Week 548

Sunday, 23rd June, 2019

A humid day that is reading 25C/77F at 1.00 pm. Cleaned the car of dead flies from our trip to France. The ‘new car’ finish rejected all water and left globules of water running over the surface.

We have a 10-year paintwork warranty and a full pack of wax/shampoo/tyre-dresser/leather treatment comes with it. We have a customer-care kit with two bottles of each treatment. Although I suspect this doesn’t happen any more, in the early days and I mean in the 1980s we were actually reproached by the Honda Dealership for delivering a dirty car for service. They implied that we were letting the exclusivity of the marque down. Consequently, we always valet our car before we take it into the Dealership.

Guilt-Trip Kit

 Of course, we have so much more time now to look after the car. One of the interesting things we noticed in the first week is the tank capacity. Although it is a hybrid, it is mainly run on Unleaded petrol. In previous, models, a full tank would report maximum 320 miles available. As soon as we filled this one, it reported 650 miles available in the tank. Quite mind blowing after 20 years of really poor consumption figures..

Back to the Health Club today. Amazing how hard it is to get back into it after a week away. Still, we did it and felt better for pushing ourselves in spite of the hurt. Incredibly humid evening – still 26C/79F at 7.30 pm. We’ve been talking about having a bedroom fan installed since we moved in but we suspect the ceiling is too low to fit it safely. This suggests we are going to have to look at air-conditioning instead. We will see how this week pans out with high temperatures forecast for a number of nights.

Monday, 24th June, 2019

Strange day of grey humidity and warmth. We reached 25C/77F and had isolated huge spots of rain which didn’t develop. It is, however, perfect growing weather. The potted peppers and tomatoes are all flowering and I am confident of their fertilisation in this weather. The figs are really ‘figging’ and we really look forward to a good crop this year.


We did our Health Club exercise routine and then settled down to start our new project of transferring camcorder tapes into digital format so that I can have a winter project of editing them in a memory bank which can we stored in the cloud. I was going to do this myself and, about 10 years ago, I bought a tape to CD machine to have a retirement project. It has remained in a box in the loft for all this time as I’ve got on with my life. Now, I’ve decided to ask a professional firm to do this for me. I’ve found a company based near Ripon in North Yorkshire who only charge £10.99 per tape. Mind you, I have got quite a lot of tapes but it is much cheaper than I expected.

Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

A very humid day which topped 26C/79F but felt much warmer. We spent the morning involved in revolutionary activity – we were tidying the garage – before deciding it was far too hot for the gym and settling back to enjoy the afternoon outside in the garden. Delighted to find the potted cherry tomatoes already setting fruit. Looking forward to eating them. Pauline will make a second batch of Pesto for the freezer tomorrow as the Basil grows enormously.

Our Video Camera records go back to 29 years.

We seem to have 20 video camera tapes with the earliest of 1990. Many are records of our time in Sifnos but we were shocked to find that, 27 years ago, we went to Cyprus for Easter fortnight, Andros for Whit Week and Sifnos in the Summer. Anyway, it will cost us £10.99/€1.30 per tape to digitise and £8.00/€9.00 per stick to store. The total will be about £400.00/€450.00. When everything is stored in digital form, I can spend the darker winter months editing them to make useable records of our younger days and storing them in the cloud.

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019

A hot and humid day only reaching 26C/79F but feeling much warmer. We did some work on our shrubbery beds for an hour or so and Pauline made ginger biscuits. All happily domestic stuff. We did our Health Club routine although the gym was hot and sweaty in spite of being air-conditioned.

I was surprised to find that I was featured in the report of the Northern newspaper – The York Press – which was featuring a University of York & St. John’s Honarary Degree ceremony for hundreds of teachers who qualified pre-1980 at Ripon Training College & St John’s York Training College. For months, alumni of those colleges have been getting excited about the event and preparing to meet up again. I have not.

If you’re unsure – I’m the pretty one with the wigwam hair.

I have no memory of this at all. I love watching cricket but have no talent at playing it. Actually, having worked so hard for my degrees, I am ambivalent about honorary ones being sprayed around but, I suppose, it is the way things are going. It has obviously made these old people happy and who would deny them that? I’ve subsequently been informed that this photograph is framed and on the wall in the foyer of York University. As I told my fellow students, if I’d known, I’d have Photoshopped my hair into less of a wigwam.

Thursday, 27th June, 2019

It was 35 years ago that we bought our first, brand new Honda car. It was an Accord. We were so delighted with the brand that we have stayed with it through some 20+ new cars including a large number of Preludes and CRVs. The current model is our 13th CRV. It was purchased in West Sussex but, for most of our time, we were served by one Dealership in West Yorkshire and one salesman, Chris Woods, who became a personal friend.

