Week 384

1st May, 2016

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Καλό μήνα

New week, new month. Happy May to all our readers and a special Καλό μήνα, καλό Πάσχα to our Greek friends. We have got a beautifully clear and sunny sky and I am having my hair cut in the garden by my beautiful wife. I’m not terribly keen on sitting still so long so my face will begin to look like this rabbit’s before she’s finished.

It has been a lovely, warm day. My hair has blown away across the garden. I hope it will form the basis for some bird’s nest – preferably a robin. Roast chicken and root vegetables for our meal was delicious. We remember when the price of chicken made it a luxury to be eaten very occasionally in the 1950s whereas fish was fairly cheap. Now it is the opposite. Pauline still buys the best fresh chicken she can find and it certainly rewards her with excellent quality and flavour. Today a bird of 1.8kg cost £7.57/€9.70 from Tesco ‘Finest’ range. It was delicious. It will make two meals for us so is very cost effective.

Watched three Premier League matches while reading the Sunday Times this afternoon as the sunshine belted in through the open, conservatory doors. It was a strange experience not to be rooting for United to win and to feel pleasure when Leicester pulled off a well fought draw. There is little, now, that can stop them winning the title.

2nd May, 2016

canoscanBank Holiday for many but just another day for us. We have been to David Lloyd Leisure Centre to sign a 12 month contract. It will cost us £129.50 per month. That is for ‘off-peak’ usage which suits us fine. We will use it 5 days per week and concentrate on the gym, pools and health spa. There is an on-site hairdresser and beauty treatment centre which Pauline may use and a restaurant/café with televisions and Wi-Fi which will be useful. There are also lots of ‘free’ classes which Pauline may book up for like ‘Zumba’.

Built-in obsolescence is a terrible thing – as I keep reminding my wife. I’ve had a simple but efficient scanner for a few years. Suddenly, with the recent upgrade of Windows 10, it has ceased to work and there is no new driver for it available. I’ve been looking for a new scanner. Cannon, which makes my current machine has produced an identical model but with an updated driver and they will charge me £50.00/€64.00 for the privilege of using it with the new Windows. Even so, I’ve ordered one to pick up tomorrow at Currys/PCWorld.

3rd May, 2016

sdbdLovely, sunny, cloudless day – rather mirroring the mood of the people of Leicester. We have a little man coming round to do some work this afternoon so we feel rather ‘confined to Barracks’ while awaiting his appearance. Tomorrow, we have our ‘induction’ at the Leisure Centre by our ‘personal trainer’. Sounds fun!

Today our new sideboard was delivered. It had come all the way from Spain and we had waited for weeks. The deliverers unpacked it in our lounge and ….. it was damaged. We couldn’t believe it. We paid £650.00/€821.00 six weeks ago and waited with rising anticipation. To find it damaged and have more time to wait is unbearable. Our dilemma is that we looked for a long time before choosing it and failed to find anything else we liked more. We are reluctant to go back to the drawing board but not prepared to wait much longer.

4th May, 2016

On this gloriously bright and sunny day, we both woke up early and turned and said to each other, “We need to go back to the drawing board.”. I had my orange juice and then emailed the suppliers to tell them to refund £650.00 to our account and collect the damaged sideboard. They replied immediately saying the refund would be made but it was cheaper for us to donate the sideboard to a charity which is what we will do. We will now look for a replacement. We are deliberately focussing on modern, slightly quirky, maybe designer in their use of materials. I wonder what you think of these:

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Alright, perhaps they’re not your cup of tea but they seem right for a new-build house. The only problem is that they are not viewable in store. They are all internet-only companies.

Did our induction session at the Leisure Club this morning and came home and grilled chicken and shallots outside in the sunshine. Life is definitely good at the moment.

5th May, 2016

gym2 gym1Glorious, glorious, glorious morning on the Sussex coast. At 7.00 am, the newly mown lawn was bathed in warm sunshine and the temperature was 11C/52F. We are looking for 21C/69F today moving towards 24C/75F by Sunday. It’s going to be an enjoyable few days.

Jobs this morning include a trip to Currys PC World to collect my new scanner and then in to Tesco next door for the weekly shop. Back for coffee and then out to the Leisure Centre for a work out and swim. I think we will use the outdoor heated pool today in this sunshine.

Great session at the Leisure Centre timed to coincide with the Daily Politics. It is almost two months since we did a gym session and we began with some trepidation but we needn’t have worried. It was fine and very enjoyable. Admittedly, we didn’t overdo it and, afterwards, just luxuriated in the huge Jacuzzi pool. It was very enjoyable. Driving home in glorious Summer weather, we reflected on how happy we are and how reassured that we had chosen exactly the  right place to settle.

6th May, 2016

saunaGlorious Summer’s day. Yesterday actually reached 23C/73F as we left the Leisure Centre. Today is 26C/79F in the shade in our back garden. Quite delightful! We griddled sea bass fillets on the patio and ate them with Greek Salad. We did about 90 mins. of workout and came home to relax in the sun.

marinaEverything about the David Lloyd Leisure Centre is on a magnitude of ten compared with our previous Nuffield Health Club. The sauna is big enough to hold a party in and so hot I could manage less than ten minutes. It is less friendly and personal but it is exactly what I like. I just want to do my exercise and leave. I am not looking for community. I’ve got a wife! Tomorrow we are going to Littlehampton Marina which is about two miles away. We aim to be there in time for the fishermen landing their catches and selling it from huts on the shore.

7th May, 2016

A hot and sultry day in which we were fairly active. We worked on continuing to unpack boxes from our move. This coming week will see a lot of bathroom furniture installed – our fitter has been in Las Vegas for a couple of weeks and will need to build his cash reserves back up so is keen for extra work.

When they are installed in the three bathrooms, we can move ‘stuff’ out of boxes and into the cupboards. The newly produced bedroom furniture is being delivered on Thursday and installed the week after. We only have wardrobes in our bedroom at the moment and none in the other three rooms. They are being fitted and then each of the four bedrooms will have bedside cabinets installed and a run of dressing table furniture with chairs and mirrors. After that, I can have the bedroom televisions installed.

greekpostI’m rather glad I’m not in Greece yet. There is a general strike which will paralyse the country and, particularly, its transport system. Hope you’re not expecting to travel by ferry this weekend to an island. You better stay at home! There is a general air of gloom surrounding the security of the current government at the moment. With their arms bent far up their backs by the Germans, they are having to force through more tax rises and more pension cuts. There is something of resigned despair emanating from poor and middle class Greeks. This accompanying poster has been hijacked by the British Leave Campaign to make their own case but it has been snatched from a Reuters article in a similar vein. There is definitely a sense in the air that a new, Greek crisis might be looming in mid-Summer.