Week 333

10th May, 2015

A warm day of sun and cloud devoted to the newspapers. Obviously the majority of serious newspapers were concentrating on post election match analysis.


To a left leaning voter like myself, it was blindingly obvious that Labour had deserted the centre ground. They had shunned – even provoked – business and seen a return to centrist, statist actions that belonged in the pre-Thatcher era. There can be no going back and that will include in the choice of a new leader. Social Democracy will have to be at the heart of the new party’s appeal to the electorate. It could be a long haul.

11th May, 2015

A warm day which reached 20C/68F. We did an early trip to Sainsbury’s in Knaphill and I then did an hour at the Health Centre. I timed it to combine with political discussion of Cameron’s new cabinet and Labour’s struggle for the party leadership. The time soon flies with gripping viewing like that. The warmer weather combined with my exertions meant I left dripping in sweat and hotter than the environment. We had a lovely, light meal of smoked salmon, prawns and salad.

Pauline has spent the afternoon ordering dresses on-line. She certainly needs something to perk her up. She is still at less than full health and vigour. It is amazing how surgery has affected her. It is almost eight weeks since her operation. We are champing at the bit to get travelling but can’t make arrangements until she is up to it.

12th May, 2015

Pleasant day of sun and cloud reaching only 18C/65F. Pauline spent her morning liaising with the Management Company for our Development while I exercised at the gym. We had fish and salad for lunch and planned travel in the next few weeks. Starting to feel a little hemmed in and missing our drive across Europe. Got to get going soon.

Will Greece still be open for business? Kathimerini reports this morning that, although Greece managed to cobble together a repayment to the IMF today,

it finds itself in a state of quarantine, as is anything related to the “Greek risk,” due to the ongoing uncertainty and the danger of a serious liquidity accident. Foreign banks and stockbrokerages have either drastically cut or altogether stopped conducting transactions with their Greek peers over fears of the complications an accident or capital controls would generate.

This is just one step from the Cypriot debacle when full capital controls left citizens unable to use cash machines and eventually limited to withdrawals of pitifully small amounts of money.

13th May, 2015

Absolutely gorgeous Summer’s day with temperatures reaching 24C/75F. We spent it busily visiting people and places before sitting out this afternoon. Drove to town for Pauline to pick up a dress she’d ordered but not before three others had been delivered to our door. Actually, she ultimately only liked two of the four. We spent a couple of hours at Phyllis’s house trying to set up her new EE Broadband hub but it ended in a frustrated call to EE who hadn’t completed the connection.

About 1.00 pm, we drove on to the nearest garden centre to buy a couple of ceramic planters and some lovely mixed lavenders to fill them with a bag of compost and a bag of gravel.

lav1 lav2

hyd1 hyd2

lup grelav

We got captivated by a large, white hydrangea and a similar blue one, threw in a yellow lupin and a mauve, Greek lavender and we’d spent £150.00. Still, it’s all in a good cause and they do express quintessential, English Summer!

14th May, 2015

The gardener arrived early, spent the morning cutting the lawns. I asked him to plant our new purchases. We went off to see Phyllis and try to get her broadband up and running. It is a simple business but I still couldn’t manage it. Eventually, we found out that the phone company

hadn’t done their job correctly and we just have to wait for that to be effected. It’s pretty poor service and rather frustrating. They would fit in as a Greek operator. When we got home, the gardener had finished his job and the skies had opened, watering in the new plants perfectly.

Pauline spent a couple of hours doing house work while I spent the same time at the Health Club – an hour on the treadmill and an hour in the pool/Steam Room, Sauna. Felt great when I got home for a meal of tomato & basil soup followed by roast chicken and vegetables.

15th May, 2015

We had the most wonderful, heavy rain last night providing much needed drinks to the natural world. The lavenders that we had planted thanked us with a fine display this morning.


The day has been mild and dry. We did an early Tesco shop and then some house cleaning and tidying. Pauline cooked a wonderful meal of roast hake with roast vegetables – onion, fennel and mushroom.

If you compare us with Greece, we have no concerns about the regularity of pension payments – our teachers’ pensions or our State pensions – which are never late and often early if a Bank Holiday or weekend intervenes. In Greece, Public Sector pay was paid mid-May but there are real concerns about end of May and June payments. Just imagine how that must feel! One wonders whether big-ticket projects like the new, Sifnos school will have the finance to complete and continue if the supply of central finance dries up. We know our island friends are very worried about the future.

16th May, 2015

Lovely, sunny and warm – 22C/70F – day. The grounds around us look beautiful. The lawns were striped on Thursday. Birds are singing everywhere and bushes are flowering in abundance. Pauline did some de-cluttering of the house (late Spring Cleaning?) today while I did a hard hour’s workout at the Health Club.

We use a Bank credit card that provides us with ‘points’ for each pound we spend using it. As everything we spend is done through our credit card account and then paid off at the end of the month, we rack up quite a collection of points. These points can be traded in for flights and its predecessor was the Airmiles company. They can also be traded in for commodities through named companies, sold for cash or vouchers. Last year, we used our points to buy return British Airways flights to Athens but it is an expensive way to do it. This year, we have already have amassed enough points to be sold for £350.00/€481.00 cash but, alternatively, we can buy £700.00/€962.00 worth of Sainsbury’s vouchers and that is what I’ve done.


It will pay our supermarket bill for a month which can’t be bad.

Conversely, Channel 4 News revealed tonight that they had obtained a copy of a confidential Greek government briefing paper which states categorically that, if they don’t receive additional bailout money in the next three weeks, they will be insolvent and then the banking system will go into meltdown. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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