Showing posts from August, 2014

A Harvest and a Declutter

I have taken the opportunity of a lull between trips away to harvest my vegetable patch and start to declutter our home. It looks as though I have replaced a mountain of paper with a pile of potatoes, although fortunately the latter are now sacked and stored in the garage rather than piled on a table. A plum glut has been turned into jam, whilst an overflowing bookcase has been pruned back. A surplus of apples has been juiced or made into crumbles; a DVD collection has been culled and donated to a local charity shop. Chipped crockery has been broken further and stored in the greenhouse, ready to provide drainage in next year's plant pots. In the meantime I continue to water this year's pots as I pick the tomatoes and cucumbers from the plants thriving in them. Beans and courgettes have become our staple diet. I'm also whittling down my wardrobe as it becomes more and more apparent which clothing suits my new life-style in retirement. Clear floors and surf

Carpe Diem

After the cooler temperatures and windy weather that have followed in the wake of the tail-end of Hurricane Bertha, today was a real delight. I took full advantage to get out into the garden, hoe in hand and dressed in short sleeves. Now that is the big difference to working. If it wasn't for retirement I would have spent today at a desk and then moaned about the weather all weekend when, no doubt, it will pour down. I firmly believe, as I hope this blog documents, that it was the right decision to retire in the early part of the summer. As a result I have been able to take advantage of long warm days to wind down ready to take on the challenges awaiting me indoors when autumn arrives. I  can't imagine that starting retirement amongst the cold dark nights of winter would have been the same and when chilling out may well have have taken its literal meaning.

Reflections on a Second Month of Retirement

I'm not sure if I had really expected to be blogging now about a jubilant recapture of my joie de vivre and back to back adventures. That is not, however, how the month has gone.  I'm still loving retirement with its sense of freedom and, of course, I have been away again, enjoying a sailing trip in brilliant weather. If I had to sum up Month 2 in one word though, that word would be "healing." I don't intend to sound all spiritual when I say that, and again it is also not what I had expected to be blogging about. The healing has been at many different levels.  At the most basic I have been working hard to try to regain physical fitness . The time now available to me has allowed  me to increase my visits to the gym, join in various exercise classes and swim regularly . I'm also eating more healthily and, as a result of the combination of more exercise and a better diet am proud of the fact that I appear to be steadily losing those excess poun

Breathe in Deeply and Exhale

There were occasions before I finished work when moments of panic would fleetingly pass over me. Was I ready for such a big change? Could I actually go through with it? I had another such moment this morning when I reached the pinnacles of retirement and decided to go to a Pilates class. My self doubt, however, related to my own stiff joints and notorious ability to make a fool of myself. Would I burst out laughing or worse still get stuck with a leg behind my ear? In my previous life, Pilates, with its reputation for elegance, control and focus, was something I thought ladies with spare time and flexible joints went to as an add-on to lunch and retail therapy. Now I too have the spare time, I covet the suppleness that I have allowed office life and injury to deny me. Well I can only say if you have never tried it, do. It was calm and relaxing; I felt peaceful and I gracefully stretched muscles and limbs that I am sure have not moved in decades.

The Juice is Flowing

Having devoted my adult life to a profession that thinks purely in straight lines, it is not easy getting those creative juices flowing again. However, as you will recall I did take a sketch pad with me to Barnard Castle . Today I have tried to edge myself in more gently and, with ceramic tiles and a glue going under the terrific name of Mod Podge, have been making drinks' coasters. Time now to put them to use, open a bottle of Pimms and fill the glasses. Cheers everyone!

This Old Heart of Mine

On the radio today I heard an extract from an interview with Rod Stewart last year. It followed a similar themed article that had appeared in The Retiree  (I'll have to take out a subscription). In both he described life as "like a toilet roll" where the last bit goes very, very quickly.  That's not a simile I'm likely to forget in a hurry.

Memory Lane

Last week Mister E and I stayed in Nottingham. I was at university there in the 1970's and there is now a c omfortable and modern hotel on the campus itself which we have used on a number of occasions. The eldest is a postgraduate student there and we timed our visit to help him move house.  I know it's well established science that fragrances can evoke memories and that humans can actually distinguish between millions of different smells. Indeed and for many years I always bought a bottle of perfume at the duty free shop on my way to a holiday destination and as a result associate certain scents with specific places decades later. However, a trip down memory lane on the university campus always catches me unaware. Familiar places have frequently altered to the sight but there is a distinct odour that I can only attribute to weather and vegetation. It immediately stimulates olfaction and the nostalgia and sense of times past come tumbling back. Of course, w

Just a Little Treat

The youngest and I took advantage of the warm and balmy weather today to visit Richmond (North Yorkshire) and eat freshly made ice-cream! Do I feel guilty?  Of course not because I can piously say that I had already written off all the calories at an exercise class earlier in the day. It is going to take a long time before I fully appreciate that my new life does give the freedom to treat myself to an afternoon out every day if the fancy takes. However, I am going to have to attend an awful lot of exercise classes if I want an ice cream every day too!