Week 550

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

Today marks 5 years since we sold our Greek property. Hard to believe but the time and the experiences have flown past. It is almost 20 years since the inception of our Greek building project. Today, the Greeks go to the polls and will turn back to New Democracy.

The build is underway.
The day we moved in – Easter 2005.
The front page of the sales brochure – 2014.

I woke this morning as I do every morning and have done over the past 50 years to BBC Radio4. While I was working and before the iPad was invented, I would get up on a Sunday morning even earlier than I would on a workday. By 6.30 am, I would be out walking or driving to the Newsagent to buy The Sunday Times and The Observer. The entire morning – sometimes the entire day – would be given over to reading them from front to back. Sunday really was a day of physical rest and a retreat into the world of politics if that is not an oxymoron.

My favourite Sundays
Know the Opposition

These two newspapers give a degree of balance to reporting and following public life but, in recent years, I have added my parents’ choice of newspaper, The Telegraph, to my reading – not because my politics has changed but I have matured enough to accept that it is important to know one’s enemy.

It is fascinating and often mind boggling to read the right wing beliefs, aspirations and subsequent policies. It is a metric against which to measure my own. I also have to admit that The Sunday Telegraph is good for financial investment information and advice although the internet is rather obviating that these days.

At least, these days, I don’t have to go out early as I did often in Yorkshire through thick fog or heavy snow to buy my papers. The cost of The Sunday Times is £2.90/€3.25 and The Observer is £3.20/€3.60 in hard copy. I download mine onto my iPad and Pauline’s, onto my smartphone and Pauline’s and we both access it on our laptops and desktop computers. It means we can access it wherever we are in the world at any time. The Times is behind a paywall access to which cost me just £26.00/€29.01 per month. Just one hard copy of the main two Sundays for a month would be more expensive. The global availability of digital services is the biggest achievement over time.

Monday, 8th July, 2019

Lovely, warm and sunny day. We both just pottered this morning and felt very lazy in doing it. We have done a full work-out this afternoon which restores a bit of self respect but achievement has been low today.

Greek Election Results with the 50 Seat Bonus.

As predicted, Greece’s conservative New Democracy party won Sunday’s snap national election, defeating the ruling Syriza party of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.  The official results gave

The chart above illustrates the seat distribution with and without the 50 bonus seats allocated to the winners. This will stop next time. What will be interesting is how the Centre Right Nea Demokratea can deal with the Greek economy any differently to the Leftist Syriza. It doesn’t seem very likely.

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

Out early on a warm morning – 22C/70F – to our local PYO farm where we picked 5 Kgs/ 11Lbs of wonderful raspberries in an 30 mins..

Hunting & Gathering Raspberries

We will eat a few with yoghurt and the rest will be turned into jam. Picking them was a delightful activity in itself. The exercise was rewarding and the fruit will be enjoyable.

12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi 64GB – Space Grey

I live with my iPad Pro in my hands for about 12 hrs per day. My current one is over 3 years old. It is starting to show its age and I need to upgrade it. Apple will offer me £250.00/€280.00 trade in price on a old iPad Pro and the new one costs £969.00/€1080.00. I ordered one from Apple today and it will arrive before 12.00 noon tomorrow. I think we will have to upgrade Pauline’s as well.

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

I ordered my new iPad at mid day yesterday and it was delivered by 11.00 am this morning. Fantastic service. The cost was £976.00/€1086.00 but Apple have offered me a trade in price of £205.00/€228.00 which I will avail myself of as soon as I’ve cleaned it up. One of the problems, nowadays, is that these instruments are intimately insinuated with connections to sensitive accounts – Bank Accounts, Investment Accounts, Private correspondence files, Email Accounts, Social Media Accounts, etc.. Pauline and I share so many of these accounts that are essential to our daily activities. Currently, we access them across 3 x iPad, 2 x Smartphone, 2 x Laptop + a Desktop computer.

The stress of a new iPad!

Even our on-line calendars run across all platforms and we cannot live our lives without them now. Pulling all these services across from one iPad to another is not without stress and glitches even though I maintain a book of identities and accompanying passwords.

