Week 383

24th April, 2016

The last week of April already. Hold on to the handrail! At 7.00 am, the sky was pale and wan, as Yeats would have described it. The temperature was a cool 7C/45F. I watched the morning political slot with Andrew Marr and then we went out shopping. We had ordered a low tog – 3 – duvet and had to pick it up from Dunelm. We went on to do a large shop at Tesco next door. The supermarkets are so busy of Sunday morning. It’s enough to gladden one’s heart!

anspBack home in time to unpack and set up my new pressure washer. It will see use tomorrow. On to the e-Sunday Times with glorious fresh capuccino topped cinnamon sprinkle sipped while I watch Andrew Neil with the combative Dominic Raab and the obstructive Lucy Powel trying to filibuster. Of course, Raab was on for discussion of the European Referendum vote. I find myself in the most deliciously contrary position. I love Europe. I feel decidedly European. I am determined to vote to stay in Europe. However, when establishment people tell me that voting to leave will bring a plague upon my house, it makes me want to vote ‘out’. It must be the natural dissenter in my character.

25th April, 2016

All These Bits!

I am not and never have been a practical person. At Grammar School in 1962, I was required to do one-year taster courses of metalwork and woodwork. I failed in the end of term task to make a ‘pipe rack’ and I failed again in the next term’s test to make a key tag and a coat hook. In practical things then as now, I am a failure. I used to be ashamed of it. Now, I realise, I am good at thinking, writing and analysing and I am happy to rely on my wife for the practical solutions. Pauline will take hours writing a few lines to friends. I will take hours removing my new pressure washer from its packaging and trying to assemble the parts from sketchy illustrations produced by a German company.

Just look at all the bits that came in the box. The illustration doesn’t even show you that I’ve had to attach the handle and wheels already. I’m exhausted and I haven’t even assembled the gun/lance/thingy. After I had finished assembling the whole thing, I connected to our garden tap and power from the garage and proudly called Pauline out to see the demonstration. She turned the power on and I turned the water on. Before I even got hold of the gun/lance, water spouted from every orifice. It clearly wasn’t right. Pauline laughed, checked the instructions and reassembled the connector in seconds. Turning the water back on saw the whole thing work perfectly. Aren’t wives clever? Tomorrow she will let me clean the car.

26th April, 2016

A strange day of brilliant sunshine and short showers including one of hail. It was never really warm – I think it reached 10C/50F. – and often feeling raw cold. In the sunny morning period, I managed to mow the lawns, and pressure wash the patio. In the cold times, we hunkered down in the house, emptying the Office in readiness for the delivery of the furniture. I had bought a cheap, stand-in computer desk while the real stuff was being manufactured and delivered.

Today, two delightful; chaps turned up in a huge delivery waggon and carried off an L-shaped corner desk unit and a straight extension desk unit, a 4-drawer filing cabinet and a 3-drawer pedestal cabinet. They brought out a full height, beech bookcase for the downstairs Office and a white bookcase for Pauline’s ironing/sewing room. The men themselves were almost as interesting as the furniture the were delivering. One was a Bulgarian who had been in UK for three years, taken his HGV qualification, had worked as a courier for CityLink until it went bust, worked subsequently for Hermes and was now working for Office Furniture. The other guy had lived in Worthing throughout his childhood but now lived in Manchester. This is the reverse journey that we have made. Lives are interesting and strange.

27th April, 2016


Mum has been dead for eight, long years today. Eight years! How I miss her. I remember her now. She would be very exercised by the effects of the oscillating weather on her large magnolia tree in her garden. It was her pride and joy but hugely susceptible to frost.

ocsA wonderfully sunny morning with just a hint of light frost on the newly mown lawn. Sun streaming through the conservatory windows made the kitchen a hothouse. It got even hotter when we started to unpack and piece together our new, office chairs.

When we were young, everything seemed to come stamped with Made in Taiwan. Now, everything comes stamped Made in China. There is only one, central reason for this – The incredibly low wages paid in that country. Unfortunately, low wages do not equate with motivated workers and high quality production. If you’ve ever built an office, gas-strut chair, and I’ve built hundreds in my school days, you will know that it should be a fairly simple process with few pieces to assemble. The Chinese seem to have a knack for making it difficult. These chairs cost about £200.00 for the privilege of building them ourselves. That formed a couple of hours of our lives that we’ll never get back. Still, like the pains of childbirth, the angst has gone now we have wheeled them into our office and use has begun. Actually, I’m sure childbirth is a breeze in comparison!

