Tag Archives: retirement

Random Thoughts II

After studying a number of articles on writing I decided to take some of the advice on board and write every day. I’ve previously tried setting myself targets, and have sometimes managed to hit them. Unfortunately this occasionally presents problems when I run out of inspiration. As you can see from yesterday’s post there are days when even the use of a random subject generator doesn’t help. It did, however, help provide inspiration for today’s title.

I turned it on again today and turned up: “Write about moving home.”

Coincidentally, that is precisely what we are thinking of doing. It’s time we looked at bungalows and, based on the experience of my parents, it’s better to start thinking about it now rather than delay. They were about eighty when they moved last, and even though they didn’t move far it was obviously quite hard for them.

I’m actually quite worried that the random subject generator is predicting my thoughts so accurately.

We’re having to make some big decisions about where we want to live. I’d actually be happy living in a tent. The maintenance required would be minimal – just some canvas and a needle and thread. It would be lovely in summer, just roll the side up and have one massive garden room. The other 362 days of the year would be more of a problem and winter wouldn’t be much fun, but these days winter isn’t much fun anyway.

Julia is insisting on somewhere with walls and a roof. She’s probably right. She’s also stipulated that it needs to be near a hospital because I spend so much time there these days. She’s very practical. I was thinking of living near the coast and learning about sea fishing – she’s thinking of medical care. My worry about the coast was centred on global warming rather than blood tests. As sea levels rise East Anglia is likely to return to the sea and even if you could get enough sandbags shopping in a rowing boat isn’t going to be much fun.

She’s also insisting that we give the kids the address of the new house. This is a bit of a blow as we will have to let them visit. In that case we will have to have a bigger kitchen to house the larger fridge this will involve.

Actually, she’s probably right about not moving to the coast – that would just be asking for people to come and visit.

We have a few years to decide, so there’s no need to rush. One thing we do want is a manageable garden as, inspired by other blogs, I want Julia to have plenty to do in retirement. I’d feel guilty if she hadn’t enough to do. The other thing is that I’d like to be detached. After thirty years living joined to a man with a drill and a passion for DIY (which he indulged for three hours this morning) I don’t want to share a wall again.

So, here’s a question. If you were moving again what would be important to you? A bit like Desert Island Discs, you can take your current spouse and let the children have your forwarding address…

 

 

 

Poppies, Planning and Pottering

Yesterday it was coins, today it’s poppies. My life is varied if nothing else.

I spotted these bees in the poppies as I walked to the car yesterday. I did not have a lot of time to spare, and didn’t want the neighbours to think I was mad, so I just took a few shots as the poppies blew in the wind as I passed by on my way to work. As a result, the shots aren’t great, or varied.

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Orange Poppies

That’s the story of my life. Rush, rush, rush and never time to stop and get a grip. After a three month holiday I really should be more organised. In fact I should be so organised that everything is perfect. It isn’t, and I will probably look back on this time with deep regret. Not that such thoughts are unusual, as I find I have them more and more. I thought you were supposed to be at your most depressed in your 40s, and that you became more cheerful as you age. It hasn’t worked out like that.

I suspect that like “Life begins at 40” and “60 is the new 40” this is aimed at making old people feel better about themselves. In fact one of the links I followed, whilst saying positive things about old age, also mentioned that hearing loss could be a burden in old age. It mentioned this several times and I wasn’t surprised to find a big button at the end of the article linking it to a site to sell hearing aids. I may be old, and slightly deaf, but I can still spot when someone is blowing smoke.

Last night I started planning for my retirement. It’s less than five years before I can draw my pension and I’m looking at all my options.

A time machine would be good, as I could go back, correct my worst decisions, save more money and look forward to a comfortable retirement, Ditto for winning the lottery. Logic says that I probably have more chance of inventing a time machine than I have of winning the lottery. I have made some plans for that. My theory is that if you buy enough longcase clocks and set them all running at the same time they will, because they are old and unreliable, all start to show marginally different times. When 12 o’clock comes round a few days later the cacophony of clocks striking at slightly different times will set up a temporal vortex and I will step through it. Now I come to think of it, I might have got that from an episode of Doctor Who

I’ve just been looking at the WEA website (Worker’s Educational Association) looking for things to do in retirement. I hadn’t thought of them for years and now realise that some of their courses might have been useful during lockdown. Unfortunately the ones I want all have waiting lists. I’m sure I will manage to do something along those lines in the next few years.

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Bee in Poppy

I had always imagined that retirement would be spent pottering around, but I’m already pottering, so I need another ambition. As I’m already becoming noticeably more curmudgeonly as time goes on I can’t save that for retirement either. It really does seem like I’m becoming old before my time. I should, according to the internet, be out learning how to skateboard, not sitting at home moaning. As I can’t even balance well enough to put my trousers on without introducing a frisson of jeopardy into the proceedings, so I’m certainly not risking a skateboard.

As a retirement project I may write a book about getting old. With any luck I may manage to sell it as a a TV script, so I will ensure that bathing in asses milk, driving sports cars and drinking red wine are prominent in the book so I can travel the world enjoying myself. According to this article I will need to drink 180 bottles of wine a day to get the full benefit. If I ever work out how to function without a liver I may give it a go.

Zen and the Art of Procrastination

It’s time to start sorting out my life. How many times have you heard that? I know I’ve said it several times.

As things stand, I’m not reading books, I’m not reading blogs and I’m not getting enough decluttering done. That’s not to say that I’m idling my time away, I’m still writing, I’m still cooking (in a determondly average sort of way) and I’m spending time on ebay.

I’m happy with the writing time but the time on ebay needs decreasing. Originally I was looking at it with a view to learning current prices and looking at starting to sell on ebay again. It hasn’t quite worked like that and I’m back, once again, to collecting.

The intention was actually to clear the house and live a life of zen simplicity interspersed with the holidays we’ve not had over the years.

It has struck me recently, as I’ve sat cogitating my hospital experience and the nature of mortality, that I’m on the downward leg of the journey to three score years and ten. I’m 60 next birthday (as I was recently reminded), and this isn’t a two way street.

I’m also mindful that health problems prevented my parents carrying out their retirement plans. They still had a long and happy retirement, but it wasn’t the one they had planned. In fact Dad is still with us and still enjoying himself. However, he would probably be enjoying himself more if things had gone to plan.

So there you are, a slice of philosophical misery. Not very cheerful but something I wanted to talk about for some time as it’s important, and I’m interested if anyone has any views.

I’ve been meaning to write it for some time but I never get round to it.