Week 538

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

A pleasant start to this chilly morning was improved by the obvious state of complete panic in the Tory Party portrayed in the Newspaper headlines and illustrated in the political interviews. Lovely to see Iain Duncan-Smith more agitated than normal at the prospect of having to fight European Elections and desperate to depose his Leader. Great to see former Tory MPs and Ministers announcing their defection to The Independent Group and listen to David Lammy out on the front foot.

I am constantly hungry and fighting it. We are really working hard to decrease our calorific input and maximise our calorific output. I have been trying to maintain a regime of activity. This morning, I spent an hour or so spraying the lawns with broadleafed weed killer. By 1.00 pm, I could have eaten the kitchen floor tiles. I have to use Displacement Activity to counter those pangs of hunger. I go to the gym and that is what we did today.

The hard bit.

As my wife, who knows much better than I how my body works tells me, exercise can suppress appetite. Apparently, it generates a hormone called peptide which signals satiety.

The relaxing bit.

I wanted to watch Liverpool v Chelsea this afternoon so we didn’t do our swim. Just 70 mins in the gym and then a relaxing 20 mins in the Spa which combines a jacuzzi & Water Massage area with a steam room and sauna.

Back home, I just had time to griddle some vegetables and chicken thighs outside in the garden. I had been marinating them in lemon juice, garlic, oregano and olive oil since this morning. And so ends another lovely day. Happy week everyone!

Monday, 15th April, 2019

A pleasant, bright morning but with a chill in the breeze. Highlight of the morning – apart from putting the bins out – was a trip to Wickes in Wick.

We were going to buy large packs of bark to mulch the shrubbery beds. Yes, I know, too exciting but contain yourself. W have an offer of 4 x 90 ltr bales for £22.00/€25.50 which, if you are in the bark cognoscenti, you will know is a good deal.

As UK prepares to bask in temperatures warmer than Corfu, Greece has suffered a weather event which is rare for April.

Sunny Athens this afternoon.

Here we are expecting lots of tourists for the Easter week of sunshine and 70F/22C temperatures. Worthing was featured on the television news this evening to celebrate our pier being voted best across UK. Worthing is the new Athens!

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

Up early for some reason this morning. The world was rather dull and grey at 6.30 am. In my quest to keep active, I immediately think through a series of jobs I will do before the gym. I’ve got my husbandly duties to perform – vacuuming the house. I’ve got my manly duties to perform – valeting the car. I’ve got my senior citizen’s duties to perform – taking my wife to the surgery to collect repeat prescriptions. and then I’ve got my fitness duties to perform – a trip to the Health Club for our 10th, consecutive session of 100 mins continuous exercise.

Lizzie Dripping looks happy.

We think 1000 mins/16.7 hrs of exercise in 10 days is an acceptable level of commitment. Allied to that, we have been scaling back our consumption and drinking no alcohol at all. Because we have altered our plans for this Summer, we are going to try to use it for a Health campaign and are going to try to keep this going until September. Of course, age and retirement fuel these thoughts and intentions in many, people. I read that my sister, Catherine, goes swimming regularly and takes lots of walks with her dogs. My brother, Bob, is always out walking and following his passion for photography. My sister, Ruth who is very old, and her husband go walking with organised groups. My sister Jane BG is an internationally renowned,  x-country runner of note.

Last night I received a text from one of my younger sisters, Skinny Lizzy, with a picture of her out hiking. She is 62 and suffers from arthritis (commonly known as Arthur) although I didn’t know that. I lived with her for the first 18 years of my life but have seen very little of her since. I realise that I know very little of her but she looks lovely and happy which makes me feel happy.

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019

Lovely morning. Great to be alive. Driving up to Surrey to visit P&C for a couple of hours. The hedgerows along the route are alive with urgently new, green leaves and shoots. There is beautiful blossom everywhere which is highlighted in the sunshine. The temperature has reached 19C/66F and I am back in my shorts. One downside is the number of dead badgers we pass on the roadside. I have never seen so many before as I have down here. Until now, I thought they were essentially black and white. Actually, these are mainly tawny coloured with white heads and black patches. Why anyone would want to exterminate them I don’t know. Down here, they can just rely on motorists.

Lightning Strike hits 4 at the base of the Acropolis approach.

