Week 391

Sunday, 19th June

As yesterday went on, a terrible pain developed in the outer section of my left upper thigh. It began to feel like a dead-leg or the early season consequence of a heavy rugby tackle. I had no idea where it originated having had no incident during the day to bring it on. By the time I had to walk up the stairs to bed, I was in agony and, in bed, I couldn’t get comfortable. I sleep on my left side and I couldn’t bear the pain when I tried that. I tried the right side but it was just as painful. I spent the night fitfully on my back and got up at 7.00 am still very tired.

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Worthing Promenade

As soon as I started walking, this morning, the leg freed up and I was barely aware of it. After half an hour sitting down, I was reduced to the gait of an old and infirm man once again.

We chose to go out for a walk. The weather was beautiful and my leg demanded it. We drove to Worthing Promenade – about 15 mins away – and Pauline picked up an order from M&S. That shop really does have an air of the past about it! The walking definitely helped and I will go to the gym tomorrow to continue my exercise.

When we got home at about 3.00 pm, we griddled Hake fillets and courgette slices out in the garden and Pauline cooked garlic, button mushrooms but, by the time we had eaten our meal, the clouds were beginning to edge in. It got increasingly murky throughout the afternoon but we only got a light shower of rain at about 8.00 in the evening.

Monday, 20th June

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Woodhenge on Worthing Beach

The joke of the day, which opened with torrential rain, is that it is Mid-Summer’s Day or summer solstice. By 11.00 am, the sun was out from blue, blue skies but mid-summer? Worthing Beach marked the day with this structure featured in The Times this morning.

Part of the process of buying a new car has been, for us over the past 20 years, transferring our ‘cherished number plate’ from the old car to the new. Today, the DVLA documents arrived and we took them in to our new Dealership. They removed our ‘cherished plates’, replaced them with those required by the DVLA and told us our new car would be available in a couple of weeks. It is all a very smooth, if bureaucratic, operation in contrast with procedures we experienced in Greece and which Bloggers in Greece bemoan on a daily basis. There, Bureaucracy rules.

Tuesday, 21st June

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Summer solstice evening on the Pennines

Lovely bright and sunny morning. My sister, Mary-Jane, once told me she was ‘too busy for weather’. I have been amused to notice that, like me and particularly since retirement, she has been tweeting pictures of her environment and weather around her Yorkshire Pennine home. It comes to us all with age.

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From the right: Tarragon, Sweet Basil, Tumbler Tomato (red), Tumbler Tomato (yellow).

I have been cutting the lawns, weeding the beds and mulching with chipped bark and feeding the patio plants. the tomatoes and peppers are covered in flowers although there does appear to be a worrying lack of pollinators flying around. The tarragon and sweet basil are romping away.

A phone call from our new Honda Dealer says our new car will be available for collection on Thursday and we need to go in and complete documentation today. We agree to visit en route to the gym. Outside, the road is being tarmacked so our current car is parked off-site. Things are certainly coming together. As soon as we get the referendum out of the way and see how the land lies, we can get on and book our winter holidays.

Wednesday, 22nd June

roadA grey and misty but warm and sultry morning. The contractors have been finishing the tarmacked road outside. I have been stripping the car of all our personal possessions in readiness for taking it in to the Honda garage tomorrow morning and driving away with a new one. Pauline, meanwhile, has been changing over the insurance. Our insurance company have made a complete mess of the process. It hasn’t been helped by transferring on the ‘cherished’ number plate but, for car insurers, it shouldn’t be rocket science.

In Greece, Bank restrictions are still in place after almost two years. Yesterday, the President of Greek Banks Association, Louka Katseli, said that the Capital Controls would be lifted by end of the year. Today, Fitch, the Ratings Agency, said Greece’s four main banks would default if Capital Controls are lifted. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose or what ever the Greek is for that.

Thursday, 23rd June

lightning London
London’s Sound & Light Show

Over night everywhere was pressured washed cleaned by torrential rain and flood-lit by extensive and prolonged lightning displays. In London, it was quite damaging with trains cancelled and roads flooded this morning. Here, we were lucky and everything was refreshed.