28th April, 2016

Once again, we are treated to a Summer view first thing in the morning. Up at 6.45 am to clear blue skies and strong sun. Cold though and a hint of frost on the lawn and on the roofs once again. The targets for today are getting all our books on to the newly installed bookcases, tidying up the garage of all the empty boxes, visiting the local tip to dispose of accumulated cardboard and just enjoying the day.

bgsmI love gadgets and I have lots. I am what’s known as an ‘early adopter’. I must be one of the few people in the country who is delighted and fascinated by the delivery of the British Gas smart meter monitor, It is on my desk now. The house builder set us up with a British Gas Dual Fuel account from the outset and with that came an expensively commissioned smart meter monitor. We have had earlier prototypes for years. We had one in our Yorkshire house at least ten years ago but this is far more sophisticated. The government are legislating to make them compulsory under their ‘Green Agenda’.

This smart meter monitor uses the power of the internet to wirelessly communicate with the actual meter outside and with the British Gas who will no longer have to employ armies of meter readers who roam the country in all weathers trying to gain entry to old houses to read their meters or who open up the meter boxes on the outside of newer house on an annual basis. Many of us have been reading our own meters and supplying the readings for decades but all of this will fade in to the oblivion of a bright new age. Now we can work out how much boiling the kettle is actually costing us or lighting the gas hob to heat soup. On our meter, the gas consumption and electricity consumption is provided by the hour/day/week/month/year. Why we can’t compare decades, I don’t know.

29th April, 2016

Yorkshire this morning.

We had a little bit of rain last night which has freshened up the borders and the lawns but we haven’t got the view that my sister, Jane, has tweeted from her lounge window in Yorkshire this morning. It is not hot but we have the conservatory doors open to the fresh air and it is perfectly pleasant. I must say, it doesn’t make me long for Yorkshire. As we approach May, it does get close to being all wrong!

As any reader of the Blog will know, we have been buying lots of ‘stuff’ to furnish and kit out our new home. It is costing, quite frankly, tens of thousands of pounds to do – probably reaching nearly £50,000.00/€65,000.00 by the time we’ve finished. On so many occasions in the past few weeks, we have been confronted by a salesman saying that we can pay for our goods on interest-free-credit over a certain period. The weird thing is that it is impossible to negotiate better terms by paying up front. If the cost of delaying or spreading payment is built in to the price of the goods, our view has been – Although we can afford it, the money is better in our investment account than in someone else’s. As a result, the bedroom furniture – £12,000.00/€15,400.00 – will not be paid for at all until May, 2017; the  beds – £3000.00/ €3,900.00 – will not be paid for until March 2018; and so it goes on until the Lounge furniture is finally paid for in March 2020. I will be 69 by then and we’ll probably be looking to replace it.

30th April, 2016

w1The last day of April which here in Sussex is going out with wall to wall sunshine. Not so everywhere, however. It has been a distinctly schizophrenic season in Northern England well illustrated by this photograph put out on Faceache this morning. We have the conservatory doors open to cool down the kitchen. The temperature outside was nothing to write home about – 12C/54F – but the strong sun without a hint of a breeze made it feel so much warmer.

At last,this afternoon, we are going to sign on at the Health Club. It will be about five weeks since we were able to do specific exercise. We have had plenty of exercise but it has all been incidental as we addressed our new house issues. Next week we start the new regime – back to work! Can’t wait.

Week 382

17th April, 2016

psA beautifully sunny and warm day after quite a chilly night. We went out to the pharmacy in Sainsbury’s because Pauline has an eye infection again. She has had this recurring for years. She has been told it is because she has dry eyes and doesn’t make enough tears. Anyway, treatment cream purchased, we drove back and, as we were parking, met our next door neighbours for the first time. They seem very nice. One is an executive with Last Minute.Com and the other is called John like me so it will be easy to remember his name.

