10th April, 2016
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
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
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
Another 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:
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.
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.