Week 704

Sunday, 19th June, 2022

A different day after the humidity of the past week. Still warm but overcast with a small amount of rain forecast for this evening. It really has been fantastic growing weather recently. These two photos are just 2 weeks apart:

I think we’re going to be eating our way through a salad glut in the next few weeks. The garden developers are arriving in a week and then, in 3 weeks, we are setting off for a French trip. We are driving through the Tunnel but, ‘officially’, I am allowed to fly from Monday because it is 6 weeks since my operation.

Actually, I hardly think about it now. The scar is rapidly disappearing. I’m averaging 11 miles a day walking. I am feeling strong and fit and ready to fly …. anywhere! First we will spend a week in Athens at the end of August but the big booking is Florida. M&K don’t really know what they are letting themselves in for. Our American Visa – ESTA – allows us to stay for 90 days. Our travel insurance covers us for 90 days. Guess what we are thinking of doing?

Ford Edge SUV

I am currently searching flights leaving in the last week of October and returning in the middle of January. Hope M is not reading this! She may start panicking! It will have to be Direct flights. It will have to be a minimum of Premium Economy.

Winter months in the warmth with our house in Sussex mothballed is a enticing prospect. I am concerned about my friends in UK but we have to look after ourselves. One of the things about my personality is that I cannot bear uncertainty. I have to resolve issues and have them settled in my own mind. For exactly that reason, I am not only researching flight prices but car rental as well. I can hire an SUV for 3 months for just £3,300 to make us mobile and independent in Florida.

Monday, 20th June, 2022

Wall to wall sunshine today and lovely and hot. Why am I not happy. I ought to be. Pauline’s ne iPad arrived and my job was to set it up. It is an easy affair nowadays. Hold the old and the new iPad together and one is copied to the other in minutes.

P’s new iPad today

I have returned the old one to ‘Factory Settings’ so it can be passed on to someone else. I’ve even ordered a new case for it so they can enjoy it afresh.

Pauline is suffering with a swollen foot which she thinks is a result of so much walking. I have granted her a rest and done the 10 miles alone. I did mow all the lawns before I left and felt as if I could relax into my exercise. Actually, I completed just over 11 miles and I’m averaging that each day for the past month.

I sent Kevin, John & Julie photos of my imminent lettuce glut. Julie replied with very impressive cucumbers from her conservatory and Kevin just didn’t try at all. John supplied a standard photo of his front garden of the house he has lived in since getting married from College 50 years ago.

We are flying to Athens in late August and the turmoil in Airport Baggage control has made us decide that we can cope with two carry-on suitcases for a week. It will simplify our travel.

We have chosen upgraded Easyjet seats which allow us two carry-on bags each – one under seat and one large cabin bag. We’ve ordered two, new bags exactly for that purpose.

Tuesday, 21st June, 2022

Externally, it is a beautiful day of sunshine and warmth. We have enjoyed 24C/75F. The garden looks lovely. I have ferried Pauline for a long session at the Beautician’s. I have cleaned the car and done a 2 hr walk in the warmth of the day. It left me shattered but I won’t give in!

We have cooked and eaten in the garden – (Kolokithia Keftedes) Courgette Fritters, Fish Medley and home grown salad. All is well with the world.

Today is the Summer Equinox, the Solstice and the longest day of the year. These are all short term observations. They reoccur annually. I am struck more by the drama, the tragedy of the life that occurs just once for each of us, the life that we use or waste in constant prevarication:

I feel that depth of sadness and moment hauntingly and constantly as Chopin delineated in his Nocturnes.  I am playing it as I type and it moves me. I may be pathetic but I am honest, dear reader.

Wednesday, 22nd June, 2022

You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day of blue sky and strong sunshine reaching 29C/84F and delicious relaxation. I’ve still done 11 miles walking which began by the seaside. I cannot relax.

Delightfully deserted, the beaches are for us. The sun is hot; the beaches empty; the world is wonderful … if you can relax into it. I can’t. I have to complete a minimum of 10 miles.