We returned from Surrey and arrived back in Sussex by 3.30 pm. Catching up with the news, we heard about the continuing problems with Greek weather. Greece’s National Meteorological Service EMY issued a warning of dangerous weather phenomena forecast to strike Athens and Attica. EMY warns of strong rainfalls, thunderstorms and locally also hail. By 4.30 pm (GT) today, a Greek Blog was reporting four people were injured after a lightning strike hit the ticket office at the base of the Acropolis of Athens during a thunderstorm this afternoon. The injured have been transferred to Evangelismos hospital in the city centre.

By contrast, UK is set to get warmer and to reach 26C/79F by the weekend whereas Athens will founder around 17C/63F. We are looking forward to exploring our area in the sunshine. This is Angmering Wood today.

Angmering Wood

Swimming should be good in this weather and, maybe, we can get started on planting out pots of herbs and salad plants.

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

Lovely morning – sunny and 16C/61F – and I’m out shopping in shorts and tee-shirt at Tesco. We buy a whole, fresh salmon about every 2 weeks and pay around £13.50/€15.65 per kilo. Because it’s Easter holidays, Tesco Fish counter is selling whole, fresh salmon for £5.50/€6.40 per kilo. We bought 3 at a total cost of £46.50/€53.80. It just shows how much over the odds we are paying normally.

Whole fresh salmon at less than half price.

Because we buy so much fresh fish at this counter each week, we have developed a good relationship with the man who is responsible for it. He now goes out of his way to provide us with good service and supplies us with fish which is not on display but held in cold store waiting to be prepared for display. Instead of tiny pieces of fresh Tuna, he supplies us with full joints to slice ourselves. Instead of a handful of fantail prawns, he supplies us with 2kg bags from the back store. He always produces a beautiful display of his fish in the mornings and is very proud of his skill.

As we left the store, I nearly fell over in shock. My mother, Catherine, – who has been dead for 11 years – was walking towards us. I caught my breath, looked away and looked back again. My mother turned out to be one of my little sisters – also Catherine. She only lives 4 or 5 miles away but I’ve only seen her a couple of times in the 3 years we’ve been here. She had just come from the gym and was looking very skinny. We talked for a few minutes and she sounded very happy and contented with her life. I am pleased. I want all my brothers and sisters to be as happy and contented with their lives as I am.

Finished the day with a gorgeous session at the gym & swim where the numbers were massively down. Looks like everyone’s gone away. Even the 23C/73F weather didn’t attract numbers to the outside pool where we swam in quiet isolation. Sauna, jacuzzi, water massage and home for roast salmon with pesto crust and 4 different salads – Samphire, Broadbean, Rocket and Tomato. Wonderful! I’m addicted to salads.

Friday, 19th April, 2019

Across the country, it has been a beautiful day but I’m sure none more beautiful than in Sussex-on-Sea. We have reached 24C/75F this afternoon and the seaside/countryside looks wonderful.

Sussex-on-Sea

We have tried to be as active as possible while the workers are much more inclined to relax and indulge themselves in the  sunshine. Out at 9.00 am to Littlehampton to buy bags of soil, plant food, lawn weed & feed and some early herb plants to pot up – different sages, different thymes, a couple of (French) tarragon and a couple of rosemary.

When we got home, I mowed the lawns and then set off to the Health Club where we did 70 mins in the gym and then 30 mins outside in the pool. It felt a bit like a hotel pool on the Mediterranean today. Not so many swimming but lots on sunbeds surrounding the pool and even more in the outdoor restaurant just at one end. Still, we managed to have a good swim and then drove home to cook in the garden. Pauline had prepared goujons of cod with 4 different salads and garlic sauce. Dreamy!

Saturday, 20th April, 2019

The beautiful approach to our West Sussex village.

There are some days when one is just glad to be alive. Today is such an occasion. It was almost too tempting to just sit around in the sun but I didn’t give in. The sun was strong; the sky was blue and the temperature was 22C/70F by 10.30am. I went out to wash the car. It took me about an hour. Then, I fed the lawns with a granular, weed&feed mixture that I scattered by hand. I followed that up by watering it all in with an automatic sprinkler system because no rain is forecast for quite a while.

We sat out in the sun for about an hour and then set off for the gym. I have missed one day in past 14 since we returned from Yorkshire. It was reasonably quiet although the weather had brought out the sun-worshippers so we gave swimming a miss. The temperature reached 25C/77F contrasting well with Athens where it reached a mere 16C/61F at the foot of the Acropolis this afternoon. Actually, we were both shattered when we got home. Cold fish and salad for our meal – Smoked Mackerel, Tuna Tartare, Endive Salad & Garlick Sauce, Broadbean Salad – which all felt so right in this weather.

Lovely, Lovely Day.