Week 361

  22nd November, 2015

The day started off as every one has over the past three weeks here. The sun rises. The sky is blue. The temperature settles at a delightful 25 -29C/77 – 84F throughout the day. We did our normal routine which included watching the  political interviews on the Marr Show and The Sunday Politics. A gym work out and swimming left us tired and we returned to our room to watch Spurs v West Ham on television. Unusually, sitting on the balcony, we felt a light breeze quickly strengthen in to a strong, gusty windy which began to rearrange the furniture on the balconies and verandahs. Huge, white clouds appeared behind the cliffs and a strange, double rainbow appeared in the distance suggesting rain may have been falling somewhere.


We really are becoming more fish than meat eaters. In the last few days, we’ve chosen griddled Hake, griddled Sole with acres of salad. Last night it was a huge plate of langoustines, octopus, clams and mussels – a delicious Fruits de Mer.


Tonight it was Calamari with Tartar Sauce….. and salad. I’m beginning to think that I’m losing my grip!

23rd November, 2015

It’s a weird feeling. I’m sitting in these sunny climes while designing my Christmas Newsletter on my laptop. There will be little time when we get back to England. I keep getting bombarded with emails entreating me to get ready for ‘Black Friday’ or telling me how few shopping days there are left until Christmas. They don’t realise that I couldn’t care less. Christmas is for children. I’m not!

Talking about children, I saw two today and nearly panicked. I suddenly realised that they were the first two children I had seen for three weeks. Our hotel is ‘adults only’ and the area is totally unsuitable for children. The loudest noise we hear is of adults discussing news items in hushed tones or which wine they would like with lunch or dinner. Now that is my sort of noise.

24th November, 2015

On a quiet, warm day of doing nothing in the warm quietude, I was shocked to read an article in Kathimerini:

Greece seems to have passed the stage of the crisis where it was in a prolonged period of decline and has now entered the stage of collapse. The next step after that is of a failed state, and then the game is completely lost………It is impossible to know whether the situation can be remedied now that it has been allowed to degenerate so extensively, particularly when the government in power is in battle with itself, appears incapable of governing and constantly comes up short when the occasion demands some seriousness, be it on the domestic or international front. The coalition government, though barely back in office, is already showing signs that it is on its last legs.

It takes real skill to destroy a once buoyant country but that is the one skill Greece seems to have.

25th November, 2015

A lovely, sunny day which I spent largely indoors following the Autumn Budget Statement presentation and analysis. What fun! We did have a good, long swim in the afternoon but that was about it. You will know that I give a considerable amount of time each day to reading the daily papers, reading a series of political Blogs and to reading a list of Greek (expat) Blogs. Today, the yawning gap between UK and Greek economies could not be wider or more defined.

In UK, the average, annual house price inflation is 10.5% this year, 14% in Surrey where we have just sold a property that virtually doubled in price over less than five years. In Greece, residential property prices have fallen over 40% in the past five years and continue to fall at an alarming rate. Since we sold our Sifnos property, prices have fallen by 20%. At the same time, I know Greeks who tried to shelter their capital from the taxman and a Banking Collapse by pushing it in to property. They will be beginning to regret that decision as they realise the market is not going to be resurrected in their lifetime.

house1 house2

State Pensions are guaranteed by the triple lock. It means that the state pension rises every year by the highest of price inflation, earnings growth or 2.5%. In Greece, the government agreed plans for more cutting pensions and increasing social security contributions. Kathimerini identifies the

alarming state of the country’s social security funds, and the state budget … In total budget spending in the year to end-October was 4.1 billion euros / £2.9 billion short of that foreseen in the first draft of the 2016 budget in early October.

In his Autumn Financial Statement, the British Chancellor announced that he had some £27 billion / 38 billion euros more to spend over the lifetime of the parliament than he had anticipated. The contrast could not be more stark.

26th November, 2015

I like wine. I know a bit about it having tasted quite a lot over the past 40 years. For a long time, I was absolutely addicted to Italian wine – Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, Chianti Classico, Barolo, etc. For no particular reason, I suddenly switched totally to French clarets and that has lasted for five or more years solidly. What I know nothing about is Spanish wine. I have hardly bought a bottle in my life. I did try a couple of Riojas in the past but that’s it. We have been walking to local supermercados near here and sampling different bottles – just in the service of my education. A blind tasting put these two at the top currently.


They are delightful ‘afternoon wines’ and each costs a frightening €2.69 / £1.89.

27th November, 2015

An interesting day. It started off warm and sunny at about 24C/75F but became progressively cloudy although just as warm. We have, correspondingly, had a quiet, home kind of day. We decided to eschew exercise, apart from a short walk, and decided to focus on carpet and settees for our new house. As soon as we get back to UK, we will order the carpet for the Lounge and all the upper floor. We’ve already ordered tiling for the Kitchen/Family Room and Laundry. We’ve ordered wooden flooring for the Hall, Study and downstairs Cloakroom and Storeroom.

We need two sofas plus a chair and a sofa-bed. Currently, we are leaning towards Next Home Furnishings for the sofas. Things like these take our fancy:

sofa1 sofa2 sofa3sofa4

After Dinner this evening, we sat out and watched the full moon come up over the surrounding mountains.


It never ceases to amaze by its speed of movement going from a background glow to a discrete globe above the mountain in little less than 60 seconds. Just to add to the romance of the moment, I managed to sneak the last few minutes of Derby’s comfortable 0-2 win over Hull.

28th November, 2015

A lovely morning of strong, warm sun which clouded over in the late afternoon. I must stop drinking posting wine bottles on my Blog. It gives too accurate a picture. However, it’s all I’ve got to illustrate today. We did our gym and swimming and settled down with a bottle of wine to watch the Murray brothers beating Belgium.


Currently I am watching a lacklustre United drawing with Leicester in pouring, Midlands rain. At least we will have Dinner soon.

Came across an excellent photographic comment on Facebook of all places:


It may mean nothing but appears to say quite a lot.

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