Week 502

Sunday, 5th August, 2018

Up early on another beautiful morning. After breakfast, we went down to the beach for a walk.  It was absolutely delightful. We walked for about an hour from Goring to Worthing Pier. The sun was strong and the crowds were absent at 9.30 am..

Packed beaches in Worthing.

As a child, I remember going with my parents to the seaside, and being told to “smell the ozone”, as it was healthy and good for me. You could certainly smell the “ozone” this morning. We took huge lungsful of it as we walked along. Actually, I’ve since found out that the distinctive (seaside) smell is not ozone, it is dimethyl sulphide and inhaling it is not necessarily good for you.

Be that as it may, we did our walk and then went home and into our sun-filled garden to empty our crabs of their bounty. A 0.5 kg of crab meat was mixed with a 0.5 kg of cod to make a 1kg of delicious, Crab Pâté. Garden cleaned of crab shell, we headed off to the Health Club and did our full session. Back home and in scorching sunshine, we griddled swordfish steaks in the garden and ate them with wonderful tomato salad.

The day has finished with us saying to each other – I’ve really enjoyed today. – as we seem to do at the end of most days. What more can one ask of retirement or any life stage? We are enjoying life so much that I am constantly checking over my shoulder to see if some harbinger of doom is lurking. If it can happen to a Chuckle Brother, it can happen to anyone.

Monday, 6th August, 2018

Absolutely blazing hot morning which reached 29C/84F by mid morning and 30C+/86F+ in the afternoon. We had a man from British Gas booked to come and replace the ridiculously complicated analogue controls for the central heating with Hive digital ones. While I was waiting, I mowed the lawns and ran the water sptinkler on them for a couple of hours. Because we missed our window cleaner while we were away in France, I did all the windows and the door at the front of the house.

When the engineer did arrive, it turned out to be a lad from a few houses away who had been assigned to our installation. The original controls were replaced by digital ones linked to my internet hub. We have dual zone heating and hot water which separately controls upstairs and downstairs. Now, all of that can be controlled from my iPad, smartphone and computer across the net and from anywhere in the world. Although that sounds fanciful and pointless, it would have been very useful when we were in France for five weeks and will be very useful while we are in Tenerife for a month in November.

It is also so easy to use compared with the intricacies of the older controls. Of course, after one has absorbed the ease of on-line control of the heating, one can go on to extend the uses to power plugs and light bulbs. Anyone who goes away for any length of time will be familiar with the needs to install timers for lighting to foil/fool burglars and, maybe sound/radio to give the deception of house occupation. It also appeals to gadget geeks and computer freaks. Guilty!

There are some occasions when one takes a leap of faith and immediately regrets it. As an instinctive ‘early-adopter’, I have been through that many times. This has proved an instant justification for taking that risk.

Tuesday, 7th August, 2018

Another beautiful day – how long can we say that? – It was 31C/88F as we set off for the Roundstone PYO Farm which is less than a mile away from home. The farm is huge – big enough to use a small set of tractor drawn carriages to take people to the varied picking fields. Strawberries are mainly over but raspberries are in full swing along with soft fruit such as red/white/black currants, blackberries, rhubarb, plums, runner and French beans, cabbages, cauliflowers, sweetcorn, courgettes, beetroot, onion etc..

We only wanted raspberries today because Pauline is making jam. In less than 40 mins, we picked 5kgs of luscious raspberries in scorching sunshine, paid just over £5.00 per kilo (Tesco is £12.00) for around 5kgs and drove home. We went off to Tesco to buy 5kgs of sugar and the jam will be made tomorrow because we are not going to the Health Club. Tomorrow, we are having Lunch with our next door neighbours.

As I opened my local paper on-line yesterday, I was shocked to find onw of my 6 sisters staring out at me. She reminds me of my Mother which is shocking enough in itself.

Nothing surprises me greatly anymore but this really did come out of the blue. It shows how isolated members of my family are from each other.

Wednesday, 8th August, 2018

We are not going to the gym today for the first time in 10 days. We are going out to have lunch at our neighbour’s house. Before that, I have been exploring a problem we have with our car and garage.

For most of our life, we have had large, double garages and usually with large, double doors remotely controlled. It makes life so easy and convenient. Here, we only have a single garage with a single, (narrow feeling), manually operated, up-and-over door. Our car is large and wide and has a tolerance of about 5″ either side as we drive through the doorway. This is made particularly narrow by the door mechanism being bolted on to the side walls with their aluminium struts and guides. Driving in and out without accident requires two of us – one steering and the other shouting from behind – even though we have reversing sensors and a reversing camera with guidelines.

