Week 541

Sunday, 5th May, 2019

A bright but chilly start to the day – one which didn’t get above 13C/55F. I’ve been in shorts & tee-shirt for the past couple of months. Actually, I’ve never lived anywhere that I’ve seen so many men in shorts & tee-shirt almost all year round. Today, our bare flesh was something of a bellwether for the changing temperature.

Sundays are newspapers and politics and today was no different. I’ve been finding it difficult to remember that it is a Bank Holiday weekend. While working, I’d have had no problem in remembering we had an extra day to come. Now, I just find it annoying that the workers aren’t away in their …’works’ and leaving the real world to us.

Actually, the Health Club has been almost deserted for the past couple of days. Once again today, after doing our full gym workout, the outdoor pool was completely empty for the 30 mins we were there. We did our full swim followed by 10 mins in the sauna and 30 mins in the jacuzzi and water massage. It’s been a good month of our new resolve. You will notice that my watch has transmitted 28 days of data to my phone. It shows that I missed just one day’s exercise because I drove to Surrey to visit relatives that day.

My personality hates seeing that one blip in the orange bars but I am pleased that I have covered almost 195 miles in this period from 376,000 paces. I am averaging almost 14,000 paces per day for 28 days. I have still not touched a drop of alcohol and have followed a more restrictive diet. Only another 4 months to do!

Monday, 6th May, 2019

Gorgeously sunny morning with beautiful, blue sky. Warm enough to go out in shorts & tee-shirt. I’m told that it is Bank Holiday and, as we went out at 9.00 am, the roads were very quiet. The workers were making the most of it and staying in bed. The retirees were making the most of it and ‘playing out’. Hope that keeps the Health Club quiet this afternoon.

Actually, I was going to Asda to corner the market in Shloer. It is helping me drink more water and abstain from wine. In Waitrose and Tesco the price is £2.20/€2.58, but it has been reduced in Asda to £1.00/€1.17 and I am taking advantage of this and bulk buying. It is not a straight replacement nor could I drink it neat too often. It is bearable mixed 50%/50% with sparkling water. It is also low calorie so it has two benefits of reducing my calorie intake and increasing my water consumption.

In my Blog-post of 10 years ago today, I was enjoying the fact that we were in our second month of retirement and contrasting the before and after states of our changing life style. I wrote this:

After I had got home, I would have opened a bottle of wine while I/we started the cooking, finished that bottle at the start of the meal, opened a second and drunk half or more before the end of the meal. After a sweet and coffee, I would have fallen asleep for an hour or so before waking up and wandering into the Study to start preparing for Friday.

It is difficult now to get back into the mindset that produced these actions but I’m glad I am in a very different place today.

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

Some people think I ignore ‘Green’ issues. One of my sisters accused me last time we met of being a climate change denier. Neither of these two charges are accurate. There is no doubt in my mind that the climate is currently changing. I would describe myself as something of a sceptic about its causes and resolution. Climate changes and has done over all known records. Man has always found solutions for the effects of those changes. Man will again. What I could not accept is the solution that says,

We invented motorcars but we must eschew them and return to the horse & cart or bicycle. We invented the jet engine but we must now all stop flying. We have been meat eaters from time immemorial but now we must all become vegans.

Returning to the early 19th century or before is not the answer. We cannot and should not uninvent things. We need to find ways in which these inventions are bent to the environmental cause. Hybrid and electric cars are already arriving rapidly. All-electric aeroplanes are not far away. These things will be available without our need for a medieval hair shirt.

Off-shore Wind Farm – Worthing

A perfect example, for me, is the wind turbine. Few people want one near their house. They are noisy and intrusive. Not many would really object to them out at sea. The port of Zeebrugge has been surrounded by them for 20 years without complaint. Worthing has a wind farm off shore which really doesn’t trouble people. I wanted solar tiles to be used for the roof of our new house but we weren’t even offered solar panels. We live in one of the sunniest areas in the country. Within 6 months of moving in, all the new properties delivered on our development had solar panels on the roofs. I enquired about the costs of fitting solar panels privately. On current projections, we would have to live to 95 to make it cost effective.

That is where you find me. I love innovation. I am an early adopter by nature. I will try new things if I think they will be beneficial to my family but I am not magnanimous enough to sacrifice myself for somebody else’s family long after I’ve gone. I will not vote for hardship now to deliver gains for people I will never meet when I am long dead.

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

We’ve got rain! I think that’s what you call it. It’s been so long since I’ve seen it. I don’t remember before having to water the lawns in April/May but I have this year. It’s actually lovely to see – rather like the first strong rains of Autumn in Greece.

