INTRODUCTION


There seems to be a scarcity of UK retirement blogs out there (other than those proffering financial advice) and in the absence of my being able to read about other people's experiences, I instead offer you my own "Great Big Retirement Adventure."

My husband (Mister E) and I have moved from the initial concept through the planning stages to implementation and this site is intended to record the whole process. What I am seeking from retirement is now very different to what I thought I was planning and has gradually developed into a quest for fitness and a desire for simplification, with a transition away from both a highly organised lifestyle and the personality traits reflecting a pedantic professional career. Indeed I recently described myself as "a goofy idiot" who enjoys smiling at sunflowers; a far cry from the pre-retirement professional and an indication of just how far I have travelled.

Please visit from time to time and do add your comments. The blog is in reverse chronological order but popular posts and those highlighting our journey are specifically pinpointed below on the right hand side together with a list of topics covered. Alternatively you may prefer to look at the summary or wisdom we have acquired or even our have done list with its retirement atlas and dip in and out of the blog using the links given.




Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A White Christmas


The four of us went away for Christmas making an opportunity for some family bonding whilst avoiding the excesses of the Yuletide festivities at home. We escaped to the French Alps with its guarantee of snow at Christmas and skiing.

There was a time when Mister E and I used to dream about spending winters in retirement in a chalet in a mega ski resort. Trouble is they were fantasies of two much younger people. We had a superb trip but the reality is that we can’t ski like we used to; we now feel the pain despite covering less distance. We don’t sleep well at altitude and have developed an aversion to going out in bad weather. We now trail along behind our younger family members whereas once we led the pack or, when they were very young, even skied with them between our knees. Our muscles were stiff in the morning and I still can’t bend without aching.

Reality has crept in. Amongst the oldest people on the piste, skiing can no longer be the high priority for retirement that we once thought it would be. Smaller resorts, gentler slopes and a few hours on sunnier days will inevitably be more our scene in the future. 


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas Wind-Up

The week before Christmas is always stressful as we juggle lunch hours with Christmas shopping; queue in the Post Office to send cards and parcels; worry about the food shopping and preparations as well as a myriad of other tasks, all whilst going about our ordinary business. It is of course made worse by the demands of work with deadlines to meet and those demanding them being all the more unreasonable in the knowledge that the world of business and commerce will virtually close for almost two weeks.

 Mister E has not escaped this year's torture and as a result suggested that we might like to consider planning a luxurious getaway for Christmas next year, in order to celebrate our retirement.

Ever the pragmatist I pointed out first of all that it was probably the busiest time of the whole year to travel and that maybe somewhere out of season before or after may suit us better. Besides I added, I thought it might be rather good to do Christmas properly for the first time in our married lives; spend time getting all the preparations just right and entertaining friends and family with a bit of panache for once.

"This has to be a Christmas wind-up," he replied.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Health Matters

I am a reasonably fit and healthy person. However, as I move through my fifties, I am not immune to a touch of stiffness in the joints and my body is certainly not as flexible or as fast as it once was. Clearly health in retirement is going to be important and we are conscious that there is probably only a limited window of opportunity (hopefully a great big gaping French window) in which to pursue some of the more physically demanding adventures and activities that we would like to include within our retirement.

Physical fitness aside, the spotlight on dementia today with the G8 summit also highlighted the risk of losing one’s mental capacity. Dementia is potentially the next big pan epidemic but if the Health Secretary can deliver on his ambition to find a cure by 2025, then I might just be safe.

In the meantime there are apparently 100 things I and everyone else can do to try and diminish the risk of succumbing; all helpfully recorded by Radio 2 . Essentially they boil down to:

Eating a healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy weight
Exercising regularly
Not drinking too much alcohol but enjoying a little red wine regularly
Not smoking
Keeping your blood pressure low
Keeping sociable and not isolating yourself
Keeping the brain active