Sunday, 29th May, 2022
Lovely start to the day for the start to Week 701 for the start to the rest of our lives. Enjoyable walk. The trees are in their full pomp. Everything changes but all remains the same. Although human beings crave routine, familiarity and stability, Life is constantly in a state of flux as illustrated by the seasons.
I must admit, although I build strong routines – I set daily targets for myself to achieve, for example; there are places and people that I have to visit each year, etc. – I embrace change as a way of developing and moving forward. I love clearing the decks, throwing everything of an old life out and starting afresh. There is something invigorating about it.
Just 12 years ago this week, we had been retired for a year and were in our Greek house when we concluded the sale of our Yorkshire house. We had been in Greece for 2 of the 6 month stay and we had to dash back to Yorkshire to pack up and move out of our house. We sold or gave away all our furniture and made a completely fresh start in Surrey. Tabula Rasa (clean slate) is a lovely and uncomplicated place to start a new life.
We first stayed on Sifnos in 1984 and ate at what was reputed to be the best taverna on the island. It was long established, owned by a local trawler man and run by his family. It was fantastically popular and served wonderful food. The Captain died 20 years ago but the restaurant continued until a couple of years ago when it went up for sale. Suddenly, a mainstay of the island was no more … and so life goes on. Just like us, others will come and go even as the seasons continue.
In 2015, we put our Surrey property up for sale and started searching for somewhere new. Having chosen Sussex coastline and moved here over 6 years ago, I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be other than abroad in the sunshine. And yet, who knows what will turn up to change that view. Important to keep an open mind and always be ready to move on. Getting stuck in one place for too long can bring its own problems. It can be very life-limiting.
I grew up in Derbyshire. I was a supporter of Derby County in the Clough years. I even went out with the daughter of Peter Taylor, Clough’s Assistant Manager and his guru. I went to College in Yorkshire and, because of Kevin, became a Huddersfield Town supporter which continued when I moved to live there. Doctor Mitchell, who bought our house, is a Season Ticket holder and will be on tenterhooks. Moving away to Surrey/Greece, I adopted Man. Utd. as my team and stayed with them as we moved to Sussex.
Today, however, I am once again a Huddersfield Town supporter. They are in the Playoffs Final for promotion to the Premier League at Wembley this afternoon. Kevin is in Spain, in a bar, preparing to watch on Sky TV. I am doing that at home in the gym. By the magic of the internet, we will share the experience. …. With 6 minutes to go, it’s not looking good… Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Town lost 0-1 and Kevin and I need consolation. At the ages of 73 & 71, it is not easy to come by.
Monday, 30th May, 2022
A lovely warm and sunny day marred only by the calendar. I was booked to go to the Dentist’s for a Hygienist appointment. I can’t think of any single thing I hate more in this life than the Hygienist and they always have a go at me. It started when I was 14 years old and, 57 years later, they are still at it.
Anyway, it’s on my pre-pay dental plan so it has to be done. As usual, I am abused for drinking too much coffee and staining my teeth. I am abused for drinking too much red wine and staining my teeth amongst other things.
While I was being tortured, Kevin is sunning himself in 28C in Alicante. He will have got over his loss on Sunday with the help of plenty of red wine last night and now can enjoy a new day.
I was talking to Julie in North Yorkshire this morning. She has finally thrown off her Covid infection. He 92 year old Mum has also got over infection and Julie is getting on with life. I was shocked and impressed to find she is growing basil, peppers and tomatoes up in the Tundra of North Yorkshire. Mind you, they are in her conservatory and mine are outside.
Tuesday, 31st May, 2022
We were expecting quite a lot of rain today. Instead, we had a warm and sunny day and I did a long walk in the morning and then again in the afternoon.
Our friendly electrician called round to see us at our request. We have a list of jobs for him to do.
We need new outside sockets for cooking in the sunshine. We want a series of adjustable spotlights on the perimeter fence and I want the double sockets in the kitchen replacing with ones that include USB ports. If our house was being built now, I think these things would be standard fittings. So many things we use in the house now require USB power supplies. Even the kitchen scales use USB power supply. The 3-pin sockets aren’t compromised by their inclusion so it makes complete sense to integrate them.
Really tired after my exertions today so I enjoyed spending some time in the Office writing to John and Nigel in North Yorkshire. I am really enjoying rebuilding those relationships from 50 years ago. It is reward and completing.
