lobster!

Week 308

16th November, 2014

A chilly and wet day which we mainly spent reading newspapers. We did nip out to Tesco to find the acres of car park full of happy shoppers. It is amazing how Sunday shopping has gone from the odd-soul-who-has-forgotten-something-from-their-weekly-shop to a Main Shopping Day for so many busy workers. This superstore was packed. It was harder to find a parking space than on a Saturday. I’m all in favour of it. Mum would have hated it. In fact, she said she didn’t think it would ever happen.

17th November, 2014

A warmer but just as wet day. Half way through the morning, I noticed our broadband service had dropped. I checked the phone and found we had no line. Just as I began to use my phone to search for my provider’s help line, Pauline spotted a Bt Openreach engineer walking back to his van. I spoke to him. He had been working nearby but denied any connection to my problem. Later his office suggested it was an error by him which disconnected us. It will take up to 72 hrs to fix. Three days without the internet! Went to the Health Centre for an hour’s exercise.

18th November, 2014

We were up and preparing to drive down to Costa Coffee for access to their Wi-Fi when a telephone engineer arrived. Within an hour, it was fixed and I was getting my internet-withdrawls out of my system by downloading emails and newspapers.


Good Morning to Richard. Got your email a few minutes ago and will reply very soon. Don’t set off on your cruise before you hear from us. Lovely to know that you’re still following the Blog. Nice to hear from Ruth and her worries for me even if half the Facebook community responded with concern for my health and requests for links to my Blog. The only person I didn’t hear from was the Poison Dwarf but I’ll cope.

It’s been a lovely, sunny and fairly mild day here. We’ve done our regular hour at the Health Club and then returned for Cassoulet Lapin (aka Rabbit Stew) which I made yesterday.


I’m in a no-alcohol phase again because my INR has dipped for a couple of months and because I want to skimp on the calories. It’s nice to know I don’t need it and can do without it when I choose. Off to France in a fortnight. That will be a tester.

Pauline has received so many phone calls again today. It has become a standard thing. Estate Agents wanting to market our home or developers wanting to sell us a new home. She has become quite blasé about their blandishments. She has done so much research, she often knows more about their activities than they do themselves.


England made Scotland look very second rate this evening in their ‘friendly’. England won 1 – 3 in a fairly one sided game. Nice to see.

19th November, 2014

Felt cool in the sunshine today. The temperature didn’t get above 14C/57F. We did a big session at the Health Club. I upped my targets – increasing the incline and speed on the running machine and increasing the resistance level and calories burned on the bike. I could barely walk by the time I’d driven home but I know it will pay off when I speed past Jane BG in the road race next Spring.

The remainder of the Cassoulet Lapin was liquidized with Passata and milk to make a lovely cream of rabbit soup. Rabbit is so cheap to buy and low in fat. I’m amazed more people don’t buy it. The reason is, I suppose, not enough people sell it. We buy ours in France where it is widely available and eaten. A rabbit carcass costs about £3.50/4.37€. Less than a chicken.


In the next few days, we are going to buy pheasants –  another low fat meat packed with flavour – from a farm shop nearby.


We have changed our eating so much over the past fifteen years with fish and game dominating our diet.

20th November, 2014

It’s been a difficult I.T. week in the Sanders household. First, our phone line went down and we had no internet for 24 hrs. Can you imagine it? Today, we’ve both had problems with our email accounts. Who knows why. Mine has largely sorted itself out by this evening but Pauline’s account is still rather flaky. It would happen on INR reporting day. My Hospital is fantastic.


I self test (although I occasionally get the Hospital to check my results) and email my result to the INR team at St Peter’s. Within an hour, I have dosing advice and a next test date. My range is INR 2.0 – 3.0. Today it was 2.6 – perfect. That’s because I’m not drinking alcohol which tends to inhibit the Warfarin’s action.

21st November, 2014

Wet this morning. We drove out fairly early to make a journey of nine miles to Esher. We were visiting Garson’s Farm Shop which contains a wonderful Butcher’s Stall and they have five pheasants for us.

farmshopesher2 butchers

The Butcher’s is Bevans – family firm dating back 85 years. They are opening their own branch in Woking in January next door to a wonderfully stocked wet fish shop. That will save us a journey. Esher is quite a ‘posh’ place where footballers stash their cash. People who live there include Frank Lampard, Damien Duff, Joe Cole and Glenn Johnson but also Chris Tarrant, Kid Jensen, Ronan Keating.

Fascinating to see that the Greeks are lifting the Parliamentary Immunity of Golden Dawn members so that they can be prosecuted while UK is electing its second UKIP MP. Who is bonkers now?