Because it’s wet and because we aren’t going out this morning, I am doing some of the ‘minority’ jobs that I’ve had in mind for some time. For example, I’ve had in mind for some time, to deal with the burgeoning problem that so many of us suffer from as we increasingly negotiate moving from analogue activity to digital.

Particularly, I am talking about passwords to secure entry to our sites of business. They are a nightmare to record securely and remember or retrieve when required. I am considering buying a Password Manager to help me. Having installed it and stored passwords for different sites – We need passwords for 3 different Banks, for Health accounts, for power and water suppliers, for retailers sites, for web development sites, for on-line newspaper purchases, etc., etc. – all one requires is one password to enter the software to retrieve all the others. One can even store Bank Account & Credit Card numbers securely in this way.

StickyPassword costs less than £20.00 to download and works across all one’s platforms on all one’s instruments – PCs, Macs., iPads, Android smartphones – and syncs continually. It helps with dementia symptoms or just someone like me who has never had a memory.

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

A day of sunshine and showers. As we drove from our garage, where rain had lightly fallen, a mile away to Asda, where no rain had fallen at all and then on to Tesco about 3 miles away where raining was still falling, the temperature read 16C/61F. It continued that way throughout the day although sunshine beamed out strongly as we swam in the tranquillity of our Health Club’s outdoor pool.

Kamares Beach 9th May, 2012

The weather in Greece should be warming up and the dry season really should be underway. We wouldn’t have expected any rain from now until September. On this day in 2012, the temperature was 26C/79F and we went down to the beach to test the water – it was a bit too cold for swimming.

Ioannina – 7/5/2019

Two days ago, Greece had snow. Kathimerini told us that:

The weather in Greece has obviously gone crazy. Beginning of May and some landscapes in the country look as if they are still in January. Heavy snowfalls were recorded in North-Western Greece on Tuesday morning in Nymphaio by Florina in West Macedonia and some mountainous villages by Ioannina or by Metsovo in Epirus.

Certainly, Greece’s weather has been in a strange state of flux for the past 12 months.

Friday, 10th May, 2019

Out early on yet another beautiful day. They just keep on coming. We were off to Worthing – a 10 mins drive away – to collect some ordered shoes and do a bit of shopping at Waitrose. We always take the coast road just to enjoy the views. Of course, people are at work and school and the beach was lovely and quiet. It was 16C/61F at 9.30 am – just lovely for a walk.

It is good to remember where we live. It is so easy to get trapped in our narrow corridor of life. Pauline chose our village specifically because it gave us quick and easy access to these views and we don’t look at them often enough.

Actually, today we walked away from the beach and into the town. Nice surprise was to find a French Market setting up down the centre of Montague Street. Unfortunately, they were selling all the things we are avoiding like bread, cheese, tarts, cakes, olives, etc. Still, maybe we will visit them in France during the Summer after we’ve collected our new car.

Back to the Health Club at mid day for our 34th consecutive session of exercise. Generally, the club is quite quiet. This may be down to the inconvenience of the changing rooms being completely refitted. It is also the time when those who took out ‘New Year Resolution’ memberships and have now fallen by the wayside. Whatever, it makes activity very relaxed and swimming outside in the sunshine and bird song is idyllic. The temperature reached a really pleasant 18C/65F this afternoon as we swam in paradise.

Saturday, 11th May, 2019

Bright and sunny but cool this morning. We went out early to the Post Office to return, yet again, clothes Pauline had ordered but rejected on first sight. We went on to Sainsbury’s for tomatoes and Aldi for smoked mackerel. Later, we went to do our 35th consecutive day of exercise and came home to a roast salmon & salad meal.

We only buy the plain smoked on the leftjust £1.49/€1.72  from Aldi.

We are also on our 35th day of diet and ‘no-alcohol’. I wasn’t putting weight on but I wasn’t losing it either. I wanted to start moving it downwards again. I decided that I was prepared to take a bit of pain for a few months.

In terms of my diet, I have come a long way from my past.  I was thinking about it this morning as we purchased smoked mackerel. I wouldn’t have entertained this in my younger, more indulgent days. Now I love ‘oily fish’.

In the past, I would have snacked all day on sweets, chocolate and biscuits. Now, I don’t touch any of that ever. My snack of choice is fruit and particularly bananas, grapes and dried fruit. Even then, I have to fight to control myself. My first bulwark against hunger is a drink of coffee, tea or sparkling water. It means I seem to spend a lot of my time in the toilet but, at my age, I do anyway.

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