Week 511

Sunday, 7th October, 2018

Gorgeous, sunny day that reached 19C/66F. The perfect day for my newly reseeded lawn after yesterday’s good watering in by the rain. The days ahead are said to be returning to warm and settled and in the low 20sC/70F-ish.

I’ve always been interested in, as opposed to good at, photography. Pauline bought me my first SLR in 1980 – a Ricoh KR10 Super – and I took to it straight away. I documented the early years of our married life and, particularly, trips to Greece. Photography in those days was dominated by film and sending rolls of it off to be processed. I even did some black & white. We had a dark room in school and I entertained fantasies of developing my own negatives. Of course, I am as impractical as my fantasies and I ended up sending them all away to be processed. We had to wait weeks for the prints to be posted back and then only a handful were worth keeping.

Later, school splashed out £750.00/€855.00 on a Canon DSLR for me to upgrade to digital photography that cut out the middle man and we lashed out £3,500.00/€4,000.00 for a colour laser printer to produce quality hard copies. I was never good enough to really justify it but I soon began to realise that one could rescue many images with a little help from Adobe Photoshop or Macromedia Fireworks which is still my favourite.

I love images. They can say so much. My little brother, Bob, is a gifted photographer although it pains me to admit it. He has the patience and tenacity to find perfect shots. He has been posting them on Twitter and other sites for quite some time in his early stages of retirement. I think many of them are lovely. Look at these:

Aren’t they so delightfully evocative? You wouldn’t think a scientist had that in him. He must get it from me. These are just the sorts of things I would happily have framed and hanging on my wall if they would stand blowing up. He’d probably charge me too much for the privilege so I may have to bootleg them.

Monday, 8th October, 2018

Up at 6.30 am to a cold but gorgeously orange sunrise-lit sky. The sky reminds one of the backlit stage of a pending drama. We are driving up to Surrey this morning to visit Pauline’s sister, Phyllis, who hasn’t been well recently. Before that, I have lots of jobs to get through. Bin day so I have to drag out three wheelie bins – green for recycle, black for landfill and brown for garden waste. Black is every week and the other two bi-weekly. Not a bad service.

We set off for Surrey about 9.30 am and were there for about 10.30 am. I went off to Tesco to have the car cleaned while Pauline talked to her sister. By 12.00 pm we were driving back to Sussex and arrived at a busy Health Club. Two hours of workout and half an hour of jacuzzi/water massage and we drove home for 3.00 pm. Pauline has a hospital check-up and had to follow that up while I prepared our meal – sword fish steaks, griddled mushrooms and tomato salad – which Pauline finished off. Hope the Skiathan‘s news is good. I’m rather reluctant to ask in case it’s not.

Tesco on the right and Brooklands original track on the left.

It is always strange returning to a place that we’ve once lived. Driving around streets without having to think about directions even though I haven’t frequented them for about three years is the weirdest feeling. I can’t even manage that in the place where I currently live. As I drove to Tesco in Byfleet next to the original Brooklands Race Track first built in 1907, I got a twinge of nostalgia …. but nothing more than that. Surrey was not my favourite destination.

Tuesday, 9th October, 2018

A warm and sunny day reaching 20C/68F in the afternoon while we were swimming outside in Indian-summer weather. We are well in to our 3rd year of warranty in our house and had to call for the plumber this morning because one of our bathrooms developed a leak from the shower. We had already had the mastic sealant replaced without a solution. Today, integral, modern, plastic plumbing dictated that a square be cut out of our kitchen ceiling; the problem identified as a plastic pipe joint which had slipped apart; the pipes reconnected and resealed followed by a water test to make sure that the problem was solved.

A ‘snagging square.

The whole process took less than an hour but the square hole in our kitchen ceiling is filled with a white, plastic trap prior to a visit from a plasterer who will do an ‘invisible’ repair and then a visit from a painter to repaint the ceiling. All of this is called ‘snagging’ and just this one problem will have entailed 4 separate tradesmen calling and working on 6 separate occasions. Plumbers have now done 3 visits. The mastic sealant specialist has visited. The plaster will do at least one session and the painter will do a visit. One is left wondering how much this all costs and, consequently, how much profit is actually built in to a new-build to insure against these inevitabilities. To give David Wilson Homes their due, there is no prevarication. We report a problem and they arrange for a specialist to sort it out and that will continue until 2021.

