Showing posts from January, 2022

Menopause After the Workplace

Perhaps I'm being a little sensitive but it seems there's so much magazine and newspaper print lately that's been devoted to menopause in the workplace.  The final bastion in the battle for gender equality or so some articles would have us believe. With women apparently averaging 51 years when they complete their menopause transition, it is perhaps surprising that there isn't more coverage of the impact on retirement. Early menopause gets an avid press, late menopause less so. In my own case, it must be 20 years since I was told that I was perimenopausal. When, suffering dreadfully with menorrhagia (an abundance) and dysmenorrhea (it hurt), I finally sought medical assistance and various prescriptions followed. "Progesterone is good for this," followed several months later by "But maybe not in this form," and then "Maybe not for you, at all." Prodded, poked and scanned. "You have fibroids, let's monitor them." "They are n

To Cumbria and Back

  Last week we finally enjoyed a winter vacation in the Lake District after missing out last year because of the coronavirus restrictions. There was no wonderland of white frosted fells and snow on this occasion. Instead we had dry conditions, some sun and frost that lingered in the shade of the valleys, and only a vague sighting of snow in crevices on north facing peaks. It was, however, another week of immersion in a forest bath and a reminder of the strength of nature. We look out on open fields at home and the mental uplift received from a week amongst the trees by a running beck cannot be denied. On our wanderings, the brutal side of the natural world was brought home to us as we surveyed the masses of mighty trees uprooted by Storm Arwen at the end of November. On one descent our path was repeatedly blocked although to be fair some kind person had intervened at one point; just when I thought I really couldn't duck under or clamber over another trunk. It was akin to witnessin

Boots and Balance

Back in November I discovered that my long-standing and comfortable hiking boots had sadly come to the end of their days, devoid of support and grip with soles hanging half off too. Today was the day I started to break in their replacements. I swear my ankles belong to that princess who could feel a pea under the mattress, or perhaps I just don’t like change.  Needless to say we got off to a bad start together, when I lost my balance slipping on a wet rock and landed on my back only minutes after setting off. Talk about a confidence wrecker for somebody who’s still in the process of rehabilitation from a tear to the meniscus . At least the ground was soft, so no harm done apart from the astonishment at how easy it can be to fall over.  Thankfully, I don’t give in easily and numerous adjustments to the laces saw me complete a 3 mile circuit with only a slight rubbing at the front of my right ankle. The weather was reasonably mild, the sky was blue, my knee behaved itself and the inside


  The desire to rid oneself of extraneous baggage in retirement extends beyond the decluttering of an abundance of possessions. In my case it has included the deletion of thousands of emails, the storing of paperless records and the digitising of a lifetime of photographs. Anything that takes up my time or space whilst simultaneously sapping mental energy needs to be confronted and streamlined, if not eliminated. One of the drains on my emotional resources is always the annual completion and then submission of my tax return by 31st January. Procrastination leads me to defer this hateful task until the deadline approaches, despite knowing that the information is to hand and that I have, so far as possible, reduced the complexities that used to make deriving the necessary figures a backbreaking burden. My loitering inevitably denies me the sense of tranquility and well-being that I have come to revel in. If I am ever to achieve the joy of total simplification, further steps must be taken

Happy Hour

  The first week of January can be a jolt back to the harsh world of reality, especially when you are working or have to return to school. Retirement is a little more gentle and I guess if we wanted to, we could keep up the Christmas partying (Covid aside) until the festive season comes all the way round again. Call me boring, if you wish, but I've slotted in some early morning fitness classes and have been back to the gym. After the guests, the food, the drink, the games, the conversation, it has been a most welcome return to routine. I'm not sure my muscles agree but there's a limit as to how long they can expect to be allowed to stagnate. This is after all retirement that I am exploring, not a sun lounger! Despite the grey skies and snowflakes today, I am feeling naturally happy and, dare I say it, optimistic! The days are getting longer and I can almost see without a light when I get up. At least I thought I could until I checked the thermometer on my way through the ha

Happy New Me

  There's something very special about New Year. There I am at 11.59 pm on 31st December waiting for the clock to strike; I whisper a few resolutions; the New Year rushes in and I am a transformed being. Except it doesn't work like that. Least of all last night, when I couldn't keep my eyes open late enough to witness the ushering in of 2022. It continues to be a hard life in retirement (she says smiling).  I was up this morning, however, with a good thirty minutes to spare before welcoming the first dawn of the new me, assuming of course that I had remembered to make some resolutions.  I hadn't.  It wasn't so much that I'd forgotten to make any as, to be honest, I genuinely couldn't think of any. Of course, nobody's perfect but in retirement where everyone strives to live in the present, resolving to socialise frequently, regularly ring Great Aunt Betsy (another figment of my imagination), shed pounds or come up with anything to alter your life for the