Wednesday, 1st June, 2022
June 2022. Remember that date. It might be significant in your, in our lives. At this moment, we don’t know. No one knows. These things are revealed to us slowly. Let’s hope the portents are good. I must admit, I’m struggling to see it at the moment. I want to be somewhere else!
Heard from Kevin in Alicante this morning. He was extolling the charms of bingo and an aging drag artist from his bar last night. Turn-off for me I’m afraid. Heard from Captain John Ridley who is currently sailing in the Lake District. Even so, I miss them across the years.
As we walk round our area, there are very few signs of Jubilee ‘fever’. This was the only house with overt support for monarchy.
One of the things which really annoys me is a new fad called ‘Yarn bombing’. Old women’s knitting circle gone mad ….
Old women have crawled out of the time zone occupied by doylies and antimacassars. I call it Pensioners’ Graffiti. They don’t seem to understand their influence on the world is no less unwelcome than youths with spray paint cans.
I’ve written today to the areas of the NHS who have treated me so well in the past 3 months – to my GP who recommended a colonoscopy and saved me from a high likelihood of Bowel Cancer by having pre-cancerous polyps identified and removed in time and to the Italian surgeon and his theatre team who performed a wonderful procedure on me to repair my hernia. I have also thanked the Anti-Coagulation team for their immensely careful support and advice throughout. I could not be more humbled by my treatment.
Thursday, 2nd June, 2022
Gloriously hot and sunny day. A 10 mile walk followed by a trip out to Sainsbury‘s (very busy) and Lidl (even busier) and then off to the Fish Market on the edge of the Marina.
We ate outside a lunch of Dressed Crab, French Camembert with lettuce and basil from our garden. A bottle of Pinot Grigio and a couple of hours of sunshine did the rest. This evening will be Calamari with Courgette fritters out in the garden.
So many of my relatives and friends are contacting me to tell me how they are going to avoid the Jubilee. It really isn’t difficult. Our neighbourhood is totally silent this afternoon. They are either all drunk or in bed. As a life long atheist and republican, the whole thing leaves me cold. The problem is that just ignoring it helps to perpetuate it. The integration of church and State through unelected monarchy legitimises so much that is wrong with our society. The peasants start to believe that there is nothing they can do about their poverty.
You will know the justification that the ruling class like to cloak their privilege in:
The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.All Things Bright & Beautiful
All class structure is decreed by God. It is fixed at birth and there is nothing you can do about it so there’s no point in struggling to change or overthrow it. Any rational mind would know this is nonsense but it is amazing how many poor people vote for upper class, privileged politicians and worship Royalty, accepting their own impoverished position in life.
Friday, 3rd June, 2022
Only Friday! Feels later. Most glorious day of hot sunshine reaching 23C/71F in the garden. We could have just sat back and indulged ourselves in sunshine but, I for one, can no longer do that.
We killed an olive tree by moving it recently. This morning, we toured the Garden Centres for a replacement. We have four Garden Centres almost within walking distance of our house. This is a link with the former history of our horticultural area. We visited three of the four this morning – Haskins, Ferring and Wyevale – in search of a replacement olive tree for our garden. We found a few examples costing between £35.00 and £655.00 and about the right height.
Good to see that Boris Johnson was roundly booed at the entrance to the Cathedral this morning. Censorship can only go so far.
Still walked my 10 miles but felt very tired after it. Was thinking about the fact that I’ve received phone calls on my mobile at around 11.00 pm – midnight for a couple of nights from ‘Private Number’. Intriguing! What does it mean? Am I being scammed? I’m going to trace it.
Saturday, 4th June, 2022
Got up at 5.00 am after a very hot and humid night to rain bouncing down. Two hours later it was clearing and drying up and, by 9.30 am, the sun shone down on our walk.
I have never been so aware of birds as I am now. Walking outside so much, it is hard not to be. This little chap was stuffing its beak with worms from my lawn this morning. Jumping up and down on the turf until one popped its head out and then … pounce. What puzzles me is how he can retain three worms while wrestling with a fourth. Takes real skill I need to acquire.
The sun has beaten down uninterrupted since mid morning. Been out to three different Garden Centres looking for a large, square pot to bookend one we have already.
But £60.00 for one, square pot seems excessive. Even Liz would agree with that! Still, my wife gets what she wants so … £60.00 it is.
Kevin is on his way home from Spain just in time for the rainy season. He sent me a really good photo of the take-off over Alicante. For once, Jet-2 are doing well.
We have been in this house for just 6 years (just?) and Zoopla informed us today that it has increased in value by £250,000 in that time. We’ll see if that holds over the coming recession.