Sunday, 26th November, 2017
Our first frost. It was light but perceptible at 7.00 am. P&C were coming today so we were up early. We did our household chores and then enjoyed the political programmes. They arrived just after 11.00 am on a gloriously sunny morning. Pauline had made tomato & red pepper soup which we shared and then went down to the coast for a walk.
There were quite a few people out on this beautiful afternoon. We had to park away from the Marina because it was so busy. We walked along the beach path towards the Marina and the Yacht House, past the shut-for-the winter holiday food, shellfish shops and the shivering dogs forced to brave the cutting sea breeze. It was …bracing and we weren’t there for long. We drove on to Rustington but only to show our guests the area. On down through the village and home.
Our back garden was flooded in sunlight and positively warm being sheltered from the icy, sea breeze. It had heated the kitchen to boiling point. C & I watched a poor match between Southampton & the luckless Everton. Later, I watched a better match where dear old Huddersfield took the lead against the force that is Man. City but eventually gave in and lost.
Pauline had pre-cooked Boeuf Bourguignon. We were starving after the chilled walk. She had incorporated two, full bottles of my best Bordeaux so it was pleasing to find the flavour was deep and rich. It was the first time we had eaten red meat for as long ago as we could remember. We hardly ever use salt when we cook now and I was concerned that the sauce was too salty. The first thing P&C said was, Can we have some more salt? You can do without anything over time. I’m glad we’ve dropped salt.
Monday, 27th November, 2017
We woke to heavy rain and a strong breeze. We took P&C out to see the local facilities. We even shopped at Asda and called in at Dunelm. Later in the morning, after Turkey Soup, we went out to Worthing town and walked through to the pier. The sky was grey and heavy and the sea was dark. It rolled into the each with large, breaking waves. We walked along the boarded pier, past the fishermen’s many rods,to the café/restaurant at the end of the pier. We ordered a pot of tea and cake for our visitors and spent a pleasant half hour there before returning to our car on top of the multi-storey carpark and heading home.
At home, Pauline cooked roast salmon and served it with salad and we sat around to reminisce about times and relationships gone by. These are uncomfortable and emotional conversations but necessary all the same. We’ve eaten so much and exercised so little over the past couple of days that I’m looking forward to a trip to the gym tomorrow.
Tuesday, 28th November, 2017
Lovely morning of sunshine and blue sky. Not cold as we’d expected. P&C were driving home to Surrey this morning and left after breakfast around 10.30 am. We went out to the Health Club and did a good session in the gym followed by a delightful session in the outside pool.
Thought I would share with you a view which presented itself as we drove past our local cemetery. New signs had gone up. As I was taking my photo, a woman walked past with her dog and said, Who can be surprised at that?
Wednesday, 29th November, 2017
Penultimate day of November 2017 has opened with lovely, early sunshine on a chilly morning that had hints of frost but no more. We went down to the sea shore to walk and buy fish.
We walked in a very bracing breeze down the Littlehampton Marina boardwalk out into the sea and then fairly rapidly walked back to the fisherman’s shed to buy 4 large sea bass weighing 5lbs for £35.00/€39.60.
Pauline has always liked living by the sea. It is one of the things that appealed to her when we lived on a Greek island. It takes 5 mins or so to drive down to the Marina but we don’t do it as often as we thought we would. Every time we do, Pauline’s face lights up and I realise why we are living here. We haven’t swum in the sea although we have discussed it. We do walk on the beach and Pauline stoops to take the temperature of the water. Until recently, it has felt fairly warm although we are not daft enough to risk it at this time of the year.
Even so, it is a lovely place to go for a walk and the air feels fresh and healthy. Many people jog along the coastal walk from Littlehampton to Worthing and some even run on to Brighton some 20 miles away when they are training for marathons. Children on scooters like this path as much as dog walkers who are restricted to non-tourist times.
Thursday, 30th November, 2017
A glorious day of clear, blue sky and strong sunshine but cold. No frost but only 3C/37F at 7.00 am. and not getting much above 6C/43F all day. We did our weekly shop and felt the bite of the air as we walked between the car and the supermarket. When we got home, we made a decision that we couldn’t face swimming outside today in spite of the beautiful sunshine and that led to a decision to have a day off.
It is this time of year when Sussex begins to pull away from the rest of the country as far as weather goes.
Friday, 1st December, 2017
Happy December 2017 and farewell November never to be seen again. It is a clear, bright, blue sky with sun but very cool. At 7.00 am, it was only 4C/39F and the temperature peaked at a roaring 7C/45F in the mid afternoon.
We spent the morning at home catching up on correspondence and then did a stint at the Health Club. I have to admit that the outdoor pool defeated us today because there was a biting breeze which we couldn’t face. I still managed to do my 10,000 paces.
Saturday, 2nd December, 2017
Yesterday was officially the first day of Winter. It certainly feels rather like it today. We are hovering around a chilly 6C/43F. We don’t have the frost and snow of the North but it still feels chilly. Of course, the start of the new month has encouraged people to start thinking about Christmas – Bah Humbug! I can’t even begin to get interested in it.
Here, families with children and even some without are keen to decorate their houses. At least it is a long way away from religious celebration. Our neighbours get together with ladders and help each other out to put up their lights as they share coffee and cakes. At least they wait until December and take them down soon after the day.
We are very happy to keep our observation of the period to just one day. It is enough to see people and enjoy a good meal. My heart sinks at the excitement generated by those who love parties which I hate and huge congregations which make me uncomfortable. Good luck to those who like it. I feel fortunate to be excluded.