Week 407

Sunday, 9th October, 2016

pub_angAnother sunny day out of blue skies. Not terribly warm now – only 16C/61F – which is why we are going to spend a month in Tenerife very soon. In the meantime, we’ve got a week of gym work, and a trip to Yorkshire. Our village looks lovely in this sunshine as this picture of the pub in the square demonstrates but there is no substitute for warmth. Although our garden is south facing and flooded with sunshine, it is taking longer to warm up in the mornings and less comfortable to sit out in. Tenerife is 24C/75F and that makes all the difference. Greece is only 23C/73F today. Fortunately, at least, we really haven’t seen snow since moving South five years ago.

More demanded of Greeks

The European creditors who now govern Greece are demanding a great deal more in tax from the Greek people who are not accustomed to paying it and much deeper cuts in Government spending which Greek governments are accustomed to spending, whether they’ve got it or not, to bribe the electorate. Additionally, they are demanding much more vigour in selling off state assets which the government and the people don’t want to privatise. Throughout the whole process, everyone is having to be coerced, like some reluctant juvenile, to do the right thing against their inclination which is to do nothing.

Monday, 10th October, 2016

Blue sky, bright sunshine but chilly this morning although, by early afternoon, we had reached 17C/63F. Apart from a couple of hours at the Health Club, we have spent the day aortaquietly reading through and dealing with medical matters. We both have significant tests, offered by our Surrey Health Authority, coming up tomorrow. Pauline has a mammogram and I have an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening. I understand mammogram but have no idea about my investigation.

Apparently, all men aged 65 years old are offered this scan by the NHS. Abdominal aortic aneurysm is a localized enlargement of the abdominal aorta. Over enlargement can lead to rupture which often results in death. If that’s right, and I have no reason to doubt it, I’m all in favour of undergoing this scan.

As soon as these investigations are concluded, we will put in our formal application to our new, GP surgery. It is within walking distance of our house in the village. In the future, that could be significant. The local A&E takes 20 mins to drive to which is becoming fairly standard in the latest moves at rationalisation. At least I can give and receive INR information by email these days.

Tuesday, 11th October, 2016

Villages Medical Centre – Send, Surrey

Up and out early this morning We were driving to The Villages Medical Centre in Send, Surrey.  It is an absolutely delightful, country village location. If one was going to receive bad news, that would be the sort of restful place one would wish to get it.

I am a naturally inquisitive person when it comes to meeting others. Pauline says I only need a couple of minutes with a complete stranger to elicit their entire biography. I introduced myself to the two practice nurses dealing with me and immediately found one of them, working in this idyllic, Surrey village, was originally from Yorkshire. I realised then that she couldn’t be all bad although she did have cold hands as she smeared my belly with gel. Within minutes of running the scanner over my hairy, gelled-up belly, she pronounced that I was completely normal. I asked for certificate to prove that to my wife who would otherwise be reluctant to accept that her husband and ‘normal’ could be synonymous but, apparently,  the NHS didn’t run to that.

We drove on to Byfleet to have coffee with P&C and to deliver their wine which we had bought in France last week. Then we went on to the Woking Walk-in Centre for Pauline’s mammogram. The day remained nice and sunny throughout which made the journey home pleasant but we were both really tired when we finally sat down to our chicken salad meal.

Wednesday, 12th October, 2016

petrolThe day opened grey and overcast but soon cleared to blue sky and pleasant sun with the temperature reaching 14C/57F. We still haven’t got a new, permanent doctor down here yet so we are going to Tesco for our ‘free’ flu’ jab. Every little helps! We are both tired after yesterday but we will force ourselves to the gym after Prime Minister’s Question Time, of course.

Brexit is dominating everything as the Pound Sterling plummets. All our imports will shoot up in price and inflation will hit our economy. We are already seeing sharp rises in petrol/diesel prices and there are many more to come. This, of course, will increase prices of everything because transportation costs will rise. The value of the pound has hugely fallen which doesn’t just mean foreign travel will be hit but all our imports will go up in price. Effectively, we will be importing inflation. The lunatics who voted for this don’t really comprehend the effects to come.

Thursday, 13th October, 2016

Rabbit is a wonderfully fat-free meat.

A largely grey day which reached 17C/63F but felt cooler in the breeze. I cut the lawns which had grown rich and green. At least it’s only once a week now instead of twice. We went to the Health Club. Pauline, who is a little under the weather, found the workout hard. Ironically, I loved it today.

When we went to France, we bought rabbit carcasses and, yesterday, I casseroled one in dry cider with a bulb of garlic and rosemary. Today, we ate them with roast carrots, parsnips and green beans. The result was gloriously delicious.

Friday, 14th October, 2016

Repton Village of my childhood.

Went out to have our ‘Flu jabs at Tesco. We checked on Wednesday and were told that we could have it at 10.00 am today. We arrived well in time only to be told that the nurse would not be available and we had been misinformed. I absolutely hate professional incompetence like that. I start to quickly feel the red mist rising and I had to walk away before I was openly rude to them. Pauline smoothed things over and booked an appointment for next Friday. Actually, we may be able to arrange it while we are in Yorkshire next week.

Dave & Sue with Jonathan

Got home to a large, brown envelope marked – Photos Please Do Not Bend. It was from an acquaintance from my past and someone I haven’t seen since 1969 some 47 years ago. I have to type these figures just to understand them for myself. Dave Beasley is 12 years older than me and was a mentor to me in my youthful village life in my home village of Repton in Derbyshire. He retired after a serious, industrial accident in his early 40s and took a small holding in rural Wales. Now 77 and still in Wales with his wife, Sue, he has sent me a photograph which depicts them with my village friend, Jonathan, who has lived in Boston, Massachusetts for the past 40 years or so. Dave and Sue look just the same but older as we all do. Jonathan is the spitting image of his father, Edward. Dave & Sue’s property looks delightful.

Saturday, 15th October, 2016

Dad, aged 16 at Burton upon Trent Grammar School. He is the tall one in the centre back row.

Mid October has started under grey and lowering skies but, by 10.00 am, blue has appeared and so has the sun. Today would have been my Dad’s 101st birthday. Unfortunately, he survived to see less than half of those. He died, aged 49, of a heart attack in Burton upon Trent hospital. When asked if I have any history of heart disease in the family, I hold my breath and hope I take after my Mother. I will be saying ‘Hello’ to them both tomorrow when I visit their graves in Repton.

Today, I have to valet the car in preparation for our trip tomorrow. Pauline is making the Christmas Cake this morning and then packing this afternoon while I watch Chelsea getting thrashed by Leicester (hopefully). We are looking forward to reconnecting with friends and relatives over the next, few days.

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