From the beginning, every Honda car we bought was metallic silver. We insisted on it. When we bought our first, CRV in August, 1997, we went mad and chose metallic ORANGE. We thought our first Sports Utility Vehicle suited a ‘whacky’ colour and orange seemed appropriate. It was the first vehicle in which we had satellite navigation and the first in which we had charging points which would allow the ‘fridge’ and ‘shower’ to be plugged in. The fridge was really an electric cool-box and the shower was a tank of water with a shower head attached  and powered by an electrical pump. It was intended for those who were beach lovers and wanted to shower clean before driving home.

A 22 year old ‘fridge’.

Two months ago in West Yorkshire, our salesman friend, Chris, finally retired from Honda. A month later, we took delivery of our latest, metallic silver CRV from a West Sussex dealership. Today, we took our 22-year old ‘fridge’ cool-box to the waste disposal tip because we have replaced it with a real Fridge with twice the capacity and temperature capability and a contemporary manufacturer. I contacted Chris with this photograph and news, telling him that the cool-box he sold us in 1997 had finally expired.

I am so hopelessly sentimental that I find myself quite moved by the loss of those times with their associated objects and friendships. Although my current life is wonderful, there is something melancholic about the loss of the time that can never be recovered. Although it is not in the same league, it is almost akin to that desperate desire to meet again a lost love, a deep and significant relationship. And all sparked by the death of a 22 year old ‘fridge’.

Friday, 28th June, 2019

Once again, we haven’t got that Friday feeling. We have been free all day to follow our fancies. We went out fairly early to go to a shop about 5 mins drive away down Sea Road. Pauline was collecting delivery of a new pair of trainers at a ‘Drop-off’ shop. Sea Road leads to …. the sea. We drove on and walked on the edge of the beach for a few minutes. At 9.30 in the morning even on a hot and sunny one as this, the beach was fairly quiet. It was 25C/77F at 9.30 am but we peaked at 29C/84F by late afternoon.

Beauty on the Beach

On the way back, we stopped off at Currys-PCWorld to look at new Condenser Tumble Dryers. If you are a Blog follower, you will have read about our dispute with Hoover-Candy over their illegal warranty conditions. We have beaten them down until the point where, although not admitting liability in terms, they are admitting liability in actions by offering us a complete refund for our 10-month-old machine. We looked at alternatives on-line and went to look at it in the metal.

Not a Hoover/Candy

By the time we arrived in the ‘superstore’, it was about 10.00 am. It was totally devoid of customers although about 5 or 6 sales staff stood around and looked at us hopefully as we walked through the door. We had their undivided attention and, within 5 minutes had agreed for them to deliver and install a new machine and remove and dispose of the old machine in a few days time – all at no cost. Now I will pursue the manufacturers over their illegal policy. I will not be doing this for ourselves but for those who come after us.

Hoover-Candy have clearly designed and built a machine that has a serious design flaw. They offer a 10-year parts warranty but excludes an integral part of a condenser dryer – the container for the water that is condensed. It fits in the door and gets – surprise, surprise – very hot. So far, so predictable. However, it’s made of plastic which cracks under heat. Bit of a problem you might think. We have gone through two in 10 months. The company say it is not covered by their 10-year parts warranty because customers have to empty it themselves. They have arbitrarily designated it a ‘consumable’ part and, therefore, not guaranteed it even though the customer is not told of this when they buy. This clearly breaks consumer law under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and I will be pursuing that with the company’s management.

Saturday, 29th June, 2019

A hot and humid day that reached 29C/85F and stayed there for a large part of the day. There was a time when we would have sat under the sun for an extended period developing the body beautiful. It is too late for that now. Actually, we worked outside for most of the morning – I cut, fed and watered the lawns. I also enjoyed using my new, cordless strimmer to do all the edges. Pauline cut back the Basil plants and made two, more packs of Pesto. She was using Purple Basil and sweet, green Genovese Basil. They are both certainly enjoying our back garden. This is the second harvest and we expect two or three more cuttings.

A walk in a cool wood on a hot evening.

It has been quite unpleasantly warm in our gym recently in spite of the air-conditioning. At the end of our exercise routine, I have lost so much water that I’ve been feeling a bit fragile over the past couple of sessions. It is so warm today that we decided to give it a miss and go for a walk around our development instead this evening. It just confirms what a lovely place we’ve come to live in.

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