Week 554

Sunday, 4th August, 2019

Warm and humid morning – 20C/68F by 7.30 am. Unlike the North, we are going through a very dry spell and I water all the plants early, irrigate the figs and then set the sprinkler system for the lawn. The morning disappears quickly particularly because I’m reading the paper, writing on Twitter and watching the cricket simultaneously.

On this day 10 years ago, I recorded in my Blog:

Got up early to water the fruit trees. Last year we had one lemon from two trees. This year we have four. We have one orange tree and one tangerine but they are not fruiting yet. On the next level up the field we have about a dozen olive trees and on the level above that we have six peach trees, four apricots and three pears. On the level above that we have another dozen olive trees.

Well, even if the climate keeps warming – and I’m willing it on – I don’t think I’ll be growing lemons in Sussex in my life time.

Rather than sit around watching the cricket, I am going to the gym so that I can move while watching it. It seems to make sense to sweat and pant and still enjoy the game.

Monday, 5th August, 2019

Interesting day which started of damp but warm and became intensely sunny and … warm. We only reached 23C/74F but it felt delightful.

I’ve been reviewing my Blog records from 10 years ago which is quite enjoyable and interesting to me because I have no memory. It was in August a decade ago that we discovered these fruit appearing on trees in our Greek garden.

Kydóni (Kυδώνι) or Quince

We probably should have known them but we were blissfully ignorant of what a Quince looked like. We knew the word but little else. Anyway, we picked them and combined the fruit with a tonne of sugar and produced a product which was really just coloured sugar with not much hint of quince. Good fun to try anyway.

Went to the Health club although we were both reluctant today. Both came back having enjoyed it and feeling so much better. I, personally, feel so much more confident in myself after surviving a 90 mins workout routine.

Fascinating to read the facts on the ground from The Skiathan who talks about arrivals being 17% down on last year. Not surprised because of the Brexit-effect on the exchange rate and reluctance of Brits to travel abroad this year in case they are unable to return home afterwards. More surprised to read of the weather conditions – Strong winds (normal for August) followed by strong rains absolutely atypical for this month. What is going on?

Tuesday, 6th August, 2019

Very pleasant day hovering around 22C/70F throughout the daylight hours. We went out to Rustington early because Pauline was having her hair cut. I had an appointment with Waitrose coffee shop for an hour. We were supposed to be going on to the Health Club but changed our minds at the last minute and drove out to Climping Beach for a walk. It was absolutely deserted even in the middle of School holidays.

Climping Beach

We drove on to Middleton and then Elmer by Sea before driving home via Middleton Farm Shop who were selling their farm grown cherries as well as Corn on the Cob which we bought 6 of for our lunches.

Nine years ago, we were in Greece and coming towards the end of a period of building work, Particularly, we were having our patio walled and tiled. We had been in to Athens to order the materials from Leroy Merlin on Piraeus Street and then booked a team of workers to do the job. For a week or so, we were almost trapped in our home while the patio was out of bounds. When it was finished, we began to wonder why we hadn’t done it earlier. I think the materials and labour cost us about £7,000.00/€7,600.00 all complete but was well worth it.

Wednesday, 7th August, 2019

Self Portrait – 2013

Found this photo when I was tidying up an old laptop to give to a girl we met the other day who couldn’t afford one for her A Level work in school. It is an excellent Toshiba laptop with a 17″ screen which Pauline has replaced with a new one so it is surplus to requirements and should be put to use. The girl is actually doing a web design course using Macromedia Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash which I have on this laptop as well as MS Office Pro. Everything she could possibly want but can’t afford. The one thing it didn’t have was an up to date operating system. I decided to upgrade it from Windows 7 to Windows 10 but hit a snag half way through and have spent the rest of the day trying to rectify it.

After login, Windows 10 hangs up on a DOS screen.

If anyone out there knows how to do it, please let me know. (jrsanders@btinternet.com) It’s in a good cause and it’s driving me mad. The software downloaded and installed perfectly smoothly. It boots up to login and takes the password but then goes straight to the screen above. There is no way round it. I’ve tried bypassing it by tapping f8 (and f5, f2, f12) but to no avail.

Thursday, 8th August, 2019

Warm but unremarkable weather today. We have been very active. Up at 6.30 am. After breakfast, we went out to the local Post Office, Asda, Sainsburys & Tesco. Home for coffee and then lawn mowing and hedge trimming. Coffee and then out to the Health Club. Driving home by 3.30 pm and … rest.

Five years ago today, we were back in Surrey and preparing to market our duplex apartment. All of our working lives we had pushed ourselves to the limit to purchase properties that would help us in the next stages of our lives. There are times when, in retrospect, I admit that we should have sold and moved on but I was too happy to do it.

The Pinnacles in Surrey

When we marketed our 5 bedroom house in Yorkshire, it took a full year until we saw a buyer. When we bought our 2 bedroom duplex apartment in Surrey (off-plan), we stayed in it for 4 years and then sold it in weeks for double its purchase price. It allowed us to buy and fully furnish our 4 bedroom house in Sussex without a problem. It was so helpful.

Friday, 9th August, 2019

A lovely, sunny and warm – 24C/75F – day. I spent the morning working on the laptop I wrote about a couple of days ago. I was preparing one of our spare laptops for a girl we met who couldn’t afford one. She is embarking on her 6th form career doing IT development designing websites but had to rely on occasional time with her sister’s laptop to do her work. We couldn’t stand by and let that happen. As I updated the laptop – a 17″ screen Toshiba – by upgrading Windows 7 with Windows 10, it threw up a problem that made it ‘hang’ on a plain, white screen with a bit of DoS text. Having logged in, it defaulted to this screen:

                                         It looked impossible to move beyond this.

After hours of trial and error plus trawling through ‘Help’ sites, I found that a key combination of RESTART+SHIFT leads one to a 3-choice menu which allowed me to clean Windows 10 off and reinstall it. If I wasn’t such a ‘stable genius’ à la Trump, I would have given up. As it is, I persevered and, 2 or 3 hours later, had a fully working laptop looking like this:

I even managed to ‘blag’ my way through a ‘free’ installation of MS Office Pro 2016, a Macromedia suite of Dreamweaver, Fireworks & Flash and a copy of Adobe Acrobat writer. She should be really able to get her work done now with an excellent laptop and over £1000.00/€1080.00 worth of software installed.

Saturday, 10th August, 2019

This house has been far out at sea all night,   
The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,
Winds stampeding the fields under the window
Floundering black astride and blinding wet

From Wind by Ted Hughes

It has been a very blustery night. It is one of the downsides to living on the coast. However, much of the country has experienced it to a greater or lesser extent. Actually, the temperature did not fall below 16C/61F over night but there were severe power outages in many parts which has led to the joke that, to prevent Brexit, Britain was being switched off and back on again to reboot it.

We went down to the beach before 9.00 am for a breath of fresh air and to see the effect of the wind on the sea. It was weirdly warm but breezy.

Summer in Worthing

We walked on the beach and watched wind surfers dicing with huge waves as the water crashed on the shore.

Winter Seascape?

The fish shop was closed so we presumed that the trawlers had not docked this morning. We were hoping to buy/order a swordfish joint. We will have to return on Monday.

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