Week 327

29th March, 2015

Summer time and the living is easy. Actually, it has never been easier. Perhaps it’s too easy.

Pauline is looking a bit better this morning although her body is battered and bruised. She has been given green ‘flight socks’ to wear for the next fortnight. She is wearing bed socks over the top and looks an absolute delight. She has had her first breakfast of toast and marmalade for 27 months and it has perked her up a little. However, we can’t make any plans yet because the road to recovery may be rocky and uncertain. We keep looking at Greek travel and then drawing back because we are not in a position to commit. As I worry about Pauline, I think about Skiathan Man and what he and his family are going through. I hope they are coping with the cruelty of life.

30th March, 2015

A delicious Spring day of blue skies, warm sun, bird song and flowering trees. Camelias have been in full flower for some time and are now followed by Magnolia. The world is beautiful.

magnolia2  magcams

Pauline is growing stronger and beginning to move more easily. Things seem to be healing quickly.

31st March, 2015

Another lovely day outside to say farewell to March 2015. Unfortunately,  Pauline has had a bit of a relapse this morning. She had to have her dressings changed and is feeling uncomfortable and frail. We are going to monitor it for a couple more days and then, if there is no improvement, contact the Hospital Support Team at Ashford.

I had to learn how to turn the Dishwasher on before Pauline’s operation. I actually, feel quite empowered now I can do it for myself.  I even got the vacuum cleaner out. There will be no way back from here. I did a really vigorous hour on my own at the Health Club and spent the rest of the day feeling shattered.

1st April, 2015

Happy April.


All Fools’ Day – You know who you are! It’s certainly a lovely day here in Surrey. The car’s thermometer read 19C/66F in the Health Club car park. Unfortunately, Pauline is feeling very fragile at the moment. I am learning to pull my full weight in the household. A Man’s work is certainly never done when his wife is incapacitated!

2nd April, 2015

Pauline is improving but can’t sustain it throughout the day. She stays in bed longer in the morning, gets up with energy but soon tires. It’s going to take some time to get back to full strength. Fortunately, her wounds are improving well and the bruising is already fading from black to yellow but she is still in considerable pain.

Talking of pain, although it was lovely to hear from a number of Greek friends on Sifnos this week, it is sad to hear there have been 30 deaths this winter and that many are directly linking that statistic to the bad weather. One friend told us that it rained continuously, the wind was strong and it snowed twice. Another told us of the high number of deaths and that it included her 88 year old mother-in-law and her 86 year old sister. If there is a causal link between the deaths and the winter weather, it illustrates quite starkly the parlous state to which Greece has fallen. When we first visited Sifnos in 1984, it felt like part of a Third World country and as we left it in 2014, it felt as if it was returning to that same parlous state but with mobile phones. If it accidently falls out of the E.U. in the next few weeks, its fall will be rapid and real.

Having said all of that, you can’t argue with stark beauty of the island’s position but is that enough? This is Kamares this evening.


I’m looking forward to seeing it again.

3rd April, 2015

I must admit that Easter means absolutely nothing to me – English this weekend or Greek next weekend but, to the Greeks, it appears to mean so much that their year revolves around it. Greek television now is dominated by Easter advertising with red painted eggs and festivity. News reports will be all about the price of lamb and film of the central Athens meat market with row upon row of butchered lambs hanging up as wild men wield meat cleavers precariously but with panache. Because of Pauline’s operation, we can’t be there this year but, as I say, that is no bad thing. It was the one time when we really felt like ‘outsiders’ – like Muslims at Christmas in Britain – unable to share in the mounting excitement. Nevertheless, we are sending out Easter Best Wishes to those who it means something to.


Six years ago today Pauline and I left work after 37 years of teaching. We still haven’t fully adjusted to being idle although it is getting easier. Pauline says I am obsessed with time and I am beginning to accept her view. I find it hard to believe that it was six years ago that we set off for Greece as retirees for the first time. I remember announcing to Stavros that we had finished working for good. His reaction was a sight to behold. It was a mixture of shock, horror and panic that crossed his face. At the time, we didn’t understand why but we were soon to find out. He had been ‘winging it’ on our house build, not keeping proper records or accounts and not retaining the all important ‘electricity’ certification. No wonder he panicked and bailed out. Still no true friend would have done that. Fortunately, that’s water under the bridge. The really worrying thing is that another six years will bring us to 70!

4th April, 2015

There is no question that Pauline’s recovery is developing but slowly. It is going to be a few weeks yet before she can be pronounced fully over her operation. However, next week some time, we think, she will go outside for the first time. It will probably only be sitting in the car but that will be a start. We are setting some targets by booking a few days in Yorkshire before we re-plan our travel across Europe.

I’ve done six straight one hour sessions at the Health Club this week so I’ve taken today off. By evening time, I’m beginning to regret it. I’m pacing the floor and looking for activity. I’ll be on that treadmill tomorrow come what may!

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