So here I am. At the end of this month entering year three of retirement. Year three! How has that happened.
I still get asked the same question I was being asked after 6 months of retirement. What do you? Aren’t you bored yet? Go on tell me you are.
Sorry guys. The answer remains the same. I’m only bored with the same old question. I don’t have time to be bored. My feet don’t touch the ground. And no. It’s not because I’m always on a plane.
So what have I done?
Year two has been very different to my first year. But I’ve also done a lot of the same things. Yes. I’ve continued my Manny McPhee activities. Picking up the 14 year old from school. Taking him back to the cottage where this year he lolloped on the sofa with his mobile phone glued to his hand. Texting. Snapchating. Yes. He’s got himself a girlfriend. I feel old. Only feels like yesterday I was bottle feeding him! Which I like to remind him. To embarrass him. Mind you I’m embarrassed. I look like I’ve eaten him. I’m huge!
I’ve taken next doors 5 year old to infant school for the first time. Joined the school run of parents on the drop off and pick up at the school gates.
Chasing her down the road as she takes her scooter with her. Realising I need to get some more exercise as I am out of breath. A chattering five year old who is more entertaining than some of the adults I encounter. Her vocabulary is awesome. Who gets excited when uncle Ian surprises her and is at the school gates to pick her up as well. Learnt she only likes strawberry and chocolate ice cream and jelly with no fruit in it. But loves the sausage rolls I make.
We have had tea with the boys. They have visited. Stayed over. Visited us in Spain. All of which is challenging when you don’t have kids. But it’s fun.
It’s been a year Of decisions. Making yet another life changing decision in buying a house in Spain. Deciding to sell the cottage in Somerset after a joyous 23 years.
You know when the time is right to do something. And the time was right. We fell in love with the new Spanish house and the start of another new adventure began.
I’ve gardened in three different gardens this year. All challenging in their own ways. Somerset because I haven’t committed much time to it. Spain because of the change in plants. The soil. The weather. London is less of a challenge because it’s so small. Juggling all three and three different growing conditions has been interesting. To say the least. But there were tulips in London and Somerset and today I collect bulbs for the new Mediterranean garden here in Spain. I am loving the new Mediterranean garden. A lot. I’m sure you can tell.
I have spent days at Common Farm flowers. Being the junior on busy days for Valentine’s Day. For mother’s day.
And a big white wedding. Not mine. That was low key. Us two. Two witnesses no fuss. . Working with the dream Team. Georgie. Sharon. Lorraine. All of us presented us with a mug by my lovely friend Lorraine. I so love my days at Common Farm. It’s hard work. Being an oldie. On your feet all day. But…. it’s such fun and I’ve learnt a lot.
Days out with friends. An awesome birthday lunch for Georgie with Lorraine – a day out treat for the three of us.
Lunch in bath with Georgie Nic and Sara on a wet and windy day. But such fun.
The annual trip with friends to RHS Chelsea and meeting up with the poo lady. The lovely Lou from Lou’s Pooh. Especially lovely as she used one of my agapanthus pictures for the label of the agapanthus feed launched at Chelsea.
I did RHS Chatsworth with my friends Mary and Ann where I met up with an old friend who had moved out of London. Will I go again? Not for a while. Too far. Needed some more organisation. Our lunch or not as it turned out was chaotic.
Ian and I think we celebrated 25 years together this year but who knows. Because we don’t. Could be 25. Could be 26. Whatever it is it’s a b—–y long time. Who’s counting. But another milestone.
I’ll tell you when I catch up with him. He’s still walking ten paces in front. So much so I made him a book!
I had a big birthday. Well not big. Huge. You know when your a kid. 60 is ancient. Well it is. And it isn’t. 60 is the new 40. And there are days when I feel ancient. Look ancient. Talk nonsense. Ian will say that’s normal. For me. At least my prescriptions are now free.
I had a birthday supper with friends at the Savoy. Flowers delivered to the table from Georgie and the team at Common Farm flowers. A fabulous evening. I love the Savoy Grill. Great food. Awesome atmosphere.
I was taken to lunch by two of my closest friends to Le manoir which was fabulous, an amazing lunch and a wander around the garden. Back to the hotel to watch Strictly. An ideal day. Fab food. Fab company. Wine. A full stomach and Strictly.
Then we had breakfast the following day at the Premier Inn and a trip to Blenheim. An awesome treat. All of it. Le Manoir. Premier Inn and Blenheim.
I was crowned the birthday princess by Ian’s sister. But not in public. Well. Not where I can be seen by anyone who knows me.
I had the best present ever. My over 60 oyster card. I have been round and round on the circle line. All day. Why? Because I can. And it’s free.
I have been to exhibitions. To art galleries To the Hockney. To the BP portrait exhibition. To friends exhibitions in Somerset. To National Trust properties. To NGS open gardens. Saw lovely planting. Ate cakes.
We travelled to the Highlands on the Caledonian sleeper. Which was fun. Stayed at an awesome place Ardraich which had an awesome garden. And a stunning camellia hedge. Oh. How I loved that hedge.
I have had lunches with old colleagues. New friends. Old friends. Chatted to new friends on social media who have helped with questions on my new garden. Travelled back and forth to Spain. A lot. Spent our annual long weekend in Tuscany with friends. Followed by another two weeks. Visited Sienna. The cathedral. Fabulous gardens. Amazing food. We have visited the Alhambra twice, seen some fantastic theatre, visited Kew at Christmas to see then fabulous light show.
Wandered everywhere. Camera in hand. Snapping. Irritating Ian. But loving it. The snapping. Not the irritation. Oh. And you may have noticed. I’ve blogged a lot.
So. The question is. Am I bored yet. Do I regret my retirement. What do your think?
Ps. Remember that list of Ian’s right at the start of this journey. Don’t tell him. But I still haven’t sorted the cellar or the attic. I haven’t had time!