Week 367

3rd January, 2016

A grey, wet and cool day – one of those days to be ‘tucked up’. We’re going out to the Health Club. I am champing at the bit to watch the cricket. Yet again, I am missing it because I don’t have Sky TV. As I write, Ben Stokes has 232 and Bairstow has his first test century and is at 109.

bs
Ben Stokes
jbs
Jonny Bairstow

There don’t even appear to be highlights on terrestrial television which is very frustrating.

Ran through torrential and pretty cold rain to the Health Club today, did an hour and a half’s exercise and then left under a dry and mild sky. Exercise, as Jane BG will confirm, improves everything …. except the seemingly incurable religion called Global Warming. Each of our exercise machines in the gym have their own mini-tv and mine was showing the cricket on Sky Sports 2. It was heaven. I nearly stayed on the jogger longer than usual but, fortunately, they went off for Tea before I passed out.

4th January, 2016

Beautiful day – blue skies, strong, low sun and relatively mild 10C/50F but windless. Quite the opposite in Greece Force 8/9 gales restricting ferry sailings and feeling cold. Not an ideal time to be on a Greek island. We went out to Sainsbury’s this morning and then straight on to the Health Club to exercise and watch the Test match. We have done quite a lot of exercise recently and, after 35 mins., I began to flag. For once, I decided to stop and rest. The cricket was rather slow anyway.

We went to the Jacuzzi and the sauna, showered and went home to make a meal. I cooked roasted peppers and shallots with mushrooms and garlic. With this vegetable mixture, I cooked fillets of duck. The problem is these days that we fight the need for food all day, given and cook in the mid afternoon, eat but, almost immediately, feel full.

As British joblessness seems to be falling steadily month on month, the Greek story is very different. Kathimerini reports that young academics, entrepreneurs are increasingly emigrating to the United States. Certainly, there are plenty of young, Greek doctors in the UK Health Service. It must be a worry for parents of children preparing for Tertiary education. Should they send them abroad to university and will they ever return to the narrow, parochial, goldfish bowl societies of the islands?

5th January, 2016

A day at ‘home’ today catching up on jobs related to our upcoming trip and merging into the ordering furniture for our (hopefully) imminent move to our new house. Pauline is busily trying to fit enough for a month into her recently purchased set of Tripp suitcases.

tripp

She is so much better at packing than me that I just leave it to her. I have been organising the essential I.T. tools – Kindle + charger, 2 x iPad + 2 x different chargers, Laptop + mouse + charger, phones charger, cube multi-socket extension lead + adapter. This more than fills the carry-on case. Clothes are ironed, folded according to some biblical rule and laid in a manger suitcase. Before leaving, however, I’ve got a trip to the dentist for my new crown to be fitted and a trip to the south coast to walk round the inside of our new-build house in the midst of its internal fit.

6th January, 2016

Today, for religious freaks, is Epiphany. For party freaks, it’s over and back to work. For politics freaks, it’s Wednesday which means Prime minister’s Questions. It was a little foggy here at 6.00 am but now just grey and dank. The Government took another step towards leaving Europe as ministers were granted a ‘free vote’ in the referendum which is now likely to be held this summer. This means that at least three, senior cabinet ministers will join the ‘Out’ campaign, giving it added credibility. We are seriously in danger of sleepwalking into isolation.

We are going for an early swim this morning because I am due at the dentist this afternoon to receive a small crown in return for£560.00/€765.00. This is the profession to be in. It beats bank robbery!…..
……….. a lovely swim, Jacuzzi and sauna and then on to the dentist. It takes him ten minutes to fit the crown and me two minutes to pay the money. Actually, he has done a good job and I am satisfied. As I am leaving, he remembers to wish us ‘happy holiday’ and good luck with our house move. He also hands me the plaster cast made of my teeth which he said I could keep as a memento. They are hideous and will go in the bin tomorrow.

teethset2 teethset

We went on to Benson’s for Beds to discuss the purchase of three beds and bedheads. Each bed is currently discounted by £100.00/€136.00. After this initial discount of £300.00/€408.00, the price was £4150.00/€5660.00. I asked the very pleasant young man who professed to be ‘The Manager’ for a better deal and promptly was offered an additional reduction of £550.00. Quite quickly, we agreed to purchase. ‘The Manager’ then asked how we would like to pay and suggested interest-free credit over 36 months. I asked if there was a discount for cash and he told us there wasn’t so 36 months of very little it is.