22nd November, 2014

I don’t usually do things like this but I voted in the Tree of the Year competition featured on the Woodland Trust’s website. I voted for The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest mainly because we were taken to see it a number of times as children some 50 – 60 years ago.


According to local folklore, it was Robin Hood’s shelter where he and his merry men slept when they were hiding from the Sheriff of Nottingham. It weighs an estimated 23 tons, has a girth of 33 feet (10 metres), and is about 800–1000 years old and, for a second time, it has won the UK Tree of the Year going forward to the wider European competition.

Relations of Pauline’s Family, who I found on the internet while researching her ancestry, have found a photograph of a family member they can’t identify.


Looks a bit like Phyllis so we hope she recognises her.


Week 307

9th November, 2014

Because of the midweek date of Bonfire Night, we have experienced Firework Parties for what seems like a week of nights. Hopefully, last night was the last. The gardener will spend all his time sweeping up autumn leaves liberally sprinkled with spent rockets this week.

Pauline is packing for Greece. We set off on Tuesday with an early start. I’m watching the football like all dutiful husbands do. Newcastle look to continue their recent revival with a 0-2 win over West Brom..

The Blog only has six weeks to go to until it’s completed six years. Just forward warning to The Poison Dwarf. Send us a card!

10th November, 2014

We’re going back to Greece. It pains me to say so but Greece is in danger of spiralling back down in to Europe’s basket case. Greek industrial output fell 5.1 percent year-on-year in September. September’s drop was the seventh consecutive contraction in industrial output since February this year. Greek consumer prices fell 1.7 percent in October, with the annual pace of deflation accelerating from a 0.8 percent drop in September. Greece has been in deflation mode for the last 20 months as cuts in wages and pensions and a deep recession exert downward pressures. Like rats deserting a sinking ship, Greeks have been leaving their Homeland. Kalymnos has seen its population reduced by 30% to emigration – preferring Europe, the US and Australia.


The Samaras/Venizelos coalition government have been trying to persuade the electorate and, maybe, themselves that they can exit Troika control early and still get the support they need. It was never going to happen. Tsipras has spent the past twelve months telling a gullible and desperate electorate that he will cut taxes, raise pensions, raise salaries and all without EU help. It was never going to happen although some Greeks are so desperate that they’re prepared to believe anything.

We checked in for our flight this morning on our iPads. We haven’t flown for over four years and things have advanced so much. We have downloaded our Boarding Passes on our mobile phones to show at the gate.i


Early night and early start for the 20 minute drive to the airport tomorrow.

11th November, 2014

Left the house at 5.00 am and had a quick drive to the Long Stay car park at Heathrow Terminal 5. With on-line Check in, we swiped our mobile phones on the Check in readers and handed over our bags. We were in the air by 8.00 am and in Athens by 13.30. A wonderful B.A. flight. Before we could get down to Baggage Collect, our bags were there and waiting. We took the train to Syndagma. Soon we were in our favourite hotel – The Electra Palace. We have a three person room which has a sofa and plenty of room.

electra_palace_athens1 electra_palace_athens2 electra_palace_athens3 electra_palace_athens4 electra_palace_athens5

A welcome cup of tea and the newspapers, a shower and a snooze. Out into the busy streets of Athens to our favourite, street corner taverna for a meal of salad and fish. We drank too much wine and went back for coffee and a snooze. At 8.00 pm, we re-engage our struggle with the language of the evening news on Mega Channel.

12th November, 2014

Leisurely up this morning – not until 7.30 am. Standards are slipping! Cup of tea in our room and then a wonderful breakfast in the Breakfast Room. We are going out to do some business this morning. I’ve downloaded Google Maps App to our iPads and our mobiles so we can easily locate the offices we need. They are not far away. The weather is pleasant and mild. We will enjoy the walking. After that breakfast, we need the walking !

Spent all morning visiting various offices. Business fully completed. Feels good. The weather, however, feels distinctly humid. I find walking through city streets extremely tiring and, after four hours walking around in a busy Athens, I am depleted and perspiring in the moist air. We return to the hotel for a big cup of tea and the newspapers. Later, we will have a swim in the indoor pool.

Lovely, long swim in the spa pool followed by a jacuzzi session and a sauna. After our swim, our arms ached. We returned to our room and snacked on some salted peanuts we bought while out and washed them down with a lovely bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (Greek). We won’t eat again today. Must have an early night.

