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, 25 February 2014

A Tick List

I came across this blog post by Bob Lowry at A Satisfying Retirement - Leads to a Satisfying Life a couple of days ago. I have to say it was a relief reading it, and being able to tick off the whole check-list bar one (fortunately I do not as yet have anyone dependent upon me for care).

It certainly made me feel that my decision to retire is validated and even better that I am not the only person to experience the factors that have been driving me to make what is, after all, a momentous decision.


Sunday, 23 February 2014

That Sunday Night Feeling

I'm not sure how one describes the Sunday night blues. After a weekend of relaxation and fun with the family there's always something that's a bit depressing about Sunday evening. I know from speaking to colleagues that it's not confined to my home or me.

Over the years I have of course become more adept at coping with it although I have never actually banished the emotional low altogether. Of course, I am hoping retirement holds the key. If I don't have to work on a Monday or indeed any other day, then presumably Sunday and every evening will feel like Friday, or is that hoping for too much?


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Inspired to Paint


Yesterday's trip out went well and although unfortunately the greater part of the exhibition closed ten days ago, there was still a gallery on the upper floor devoted to a selection of William Tillyer's paintings from the 1970's. I always love the insight you get from viewing pictures by a single artist that spans decades. 

Inevitably I feel inspired to take up painting again; another activity to add to that retirement bucket list. Trouble is that, since my children arrived, the only brushes I get to use are generally for sweeping the floor! Now finally I can make the time to change that.


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Do I Need to be Docile?

Today is my day off; the weekday that I don't work. It's been a feature of my life since moving from being self-employed in partnership with others to taking up a consultancy with another firm. I'm not tied to any particular day, and therefore arrange it around the rest of my schedule whether in the office or at home, but I do much prefer taking it mid-week rather than tagging it onto a weekend. Wednesday is my favoured day-off as I really love the timetable of: 2 off; 2 on; 1 off; 2 on.

Strange to think that soon the pattern will simply be 7 off. I feel excited at the thought but, on the other hand, recognise that even dropping a day a week (and initially it was only half a day) felt strange at first. Worse still I worked late last night to make sure everything was in order, to be able to steer clear of the office today and hopefully to fulfil a  promise to myself not to check my work e-mails on my mobile phone.

It's half-term and it looks as though I am going to have a lovely sunny day to enjoy with my daughter. Our plan is an hour in the gym, followed  by a swim and lunch out, after which we are going to take a trip to a local gallery of modern art. It's so sodden under foot after all the rain that we have opted against any long walks or outdoor activity. There are occasions when I return to the office after my mid-week break, feeling more shattered than on a Friday evening!

A couple of days ago, when she arrived at my office for a lift home, my daughter told me that I wasn't docile enough to retire. "I don't need to be docile," I cried, "I'm going to attack retirement with aggression."

Well at least I won't have to drag myself out of bed afterwards to get to work!


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

End of the Sales



So the January Sales are now well and truly over and the clothes stores appear to be stocking up with Spring outfits. Well Yours Truly almost resisted temptation and her usual quick shopping spree to stock up on blouses for the office and a practical suit for work never materialised.

Ever the pragmatist though, I did buy some half-price trousers for travelling in; you know the type: built in UV protection; shower proof; lightweight for warmer climes; mosquito repelling. Yes, of course they’ll come in handy!


Help! It’s going to take longer than a few months of planning retirement to ignore sales pitches and marketing ploys.



Sunday, 9 February 2014

Drudge or Sludge



Mister E and I both receive regular magazines and circulars from our respective professional bodies. These inevitably include flyers and invitations to various courses aimed at updating our skills and knowledge. I don't lie when I say that one of the joys of retiring is going to be learning for learning's sake and not to collect mandatory cpd points. 

I think it is Mister E, however, who may feel the greatest relief. Little wonder when he receives invitations to conferences on topics with titles as inspiring as "Activated Sludge." 



Thursday, 6 February 2014

First Signs of Springtime


Finally a pause in the unrelenting rain gave me an opportunity to wander along my garden path today. Having become accustomed to a late start to Spring in recent winters, I was surprised to spot a few crocus bulbs, primulae, periwinkle and even osteospermum in flower.

The behaviour of the birds around our feeders is also beginning to alter as they arrive decked in their ever brightening array of feathers. I was particularly struck this morning by a handsome yellowhammer whose bright yellow head ducked and dived amongst the long grasses at the bottom of the hedge, but try as he might, he could not be camouflaged. Unless we have a cold snap, my guess is we are going to see the start of nest building season earlier than ever this year.

It's funny too, how a few minutes outside in what seemed like a Springtime scenario affected my own senses too. Mister E and I are saving for our retirement anything that seems too long a task and top of the list is, of course, redecorating our somewhat tired and neglected home. However, I came in through the back door rejuvenated and full of the nesting instinct. It lasted long enough to clean the kitchen and hallway!