We have a very busy week dominated by house, house, house. Thank goodness we are retired. Actually, Pauline asked if, like her, I felt I was on holiday. Living in a new place with all the freedom of time that we have does feel like permanent holiday. Soon, however, we will sign up at David Lloyd Leisure and will go back to work. Before that, I’m going to get fit watching two football matches.

18th April, 2016

So much for living on the South Coast. We were the coldest in the country last night because we were the only ones without cloud cover. Like on Sifnos, our house here is not polluted by lights and the moon and stars were in full view. The temperature went down to 0C/32F but there was no sign of frost and the morning remains cloudless with strong sun.

mircabWe are expecting a delivery of wall furniture from the Bathstore this morning. Another £1000.00/€1255.00 for mirrored cabinets, mirrors, toilet roll holders, towel rings, etc.. A little man is coming to fit them tomorrow (hopefully) but they will go in the garage until then. Later today, an electrician will come round to install an extra spotlight over the shower so Pauline can highlight her wrinkles while washing.

Moving in to a new property, particularly a new-build property, the services are very often so up to date they need a ten year old to understand them. We have a new cordless phone system which monitors callers and allows us to filter out those we don’t want to speak to. (Note to Poison Dwarf!) There are four handsets for around the house and a setup handbook as thick as an old telephone directory. I have been putting off reading through it and setting the system up until now. All phoners in the first two weeks have been interrogated within an inch of their lives before being put through. Yesterday, I put a couple of hours aside, set up the access, set up the messaging, saved all known contacts in the address book and sat back tired but happy.

Today we are going to get to grips with the burglar alarm and, tomorrow, the intricacies of the dual heating system. For this latter, there are controls for hot water and for radiators plus separate ones for heated towel rails BUT all of these are duplicated and separate upstairs as well as downstairs. I think I can cope with today’s task. I may struggle tomorrow.

19th April, 2016

Sussex has felt like Greece over the past couple of days, not because of the weather, not because of the language but because of the αύριο (mañana) syndrome. The electrician was due on Monday – cried off until Wednesday – and the carpenter was due on Tuesday – cried off until Thursday. Mind you, our woodman on Sifnos said he would rebuild our pergola in April and arrived at the end of September so we are still doing relatively well.

Amazon have tried (or say they have tried) to deliver twice in the past couple of days but ‘failed’. We have been at home so it can only mean they couldn’t find us or couldn’t be bothered looking. I went on the Post Office website to get our address registered. It is a nightmare of complexity. I tried to phone Customer Services to find ….. it is a nightmare of complexity. From recorded message menu to recorded message menu I fumed. Eventually, I deliberately chose the wrong option just to speak to a human being. Didn’t you know, he asked laconically, that the Post Office and Royal Mail are now separate and you want them not us? I confessed I didn’t. He offered to put me through to their Customer Service thus proving they weren’t that separate at all. After 5 minutes of Vivaldi, a recorded message advised me to go to their website where I’d first started and I collapsed in a heap on the Office floor, sobbing.

20th April, 2016

bb2Wall to wall sunshine today. I’m going to give the grass its second cut. Just in time, our brown bin for garden waste was delivered this morning. It’s collected every second week with the recycled one. Brilliant and friendly service down here. For two more days, we are stuck at home with deliveries and tradesmen calling. By Friday, we will be ready for a trip out to Surrey.

The electrician arrived at 10.30 am and, in under 15 mins, ran a spur from the main light in the Family Bathroom to above the shower, installed a ceiling spotlight and left. At no time did he turn the power off. How did he do that? At 12.00 pm, the Blind Man arrived and fitted full length – wall to ceiling – blinds across the conservatory windows.  Within an hour and £550.00/€700.00 later, he had finished and disappeared into the sunshine.

shademurWe have been having an ongoing struggle with Amazon for a few days. For the third, consecutive day, a delivery driver from Brighton said he had tried and failed to deliver our parcel. He hadn’t even tried. He was Polish and probably paid a pittance but that is no excused for fraud. We complained for the third time to Amazon who gave the driver hell and, an hour later, he found us. Amaze balls! We had ordered three light shades. Two were Murano Glass and perfect. The third was plastic and horrible. It is going back immediately.