7th January, 2016

Up early and out in a day of blue skies and strong, low sun to drive to the south coast to view our new house. All the ‘extras’ we had requested were ticked off and we rechecked the lounge dimensions prior to buying the furniture. It now looks like it will be the first week of March before we are in so about eight weeks away. That’s fine. It will give us more time to source furniture and services.

We drove straight from Sussex to Slough to order our lounge furniture which is guaranteed delivery within eleven weeks but could be done earlier. If we didn’t order today, it would be mid-February before we could do it. We chose the sofas (2x 3-seater + chair + footstool). The style is illustrated below:

sofas

The salesman insisted we pay it off interest-free over 4 years. We couldn’t reduce the price by paying it off upfront. Oh well!

8th January, 2016

Kathimerini reports under the heading –

House prices set to fall further

Property prices in Greece may have plunged in recent years, but a comparison with other crisis-riven countries in the Eurozone suggests that the market has some distance to slide yet before it bottoms out….. property sector professionals who insist that the market has yet to bottom out and that prices remain relatively high, especially when compared to the purchasing power of households, might just be correct.

For those hanging on for a lower price, and we’ve met one or two of them ourselves, you’re going to be waiting for a few years more. Suddenly, life becomes too short.

This morning, I phoned BT to sort out a new phone line, broadband installation and BT Sport for our new house. The building manager advised me yesterday that BT lead-in times were long and I should get on with it. I followed his advice and BT said they could do it next week if I wanted. I actually found myself trying to delay them a few weeks.

It’s certainly a grey and chilly morning outside. I’m looking forward to Canarian warmth and sunshine. We are off to Gatwick this afternoon. Before that, I have to cancel our Health Club contract from the end of February and pack the car.

Our only difficulty this morning was balancing the dual priorities of having enough in our cases to get us through a month while not overstretching the weight limit for the flight. I had ordered a luggage weighing tool a couple of weeks ago and it hadn’t arrived. We guessed the weights, and I went out to pack the car. Outside the door was a parcel….containg the luggage weighing tool.

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Luggage Scales

By that stage, I couldn’t be bothered.

Left for Gatwick at midday in light rain. We drove to the Long Stay Car Park. We are staying at the Holiday Inn prior to flying tomorrow.

HIG
Holiday Inn, Gatwick

This is a relaxing way to travel. We relaxed, had Dinner and an early night.

9th January, 2016

For once in our life, we got up at the leisurely hour of 8.00 am, had Breakfast at 9.00 am and drank coffee in our Suite until we took the shuttle bus to the airport at midday. The airport was extremely busy and we dropped off our bags and went straight to the Aspire Lounge which, unusually, was also fairly busy. There one can help oneself to the buffet lunch, wine, coffee, etc but we were too full from Breakfast and just made use of the relative comfort of the surroundings and good, wi-fi connection.

Our flight left on time, was very comfortable over the 4 hrs. 20 mins duration and completely uneventful which is what we want from a flight. The transfer to Los Gigantes is about 40 mins through narrow, winding streets and we arrived just as Dinner was finishing.

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Hotel Los Gigantes

Staff took our cases to our room and whipped us in for Dinner before it closed. We were given our room ‘keys’ and some correspondence which turned out to be cards and letters from old friends we haven’t seen for more than thirty years. That was a lovely start. When we got to our room we found two bottles of champagne and a bottle of red wine with glasses waiting for us. We were absolutely shattered and went to bed immediately.

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