We went out to deliver our car and collect the new one at 10.00 am. It was ready and waiting. Dealers always feel that have to make it a special occasion. We’ve had so many now, it felt no more special than a trip to Sainsbury’s but it is nice to be driving a new smell in a younger body with a tighter construction. The front end has changed and become a bit more American and macho which doesn’t really do it for me. I’m macho enough already. Otherwise, nothing much has changed about the construction of the car.

satnav1

The media centre will take some getting used to. The previous model had retained its built in sat. nav. system over 15 years with only a few, minor alterations. This new one is also built in but is Garmin-derived and very different.

When you’re used to something for fifteen years, it becomes part of the fabric of one’s automatic thought patterns. Over the years, moving from one Ms. Windows platform to another always aggravates the smooth completion of work activities until the user ceases to notice by which time, they have to cope with yet another  Ms satnav2Windows platform. So it is with this satellite navigation system. Fifteen years with one has made its operation automatic. One has to keep the mind open and embrace the new while fighting the inclination to compare it with the previous regime.

I see it as an exciting challenge which may well move me forward in thinking and activity. In the past, one just had to grapple with the idea of linking a mobile phone by bluetooth with the car’s media centre. Now I’m trying to work out how to run the car’s internet system from my 4G mobile phone.

Friday, 24th June

ref
The Lunatics have taken over the Asylum!

The world has changed. It will never be the same for Britain again in my lifetime. The lunatics have truly taken over the asylum. Forgive them for they know not what they do. Instability, danger, not only lurks around every corner but comes up and stares us directly in the face. It is hard to find light relief in such gloom. I did read a tweet at 5.00 am today when Sunderland declared a ‘Leave’ vote. One wag retorted – The people thought they were voting to leave Sunderland.

brexit1Expats across the continent will be nervously examining their options. Cosy, dual-nationality options will be seriously up in the air. Reciprocal agreements on Healthcare and Pensions, Travel and Security will be up in the air. Great Britain will almost certainly collapse because the Scots will seek referendum negotiations to get back in to Europe but that presupposes there will be a Europe to get back in to. Already other countries are demanding their own referendums – notably Holland immediately but also Italy and France.

brexit2‘Call Me Dave’ has called it a day and announced his resignation. Gobsborne will not be far behind. I don’t think he will enter the leadership race because he has no chance of winning. They will have to appoint a Brexiteer to lead the negotiations. The nightmare scenario of a Prime Minister Boris and President Trump summit meeting is lurching sickeningly towards us.

Back in the real world, we were up at 4.30 am listening to the nightmare unfold. Out on shaky legs to Tesco at 9.00 am and now, back home, we are trying to assume some semblance of normality by contacting Honda Finance to pay off our twelve hour borrowing which provided us with an extra £3000.00 discount from the on-the-road price. Then we can move on to book our Winter holiday in a collapsing world.

Saturday, 25th June

rocanivariaYesterday finished with us successfully ending our twelve-hour finance agreement with Honda. The result was that we now own the car outright and the £34,300.00 vehicle has cost us £13,170.00. After 4 years of driving and almost 30,000 miles, we think that is very acceptable.We spent the savings on a month in a 5* hotel in Tenerife. We are going for the month of November to Costa Adeje and have booked a double room with sea view and half board in the Adrián Hoteles Roca Nivaria.

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Blue Sky Babe!

Here it is warm with blue sky/clouds/blue sky/clouds, etc.. We drove down to Littlehampton Pier where there is a good fresh fish shop. It’s more like a cabin or shed, actually, but it sells the day’s catch which is nice. Particularly, they sell fresh and dressed crabs, lobsters, John Dory, Turbot – things that are not always available in the supermarkets. It turned out that we were a bit late for the best choice and we didn’t buy but we did go for a walk down one of the piers.

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At the seaside 1 – Littlehampton
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At the seaside 2 – Littlehampton

It is a working and a pleasure port. On one side there is a golf course and on the other a marina. Boats tug in from the sea and up and down the estuary which takes up the excess high tide.

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