21st April, 2016

ttUp early and DISASTER. My e-copy of The Times wouldn’t download./ After deleting the app and resetting my iPad, I resorted to old technology and phoned the newspaper. They had been inundated with calls after updating their app over night. Within ten minutes it was fixed and I was happily reading over my fresh orange juice. Calm restored.

A busy day saw us out at 9.00 am to Rustington to return the rubbish lampshade to Amazon. This is incredibly easy and the money was already refunded to our card account before we handed over the parcel for return. We went on to a bank where we have ISAs to change our address. It required our passports for that. Rustington turns out to be a delightful place with lots of lovely shops and restaurants. We went into the delightful Waitrose there and bought dressed crab for tea. Driving back, Pauline told me that Asda were selling the washing gel she uses for the washing machine at less than half price. I told her we would corner the market and bought six bottles which saved her £27.00/€35.00 and, with the two bottles she’s already got, will last her a year.

pwI went on to Argo to purchase a pressure washer and extension hose so I can clean the car myself instead of paying £10.00/€13.00 every couple of weeks. The washer and hose came to about £150.00/€190.00 which wasn’t bad. Thirty of cleaning the car myself and I’m in profit and I need the exercise. By the time we got home, however, I was tired and decided the car could be cleaned later in the week.

We ate dressed crab and fresh prawns with tomato and cucumber salad. We shared a lovely bottle of chilled claret on a day which got so hot for April. We reached 19C/66F with glorious sunshine. Tomorrow we are driving up to Surrey. It is bound to be cold and raining!

22nd April, 2016

bbwSet off for Surrey at 9.00 am on quite a grey, cold morning. Drove to Chobham to collect the arm of a leather chair we were having restored by a firm there for P&C. Drove on to visit them and stay for a couple of hours of chat then home. We haven’t been in Surrey for a month and the change – bushes and trees now in flower and full leaf is quite extraordinary. Woodland carpeted with bluebells were just magical. Oak trees in their fresh, early ochre leaf colour automatically appear harbingers of full blown summer. By then, our house will be completed and we will be on our travels. That is something to look forward to.

No longer will I have to look forward to receiving my State Pension. Today, I officially became and Old Age Pensioner. I am a proud man!

23rd April, 2016

A quiet day of consolidation at home. I have been rationalising investment accounts as ISAs mature and need my attention. As a savings vehicle, they are becoming increasingly less important now we all have an investment interest free sum of £1000.00 per year per person or £2000.00 per married couple. With interest rates hovering around 1.3%, it takes quite a bit of capital investment to breach the £2000.00 barrier. We will roll our ISA funds over but not take out any more because ‘open’ funds currently offer a marginally better rate. What hurts is the fact that investments are maturing which have been paying 3.5% and it is almost impossible to find homes for them at more than 1.2 – 1.3% without tying them up for years Currently, I’m not prepared to do that.

Sifnos at Prayer. (Supplied by a friend.)

We have also been looking at booking our Greek travel and, in spite of the weakening of the pound, finding it cheaper than last year. There is no question but that the migrant crisis in Greece is harming the tourist trade. There is also the persistent theme of Grexit. The Greeks are being forced to raise their VAT rates and to sell off their national silver. The government is being squeezed ever tighter to raise taxes and cut spending. There are regular rumours of undertones in the governing circles that the fight is not worth the pain and that Greece should just bite the bullet and leave. This could come to a head in peak holiday time. Even though the grip of the orthodox church is ever loosening as they increasingly plead poverty, prayer is all that is left to some on Sifnos.

Week 381

10th April, 2016

GTECH cordless lawnmower

The start of a new week and we haven’t been in our new house fourteen days yet. Even so, we have achieved a lot. Today, in warm sunshine, I gave our newly turfed lawn a light hair cut with my new, cordless lawnmower. The GTECH Falcon is a wonderful machine – simple and intuitive which suits me just fine. It has a three hour charge which will do 40 mins mowing. I managed to do front and back lawns in just over half an hour. The grass was rich and luxuriant from high quality turf. I just lightly trimmed it because cutting too low – scalping – encouraged bare patches and subsequent weeds. I haven’t done any lawn mowing for nearly six years and I really enjoyed it today. As we intend to travel quite a lot as soon as we are established here, I don’t intend to do anything with the garden apart from maintain the grass. I may have to get a gardener when we go travelling.

