Showing posts from January, 2023

January Sales

  I've never been a great one for shopping although I imagine like most people I love a good deal or at least to believe that I am getting value for money. I suppose for that reason and in my previous pre-retirement life, the January Sales were always an opportunity to top up my wardrobe, linen chests and glassware too. In retirement, I still detest shopping but my relationship with stuff has also altered. I now appreciate the importance of reducing rather than accumulating and in recent years have tried various tactics in the fight against extraneous collecting.  In my wardrobe I dutifully embraced the "turn your coat hangers" method, with the intention that anything that had not been turned and therefore not worn would be recycled or donated at the end of a six month period. In so far as it worked, it was only with those items that I would probably have reduced in any event. I've also deployed the "one in, two out" system, but had to accept that buying a c

Tax Avoidance

Tax avoidance seems to be in vogue at the moment, certainly in certain quarters of elite society. Not to be outdone and since my last blog entry, I have: Participated in 5 Pilates, 6 Yoga, 2 Strength, 2 Abs, 3 HIIT and 2 Zumba classes; Been swimming twice; Met friends for lunch on 3 occasions; Prepared for and clerked a Parish Council meeting, typing up the minutes afterwards; Met a friend for a walk along the escarpment at the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors; Spent a week staying and walking in the Langdale Valley in the Lake District; Met up with my Sketchbook Group; Knitted a baby blanket and a couple of new born size hats; Kept up my regular visits to Mum; Read 2 books and started to follow various TV series (the latter is a complete novelty for me); Attended a meeting and to administration as a charity trustee; Acquired a steam carpet cleaner and set it to use throughout the house somewhat vigorously; Talked to all and sundry on the phone and face to face; Started a big clear ou


  The fight or flight response which apparently evolved as a survival mechanism is still with us today. I was reminded of this twice in recent days. The first was when reading an article in the Guardian newspaper on studies showing that moderate stress is actually good for  us. The second was in a video from Action for Happiness where there was reference to negativity being a common human disposition arising from the need of our ancestors to be ever vigilant and on their guard, ready to fight or flee at all times. So there I was in recent blog entries revelling in the concept of finally learning to relax, when all along it seems that it's not necessarily a natural state and that a degree of stress actually promotes longevity. My inevitable reaction was that to be expected of the negative, cynical person that I am, namely: but cavemen never got the opportunity to retire and didn't live very long either! Obviously nothing that I have read this week alters the fact that chronic s


  2023, can you believe it?  As someone who can't get her head around the fact that 1983 was actually 40 years ago, it's difficult! Yesterday I was reviewing 2022. Not the greatest of years, but at least life started to move apace again, after what felt like two years of treading water and stagnation. Today I am contemplating the 12 months that stretch ahead. There was a time when I used to make resolutions. I imagine like most people they went through a stage of encompassing losing weight and meeting up more. That certainly hasn't been the case in retirement where by 2017 they had become, shall we say, a little less tangible and orienting towards well-being and life-style principles. The following year, however, I opted instead to challenge myself by setting specific, measurable targets but in 2019 felt myself adopting an aura of retired contentment and living in the moment which didn't seem to necessitate any specific promises to myself or undertakings. Perhaps I'