A must-have, new model of our Honda CRV comes out at the end of this year and, horror of horrors, it is wider than our current model. I think this will be our 12th or 13th new CRV and they have gradually become more ‘butch’ in design to suit the American market. This has meant putting on more bulk. Short of demolishing the garage and rebuilding it, I was coming to the conclusion that we would have to park on our drive as all our neighbours do on theirs. Throughout our lives, we have been the exception to the rule in many things and putting our car in the garage has been one of those things.

My wife, who is extremely practical, looks like she’s solved the problem. A motorised and remote controlled, roller shutter door which doesn’t fit on the inside entrance pillars but behind the entrance and takes up little extra room at all looks like the way to go. I have done some research of providers and the cost is remarkably little. Delivered, installed and with two, remote control units, the cost is around £1000.00/€12,00.00. You can’t say fairer than that although I will try to beat them down a bit by getting three quotes and playing one off against the other .

Thursday, 9th August, 2018

Well, how lovely to wake up to rain. That’s exactly how we felt in Greece when we got an unexpected downpour. Like manna from heaven if either actually existed. Quite a bit cooler today. Didn’t get above 20C/68F and with only weak sunshine.

We went out to do our weekly, Tesco shop. We bought sides of salmon, tuna steaks, plus 4 bags of frozen, calamari tubes along with lots of other things. As usual, we do scan-as-you-shop which really suits us. We have a running total of purchases and expenditure on a handset which we clip on to our trolley. At the end, our bags are full of purchases and we transmit our handset to the till which takes our payment – in our case, through our mobile – and w leave without troubling the shop staff at all.


Of course, there is the possibility for theft and fraud. Either not scanning some items or scanning in cheaper items for more expensive ones is a weakness with the system. There has been a huge rise in the sale of (cheap) carrots, apparently, because people were scanning them in instead of (expensive) avocados. The supermarkets noticed that they were selling many more carrots than had ever been in their stock. Actually, I prefer carrots to avocados.

To counteract fraud and theft, the stores do periodically and, apparently, randomly check the till receipt with the goods in the customer’s trolley. Today, it was our turn. You can imagine Pauline’s horror when it turned out I had forgotten to scan not one but four bags of frozen squid. I must admit, I was slightly embarrassed myself. Actually, four bags of frozen squid would not my first choice for a theft and the supermarket assistant just smiled it off but what it will do is ensure we are checked quite a few times over the next few visits. We will have to make a number of quick visits to buy single items so we aren’t held up for long periods. Awkward!

Friday, 10th August, 2018

The morning started off beautifully when we got up at 6.00 am but, soon, clouded over and light rain fell intermittently and is forecast to throughout the day. Missing the warm sunshine already so we have turned our minds to going abroad. Amazingly, it is only 2 weeks since we returned from France. The papers this morning are full of torrential rain and flooded streets in France & Switzerland yesterday. Thank goodness we were driving back in that. We are paying for our Tenerife villa today. It is a 3 bedroomed property with its own heated pool on the south eastern coast of  Tenerife which we have rented for the month of November. The cost is quite reasonable compared to a hotel £3,500.00/€3,900.00 + flights which are very cheap.

The villa is within walking distance of the sea and shops, restaurants, etc. and it fulfils my three, main requirements of wifi, pool and English language tv. It has a large kitchen with dishwasher, washing machine and there is a barbecue outside on the patio. More importantly, its location will more or less guarantee us sun and warmth in November and that is worth paying for.

Busy itinerary today. Out to a garage door showroom in Lancing. I bet they don’t have any boils! On to the EE shop to, hopefully, collect our new smartphones and then back home to set them up by exchanging all our aps and information from old to new phones. Finally, we will go to the gym for the 11th day out of the last 12. Impressive or what? OK, what!

Saturday, 11th August, 2018

A second day of not going to the gym. Beginning to feel a bit stir crazy. We’ve been trying to catch up with jobs at home. I’ve been updating our new phones so that all the services we use them for regularly are restored. Although I tried to resist it, I’ve conceded that it would be best to use a case to protect our phones from accidental damage by fitting a case. I’ve found the ‘official’ one which allows one to access the it from the front screen. ‘Officially’, the cover cost £19.99. From Ebay, the cost is £3,85 postage ‘free’. I’ve ordered two.

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