Week 364

13th December, 2015

This is the penultimate week of the Blog’s 7th year. It actually started on Christmas Day 2008 but the inexactitude of the calendar’s mathematics makes it difficult to pin down. There are 52.143 weeks in a year. If one calculates 7 x 52.143 = 365.001. I will celebrate the beginning of the 8th Blog Year on Christmas Day, 2015. I just provide advanced warning so Sarah & Stavros can put out the bunting in preparation. The Sunday Times trumpets that the Paris Conference Climate deal ‘to change the world’ in 50 years. I will be 114 years old and not really bothered. By that stage, I won’t be going out much – may be to the Health Club, supermarket and that’s it! 

A very mild but grey day today. We went out at 10.30 am and spent a couple of hours in the Health Club. An hour on the jogging machine followed by a spell in the pool, the Jacuzzi, the Sauna and back home. I cooked chicken and green peppers for our meal. The day has sort of melted away which is a bit disconcerting but that’s how it goes some times. For some reason, my mind has been obsessed with thoughts of my Mother today. I think I miss her.

14th December, 2015

After an early chill in the breeze, today has continued mild. We went round to our old apartment because we were told that some post had evaded the re-direction instruction and been delivered there. It was the first time we had met our buyer. She was still in Australia when we completed the sale with her daughter. The first thing that hit us when she opened the daughter was the stink of cigarette smoke. It is 30 years since I last had smoked and one encounters so rarely now that the strength of the smell is quite overwhelming.


It is hard to believe that I subjected Pauline to that for our first few years of marriage. I don’t criticise those who smoke but I am surprised that they don’t worry about the consequences and the cost.

We did a couple of hours of exercise and then we ate griddled cod loin with salad. We are not able to buy much beyond one day’s food because we are not in our own home. We are going to France at the end of the week and we would normally do a huge shop in the hypermarket but we will have to restrain ourselves on this occasion.

15th December, 2015

Out early and off to the Peacock Shopping Centre in Woking. Had to have my glasses frame adjusted after leaning on them and altering the shape. All done for nothing at Specsavers where I bought them. It was a grey, damp day which Britain excels in over the winter months. We are looking forward to our return to Tenerife. Just got to get through (Bah Humbug) Christmas first.

I wrote my customary newsletter to relations and friends and informed them that they could contact us at our old address because we were using redirection.


Inspite of that, many are choosing to send emails/e-cards instead. Quite refreshing really.

16th December, 2015

Out early again this morning for dentist appointments. I had a temporary cap fitted to replace the one that shattered while we were in Tenerife. It was prepared and fixed at 9.30 am but had fallen out by 4.30 pm.. We are off to France tomorrow morning so I will try to get it re-fixed next week.

The media is reporting that this is turning out to be the warmest December for 100 years. Certainly Surrey features many men walking round in short sleeved shirts and shorts. Daffodils are flowering and some of the bushes and trees are strongly budding while the local news featured early strawberries fruiting.

daffs3 straw3

I certainly don’t complain and won’t if I never see snow again.

17th December, 2015

This has been a week of early starts. This morning we are driving down to the Tunnel for a short, shopping trip in France. Bags packed last night. A shower, cup of tea and off into rush hour traffic. It is always ‘rush hour’ here.

At 6.30 am, it is 14C/57F. Athens is only 10C/50F at the moment. Our day is expected to reach 16C/61F. Who wears coats nowadays? In three weeks we are back in Tenerife where the temperature is 23C/74F. I think I’ll get a job as a weatherman!

Great drive down to the Tunnel in remarkably light traffic and strong sunshine for 8.00 – 9.00 am. Clearly, the Tunnel traffic has been badly affected by the migrant problem. We were given an earlier crossing, loaded on to a half full train and booked in to a very quiet hotel. All of this in the week before Christmas which has traditionally been very busy with festive shoppers. We settled in to our Suite.

After I’d watched The Daily Politics, we went shopping for P&C’s wine and a little for ourselves. We bought a  snack of cold meats and shellfish for our meal and took it back to our suite. We went back out to Cité Europe and bought a Christmas present for a relative. Driving back, we got caught in a traffic snarl-up which is becoming a regular here as police respond to migrant challenges. It delayed us for about fifteen minutes and we got back to our hotel to eat – drink a glass of wine – and read the papers. The temperature at 4.00 pm is registering as 17C/63F and BBC London news are reporting 16.5C/62F is the highest December temperature for 100 years.

18th December, 2015

Christmas Week (Bah Humbug) begins with warm temperatures – 16C/61F – although rather overcast. Usually, we have breakfast in hotels but not today. We drove down to Auchan and did a little food shopping and then off to the Tunnel. We were back in Surrey by lunchtime. We ate prawns, crab, St Jacques terrine and salad.


Nice little interlude.

We have booked a visit to walk round the inside of our new house during the first week of January before we go away. Hopefully, we will get the key shortly after we return.

19th December, 2015

We left the house in 16C/61F of warmth at 9.00 am to go shopping. Last night was the warmest December night on record at 14.7C/57F. The Times this morning features daffodils in full flower at Windsor Castle just a few miles away from here and people punting in summer dress on the river in Cambridge:

daffsw punt

Certainly, people are having to force the spirit of Christmas more this year. On Sifnos, friends say it was bitingly cold as the tree was lit up in Apollonia Square and Andreas, the Mayor, officiated. They are certainly having to wear more clothes than here.

sifchris1 sifchris2 sifchris3

These are awful times for people who don’t really do Christmas. Roads and pavements, Shopping Centres and shops are crammed with craze-eyed shoppers intent on being FIRST to everything. There are Christmas songs and even some carols blaring out from speakers everywhere one goes. Still, it will soon be New Year!

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