13th March, 2016
Lovely sunny day and reasonably warm – reaching 14C/57F. I have to say that it didn’t start well as I discovered that my PC had been infected with a Trojan Zlob virus. My virus checker recognised it but which is annoying. failed to clear it and, I got into an infernal loop of restart / close down which I couldn’t recover from. It means I need a new hard drive at (isn’t it always) just the most awkward time. I haven’t lost anything because all my ‘stuff’ is saved in the cloud but my software all has to be put back on to a new machine which is tiresome and it will cost me £500.00/ €650.00. Never mind. Life is too short. Anyway, all my early PCs cost me around £3000.00/€3890.00 per unit so this is decidedly cheap by comparison. For the moment, I am surviving with my laptop.
14th March, 2016
Up early on a grey morning that is expected to develop into bright and sunny skies. We are driving down to the Tunnel for a short break in France before we move in to our new house. It will take our mind off the waiting. We cross around 10.00 am and do some shopping before checking in to our hotel. I’m not bothering to take my laptop with me so the rest of this Blog will be completed when we get back to Surrey.
The sky brightened; the sun came out and this beautiful weather lasted for two days. The Channel Shuttle was very quiet and almost empty. We left early and arrived early and drove straight to the Calais Wine Store. We were buying wine for P&C who have put us up for six months. It is to say thank you in part. After that, we bought things for our meal and drove to our hotel to relax for the rest of the day.
As soon as we were settled in our suite, we received a call from the MD of our builders to confirm ‘completion’ on Friday and another from our Blinds fitter to confirm his day for installing the window blinds. Immediately afterwards, we had a call and emails from our solicitor to confirm the settlement and details for closure. This is great news.
15th March, 2016
Up early although we didn’t need to be. Old habits die hard! Breakfast in the Dining Room and then out to Auchan. Because we are near to moving, we couldn’t do a major shop. In fact, we just bough enough for a couple of meals. A couple of dozen snails in garlic butter looked irresistible and lots of prawns and crab meat.
We drove to the Tunnel with not a single migrant in sight although there were lots of new, barbed wire fences. We didn’t see any lorries either although, when we rolled off in Folkestone, the motorway was extremely busy with freight from Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Holland, Germany and, of course, France. Nobody can argue that these companies will cease to trade in UK if we vote to leave the E.U..
Of course, the economic argument should not be the decider of EU membership. It should be about cultural and humanitarian collaboration first and foremost.
16th March, 2016
Gorgeous Spring day of blue skies and strong sun although chilly in the breeze. We only reached 11C/52F and it felt a little cooler than that. It was a busy day of arrangements. At 8.00 am, we were at the Storage Pod meeting a Removals Firm boss. He looked at what we’ve got – which is negligible – and agreed an excellent price of £350.00 to transport it down to West Sussex next week. We gave him a key and the door entry codes. He will do the rest.
We came back to draft a letter for our storage provider, cancelling our contract from next week. We delivered it and saved ourselves £200.00 for another month’s storage. We went on to the bank to transfer hundreds of thousands of pounds (scary or what?) to our solicitor’s account for ‘completion’ of our property purchase. This was at 9.30 am but we had to wait until 12.30 pm before we received confirmation of its receipt. Anyway, it’s done and, although we are much poorer, we are very happy.
We went to the pool for a swim but the water was so cold that we had a Jacuzzi, shower and came home. I cooked tarragon boned chicken thighs with some roast root vegetables, shallots and mushrooms. It was delicious and we ate too much.
17th March, 2016
On a cold day with a biting breeze we ventured out at 7.45 am to meet a Removals Man at the Storage Pod. He viewed our goods for removal and transporting to Sussex and quoted us a very acceptable price. We agreed it on the spot. It will happen next Tuesday.
Tomorrow, we will drive down to the house to meet the site manager to be walked round the house and inducted into the operation of central heating, burglar alarm, etc. Afterwards, legal ‘Completion’ will take place and we will get our key and take walk-in possession of the property. Over the next week, our new furniture will be delivered and the window blinds fitted. In order for this to happen, we will drive down almost daily to meet the deliveries. We will move in immediately after Easter.
With all these changes buzzing round our heads and through our systems and making us both feel rather unsettled and less inclined to go for exercise. We are still going to the Health Club but rather going through the motions. We look forward to being settled and getting back into our diet and exercise regime. To that end, we will immediately join the David Lloyd Leisure Club in Worthing and shopping at the fish shop on Littlehampton docks which sells freshly caught fish from local boats daily.
18th March, 2016
Out at 7.30 am and down to West Sussex. It was a cold morning and the atmosphere was bitingly penetrative – rather like a cold day on Sifnos. We approached our new home at about 9.00 am. As we did, our solicitor phoned Pauline’s mobile to inform us that our funds had been transferred and our property purchase had been ‘completed’.
We met the Site Manager who walked us through the technology of the house – services gas, electricity and water, central heating, burglar alarm, etc. We received about eight sets of keys and a welcome hamper containing wine, a jar of coffee plus two mugs, biscuits and a fruit cake. It felt a bit bizarre but nice all the same. We unloaded the things we had brought from the Storage Pod – the broadband router was first of all. I had a phone to plug in as well. A temporary desk to get me through until the Office is fitted out and the ‘Richard’ chair which represents my link with my family’s past.
We had three keys for every lock and, with eight locks, had twenty four keys to juggle, try out and label. Our central heating has zoned controls which allows us to control temperatures upstairs independently of downstairs and water separately from radiator heating. The whole process was explained in about five minutes and we struggled to absorb the process. Left alone in the house later, we struggled to get to grips with it. We will try again next week having read. The Lounge furniture will be delivered on Monday, Beds on Tuesday plus everything in storage and window blinds will be fitted on Wednesday. The Dining table and chairs will follow after Easter.
Only as we drove back to Sussex did I realise that I hadn’t taken a single photo for my Blog. I will have lots of time to do that next week.
19th March, 2016
Today we picked up a new set of cordless, digital phones to take down to the house on Monday. Getting the services up and running really makes us feel better. This set include answerphone, call monitoring and call barring to get rid of nuisance and cold calls.
Interesting report in The Times today. It involves Oldham in Lancashire where we worked for almost 40 years and Woking in Surrey where we have lived for the past five years. The report was from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) and its examination of relative deprivation. It found that Oldham is the most deprived across the metrics of employment, health, education and income. It found that Woking came top across the same metrics. We have obviously experienced the lows and highs of life.