Sunday, 28th May, 2017
I love driving. I can drive all day quite happily. Indeed, we are going to spend July driving in Europe. The ghastly state of Britain’s motorways and the frustrations they engender makes them incredibly tiring. We only had 4 hours sleep on Friday night and then did 7 hours driving on Saturday morning. We were in bed for just about midnight and allowed ourselves a leisurely ‘get-up’ this morning. Rising at 8.00 am felt scandalous but it was a one off indulgence.
The day was very humid and warm although not consistently sunny. In fact, just as we set up to cook outside this afternoon, we had a clap of thunder and a brief downpour. I’m sure the garden was more happy with that than we were. I am troubled today. The faces of my siblings are floating across my head’s cine screen. Past and Present meshes and clashes in the kinetic imagination along with Regrets and Possibilities.
It was lovely to see Bob and put my arm round him for the first time in so many years. We shared a bedroom for 18 years and I was transported back there by his face. His ingenuity and inventiveness gave me more than he knows. I was shocked to find he wears hearing aids. I was even more shocked to learn that quite a few of my siblings have hearing problems. For a number of years, I have been aware that, when I lie on my right side in bed, the radio sound is extremely muffled. I am not deaf in my left ear but my hearing is impaired. Of course, I am also almost blind in my left eye. Mum suffered from terrible tinnitus in later life. If you didn’t believe in Genetics you should take note. You heard it here first – if you’re not a deaf Sanders!
Monday, 29th May, 2017
Today has been sticky hot with plenty of sunshine and occasional bouts of light rain. I managed to mow and feed the lawns in sunshine and then retreat to my newspaper when it rained. I also enjoyed watching Huddersfield Town win promotion to the Premier League by beating Reading in the playoff final this afternoon. Back to the gym tomorrow.
Tuesday, 29th May, 2017
Grey but warm today. At 7.00 am we are seeing 16C/61F but no sun. We are going to the gym later but I have to catch up on correspondence first. Skinny Lizzy has written to me twice since Friday and I haven’t replied yet. Must say thank you to Brian for his hospitality.
Ruth seems to have got it into her head that I am a creature of habit. If only life were that simple. I have always embraced the new, the innovative, the change agent. I have always been an ‘early adopter’ of new technology. I bought the first computers for my school, I was the first to buy, teach myself and then teach others how to use the BBC Computer 35 years ago. I introduced my colleagues to the internet 25 years ago when it was just text-based and felt the waves of scepticism and fear come back from them. I designed and launched an early, institution-wide intranet before most people knew what they were.
I have tried never to stand still for too long. I suppose you could call that a habit – moving house seven times (so far) in our married life, building and living abroad, etc. could hardly be characterised as set in one’s ways but I would concede that I do have a ‘habitual’ element to my character. Pauline has always called me low level Aspergic (She calls me low level many things but that is the nicest!) because of my need to line things up, balance light switches on/off, keep every where very tidy, etc. I also like to have routines in my day. There are things I always do – get up at 7.00 am and go to bed at midnight, for example. My diet has led me to regulated food types and eating times. For me, they are coping mechanisms which (D) will find useful when he takes the pledge.
I am an inveterate recorder and planner. I keep spreadsheet records of my weight, blood pressure, INR, etc. I have spreadsheets recording electricity, gas and water use. Pauline maintains precise, financial records. We have done this all our married life. In some respects, the Blog is just an extension of this documentary habit. To some people, like Michael, recording and sharing one’s life with others is anathema. I have the confidence to know and acknowledge I am weird and share that fact with others for their amusement. I do have some guilty secrets but I’m not telling you!
I’m going out now to buy another gadget to help my plants cope while we are away. I’m going to fit a digital timer to a water spray system in my back garden to water the pots once or twice per day to avoid putting that responsibility on our neighbours. I had three or four of these in our Greek garden but didn’t see fit to repatriate them. This one from Screwfix is under £20.00 and will do the job easily.
Wednesday, 31st May, 2017
Well, May has gone out on a cracker – in more senses than one. Today has been warm and very sunny throughout the day – 22C/70F at mid day. Tonight is a hot and sticky 18C/65F. We’ve done a good session at the Health Club and even managed to do our swim although still indoors. We were certainly tired at the end of our session which last over 2 hours.
Our local farm which is about a mile away has already opened its Pick-Your-Own service with broad beans, onions, rhubarb and strawberries already available. We are forecast to have lovely weather for the next week or so and we will almost certainly have a trip to the farm to gorge on strawberries although not until we’ve paid for them, of course.
Thursday, 1st June, 2017
Welcome to the new month and the official beginning of Summer 2017. In spite of the fact that it feels like Summer arrived quite some time ago, the official start has been celebrated with lovely warm sun and blue skies with a temperature of 23C/73F.
The weather is particularly appropriate for our next door neighbours who are driving up to Buckingham Palace for a Garden Party. I received a text while we were shopping in Worthing asking if we would take their photo just before they left home this afternoon. I made it back in time to do just that and record the event below. Gill’s only problem was that, having got the hat fixed on, could she wear it in the car for a couple of hours and not have to fix it all over again in the Buckingham Palace loo. She emailed later that they had loved the event, the weather and the food. I don’t know if they managed to meet the Queen. Rather them than me!
We were involved in more prosaic events of our own – cutting and shaping hedges, mowing and edging lawns and watering pot plants. This is the most delightful place to live in the sunshine.
Friday, 2nd June, 2017
A warm leading to hot day that reached 27C/81F in the shade. We have both been feeling a little under the weather for a couple of days – tired and lethargic. Yesterday, I experienced background chest pains and again first thing this morning. I thought I had pulled a muscle. Pauline thinks it might be a chest infection. We have both had lingering, background head colds for a week or so. I Googled Angina Symptoms but Pauline pointed out that hearts are on the left whereas my pains were on the centre right. Biology has never been my strong point.
Saturday, 3rd June, 2017
Delightfully sunny day that reached 22C/70F at mid day. We were tired this morning because we had been up at 3.30 am. Do you know how light it is at that time in the morning in June? Very light. Our neighbour’s burglar alarm went off and I decided I must go and check the house. All the doors, windows and back garden gate were locked. By the time I had checked, the street was populated by half-dressed neighbours coming out to check. The people from the house where the alarm had been triggered were away but we had their mobile number and texted them. Fortunately, the alarm cut off after 30 mins and we made a cup of tea and then went back to bed.
We relaxed outside in the sunshine this morning entertained by a troupe of newly fledged starlings taking some of their first flights and landing clumsily on our fence top before inspecting the lawn for grubs. The grass is looking particularly good at the moment and perfect for a starling-diner.
Catherine has asked me about pictures of Ruth’s Mum. I must admit, I have never seen one. I wonder if cousin (D) has. After all, he is very old! I must scan in and circulate all the family photos that I have.
We had a wonderful session in an almost deserted Health Club this afternoon and I was surprised to find that I have lost 4lbs since my last trip there on Thursday. No wonder that I’ve been feeling so starving all the time!