22nd May, 2016
A warm and relaxing day of newspapers and little else. The new week will see us restart our exercise program now we are not tied to the house. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at the Leisure Centre and then Thursday visiting Surrey. We are still waiting for confirmation of the delivery of the new sideboard and that is it.
23rd May, 2016
We are certainly enjoying a very warm and sunny day down here. We reached 76F/24C in the shade as we cooked and ate our meal out in the garden. Griddled Pacific Salmon with Greek Salad was just delightful. Earlier, I had considered negotiating a new trade deal with Brazil or setting up a trading business in India but, in the end, I settled for sweeping out the garage and taking a final box of rubbish to the local tip. Actually, I’m sure it was more rewarding.
Tomorrow, we will go to the Leisure Centre and relaunch our health campaign with renewed vigour. In Greece, meanwhile, the newspapers are reporting Fears of protracted strike at Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports. Port Authorities are due to go on strike to protest privatisation plans on Thursday, prompting fears of a prolonged period of inactivity at the ports. Potential tourists be warned!
24th May, 2016
The gorgeous days keep coming. Hot and sunny from 6.00 am right through until now as I write at 6.30 pm. The thermometer in the shade hit 23C/72F. I was so excited, I cleaned the car. We went out to Curry’s to buy three, smallish TVs for three of the bedrooms. They are only 24″ screens with white surrounds and Freeview receivers built in. They cost £420.00/€550.00 in total. Now I have to get a terrestrial aerial installed to supply the signal.
Our meal was cooked out in the garden again. We so enjoyed the griddled salmon yesterday that we repeated it today. Wild, Pacific salmon is such a wonderful flavour (at £13.30 per Kg.) compared with farmed, Scottish salmon (at £12.00 per Kg.). Griddled, the oil-rich skin goes charred and crunchy. Absolutely wonderful.
25th May, 2016
We have really rediscovered tarragon in a big way. Years ago I wasn’t keen but now we use it to flavour chicken and salmon regularly. We probably overuse it but it’s our choice. Living in Yorkshire, I failed miserably to grow it in the garden but down here is a different matter and today I bought three plants for growing on in pots. We have a nursery that specialises in herb and vegetable plants just 400 metres from our house and it is there we went today. Culberry Nursery is fairly homespun but all the more interesting for that. In addition to Tarragon, I bought Sweet Basil plants and Sweet Bell Pepper plants. I will grow them in pots this year just for a bit of fun. I’ll probably add some cherry tomatoes as well.
A local firm is coming to install an aerial so I can receive Freeview in each of the bedrooms. The televisions arrive on Saturday and we will have moved another step on. Meanwhile, we are going back to Surrey tomorrow to pick up my repeat prescription from the Surgery which we have nor resigned from yet. We haven’t had time to choose a surgery down here yet and we will do that over the next month. It will have to be done before we go away. We will go out for lunch with Pauline’s sister and niece. I’m on a no alcohol phase – hopefully lasting three months – so I am driving. However, typically, Pauline says she won’t drink either to show solidarity.
26th May, 2016
Woke up early to a beautiful, sunny morning. At 9.30 am, we set off for Surrey. It should take us almost exactly one hour according to our experience and our sat.nav.. We didn’t calculate in an accident on the M25 which virtually doubled our journey time as we sat and crawled nose to bumper. I knew I should have gone to the loo again before I left home. By the time we reached our doctors’ surgery in Woking, it was all I could do to control my walk to the door.
With my repeat prescription in hand and my relieved state in mind, I felt able to look around my old stomping ground. Unlike where we are in Sussex which seems to have an abundance of wisteria, where we were in Surrey is now dominated by vast and brashly colourful rhododendrons. The traffic and the driving style is aggressive and selfish. Drivers approaching a roundabout dive, kamikaze-style for the advantage.
We survived the traffic and called at P&C’s house before leaving for a gastro pub where were going for lunch together. It was called the Hand & Spear in Weybridge. We went to the restaurant and were seated in the conservatory. Pauline & I ordered roast pigeon with beetroot and beetroot jus for our starter followed by slow roasted lamb with celeriac fondant. It was very well cooked and very enjoyable although I feel bound to say that Pauline would have cooked it better. We didn’t have a sweet or coffee. We had two bottles of sparkling water and a bottle of white wine. The bill came to £175.00/€230.00 which was not unreasonable and we really enjoyed the conviviality of the event but neither of us would leap to eat there again.
Our drive back to our Surrey home took 55 minutes and was a delight. The sun was shining all the way and the temperature was 22C/70F. The traffic and driving was almost polite and the world spread out in good order.
27th May, 2016
Warm and sunny day that was 20C/68F at 8.30 am and reached 22C/70F by mid day but felt a great deal hotter because of the high humidity. We were out at the huge garden centre about a mile away from our house to buy some new pots for the patio and some extra plants. To add to the herbs – Tarragon, Sweet Basil and the Green Bell Pepper plants – I bought yesterday, I picked up some ‘trailing’ cherry tomatoes – yellow and red – especially developed for growing in tubs or hanging baskets. If I get them looking like the illustration, I’ll show you. Otherwise, you’ll never hear of them again.
We went on to a local industrial park to a GPO office to collect a parcel we missed yesterday. While we were there, we spotted a builders’ merchants which we knew stocked the liquid wax Pauline has used on our dining table. It was so good, we bought enough for two more years’ treatments. If you’re a regular to this Blog, you will know my proclivity for ‘forward buying’.
28th May, 2016
About 3.00 am we were woken by the sound of torrential rain. Although it only lasted about five minutes, we went downstairs and made a cup of tea. Back to bed at 4.00 am on an uncomfortably warm night. We weren’t surprised to learn this morning that other places near us had experienced thunder and lightning. We must have been just on the edge. Story of my life!
Tired when we woke, as usual, at 6.00 am. Still, the day was fine and sunny and waiting to be started. We are tied to the house today. Curry’s are delivering televisions for the bedrooms and the aerial installer may just turn up at the third time of asking – if he can be bothered. Pauline and I are finally getting around to contacting friends and family to confirm our new address and keep them up to speed with our lives. It is a mixture of emails (where we can) and letters where necessary. Fortunately, a computer makes it all a lot easier. In total, we had more than sixty people/families to contact. A stock letter slightly tweaked for each contact is fairly quick. A stock email with multiple addressees is similarly economical with time. I really like my address label printer that churns out multiple, transparent, adhesive address labels in short time.
As I write this Blog at 6.00 pm in sultry heat and with one eye on the Championship Play Off final between Hull and Sheffield Wednesday, the TVs have arrived and been set up but the aerial installer has not and is now sacked. I will choose another company after the Bank Holiday weekend.