Week 323

1st March, 2015

Happy March!

wr_feb15

and Happy St David’s Day. Our daffodils – £1.00/€1.38 per bunch – are basking in the Spring sunshine.

daffs2

We have had Revithia (Ρεβύθια) or chick pea soup for our meal in honour of our Sifnos friends. Ρεβύθια is traditionally eaten on Sunday on Sifnos. Pauline does it just as well – if not better!

2nd March, 2015

Goodness, March is almost done already! It is Spring and we have Spring weather with lots of blue sky and warm sunshine. Our home was built in the grounds and on the site of a nineteenth century Anglican convent which is why we are surrounded by the original trees and shrubs which were planted all those years ago to provide peace and seclusion for the religious life of those who were trying to escape the real world. The trees around are now forty feet tall and the shrubs are aging a little. However, this is the time for camellias and we have then in all their glory.

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They are such a sophisticated plant and flower.

The thermometer reads 11C/52F this lunchtime as we set off for an hour at the Health Club and we have 15-16C/59-61F forecast for the second half of the week. I’ll be getting my bikini out soon!

3rd March, 2015

Gorgeous Spring day with bright sunshine but with a little chill in the air. We are awaiting delivery of three of five on-line purchases this morning. We are dedicated Amazon users. This morning we are expecting new patio furniture and an electric griddle and a leather smart phone case from different delivery companies.

griddle2 phonecover

Later in the week, we are expecting a new, colour laser printer plus a year’s supply of toner from two more delivery firms.

printer

This is rather tying. We want to get to the Health Club but when? Life is so hard!

It’s certainly looking hard for the new, Greek Government at the moment as they chase cash to keep going. They want to avoid a third bail-out at all costs so they can shake off the shackles of the Troika but, when you propose to do it by raiding the Pension Funds, life is certainly precarious. This is like ordering from Amazon on a credit card which you’re not certain to be able to pay off. Don’t do it! Unfortunately, as Kathimerini observes, there is less cash reaching the public coffers via taxes than that flowing out of the country in search of greener pastures in Switzerland and Hull. This is the old, Micawber law:

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen, nineteen and six, result happiness.  Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

Looks like the Troika are here to stay for quite some time. Investor expectations of the euro zone breaking apart have risen to their highest level in two years, a survey indicated today, even after Greece agreed a financial lifeline with its euro zone partners.

4th March, 2015

Lovely, sunny day which has reached 11C/52F. All three parcels arrived yesterday but we didn’t make it to the Health Club so we’ve done a hard morning’s exercise today instead. Our next door neighbour asked for some help with her accounts so I’m going to create a spreadsheet for her. She doesn’t want it to hide from the taxman like some people I know but to make sure she pays all her bills on time. There’s nothing like an honest English person!

Pauline’s cooking salmon steaks on the new griddle to test it out. She will serve it with a pesto sauce and griddled vegetables. I’m looking forward to it after all that work.

salmon

5th March, 2015

The cleaners are here cleaning the ‘public’ areas of our Development. We don’t use those because we don’t live in a flat but a Duplex with our own front door. The gardeners are here spray cleaning paths, tidying shrub beds and cutting lawns. We pay for that through our Service Charge. It all feels like spring cleaning just as the weather feels like Spring. England can be beautiful at this time of year. Makes one glad to be alive and free.

We got the spring cleaning bug. After the pressure washing, Pauline cleaned the ground floor windows and doors until the whole outside looked sparkling and new. We then went down to the garage and tidied out our large store cupboard. The car boot is now full of things we hadn’t realised we didn’t need. They will be going to the Hospice Shop tomorrow.

6th March, 2015

Summer has arrived in Surrey. Surrey looks wonderful in Summer. We’ve reached 14C / 57F today and the forecast says we will hit the higher teens over the next few days.

surreyspring

We went shopping at Tesco and then on to Woking Hospice Shop to take a picnic hamper we were given stuffed with specialist food for Christmas. We ate the food and replaced it with a set of six Bistro-style coffee cups and saucers. We also took a lot of computer equipment we no longer needed and two suitcases we bought on impulse, used once and didn’t feel comfortable with. I’m sure someone in Woking will like them.

We did a huge and painful exercise hour. I had to talk my way through each ten minutes of it. When I had completed, I talked to Pauline about my struggle and she said she felt the same today. When we got home, she still had the energy to cook the most wonderful meal of homemade Tomato and Basil soup and Cod Provençal followed by Lemon Compôte with Raspberry Coulis. Every single element was home-cooked. How wonderful is my wife? Who wants to eat out?

7th March, 2015

Quite a chilly start to a day which has reached 15C/59F in brilliant sunshine and a slight breeze. The crocuses have fallen over and daffodils are starting to fade in many areas around us – all signs of the new year advancing. Thoughts turn to European travel. The Euro is at an 11 year low and, with Quantitative Easing (Printing Money) starting in Europe on Monday and forecast to last for eighteen months, it will fall further. Currently at £1.00 = €1.39, it is forecast to reach £1.00 = €1.50 or even weaker. It has already reached parity with the Dollar this weekend which will make Europe’s imports much more expensive. Shopping at Boden will be that much more expensive for our dear Greek friends!

Sat out in the sun at lunchtime with a delicious, chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio.

pgtips

I bought it in Italy last summer. I’m surprised it has lasted this long. Look forward to our next shopping trip to the Supermercato.

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