Sunday, 25th June, 2017
The day started off grey but soon gave way to blue sky and sunshine although we didn’t get above 20C/68F. After a morning of political programmes and pottering among the pot plants (all the Ps), we did a lovely workout at the gym which was delightfully quiet. These ‘workers’ just don’t have the stamina nowadays!
The Greeks, of course, know instinctively how to do it. The country is being ravaged by a heat wave – 35C+/95F+ – so the refuse collectors have gone on strike. The refuse bins smell in the summer heat at the best of times. You can just imagine how the streets of Athens stink as the heatwave mixes with days old rubbish.
Monday, 26th June, 2017
Gorgeous day here that reached 25C/77F in lovely sunshine. We left for Worthing at 8.30 am. Pauline had a hair appointment at Toni&Guy and I had an appointment at Starbucks coffee shop. Job done, we drove home to learn that the Tories had bribed the DUP with our money to keep themselves in power. I almost feel like joining insurrection on the street myself. In the afternoon, I cut the lawns, trimmed the hedges at the front of the house and tidied everything up.
Pauline cooked the most wonderful meal of Sea Bass on the bone with salad and asparagus followed by fresh strawberries. We reviewed our process for Holiday setting our central heating and made sure we had everything necessary for our car. We have made all arrangements and are ready for the off. Looking forward to it!
Tuesday, 27th June, 2017
Life in our quiet, coastal village proceeds serenely against the backdrop of a National cacophony of chaos. It feels humiliating in the extreme that our government is presiding over such internal and external instability.
At home, the Tory Government has Local Authority infrastructure imploding around itself. Doctors leaders are warning of impending doom in the Health Service in addition to the existing shambles of Social Care. Schools are screaming about inadequate funding and inability to appoint and maintain staff. What links the two is a pay freeze which, in reality, is a pay cut. Set against this is a huge, ‘magic money tree’ bribe of Irish extremists to keep the Tories in power.
On going austerity has been thrown in to sharp relief by the tower block tragedy which has escalated into the narrative of a nationwide cost cutting neglect of standards. There are not enough building inspectors, firemen or fire engines, not enough Local Authority funds or workers. The Tory Government can’t be blamed for it all but they have been caught in charge of the spinning plates and will be blamed just as they can be blamed for the humiliation that is Brexit. Who knows where that will end!
Wednesday, 28th June, 2017
Wet, wet wet! Warm, warm, warm! Who could predict how lovely rain would look. We had almost forgotten it. It started in mid afternoon yesterday, has continued intermittently over night and that pattern is set to be replicated today. The only downside is that the sky is rather depressingly overcast.
I’ve been meaning to feature something that appealed to me in the press a few days ago and which was picked up by tv-tabloid morning programmes today. It is the story of an Indian gentleman called Singh who lives in Newcastle and speaks with a fairly broad, Tyneside accent. He has a ‘convenience’ shop which he chose to badge Singhsbury’s.
Sainsbury’s threatened him with legal action if he didn’t remove it. You can see how closely it looks like one of their superstores and how they might feel threatened. Undeterred, Mr Singh, complied and changed his little shop’s name to Morrisinghs. His reward has been national coverage although he says he can’t cope with any more exposure because he’s working 90 hours per week as it is. At least Morrisons has a sense of humour and are nor pursuing him for threatening their empire.
Thursday, 29th June, 2017
For a year or so now, my INR has been stable. My testing periods are between 6-8 weeks apart, the testing strips are provided for me and I do all the testing myself. This means I can keep on top of my Warfarin dosage and, if I go abroad, there isn’t a problem. My parameters are INR 2.0 – 3.0 and today I tested at 2.7. Almost perfect. I just email my result to the Anticoagulant Clinic of my local hospital and they provide dosage and future testing advice by return. It is a wonderful service that gives me great confidence. On my part, I always take the medication prescribed. I never fail and I never forget to test and report on the set dates.
The hospital told me I am the ideal patient. Apparently, lots of people don’t medicate or test as required. Distance medical care is going to become increasingly common with ‘Skype‘-type consultations, on-line ordering of medication and appointment making. Patients are going to have to look after themselves more, taking responsibility for their own health much more than has been expected in the past.
We have spent the day making sure that the house and garden are ready to be left to their own devices and to take care of their own health for a few weeks. The lawns have been cut as short as I dare. The patio plants have been clustered and an automatic watering system installed and tested successfully. In doors, automatic lighting has been installed and the heating system set to ‘Holiday’. Typically, the plants around the house are just beginning to come into their bloom. I’ve given them a talking to and told them to slow down.
Friday, 30th June, 2017
The last day. We will never see June 2017 again. Make the most of it. What better way to mark it than with a trip to the Waste Recycling Site on a sunny morning? We will miss our waste collection next week and – true to dynamic precision planning – this job of self expurgation was No. 29 on our Going Away Jobs List. Filled up with petrol (No. 30) on the way back at a price of £1.11/€1.27 per litre and then did a tyres/oil/washer bottle check before packing and garaging the car. That’s how it goes – one day Littlehampton Waste Disposal Depository and next day Tuscany!
Saturday, 1st July, 2017
Happy new month. We are up at 6.00 am this morning to put the house to bed before leaving for Tunnel crossing to Europe. Must see Europe again before they abolish it! A night in Calais/Coquelles and then on to Reims, Dijon, Lyon, Turin, etc..
The dishwasher has been run through and emptied – by me. The heating/hot water has been set in ‘holiday’ mode. The car is packed with a month’s clothes, etc.. The automatic lights have been set and tested. The final act is to spray each room with fly spray before closing the doors. Lastly, the alarm can be set without fear of live insects flying/crawling across the infra-red sensors and triggering a deafening siren. Make sure the doors are locked and BREATHE!
Lovely drive from Sussex, touching Surrey and into Kent and the Eurotunnel. Warm sunshine but fairly busy roads. We entered an extremely busy tunnel check-in at around 11.00 am. We were on board and moving shortly after mid day and in Coquelles before 2.00 pm (CET). We checked in to the Holiday Inn – a hotel we’ve been using since it was badged Millenium Copthorne many years ago. It is sultry warm as we visit the hypermarkets. Tomorrow, we will drive 2.5 hours to Reims.