Week 348

23rd August, 2015

Another humid day which featured half an hour of light rain that helped me avoid plant watering and temporarily held the inevitable Test match result up for an hour or so. We had intended to go the gym but events took over – watching the Test match, the FI Motor Racing from Belgium (something interesting has to come from Belgium) and two Premier League football matches.

Booked a crossing through the Tunnel for our forthcoming journey. The return cost was about £112.00/€155.00 which I paid with my Private Banking Charge Card. I don’t know why but my Bank chose this morning to do a random check on payments, stopped the card account for fifteen minutes and texted me to confirm it was me using the card and not a thief. I should be reassured by this but it irritated me today. I had booked a crossing and a hotel plus another transaction in Surrey and all three had been blocked. I had to contact each company in turn to explain why I needed to resubmit payment. It made a bit of a nonsense of on-line, rapid payment.

Before we go away, we are hoping for the first time in many years to find Pick Your Own Victoria Plums. We both love them and Pauline would also like to make some jam.


They should be ready now but they’re not even in the shops yet.

24th August, 2015

Woke up to warm, torrential rain which alternated with sun most of the day. Why couldn’t England have held on until the final day?

We completed all our Buyer/Seller paperwork and I can assure you that is a lot of work. Off to the Post Office to despatch it to Woking and Worthing and then out to the health Club for some much needed exercise. I really enjoyed it and felt fitter than I have done for a long time – in fact, since the early 1970s when I stopped playing competitive sport. I can’t believe that’s more than 40 years ago. Even Ruth was young then!

Our meal today was a delightful Greek Salad with cold roast chicken and duck. It feels so privileged to have such delightful food. This feeling is accentuated when I read of the residents of Symi trying to help the immigrants arriving on their shores from nearby Turkey.

symi  symi2

These pictures are featured on the Symi Dream Blog today and feature islanders collecting basic necessities for the burgeoning migrant population.

25th August, 2015

A second, consecutive day of heavy rain interspersed with a bit of sun. It’s certainly helping the gardens if not the inhabitants. We have had a quiet day. We visited The Storage Pod to check that increased space will be available when we move out and did another hour’s exercise on the treadmill. Our meal was a seafood salad – tomato and cucumber with a dressing of olive oil and capers to accompany smoked salmon, king prawns and small prawns.


I think this is my favourite meal at the moment. Particularly, we have found a producer of the most wonderful smoked salmon, badged by Pru Leith and sold by Asda. We go out of our way to buy it. It sounds rather ‘precious’ but it is materially better than any other easily bought product. You should try it!

The Greeks don’t appear totally confident in Tsipras as he seeks re-election. This is summed up in this morning’s cartoon in Kathimerini newspaper.


As a sign of the continuing woes, Greece’s state insurance funds are resorting to external loans to cover their needs as fears grow that the measures of the third bailout will not be enough to cover the rest of 2015’s liquidity needs.


The deficit of IKA is expected to grow due to the dramatic increase in unemployment, political and economic uncertainty, capital controls, the measures of the third bailout and the early elections, which are expected to impact on the revenues of insurance funds this autumn.

26th August, 2015

We are experiencing rain in biblical proportions for the third, consecutive day. I knew that Jeremy Corbyn was up to no good. We are considering building an ark. There are two cats live near here. My dilemma is how much to charge them. Should I consider them as refugees or economic migrants?

All the contractual documents had arrived by the time we got back from the Health Club. Lots of signatures for us and 10% deposit from our buyers which will lock them in and give us additional peace of mind. We just want it to stop raining now so the builders can get on with our new house. Pauline is already planning all the flooring, the kitchen type and layout. Which washing machine and which tumble dryer is concentrating minds as we prepare to go in to an English house with a Laundry for the first time in five years. I’m allowed to have a view about how to kit out the Study although Pauline will probably decide. It’s nice to see her enjoying it.

27th August, 2015

Got up at 6.00 am and went out at 6.30 am to the Walk-in Hospital for an official INR test. I usually do it myself at home but like to do an ‘official’ check once in a while. Within about 4 hrs, I received an email confirming my INR at 2.5 which couldn’t be more perfect.

I don’t know what’s happened. We start to build the ark and they turn the water off. A pleasant, late Summer’s day. We are going down to see the progress on our new house tomorrow so we did our weekly shop today. First we delivered signed contracts to our solicitor so that the selling process is not held up and then drove on to Sainsbury’s. We checked in to a shop that supplies fitted bedroom furniture to decide what we wanted putting in our new bedrooms and then came home for coffee and newspapers.

Eventually, we chickened out of exercise today and got through jobs that needed to be completed. Our neighbour is about to put her Duplex on the market and a property just across from us will go up for sale in September. People are beginning to realise that the market has moved so far and so fast in the four years since we bought that it is an attractive proposition to cash in and move on. If one’s free to go where one wants like us, it is even more profitable.

28th August, 2015

Up at 6.00 am on a beautiful morning. We drove down to the South Coast to see the work of our builders on our new home. It was an enjoyable couple of hours and, even though the roof isn’t on yet, we are already planning the kitchen/Garden Room, Laundry, Garden and planting, Study, Lounge and built-in wardrobes in the four bedrooms. Flooring is already a major topic for discussion plus tiles in the bathrooms. Should they be full or half height? Such questions will be at the centre of Pauline’s internet searches for weeks.

Went to the Health Club this afternoon but I stopped 10mins early because I felt really tired. Strangely, I felt dissatisfied with myself for the rest of the evening – felt as if I’d let myself down. Our meal cheered me up. We had dressed Cornish crab with tomato & cucumber salad, taramasalata and humous. Lovely.

29th August, 2015

Up early on a lovely morning. Everywhere is quiet and fresh. The hydrangeas we bought for the gardener to put in have flowered delightfully.

hyd4 hyd3

Did a full hour’s exercise at lunchtime to salve my conscience and then came home to a couple of football matches and ate roast tarragon chicken with roast vegetables – shallots, fennel and mushrooms.

Opinion polls indicating that the September 20 elections will be very close which is not good news for a country that needs firm, decisive leadership in the face of uncomfortable decisions.


Only Forward says the Syriza slogan but, if New Democracy get back, it could become ‘only backward’.

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