Back home, I need to prepare for the garden to be looked after while I am abroad. I’m looking to book 3 months in Florida and will need to control watering of my plants remotely. Automatic watering systems are the answer and I’ve ordered a new controller to cover two, separate areas.

The contradistinctions between ordinary life and the life of our lurid imaginations constantly war against each other. They are the stuff of dreams.

Thursday, 23rd June, 2022

Very hot and humid but overcast morning. Tragedy has hit the Sanders household. For the third day running, we have driven to Lidl and found NO unsweetened Almond Milk. Can you imagine it? I asked the Manager about it and he said supplies are difficult to maintain. The product comes from Italy and Brexit has made the importation much more problematic.

Just another of those Brexit benefits we were promised! Ironically, today marks exactly 6 years since UK voted to leave the EU. The New European front page lists all the benefits we’ve seen so far.

The polling conducted by Savanta ComRes found that just 36% think the project has been a success, with 52% considering it a failure. It is not difficult to see why.

  • Food rotting in Britain’s fields because EU workers are choosing to work elsewhere.
  • British fisherman facing ruin with some long-running firms forced to close due to the extra costs leaving the EU has imposed.
  • A shortage of lorry drivers – changes to rules following Brexit made it harder for drivers to work in the UK and customs procedures are said to have made their job more complicated – causing many to simply work elsewhere. This has disrupted supply chains and led to product shortages on our shelves  …. Like unsweetened almond milk!
  • Chaos in air travel which was largely disguised during the pandemic, airlines now say they do not have enough staff to cover surging demand and say EU exit is to blame.
  • Mobile roaming charges make a comeback.
  • Surging inflation – A report from the L.S.E. found that new, Brexit trade barriers have driven a 6 per cent increase in UK food prices – one of the contributing factors of surging inflation.

Sometimes I want to scream, Stop the World. I want to get off! The current state of politics make me feel that way right now.

The heady summer of 1972.

This morning, Dave Roberts in Rochdale sent this snap shot of a warmer, simpler time exactly 50 years ago. Of course those days are gone and we must face the reality of the ‘Now’. Talking to them this morning, Kevin & Chris have both recovered from Covid but Julie has had a slight stroke which she is receiving help with. Getting older has lots of challenges to come and we all need friends.

Friday, 24th June, 2022

Hot and humid with a grey start, the day finished in beautifully strong sunshine. Our worlds are constantly oscillating between the micro and the macro. Couldn’t wait to wake up this morning anticipating the by-election results. Radio on at 5.30 am and the reports didn’t disappoint. Tories lost both as we hoped and expected. It is definitely a turning of the tide.

In the narrow world of UK politics, this is a macro level. Of course, true macro level is the voting down of 50 years abortion freedom under Roe-v-Wade in the USA but Tory, national humiliation will do me for now.

Our 11 mile walk in hot and humid conditions was sweaty but enjoyable. These are real growing conditions which the birds are exploiting too. Snapped this bee flashing its bum on the blossom of the ripening blackberries on our walk …

Getting all the jobs done before the garden developers arrive next week and then we drive to France the week after. The lovely idea is that we can do what we want although Covid is in energetic resurgence and care needs to be taken.

Saturday, 25th June, 2022

I know you will have been worrying about it, Dear Reader, but fear not. This morning, Lidl had plenty of UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK!!! I bought 20 ltrs which will last me at least 3 weeks.

Apparently it’s Saturday but I wouldn’t know if it was a week on Thursday other than by checking my on-line calendar. The days blend into each other seamlessly. I’m still managing about 11 miles walking each day which takes me about 2½ hrs before I can do anything else. I never fall below 10 miles and really aim for 11 each day now. Today, I had to fit it in around shopping and pressure washing the patio flags. I even managed to catch a bit of the Test Match.

Shopping took us down the beach road. The tide was in and surfers were enjoying the swell.

Of course, we also have the Sussex Downs near by which attract many tourists/local visitors. They are beautiful at this time of year.

It is 10.00 am on a mild and balmy Summer’s evening as barbecues are scenting the night sky. Neighbours are entertaining neighbours in this lovely place.

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