Photo Overload

There's plenty of criticism these days about the number of photographs people take, especially with their phones. As for all those pouting selfies distributed on social media: clearly an exercise in sheer vanity. Now back in the day, with an old box Brownie, black and white roll film and a dark room, people had to be a little more selective. Yes, we've all heard it haven't we?
I just wonder how many people with their collections of photograph albums and boxes of photographs buried at the backs of cupboards, have been waiting for retirement to come around to finally sort them. Please don't tell me I'm alone in this quest.
So five years into retirement and after days of rain, I finally started. Well I have, but only if the definition of "starting" is to lift all albums down from the high shelf on which they have been hiding and pile them up together with the boxes of photographs. My dilemma is what do I do next?
For the last few years rather than printing pict…

The Yoghurt Maker

Whilst we invariably think of our retirements as unique, the extent to which the exploits of so many people overlap giving rise to a collective experience never fails to amaze me. Perhaps I'm easily surprised because, of course, so many life events are shared globally beginning with childhood encounters and progressing through adolescence into adulthood, middle age and now what is invariably described as the third age.
In retirement there seems to be an almost universal urge to simplify our lives, embrace creativity and rediscover our existence in harmony with nature. If that  boils down to a quest for the meaning of life or even to understand who we really are, then so be it. It may, of course, have made more sense to have lived life backwards with that knowledge intact, instead of embarking on a voyage of self-discovery in our 60's and 70's.
Nevertheless, we are where we are and as a consequence I know so many people who have embraced outdoor activities particularly walkin…

Election Fever

2015, 2017 and now again in 2019. Yes, we are off to the polls once more. Election Fever: where the nation is divided between those with raised temperatures and those suffering from a general malaise. So much for the Fixed Term Parliament Act; it's proving as effective as a flu jab when it fails to protect against the prevalent strains of the virus that appear in a particular year.
Remember Brenda from Bristol? We are all now Brenda. Borrow from Spartacus and just say it: "I am Brenda."
This time around it looks as though the captivating adverts from the major retailers as part of the mass marketing of Christmas are going to compete with party political broadcasts. Grief, I'd rather watch It's A Wonderful Life for the 38th time; I wonder if the broadcasters can be persuaded to bring forward its seasonal continuous loop, just to oblige me? Let me cry over a genuine heart wrenching fantasy rather than this tear jerking nonsense. 
Here we are coming up to the time for …

Dark Nights

Last week the weather was somewhat grey and wet; when it wasn't raining, it was cloudy and miserable. We had also reached that point where autumn appears to be quickly turning into winter and the rapidity with which the days are shortening is now very noticeable.
I think it is Alfred Wainwright who is credited with the phrase, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing." He may have had a point when it comes to walking in extreme conditions. Certainly, meeting a friend for a rainy ramble on Thursday, I zipped myself into my weatherproof coat and only noticed how wet I was when, three hours later, I came to undress in the coffee shop we had chosen for our debriefing session (translation: long lunch and leisurely chatter).
So far as gardening is concerned, however, I may put on as many waterproof layers as I choose, but it doesn't stop my spade from squelching in mud and my boots sticking, as my dismal efforts in the vegetable plot last week demo…

Remember Me?

It feels like such a long time since I last settled down to write an entry for this blog. Of course I have no genuine excuses and as I doubt I have even been missed, my intention is simply to creep back discreetly.
A couple of weeks ago we took off on one of those last minute holidays you never get the chance to do when you are working, benefiting from a hefty discount in the process. Oh the joys of retirement! Mind I do recall wondering whether I would ever really need that kind of sun and sand vacation in the laid back world that we now reputedly inhabit.
The truth of course is that, as ever, I find myself taking on more and more and consequently the quest for periods of total relaxation and nothingness remains. Couple that concept with the last of this summer's Mediterranean sunshine and who could truly say they'd rather stay at home? Yes, we escaped to Greece once more, this time staying in a fabulous little hotel at the northern end of Corfu near to Acharavi.

For the most p…

Green Versus Orange

What’s retirement for, if not to taste new experiences? So last weekend, completely out of my comfort zone, I tried a green juice detox and have since followed it up with a string of vegan recipes where all those green vegetables and onions from my garden have been put to good use, along with handfuls of thyme, rosemary, basil and flat leaf parsley from the herb border. Flat leaf parsley, I never  knew what to do with my plantation of the stuff before and it actually tastes really good.
The youngest, in the interests of sustainability, switched to a vegetarian lifestyle a few years ago. She seems to eat an enormous amount of carrots. Now all that beta carotene is surely having an effect because not only does it brighten her plate, but I swear her skin looks orange too.
I guess if I can keep up my current fresh leaf overdosing, the next time we visit it will be billed as Green Alien meets the Oompaloompa. Watch this space!

An Unhealthy Relationship

In my previous career as a divorce solicitor I was obviously accustomed to dealing with people escaping unhealthy relationships. Indeed, there were any number who sought advice as retirement loomed and they could not face the prospect of years at home together. I had never expected, however, to find myself in a similar predicament.
Nevertheless, on returning from the Isle of Man on Monday evening, I began to have my doubts and then last night sealed it. Never before have I been witness to such despicable behaviour.
We have disagreed over Yemen, with him insisting that the Government would never supply Saudi Arabia with arms that would be used illegally.
We have disagreed over measures to improve children's literacy, with him claiming that the problem could be solved if all parents (even those who are illiterate themselves) simply read to their children.
But, neither of those compares to how we have disagreed over Brexit, with him campaigning from the outset to leave the EU and then th…