13th November, 2014

A really enjoyable day – especially for Pauline. It is a warm and sunny morning here and we are up at 7.00 am for a cup of tea. By 8.30 am, we go down for Breakfast. Unfortunately, we can no longer do it justice but it is nice trying. This morning is shopping. Last time we were here in July, Pauline bought three pairs of shoes. Today, after touring every leather manufacturer in Athens, she bought three handbags.

img-thing leatherhandbag thick-italian-hide-leather-shaped-cross-body-bag-made-in-italy-3099-p

I am delighted. Pauline is happy and the prices in Athens are so cheap that I am happy too.

We were out shopping for about four hours – nearly more than a real man can take. Back at the hotel, I was allowed to drink coffee and read my paper before heading off to the Spa downstairs for a long swim,  jacuzzi and sauna. After that, I needed a beer in our room. Later, around 5.00 pm, we went out to eat at Taverna Paradosiako. We’ve been going there for years but only noticed Matt Barratt’s recommendation recently.


It is a delightful and reliable taverna on the corner of Voulis and Nikodimou where pedestrians jostle past tables spilling out on the the walkway. Immediately across the road is a car park and vehicles jostle for space with stray cats. Sophisticated? Not! In fact, no one in their right mind would give it a second glance – unless they were experienced in Greek tradition. This taverna is wonderful. It is family run with lovely serving girls and really excellent food. It is just on the corner from our hotel – The Electra Palace. Here we ate the sweet flesh of grilled Sea Bream, with skordallia (garlic sauce) and fava (bean dip). The whole experience of eating, people watching and cold, white wine is intoxicating and one I will never tire of.

14th November, 2014

A prolonged and violent thunder storm circled Athens in the early hours. Everything feels and smells fresher. I really can’t take much more BREAKFAST! However, I have tried for Pauline’s sake. After breakfast, we went out to the Post Office in Syndagma to buy some stamps and post some letters.


The Post Office in Greece encapsulates all that is wrong with the country. Sloppily run on old world principles of ‘the customer is usually wrong’ and should be kept waiting while I get my coffee. Who do they think they are. They’re only customers. We get a ticket with number 112 on it. A lady with 111 stands in front. Nobody comes to the window. We wait ten minutes. The Greek Lady – 111 – gets increasingly exasperated. Eventually, I get a second ticket from a second machine and wait another ten minutes to speak to another operative by which time the first window begins to serve Lady 111 with steam coming out of her ears. What is amazing is that nothing seems to change. Nobody in the organisation seems bothered or proactive. No wonder Greeks are hardened, cynical people.

Check Out at 12.00 Noon and off to the Airport by train. The Airport trip is quick, comfortable and easy and costs 7.00€ as opposed to a taxi journey of 50.00€. Why would you do it? At the airport, we had already checked in on-line and got our boarding passes on our mobiles. We have Business Class Lounge entry from our bank account. At Landside, we went to the Gold Air Lounge where we had free services of wi-fi, wine and food in comfort.


After going through Passport Control to Airside, we went to the Aristotle Onassis Lounge which was even more relaxing.


It did provide a pleasant atmosphere to while away a few hours with free drink and food in peace and comfort. As we sat in the Lounges, we watched the rain clouds move in and envelop the airport. We had read of torrential rain on the M25 in UK causing subsidence already.

Our flight was on time, comfortable and quick. London was dry when we landed and we were soon driving the 20 minutes to our home. It was as if we had never been away!

15th November, 2014

A lovely, sunny but, initially, sharp morning. We had both slept well and don’t seem to be suffering from the two hour Time Zone shift. We had to be up at 7.00 am because Pauline has a hospital appointment for a scan. St Peter’s Hospital is delightful, smart and bright. All the people we come in to contact with are pleasant and helpful. Pauline’s scan immediately confirmed what she already suspected that she is full of gallstones. The next question is how they will be dealt with.

On the way home, we stopped at Addlestone Tesco and bought lots of fish – fresh trout and mackerel. Whenever we return from Greece these days we seem to buy more fish. Talking about Greece, it is astonishing at the level of interest the media has put in John Major’s words to European Leaders about his belief that the chances of UK leaving the EEC were 50%/50%. I was surprised to find him so optimistic. Indeed, a leading financial house remarked today that there was a chance that Europe would cease to exist before UK got round to leaving it.

Week 306

 2nd November, 2014

I’m writing this at 7.30 pm after having a short walk outside. The temperature is extremely mild although the night is very dark. We walked in short sleeved shirts as Firework Displays lit up the night sky. Once again, Sifnos and Athens are cooler than us. We are looking for the reverse in a week or two when we return to Greece.

We have decided that we are going to spend some time in Venice this Spring. It’s quite a long time since we were there and I’ve longed to return. I’m already researching hotels to stay in. They have to be close to San Marco where we stayed last time. It will be expensive!

venice1 venice2

Back on Planet Earth, it looks more and more as if UKIP will be power brokers in the next UK Government instead of the Lib.Dems.. This is going to make Brexit increasingly likely. Indeed, it is rumoured on Tory Blogs that Cameron is prepared to sell his soul and advocate Britain’s exit from the E.U. if it keeps him in power. In the end, of course, he’s only a here today gone tomorrow politician so why should he care?

3rd November, 2014

I’m afraid my wife is falling apart from the inside. Took her to the doctor this morning. The doctor is a woman of the same age as Pauline and she delivered the withering diagnosis that women of a similar age as them find their bones and joints, organs and skin degenerating with the accompanying symptoms. Makes a nonsense of extending the retirement age. Pauline has been suffering with what she thinks is a trapped nerve in her neck/shoulder for a month. The doctor thinks it might be early on-set Arthur (aka arthr-itis). She also thinks she might be developing nascent gallstones. She’s being sent to a ‘specialist’ for investigations. I’m going to need a new model soon.

4th November, 2014

Glorious, glorious day with clear blue skies and bright sunshine. Not warm at 11C/52F but Autumnal and ‘Glad-to-be-Alive’ weather. Contact with Elerania and Georgia on Sifnos this morning. All is very well. Pauline has cut my hair and soon we will be off to the Health Club but not until I’ve watched the politics programme on BBC2. It is prescribed viewing!

Made Moules Mariniere for our meal today.


Haven’t had that for months and it was wonderful. Rabbit is marinating for tomorrow when it will be slow cooked. Looking forward to that.

5th November, 2014

A bright and sunny but seriously cool day. Just right, I suppose, for Bonfire Night. Spent the day planning a trip out to the south coast tomorrow to look at three or four houses (something we were doing exactly four years ago today) and I’ve been finalising the set up of new, on-line savings accounts and ISA accounts. Because of European Money Laundering Regulations, setting up an account to store one’s own money is absolutely tortuous.

There is a by-election in Kent which is almost certain to be won by UKIP for their second MP in a month. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. The net effect will be to tempt other Tory MPs to defect and for Cameron to firm up an intention, that was never really there until now, to take the UK out of the EU. There can be little more short sighted than this but it is the ultimate aim of unprincipled politicians – to stay in power.

6th November, 2014

Clear blue skies, strong sun but freezing this morning. At 6.50 am, I went to the Woking Walk-in Hospital for a blood test – the first since August – and the temperature was 0C/32F. There was a hint of frost on the ground. We are setting out for Sussex after rush hour traffic dies down at about 9.30 am.

Had a lovely letter/email  from Elerania last night with news of Sifnos. We fly back to Greece next week. Looking forward to it.

7th November, 2014

Yesterday, we found a house we both really liked at a price we liked in Felpham, and another at Angmering/Littlehampton both in West Sussex less than five miles from where my sister, Catherine, has lived for the last 35 years. We drove home quite hopefully. We’ve done a little research to find that there is a Health Club – a Virgin Active – within reach and a Sainsburys. It is only a fifteen minute drive to the beach and has good, superfast broadband.

Watched a documentary about two, West African men trying to dupe an undercover reporter into giving them £25,000.00/32,000.00€ on the understanding that they have original negatives from a Swiss bank allowing them to duplicate the notes and double the investor’s money. Of course the whole thing was a scam and they were revealed on camera as was their blindingly audacious naivety. Fast forward three or four hours and up pops the Chancellor of the Exchequer crowing about how he’s forced the EU to back down and halve the £1.7 billion bill they had been landed with. Unfortunately, just as the money copiers over reached themselves, so did the Chancellor. Just like with the money copiers, the smoke and mirrors scam began to unravel before the bank notes were dry. Soon we learned that a rebate which had already been expected was being written off against the extra bill. It leaves the Coaltion government in general and Osborne in particular looking like West African con men.

8th November, 2014

Yesterday we filled the car and couldn’t believe how cheap it was. Our petrol at Sainsburys (with a 7p off discount) cost us £1.14 / 1.45€ per litre. This is the lowest it has been for five years. The Daily Telegraph this morning is suggesting British fuel prices could well fall to £1.00 / 1.27€ per litre. Every little helps. Today has been intermittently sunny and then wet. It’s not warm either at 13/56F. We are due for a windy and wet week in Britain which is fine because we will be in Greece.