Sunday, of course, is papers day along with the Andrew Marr political morning slot and The Sunday Politics mid morning. Twitter is alive with political geeks like me welcoming politics back into our lives after the Easter parliamentary recess. Now I have Sky Sports back, I am also watching the Leicester game followed by United’s match.

11th April, 2016

If I live to 67, I’m covered.

The table was finally delivered today. We might be able to eat from it tomorrow. Sky callec and replaced my 2 TB box because it wasn’t functioning properly. We went out to buy a re-chargeable strimmer to finish off the garden. We continued to unpack boxes from the garage. Tomorrow, the carpenter will be round to put up the extra kitchen unit and do other jobs. We are almost ready to resume normal life.

Woking Borough Council were environmental stazi. Arun Council, by comparison, are pussycats. Our landfill bins are collected every week. Our recycle (What is that?) bins are collected every other week along with our Garden Waste bins. We don’t do food waste! Don’t bother about it, the lady at the Council said. We don’t take it seriously and you don’t need to. That’s the sort of philosophy we like. That’s what we’ll vote for.

12th April, 2016

Sky+ Box

It’s been an absolutely delightful day. Sunny and warm throughout the day, we have sat outside for most of it. We always set ourselves targets for the day. Mine was to tidy the garage. As it is still littered with huge plastic boxes loaded with books and dozens of framed pictures leaning against the walls, this was no mean feat. Now it is decidedly passable. Next weekend, we will be able to garage our car and assume normal life. We drove out to the shops to collect accoutrements for our bathrooms. A joiner called to say he would do a series of jobs on Thursday – adjusting our new, reclaimed wood dining table, putting up an extra kitchen cabinet and a shelf under the television in the kitchen for a Sky Box.

Jason, the carpenter, will return to install all our bathroom additions – mirrored cabinets in all three bathrooms, toilet roll holders and towel rings plus a couple of extra mirrors. Rather him than me drilling and screwing through the tiles. Pauline wants an extra light put above the shower in the Family Bathroom so that will be done. The additional bedroom furniture is about a month away and then we should be finished. What will we do to occupy ourselves?

13th April, 2016

umbAnother gorgeous day of warm sun and blue skies. We registered 18C/65F which is not earth shattering but will do at the moment while we are busy. In Yorkshire, where the cricket season gets under way this week, they are forecasting heavy rain and sleet or snow at the weekend. We received deliveries this morning. First, at 7.30 am, a sun umbrella for our outdoor eating furniture arrived. I went out to unpack and install the umbrella into a heavy, patio base. After 20 mins, Pauline came out and if I was struggling. She knew I was. She took the pole parts from me and, before I could draw breath, I heard them click together in her tiny hands. We both broke down in hysterical laughter. Bloody typical!

At 10.30 am, a box containing ten ceiling light shades arrived and Pauline put them up. I held the ladder. I did put some coat hooks up on the back of six doors but then had to sit down in a fit of nervous exhaustion. After I had recovered, we went down to Bathstore and spent another £1000.00/€1260.00 on cabinets and wall furniture. The manager was a delightful Greek-Cypriot from Lanarca called Panos. He was very pleasant, helpful and gave us 15% discount which is the best part. We came home and ate roast salmon with roast vegetables outside in the sunshine. Life could be a lot worse.

14th April, 2016

Up early for a long and busy day. Aft tea and fresh orange juice (which Pauline is able to do for me now we are settled in our own home), I produced a list of snagging jobs for the carpenter – they were all to do with adjusting doors/door handles – all the important things of life. We had talked to the builder about extra lights in the Family Bathroom ceiling over the shower which is currently a bit dark. Within two days, he had sent an electrician down to see us and he came this afternoon to say that he will install one on Friday. The electrician was followed by the chief carpenter who was coming to do ‘foreigners’ for us.

First, our new table, bought from Oldham but made in Lithuania, needed its legs attaching to the top. I took a brief stab at it and immediately realised that I needed an expert. The expert arrived, sorted the table out in under 10 mins., put an additional kitchen cabinet on the wall complete with cornice and pelmet, put a shelf on the wall to hold the Sky Box for the kitchen television and agreed to come back next week to do some more work and left for his journey home.

