So. Today I realised that I haven’t put on a suit for 6 months except for a wedding. – a glorious wedding it was too.
6 months without a daily commute to Canary Wharf – a commute I had done for 28 years. I loved my job. I had made life long friends. But there comes a time in everyone’s life when enough a enough. Last year I decided it was my time. A few years earlier than I had anticipated but I was happy with my decision and supported by Ian I took the plunge.
The question I still get is always ” do you miss it? . The answer is always the same. – no not at all. I miss some of the people and some daily interaction but I don’t miss the daily commute. The politics. The tiredness of it all. The political awareness. The routine.
Then comes. What will you do with yourself? We give you 6 months. Well I’ve now done 6 months.
I answer – I don’t know what I do really but to be honest I don’t seem to stop. I’ve become invaluable for school runs for my godchildren and friends. I bake. I make Ian lunches. I shop on a daily basis. Locally. I garden. I visit museums and art galleries. I travel. I have coffee and lunches with friends. I have time to stop and take photos. Lots of photos . A workshop or two at Common Farm Flowers – the best retirement present ever. All of the things I love to do. Now I have time. Less money. But time.
And I’m happy. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life you forget to be happy. Happy with life. With people. With yourself. People say I look better. Gawd knows how I looked before!! But I feel better.
You’ll be bored in 6 months they said.
Bored my a—e I say. I have the odd day where I just throw myself on a chair and maybe move a couple of times but usually I don’t seem to have time to sit down.
Unless I’m looking at the list that Ian prepares for me on a regular basis. And no. The septic tank still hasn’t been emptied. S–t
There has been sadness – the loss of my Dad in January so soon into my retirement. He was a smiler. I don’t follow Dad. I was looking forward to seeing more of him. But at nearly 96 he had had a great life and I could write reams about the wonderful care he had in his nursing home. Ian has put my name down already. I’d go like a shot. It was fantastic. He said now. I said No.
But there have been great highlights. We have been able to travel a bit more – Budget airlines aren’t so bad!
Last year Ian decided to drop to a 4 day week which means we can have long weekends.in London. In Somerset. Or travelling. We have packed in Amsterdam, Vienna, Andalusia – to visit the Alhambra and to the Eastern Algarve. We have stayed in some amazing B &B along the way. Made new friends.
There has been the annual trip to Chelsea which despite its many faults I always enjoy and a first visit to the RHS Malvern show. One I will do again. A great B & B in Chipping Campden too. The Cotswolds countryside is stunning and I will visit Hidcote next time.
We have tried to make better use of our numerous memberships – the Natiomal Trust. – Royal Academy – National Portrait gallery – we have seen the Monet to Matisse (more than once) the vogue exhibition at the NPG ( more than once too! ) – we have visited the Bevis Marks synagogue with the V & A – a trip to Sissinghurst – to Barrington Court. To Montacute. 22 years in Sometset and they were firsts. Lots of firsts There will be more.
So am I looking forward to the next 6 months. Not a bit. Hell. A lot! The summer will be quieter as I want to spend more time in the garden and a summer in Somerset.
This summer we have visitors arriving from Brisbane. From Kalbarri. From Somerset to London. From London to Somerset. From Cardiff to London. So as my dear old mother used to say. There’s No peace for the wicked. Well. I’ve been wicked. Terribly wicked obviously. I will be busy.
But – There shall be lunches. Coffees. People to meet and catch up with. A trip here and there. But do you know what
I’m loving it.