Week 534

Sunday, 17th March, 2019

So many of our friends are posting pictures of flooding in the North. Here, the weather has finally returned the sun. After a third, consecutive early night, I woke at 4.00 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. By 6.00 am, I was desperate to get up.

After breakfast, we decided it was nice enough for a walk down on the beach. It wasn’t so warm and the sea breeze kept us aware of that but it felt so healthy. We parked at the marina’s edge and walked up the promenade.

Littlehampton Marina Promenade

A few people were already out with their dogs and one or two couples were sitting on the beach, making sand castles with their toddlers. We walked along the sea’s edge and inhaled the salt & ozone air.

Here comes Summer ….

Still did a full Gym & Swim session this afternoon. We had the pool to ourselves although seagulls were squawking overhead. We both felt good as we drove home to cook roast cod loin with prawns and accompanied by cauliflower and Broccoli salad. I’m starving!

Monday, 18th March, 2019

Always looking for things to lower my calorie intake without compromising life too much. For quite a while, I substituted a sparkling grape juice from Asda which costs £1.00/€1.17 and contains circa 150 cals per 750 mls compared with a similar size bottle of wine which packs around 600 cals. The flavour and effect are, admittedly, not equivalent but I can kid myself through it.

I buy it in collections of 10 bottles at a time and keep it in the wine cooler/fridge. I went to Asda today to replenish my stock but was shocked to find the shelves were bare. When we enquired, we were told that it had been discontinued. I felt quite lost, bereft and searching for an alternative. There is Shloer but it is quite disgusting. I had to resort to one of my favourite Riojas instead. Bit of a rude name but a lovely flavour. It cost me £4.99/€5.90 to import but would cost £9.50/€11.15 to buy in UK.

Speaker Bercow

I am increasingly finding myself impressed by Speaker Bercow. I don’t know why but there it is.

Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

Bright but coolish day. The lawns are growing fast and the daffodils are going over as we approach ‘official start of Spring’ tomorrow. UK (Catholic) Easter is just 4 weeks on Sunday and Greek (Orthodox) Easter the week after. Our friends on Sifnos sent us a photo of little piece of us that remains on Sifnos. We gave these things to Elerania, our Notary, when we left and she has maintained them in her garden and office.

We remain in Greece.

It is lovely to feel that contact still remains however tenuous. We look forward to our return this Summer/Autumn. Let’s hope conditions ease and we feel free to commit ourselves to European travel once again.

Wednesday, 20th March, 2019

Well, the first day of Spring has not started well – grey skies and 13C/55F. The window cleaner has been and relieved us of £18.00/€21.00. At least the windows are sparkling. I’ve mowed the lawns which makes the world look a little tidier after treating the broad-leaved weeds that have crept in over the Winter. I did that a few days ago but I still have one or two areas that will need a little reseeding. I still love my cordless mower which is moving into its 4th year and going well. It takes all the hassle out of mowing and I can do everything in around 30 mins.

It’s a joy to cut the lawns with.

The only problem is that you have to remember to charge the battery in advance. This morning, I tried it without and the machine died after 5 stripes. Now I’ve got to wait before finishing – a bit like Theresa May!

By weird coincidence, Mum’s family originated in Brighton. She would be surprised to find me living down here now. I must admit, I didn’t realise where her love of Magnolia trees came from. Sussex seems to provide the perfect environment for them to thrive and flourish. In her East Midlands home, she was incredibly proud of a massive (over large) Magnolia tree that dominated the top of her garden. She was always nervous as the buds were about to open because they were very prone to frost damage which was quite common up there. Here, on the South coast, frost is much less a threat. Our village has been illuminated by the most magnificent specimens for around three weeks. As we move into the start of Spring, Magnolias and daffodils are fading already.

Thursday, 21st March, 2019

Recent winds revealed a problem with a stretch of garden fencing which separates our garden from our neighbour’s. The installers are being brought back by our builders to address the two posts which seemed to have not been sited properly. It is another great value of a 5-year warranty on everything. I already have one or two thin patches that need additional re-seeding. Newly dug holes for fence posts will need it now too.

Fencing this Morning – Touché.

No shopping this morning because the contractor was here but politics was plenty absorbing anyway. As we move into the Brexit endgame, another referendum is rapidly being replaced by the urgent need for revocation of Article 50. Fortuitously, a girl with a Greek name, Margarita Georgiadou, put up a petition on the Government website demanding just that – revocation of Article 50. Within 10 hrs, it had more than 1.5 million signatures and was so popular that it kept on crashing. Quite amazing how these things sometimes arise out of the zeitgeist and take off. We are writing the government’s Plan B.

I am desperately tired tonight. We have just completed the 6th out of 7 days of exercise – 600 mins. When we have completed tomorrow, we will have done 13/14 days or just short of 23 hrs effort. It is no wonder we are beginning to feel it. May have to take Saturday off although it’s looking less likely we will get to the London rally. No coach spaces left. The train service which should be just one journey is already advertised as two trains plus a bus replacement each way and, from our last experience, there is a good chance that we might not get home.

Friday, 22nd March, 2019

Another grey and cool day. We did our weekly shop and then decided NOT to go to the gym. We have been really good recently and feel distinctly tired so a less energetic day was planned. It didn’t quite turn out that way.

The political scene is captivating at the moment. The government is falling apart. The referendum decision is contributing to that disintegration. We know it was a major mistake for the referendum to be called, for a binary decision to be placed, for the national suicide that is Brexit to be chosen and for an incredibly right wing clique to place its own interpretation on that result.

What is more surprising are the people who have gone along with that movement. One person I follow who maintains a Blog, who is a former expat on a Greek island and who has a European partner/wife actually believes that UK should withdraw from Europe with all that entails. To realise that leaves me in despair and wondering what people think Brexit will practically do for them. What is the actual upside? I just cannot get in to that mindset at all. Today, a Revoke Article 50 petition, which was only listed yesterday, reached a record-breaking 3.5 million signatures. Tomorrow, we will see a huge demonstration of national will in favour of a second referendum and Remain in the EU. Anybody with strong links with the EU and a love of Greece should support it.

Saturday, 23rd March, 2019

What a grey day! Spring warmth but not light. We woke up thinking about the People’s March and feeling ashamed that we had not managed to arrange to be there. We followed it on Twitter Live Streaming as the crowds built up to a crescendo of 1,000,000 +. Even the BBC and Sky News were quoting those figures as the day went on. People at the event like my sister, Jane BG, messaged me to say that the numbers were so much greater than the previous march that she thought that, headline figure was probably an underestimate.

1,000,000 March

While that demonstration of people power played out with members of all political parties speaking out, the Revocation Petition was powering on and is currently standing at 4,630,000 signatures. Any politician who ignores these signs is signing their own demise.

Fighting against our demise, we spent the morning stockpiling against the threat of a No Deal famine – buying staples like toilet paper, washing tablets, tinned pulses, bottled water, etc, supplies of which are threatened by this lunatic suicidal tendency. We then did our 12th exercise session out of the last 14 days. I had cooked Cassoulet for our meal so it was ready when we got home some 3hrs later. Now, we are so tired, it is all we can do to listen to this afternoon’s speeches. They were good, though. Let’s hope the Skiathan was listening.

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