15th April, 2016

We got up this morning to torrential rain. We had breakfast sitting at a Dining Table for the first time since we moved in. We are pleased with our purchases:

Tab1 Tab2 Tab4

and life appears to be returning to civilisation. Homemade soup followed by tarragon chicken with roasted vegetables was our celebratory meal on our new table.

With so many purchases being purchased, delivered and unwrapped in the past couple of weeks, including the table and chairs, we have accumulated enough cardboard to paper the globe ( slight exaggeration) and we have already made two trips to the local refuse tip to rid ourselves of it. Today we made our third trip and the house breathed a sigh of relief. The workers at the Arun Council Refuse Site are delightful, friendly and helpful. As soon as we got out of our car, they rushed over to help carry and dispose of our rubbish.

All of this is in stark contrast to the Woking Council site where we were treated suspiciously from arrival and every item of waste scrutinized minutely and categorised within an inch of its life. Bin collections were fortnightly at best. Here in Arun Council area, general waste bins (Black) are collected every week and Recycle (Blue – Don’t bother separating it. We’ll do that for you.) are collected fortnightly. What delightful people. Mind you, we do have to pay for the service. Today we received our Council Tax Banding F for the house which levy £2387.00/ €3005.00 per year for local services. The Greeks should consider themselves lucky to be let off so lightly!

16th April, 2016

We have spent the day quietly at home reading and writing. Pauline made a lovely meal of home made soup, poached tarragon salmon and Greek salad. This afternoon I ‘ve watched Norwich lose 3-0 to Sunderland and I am hoping to see Chelsea find some pride and go on to beat Man. City.

New Peloponnese Highway which cost the EU 250 million euros

After all the bluster and bravado, the Greek newspapers are speaking about the decline in tourism last year and negative trend in bookings for this year. This is backed up by a decline by 20% in car rental bookings for this Easter. Ironically, these figures come at the very moment the new and expensively EU-financed new Peloponnese highway connecting Corinth, Tripoli and Kalamata is about to be opened. At least this won’t be used by the thousands of illegal migrants camped in the country. Pauline and I will be keen to drive it this Summer. Kalamata is on our wish list.

Week 380

 3rd April, 2016

Pauline’s present – a tumble dryer.

A long day began at 6.00 am. We were expecting television installation men from 8.00 am onwards. They arrived at 9.00 am, took one look at the walls, another at the wall mounts I had been sold and said, ‘No!’ After they had left, we made a trip to the local Currys, returned the wall mounts and received more appropriate replacements. A return visit for the fitters is booked for tomorrow although I’m not over optimistic. They don’t like fixing them to plaster board. One, large screen television was set up temporarily in the lounge and I was able to watch Sky Sport for the first time in six months. It was good to see Leicester hold on for another win and Man. Utd. scrape one as well.

Tomorrow the bedroom furniture surveyor will be with us – all day according to him. When Pauline enquired, he said he would need two hours per bedroom. Eight hours does seem a little excessive but we will see. We are really finding this process rather draining at the moment. At least Pauline’s new condenser tumble dryer arrived from Currys this morning and fitted in perfectly.

4th April, 2016

We woke at 6.00 am and felt we had to get going because today will be very busy. By , we were up and about and ready for the onslaught of the day. That’s what it feels like at the moment.

The bedroom designer arrived at 10.00 am as promised. He patiently and methodically went round the four bedrooms with us talking, suggesting and making measurements and notes. After each room, he would return to the kitchen where he had set up his draughtsman’s drawing board on our garden table and draw up immaculate plans for the furniture manufacture and the installer. We were warned that he would be with us for eight hours – two hours per room – but he managed it in five. The bill will come to about £11,000.00/€14,000.00 which is around the price we were expecting. I had already managed to negotiate a price reduction of almost £1000.00/€1300. The furniture will be manufactured in Oldham, of all places, and shipped down to us in about a month. It will take about five days to install.

The television install didn’t go as well. Still got the wrong wall mounts – on the advice of the experts. Exchanged them again at Currys and rebooked fitting for Friday.

5th April, 2016

Superfast Broadband arrives.