Wednesday, 10th October, 2018

Kwikfit Worthing

A glorious day – Summer revisited – which was cloudless blue sky and sunshine. By 8.30 am, the temperature was 18C/65F and 22C/70F this afternoon around the pool. We were up early because we found a nail/tack embedded in the tread of one of our tyres. There was no deflation. Our warning system would have flagged that up but it needed to be checked out. We went out to Kwikfit in Worthing at 8.30 am.

The tyre was checked and the ‘tack’ removed, all pressures checked and we were on our way. It took about 40 mins in all. They had a comfortable seating area with good wi-fi. Lovely people who provided a good service. We were on our way by 10.30 am and watching PMQs before going out to the gym. After 70 mins in the gym, the outdoor pool felt like high summer. Home for 4.00 pm, we cooked Whitebait outside in the garden. It’s been a lovely day – the sunniest and warmest in October for many years – until next year.

Thursday, 11th October, 2018

Another lovely, warm and sunny morning. We went out early to every supermarket in the area to do our weekly shop. Yesterday, it was my rear, nearside tyre that needed attention. Today, it is my left foot that needs some work – from my wife not Kwikfit.. All the pounding on the treadmill in the gym has led to my flesh on the base of my foot splitting quite painfully. Because of that, I’ve decided to give exercise a rest and pursue more sedentary activities for one day.

I spent the afternoon looking at on-line savings accounts to move money to from investments that have matured and lost their bonuses. I’ve also been contacting the owners of the villa in Tenerife that we will be travelling to in three weeks. Before that, we are visiting friends in Huddersfield, Yorkshire and Oldham, Lancashire for a fleeting visit next week and we have been arranging dates and times for that. Because of slightly optimistic noises coming out of Brexit negotiations over the past few days, the Pound has risen and I have been buying £3000,00 of Euros at €1.14 = £1.00. Says a lot for the state of UK/EU relations that I should consider that exchange rate acceptable.

South Western Tenerife Coast

We haven’t used our central heating since last April and I’ve been in shorts since June. I’m hoping that spending the month of November in southern Tenerife will allow me to extend that until December. The temperature for the next two weeks in south Tenerife is forecast by the BBC to be around 27C/81F every day. That will do nicely as Halloweeen (What’s that all about?) and Bonfire Night come and go. Home for that unusually tropical, 2018 December. Maybe!

Friday, 12th October, 2018

It seems more than 8 years ago.

Warm day – unusually warm – reaching 22C/70F at peak. We’ve done a full gym session and swim in the warm outdoors. We feel as if we are swimming in the Mediterranean. Soon, we will be in Tenerife and a month in that climate will be really enjoyable. Today, I’ve been finalising our arrangements for arrival at our rented villa in La Quinta, South Western Tenerife. We will spend a night at a Gatwick hotel and then fly on November 1st. We return on November 30th. If we like the property, we may book another month in the early new year. February in the sunshine would be rather nice.

Rose Hill Bistro

Before that, we’ve got an incredibly busy few days in Yorkshire reconnecting with old friends. We are visiting old, school colleagues/friends who we left behind 10 years ago. Even the building is gone now. We are visiting Pauline’s Mum’s crematorium spot, as part of an entire day in Lancashire – the Oldham/Royton area. We are visiting our lovely next door neighbours in Huddersfield who we left 8 years ago as well as our lovely school friends who we spent a lifetime with.

Our friend, Margaret, who used to work for Pauline, always comes up with interesting new venues to meet. This year, she has chosen Lunch at Rose Hill Bistro in Birkby. We know the area well but the establishment is new and very interesting. We are looking forward to it. Let’s hope the weather is good!

Saturday, 13th October, 2018

As predicted, it has been the warmest recorded October day in history of our area. We reached 25C/77F and it is still 23C/74F at 7.00 pm. Our gym routine was followed by a 30 mins swim outside in lovely sunshine. It has been the perfect time for re-seeding the lawn. Warm and dry to prepare the soil followed by lots of rain and then very warm dry weather for germination. Soon, we will have a few hours of rain before warm, dry weather returns.

We drove up to Surrey a week ago and noticed immediately how advanced the Autumn was ahead of us. Even now, the trees and hedgerows are still clinging to Summer’s bloom although Parthenocissus aka Virginia Creeper aka Boston Ivy is really showing its age. Autumn is a very comfortable season down here and there is little sign of nature’s distress. In the North, I once remember our Lancashire Pennine school being closed just before Half Term because of heavy snow. I will be happy if I never see snow or frost again. I doubt we will see it in Tenerife.

%d bloggers like this: