The Danger Zone

I have generally considered myself  to be healthy and my retirement lifestyle equally so. I exercise daily; eat a good diet; don't add salt to my food; don't drink much; have never smoked; have no obvious stress triggers; have even lost half a stone in weight since finishing work although, like many people, several more pounds won't be missed. Grief, I sound so boring!
Anyway, I was a little concerned by my hospital visit at the end of July when the nurse checked my blood pressure. I could see the reading on the screen and, as it seemed high to me, I did ask her if it was okay. 
"Absolutely fine," she said but that didn't exactly allay my fears. After all I had been sitting in a waiting room that could easily have passed for Obesity International and what if mine had simply been the lowest she had seen all morning?
The result has been nagging on my mind, so on Monday I called into our surgery and had the Practice Nurse take another reading. It was exactly the s…

Sultry Scotland

Sultry Scotland is a little like Sweltering Yorkshire; neither sounds completely convincing. Nevertheless, between all the cooler spells and torrents of rain, we have experienced them both and have trekked from one to the other following the sun and inevitably ending up with thundery showers.

In Scotland where the temperature on the sea loch was 26 degrees at 9.30pm one evening we have made some more progress with the retirement project: installing the 12 volt plugs and replacing a foot operated sink pump and buttons for the cushions in the saloon berth, the inners of which had literally rusted into dust. At the moment, however, we are awaiting the manufacture of new mattresses for the forward cabin. For the time being two consecutive nights aboard is proving to be the maximum length of our fortitude as, not only are the current beds playing havoc with our sleep patterns, but we are waking with aching backs and, of course, by Day 3 it is generally pouring down anyway. 

At home in North …

On Your Marks..

On your marks, get set ...Go!
How many of us live life as though it is a competition or race?
Every other phase of my existence has certainly involved the pursuit of ambition, striving for excellence and the desire to win (especially in the conduct of the contested court hearings my career was built around).
I like to think retirement is different. Take Saturday for instance when divine retribution dictated that, as a natural consequence to the period of hot weather we had been enjoying, it would rain all day. Time, therefore, to pick up the paintbrushes and acrylic paint and check out my artistic side once more. Relaxation and enjoyment; life is not a battlefield, I told myself. 

Then, the unexpected happened. Mid brushstroke, a veil came down over my left eye and I was staring at the canvas through a mat of tangled cobwebs. I had just suffered a very sudden posterior vitreous detachment. It is a common eye complaint apparently, especially in the sixty plus age group, but it is certainly…

Will Power Crumbles

Phew! What a scorcher of a week it has been.
Headed up by Doris, Pretty, Savage and Drab it appears that we now have the most extreme right wing cabinet since the Thatcher years, and, at the same time, temperatures have rocketed.
I've read that hot weather can cause water retention, adding up to 5 pounds in body weight just at the point where you might want to squeeze into a bikini. Wherever is the justice in that?
To counter the impact,  drinking more water and exercising are apparently the best remedies. I can't be faulted on either of those counts this week and with the sweating that accompanied an aerobics class on the hottest day of the year, I could almost imagine myself sylphlike and stretched out on a beach.
Sadly it isn't quite working out like that. Instead it looks as though will power (or rather a lack of it) and a quick succession of crumbles as we pass from rhubarb and gooseberry season to what will shortly become the plum then apple periods, might be offsetting …

The Grand Opening

Forget the never ending Retirement Project. After five long months, this weekend marked the conclusion of the Ensuite Bathroom Project with a grand opening ceremony.

 The youngest, paying a fleeting visit, cut the ribbon whilst a brass band (courtesy of Amazon Prime and the iPad) played in the background.

We decided against filling the bathtub with champagne and instead opted to share a bottle of Prosecco, raising our glasses to the new shower and all who bathe under her.

Meanwhile, Down on the Allotment

The politicisation of the vegetable patch has been concerning me of late. 
Without presumably any intention the current leader of the Opposition has succeeded in becoming synonymous with allotments, marrows and runner beans. Consequently the vast majority of the population is purposefully showing complete disinterest in the cultivation of their own vegetables, leaving that to veteran Labour Party gaffers.
However, it now seems that the as yet unconfirmed new Prime Minister will, in his quest to leave the EU by 31st October, no doubt be exhorting us all to grow our own in an attempt to become self sufficient. Of course, he's not yet aware that if you live on a diet of cornflakes, ready meals and Cheesy Quavers, growing your own in a window box on your balcony will be nigh on impossible. 
Forgive me, I digress, for in these turbulent times there is something very comforting in being able to wander amongst the seeds I have sown, now flourishing as plants.

After last year's warm dry s…

Road Ahead Closed

Now that summer is here, the County Council has taken to mending the roads, causing chaos and diversions. My morning schedule has recently been disrupted by a road closure necessitating a doubling in the length of my journey to and from the gym.
Whereas this might have been tantamount to a total meltdown of sanity in my pre-retirement life, in the parallel universe that I now inhabit it has proven to be excellent news. 
No, of course I have not forsaken the exercise classes as the cynics amongst you may have assumed. Rather I have travelled early before the roadblock has been set up, meaning that I have undertaken a 30 minute workout before my first class. Then, at the end of the morning, I have taken the leisurely detour home along winding country lanes, enjoying the wild flowers on the verges, the farmers beginning to cut the hay in the fields and an overriding sense of both achievement and calmness. 
There really is no downside to adopting a positive outlook. In fact I've wallowed…