Week 311

7th December, 2014

A lovely, sunny day today and much warmer in spite of the red-top newspapers bleating about ‘Arctic Blasts’ and ‘Eight Feet of Snow’. Pauline has gone shopping with her sister while I am completing my Christmas Newsletter. All communications with Greece have to be posted today if we wish them to arrive before Christmas. I’ve just been checking Superfast Ferries 2015 prices and, even though oil prices are down by 30%, their ticket prices will cost us 15% more. I predict that will change as the season starts.

8th December, 2014

A quiet day finishing off and printing my Christmas newsletter. The North of the country, where we used to live, had its first taste of snow overnight and the trans Pennine routes were being cleared, salted and gritted. Certainly, it is nice to be more comfortable down here in relative warmth.  Did a good hour at the Health Club and dined on Pauline’s wonderful Fish Bisque. The evening was enhanced by a United win away to Southampton. Life is so good!

9th December, 2014

Quite a cold but bright and sunny day. Even Sifnos was cold today we were told. We were out shopping. I went to M&S and overdosed on socks. I couldn’t resist them.


Nineteen pairs for £30.00? You can’t say fairer than that! Clothing is so cheap in Britain at the moment. And they gave us a £5.00 voucher for use in the Food Hall. Filled up with petrol in Tesco on the way home. The cheapest I can remember for a long time. We paid £1.05/€1.33  per litre. I forced the car to take fifty litres.

For our meal today Pauline cooked Braised Pheasant with fennel and shallots. It was out of this world. They could have done with it up in our old haunt of Yorkshire where snow clearing was the order of last night.


We definitely don’t miss it at this time of year although we are getting close to starting the heating up.

10th December, 2014

On Monday night going into Tuesday, gale force winds and torrential rain hit Sifnos but it is nothing to what is about to break over their heads. International observers are talking about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as they watch the Greek Coalition as good as invite Tsipras and his left wing alliance to take over the government of the country. All the pain and all the gain could be for nothing if Tsipras follows his rhetoric through. Indeed, many believe that this is a Samaras calculation to give the left wingers a hot potato to juggle and drop before the Right take over again. It is typical Greek duplicity. We feel so fortunate to be out of it!

Britain is just beautiful at the moment – well, Surrey is. This morning is still and clear with blue skies and bright sun. This glorious sunrise featured in The Times this morning is worth being alive to wake up to.


Pauline is icing the Christmas cake and, although I won’t be eating any, all is well with the world. Just before we left for the Gym, the postman delivered an unordered parcel. It was from our friends, Margaret & Tony in Huddersfield who also have a property in Murcia, Spain.


It was a lovely present and a gentle hint that we agreed to go to Spain for the first time.

11th December, 2014

Beautifully bright, sunny day today. The gardeners have arrived and are mowing the grass, sweeping up leaves and clearing moss from the paths. If you are a weather geek like me – and I know one or two of you have weather stations – I have some stats. for you this morning.

Currently it is 8C/46F but will reach a magnificent peak of 9C/48F. The average high in Surrey on this day over the past 30 years is 7.8C/46F. The record high is 14.3C/58F (in 19945) and the record low -8.9C/16F (in 1991).

Did my INR this morning and was really pleased to find it back on track at 2.7 (2.0 – 3.0 range). I only have 3 test strips left. They are quite expensive at £160.00 for 48 but I managed to persuade the doctor to prescribe them last time so they were free.


I’ll be off to see the lovely doctor again soon!

I’m arranging the movement of ISAs that have matured at 4.0% into this year’s ISA pot at 1.45%. Thank goodness I don’t have to pay for prescriptions! Pauline is busily marinating pork ribs Chinese-style for our meal after our exercise.


Don’t drool. You wouldn’t like them. What a lucky man I am and no weird tourists to consider. Now writing at 10.30 pm it is 10C/50F. Sifnos is 11C/51F.

12th December, 2014

Damp but very mild start to the day but it had dried up by we ventured out at 9.00 am. Sainsbury’s was busy but manageable. Pauline had a Christmas Lunch Needs list and there were a lot of old and very doddery shoppers to negotiate but we were home before mid day. Rabbit soup for lunch followed by smoked salmon and garlic prawns accompanied by the ubiquitous Waldorf Salad.

All the Christmas cards have gone out now and ours are featuring robins – a traditionally pagan scene. That’s what Christmas means to us.Let’s hope the snow stays oop North.


Meanwhile, Greece is well on the way to imploding. Credit rating agency Moody’s has warned it might downgrade Greece in case of snap polls, while investment firm Goldman Sachs said there is a possibility that a cap will be set on bank withdrawals in Greece, as was the case in Cyprus. Thank goodness we got all our cash out in time! According to the Tourist Organisation, Hotels are already reporting a slowdown in the rate of bookings, while the representatives of foreign tour operators are expressing concern to Greek hoteliers regarding the deposits they have paid in case the Greek banking system is affected by developments in the country. Happy Days!

13th December, 2014

The week is ending on the most glorious day of clear blue skies and strong, low sun. A bit of a frost sparkled the lawns at 7.00 am but was soon burnt off by the sun. Greece has continued to be hit by storms and strong winds – meteorologically, economically and politically. We have spent the whole week thanking our lucky stars.

One of our relatives has complained that we are exhausting their ‘S’ in the address book by moving too often. They’re going to have to buy a new book or go digital. We have about three more moves in us yet – not to mention a little place in Europe!

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