I approached this prescient week with happiness and trepidation. Last Sunday was the seven years anniversary of our retirement. Neither of us can really believe it but we are increasingly realising that we will never go back to work. Tomorrow, I am 65 and officially become an Old Aged Pensioner although that term is no longer used in polite society. On Friday, it will be two years since we last set off to drive to Greece. How those past experiences will inform our future actions, I have no real idea but they will. It is up to us to build on them and make them meaningful.

What more could a man want?

Yesterday, my broadband connection was upgraded to superfast, fibre optic by BT. At 8.00 am, I was receiving 8Mbs download speed and 1MBs upload. By evening I was getting 42Mbs download / 14Mbs upload. This is quite a remarkable increase. I am delighted with it.  BT seems to get a bad press currently. I have nothing but praise for them. They have managed the process for me immaculately.

Chairs ——–
without a Tble.

Today, our dining table and chairs will be delivered and the garden furniture can go where it belongs – out in the garden…………….Wrong. The six chairs arrived but the table was not on the lorry. We phoned and there was a mix up on the collection. The table will not arrive for a few days. The garden table which had gone outside has been brought back in. The thing about being ‘older’ is that one learns to accept disappointment and to be patient. Where is that TABLE?

6th April, 2016

Well, I made it. 65 today. Officially an OAP. What a pity Dad didn’t get this far.

John – 1983 – Milos

Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday Old Bugger.
Happy Birthday to me.

Did the 10 minute drive to Littlehampton Pier Road and bought Dressed Crabs and Turbot. Crab for Lunch and Turbot for Dinner. It’s good this 65 thing.

West Sussex Dressed Crab

7th April, 2016

Got up early and went out to B&Q in Worthing. Needed a white shelf board and some coat hooks. Don’t ask. We’ve got a little man coming round in the next day or two and need to soupbe ready for him. Came home just after mid day and realised we were starving. Pauline had made tomato & basil soup which was wonderful.

I unpacked the lawnmower and began to charge up the battery. The heavens immediately opened and rain poured down intermittently for the rest of the day. At least the lawnmower will be ready for the first available slot. The delivery company contacted us to say the dining table would be delivered on Monday morning which is good. The new lawn turf is growing strong with rich, green vigour. It needs a light trip to keep that growth in check.

8th April, 2016

One of the things about our house move – Did you know we’ve moved house? – is that we have relied on so many people providing so many services. Although we realise there is a commercial imperative, the interface has been wonderful and life-informing. This morning, two gas fitters came round to install our televisions. They worked for Currys Knowhow team and had been despatched to mount our televisions onto the walls of the kitchen and the office. They did the work with such friendly aplomb that it was a joy. While they were here, the snagging officer appeared to ask about any problems we might have with our new property. One or two doors needed adjusting and we have some extras we need installing but nothing major at all. Over all, we are delighted with our new home.

The dining table will be delivered on Monday. Sky will send an engineer round to look at our installation the same day. On Tuesday, a carpenter will call to put up extra kitchen cabinets and do other small woodwork tasks. On Thursday, we will have our doors adjusted and there will be little else to do.

9th April, 2016

Lovely morning. The first without any commitments since we moved in ten days ago. Actually, we were receiving a delivery from B&Q but that came by 9.30 am so we were free for the rest of the day. We did some food shopping and then went in to Currys to buy a memory stick. We chose the wrong time. Their computer systems had crashed and they were struggling to get them back up. Nothing can be done under these conditions. They wouldn’t accept hard cash because the database wouldn’t be updated and they couldn’t print an invoice. The world cannot function without digital technology now. A few years ago, Pauline was about to pay £200.00/€250.00 for a suit in Ermou Street in Athens when a thunderstorm hit the power supply and everything went down. We had to go back the next day to buy it.

DC2 DC1We are hoping to get out to the David Lloyd Leisure Centre tomorrow with a view to restarting our exercise programme early next week. We have a three days of deliveries and workman calling but we think that we can fit our exercise around them. We are beginning to lower stress levels and relax in our new house. The Leisure Centre is huge compared to ours in Surrey and we are looking forward to ‘off-peak’ membership which will give us real freedom. The price is about the same. It will cost us about £120.00/€150.00 per month as a couple which is fantastic value because we go at least five times each week. That’s 40 adult entreancs per month or £3.00/€3.72 per use. You’d have to go a long way to get better value than that.