Week 349

30th August, 2015

The penultimate day of Summer 2015 has been pleasant but quiet. We had quite a lot to do so we didn’t go out to exercise. We will go tomorrow – Bank Holiday Monday or so we are led to believe. It means so little to us. – when the Health Club will be like a ghost town.

Received an email from our builder this afternoon with an illustration of current development of our new house.


If the weather is kind, we will be in it for mid February. If not, it might be Easter – March 27th, 2016. We will be going down soon to discuss kitchen units, floor tiles, wooden floors in the hall and study, fitted Study furniture, bathroom/en suite tiles, wardrobes, garden paving/landscaping, etc., etc.. Pauline is on the case.

31st August, 2015

A soggy end to August and the Health Club was packed with workers punishing themselves on their day off. We did our hour and marvelled at the ‘free car wash’ provided by the weather. What disappoints me is that I don’t get noticeably fitter. I am just as tired and my shirt is just as heavy with sweat today as it was when I first started this madness. I’ll never catch Jane BG at this rate.


She won a silver medal in the World Masters Athletic Championships, August 2015Lyon.

A Sifnos friend contacted us yesterday and we are looking forward to going back to Greece in a few days time. Kathimerini has a Leader Article which echoes exactly my thoughts:

Greek election may reopen can of worms

The upcoming Greek election may reopen the can of worms that the country’s recent 86 billion euro bailout deal with its creditors was supposed to close. Given that no party is likely to emerge from the Sept. 20 vote with a majority, it may be hard to form a strong government that can implement the program. There’s even a risk that there will be yet more elections, tipping Greece back into crisis.

I’m looking forward to hearing the word on the street or the talk in the café. It is so much better than reading about it.

1st September, 2015


The Summer has gone and the Autumn begins. The weather remains the same. Actually, the day opened with torrential rain which recently gave way to blue skies and sunshine but the ark is close to floating.

À propos of absolutely nothing, I came across this amusing picture on the web this morning:


and this excellent one-liner from the Edinburgh Fringe:

I lost my virginity very late. When it finally happened, I wasn’t so much deflowered as deadheaded.

Can you tell I’m having a quiet day? Well, I’ve done another hour’s exercise and the rain has returned. The ark has edged further off the patio and the cats are getting their life jackets on.

2nd September, 2015

The day has opened quietly. Some schools in England go back today. In Surrey, they go back tomorrow. In our house, they never go back. We received an update from our Estate Agents which suggested that our buyers wanted to ‘Complete’ quickly on the purchase of our property. We may only have 4 – 6 weeks left here.

We also received an invitation from our builder to go down and view the development of our new house.  We won’t be doing that for a while because we will be abroad but we have been to visit flooring specialists. We will need tiling throughout the ground floor – Hall, Study, Cloakroom, Toilet, Kitchen-Family Room, Laundry. With such a big expanse, it is important to get it right. We drove over to a stockist/supplier to look at examples and came back with ideas. We think that half will be wood and half tiled. We’ve got a few months to think about it.

3rd September, 2015

A mild but overcast day. We had a trip out to Camberley which took about an hour as a round trip. It never ceases to amaze me how rural everywhere in Surrey is. We went on to the Health Club for an hour’s exercise and then came home to griddle chicken and vegetables outside in the garden.


Will the Greeks give Tsipras ‘one last chance’? Will they vote with the left wing breakaway, Popular Unity, for a return to the Drachma and reject ‘Austerity’? Will they turn back to the corruption of the past and choose New Democracy? Between a rock, a hard place and a very hard place is where the Greeks are. Why would anyone seek asylum there?

4th September, 2015

All the kids went back to school yesterday leaving us behind in our dotage. It still feels strange yet wonderful. As we wave goodbye to our neighbours’ children and cheer when they’ve gone, we fill our days with keeping fit and healthy and planning the interiors of our new house. We are currently projected to move in at the end of February – beginning of March which will mean we can return to our drive across Europe about April time. Before then we and the builders have to make decisions about

  • tiles (and, possibly, underfloor heating),
  • kitchen units,
  • fitted wardrobes,
  • Study furniture,
  • white goods,
  • outdoor paving and garden landscaping,
  • the garage door automated, etc..

We will have to arrange for

  • a new phone line to be installed,
  • a satellite or cable supplier to connect to our media distribution panel,
  • a broadband supplier,
  • a doctor and a dentist.

In the meantime, we are off to Greece for a jaunt followed by some time in France and some time in Yorkshire. We haven’t got time to work!

I started my teaching career in a Victorian school in Derker, Oldham. I lived in a flat in Acre Lane three streets away. This afternoon, I watched a programme on television in which the Texan model and former husband of Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall, explored her ancestry.


How funny to find her grandfather was born three streets away in Waverley Street, Oldham. To add to the irony, it emerged that Mick Jagger’s father, Joe Jagger, lived in Greenfield and taught at Hulme Grammar School in Oldham.

5th September, 2015

I am a creature of habit – to the point that it drives my wife mad. In my retired reincarnation, I start the day shortly after 7.00 am with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, a cup of Yorkshire tea followed shortly afterwards by a large cup of freshly brewed coffee. I love my bean-to-cup coffee maker.


It grinds the beans, forces pressurised hot water through the newly made grounds and produces a lovely head on the coffee. The Italians would probably call me a philistine because I needed frothed milk on the top. Over the frothed head, I sprinkle cinnamon and then chocolate powder.


Now I am ready to read the Politics Section in my digital newspaper followed by my favourite section – The Obituaries. You have to keep up with the dead!

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