Sunday, 7th August, 2016
You know you’re getting old when your Blog hits week 398. That equates to 7.653846153846154 years. WOW! I was young before this started. It is Sunday. There is an exciting Test Match and Man. Utd. playing Leicester City in the Charity Shield. There are Sunday papers to read. We are going to the gym to earn the right to sit down and relax later.
We are going to Greece soon – Athens and the Peloponnese – well we were. Pauline wants to cut it short and just do Athens this time. She wants to fly to the Kalamata region of the Peloponnese next year instead. We did book our Athens hotel and with cancellation built in so that will be a job for tomorrow. We will retain the hotel but alter the flights and the dates. I’m not particularly thrilled but marriage is about compromise. I will play my part.
Really enjoyed the cricket and the quality of the England team. It is 30 years since I’ve been able to settle down to a Summer Test series. Greek television didn’t seem keen on buying it. I don’t know why! It was particularly good to see Moeen Ali chosen as Man of the Match. I never feel he gets full recognition for what he brings to the team. He also seems a bit on the fringes in the group shots. His batting has certainly made a huge difference to England and he took the last, ‘vital’ wicket in the match.
Monday, 8th August, 2016
Lovely, sunny morning of clear blue skies. Spent it outside cleaning the car and doing tidying up jobs. My new pressure washer comes with two pressure nozzles, a water brush and a shampoo applicator as well as a patio cleaner. In the past, I’ve never had the time to bother with such things and just bunged the local car wash £10.00 each week to do it for me. Now, it’s quite a pleasure to do it myself. I’m not so keen on using the chamois to wipe it off but I’m sure my wife will help.
Half an hour sitting out in the sun and then it will be time to set off for the Leisure Club and another hour’s exercise. In the meantime, I’m looking at the potential for setting up a new (additional) Blog with a view to exploring a specific topic and possibly attracting some advertising. If I decide it is a goer, I’ll let you know.
Exercise was hard today. We left home at 1.00 pm and returned from the Leisure Club at 3.30 pm. We were both shattered. Fortunately, it was Pauline’s turn to cook. She had already prepared tarragon Chicken with a roast onion and fennel dish accompanied by garlic mushrooms. Just a simple, little dish to fill a corner. It was followed by fresh raspberries and strawberries with ginger yoghurt on top. Deeeelicious!
Tuesday, 9th August, 2016
A hot and sunny day that reached 26C/79F in our garden. We spent quite a bit of time in the garden absorbing the vitamin D. In spite of both feeling tired, we went to the Leisure Club and did another session of workout. We were both seriously feeling it by the end of that session. We will do Wednesday – which will make four consecutive days and then have Thursday off before going for our fifth session of the week on Friday. We have the burglar alarm installer coming on Thursday after the alarm went off in the middle of the night and nearly killed us with shock.
Pauline cooked the most wonderful meal that sounds very simple but was just delightful. We ate cod loin with pesto topping and a cucumber and Greek Salad. The pesto was made from our home grown basil and the salad was made of tomatoes grown on our patio. The flavours were outstanding.
Wednesday, 10th August, 2016
A sultry day of cloud and hot sun. I’ve got a sore throat, painful ears and a sniffle. We decided to call off the gym work today and concentrate on more pressing matters. We still haven’t got a doctor down here yet. We have become accustomed to playing the system a little since spending half the year in Greece. Our doctor in Yorkshire though 6 months in our Greek house was a great idea and was happy to prescribe six months drugs in one go so we didn’t have to worry abroad. When we came down to Surrey, they immediately frowned on that idea although one did tell us to stockpile in order to have enough and that’s what we did. The rule is, apparently, that we shouldn’t be out of the country for more than three months or we could be taken off the surgery roll. We managed to persuade them that we were respectable and trustworthy but it was always a bit iffy. Current ex-pats are going to find it much more than a bit ‘iffy’ when Brexit finally hits.
We identified a surgery down here that we wanted to go to but its website said it currently wasn’t accepting new patients. We have kept our Woking doctor in the dark about our move in the hope that the situation would change. We have returned to Surrey for repeat prescriptions, check-ups, etc. for five months now and things have changed – They’ve got worse, much worse. Every single surgery in our area – and there are five – now announce on their websites that they have no patient places free. We have been forced to go on to an ‘allocation’ system where we have no choice who we visit. Six years of Tory government have brought us to this.
Thursday, 11th August, 2016
A burglar alarm specialist is here this morning to test the system. We have had one or two problems from sporadic error messages on setting and then a night when we nearly died as the alarm went off at 2.00 in the morning. He seems confident that he can solve it. Famous last words.
I’m not well. In fact, I think I’m dying. I developed a sore throat yesterday. This morning, I’m streaming with a cold. If I am to live, I will need a lot of looking after. I’ve already told the burglar alarm man not to kiss me because I am obviously infected. Pauline says I’m in a state. As I pointed out, I’m in more than a state. I’m in a country!
After five minutes, the alarm man has concluded that the system wasn’t set up properly in the first place. After five more minutes, he has done the job and is on his way back to Bracknell . We set off to do our weekly shop. I sniff and sneeze around Tesco. Old ladies come up and ask me if I’m alright. When I say I’m dying, they want to pet me. I pretend to be brave and move on although I want petting really. Returning home, I settle in for an afternoon of Test match cricket and drinks from my wife.
Friday, 12th August, 2016
A long, hot and sunny day. I am still streaming a cold and the cricket has been a little turgid. I stirred myself to mow the lawns, pick some tomatoes and the first peppers. We haven’t had to buy tomatoes this week as the plants are delivering day after day.
The peppers have quite surprised us. We had three plants. One has turned out to be a ‘bell’ pepper and two have produced flatter, crenulated peppers. We are looking forward to eating them. Pauline harvested the Basil again today and made another batch of Pesto. I’m hoping to feel well enough to go back to the gym tomorrow.
Thought you might like this cartoon from the Greek newspapers. You need to know two things to help you understand it. The Greek economy contracted by 0.7 % year-on-year in the second quarter of 2016 and Anna Korakaki won an Olympic gold medal in the women’s 25-meter pistol. As you will see, the Greek Prime Minister is not much of a marksman in hitting Growth Targets so he evades his failures by glorying in the Olympic achievement. Unfortunately, Olympic medals won’t feed his nation or pay their pensions.
Saturday, 13th August, 2016
Had a disturbed night last night because our neighbour’s burglar alarm went off. They are in Cyprus. There was no sign of break-in and another neighbour had a contact for one of their relations who drove over to turn it off but it wasn’t conducive to sleep.
Hot and sunny day today that reached 26F/79F in the shade of our garden. The tomatoes are continuing to ripen faster than we can eat them. Everything needs to be watered to keep going. My cold/infection has gone backwards after feeling better yesterday. Today, I’m back to throat soothers, headache tablets and a new box of tissues. I’m determined to go back to the gym tomorrow however I feel.
I have spent the day resting and watching the Test match (ugh!) and the first Premier League matches – Hull v Leicester and Man. City v Sunderland. Monday and Tuesday are forecast to be exceptionally hot here – possibly around 30C/86F. On Wednesday, we are planning to visit West Wittering beach which is reputed to be beautiful.