It took me the whole of the day to get this sorted out and I even cancelled a trip to the gym to provide enough time. At one point, we had a huge panic when Pauline’s iPad which is on my account appeared to be wiped clean. Fortunately, a few tweaks and everything was back to full order. At another point, my new iPad froze because of a change of password and I couldn’t find how to reset it because the buttons had changed. I had to spend time on the internet researching it before I could free-up the new machine. By about 9.30 pm, everything was sweetness & light but I was too tired to complete my Blog which is why I am doing this on Thursday morning. At least I could sleep peacefully.

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

A warm and muggy night ended as a rather humid morning opens. Up early, we were out on a large round of shopping by 8.30 am. First to Tesco for our main shop. Fresh Salmon fillets were available at half price. We bought 3 fillets plus 4, large Tuna steaks and a couple of Cod Loins (No swordfish available.). Home to unpack and then out again to Sainsburys, for Tomatoes, Samphire, and Chicken, (No swordfish available but lots of Salmon Fillets on display.).  Next door for OW/20 Engine Oil for our new car from Halfords. On to Aldi for Smoked Mackerel Fillets and bottles of Greek Olive Oil. On to Morrisons for Swordfish (No swordfish available but lots of Salmon Fillets on display. there must be a glut of Salmon on the market.). On to Currys to pick up the paperwork for our latest purchase of a new Condenser Dryer. Finally, on to the Fisherman’s Hut on the beach. No swordfish available but they can order a joint for us for Saturday.

By the time we got home, it was 11.30 am. Just time for a cup of coffee and watering the potted plants outside in the sunshine before the Politics Live programme started at 11.45 am. Off to the Gym at 1.00 pm and then home by 4.00 pm. We had hardly sat down since getting up at 6.15 this morning. I was shattered. Goodness knows how Pauline managed to cook our meal. This evening, I have to start totally decommissioning my old iPad so it can be despatched for the trade-in price of £205.00. At the same time, I needed to source and buy a keyboard-case for my new iPad to protect it and turn it into a light laptop. I chose a Logitech case for £120.00/€134.00. It makes such a difference when I’m travelling by air. It fits in my leather shoulder bag and is remarkably light. The keyboard is backlit for poor light use and the whole thing provides a strongly supportive casing.

Friday, 12th July, 2019

A hot and muggy night has given way to a hot and humid day. We reached 27C/81F  by 3.00 pm. Everything is growing well. Even in our ‘pot’ garden, we are generating enough salad leaves and rocket to provide salad every day. We are on our 3rd harvest of herbs for the freezer and tomatoes are appearing all the time although not fully ripe yet. The Bell Peppers are flowering and fruiting at last so we live in hope of a good harvest. Two years ago, I received to fig sticks by post.

May, 2017 – Rouge de Bordeaux & Brown Turkey Figs
Our first ripe and huge fig.

This afternoon and two years on, we picked and ate our first and most enormous ripe fig I have ever seen. It was delivered by the French fig tree which is now over 6ft tall and laden in fruit. The Brown Turkey is also covered in fruit but is more straggly.

Saturday, 13th July, 2019

This week marks 5 years since we left Sifnos. it is fitting that we picked our first, fresh fig from the tree this week since we left Sifnos. Pauline loved being by the sea and an island suited her just right. Unfortunately, small island politics were not suitable at all and she is happy not to have to deal with the goldfish in their bowl led by the Poison Dwarf. Fortunately, she chose just the place to relocate to. Sussex on Sea is perfect for us.

Pauline by Sea

On Wednesday, I received my new Apple iPad Pro 12.9″. This morning, I received my new, Bluetooth Keyboard Case and the delivery driver sincerely apologised for being 15 mins early. Today, we decided Pauline could not be left out and ordered her an new, Apple iPad Air.

3rd Generation iPad Air – £479.00//€535.00

Pauline doesn’t want a keyboard but she does want to use hers for mounting portrait and landscape so she can read books/newspapers plus recipes while she’s cooking. We’ve found an excellent, leather, rotating cover for £16.99/€18.96 which will be exactly right. So, the total outlay will be £495.99/€554.00.

Cheap at half the price. I’ve traded my old iPad in for £200.00 while Pauline is passing hers on to her elderly sister.