Planet Retirement can sometimes be a bewildering place and with a scarcity of UK retirement blogs out there (other than those proffering financial advice) I thought I'd keep my own.

Please visit from time to time and do add your comments. Popular posts and those highlighting my journey are specifically pinpointed on the right hand side together with a list of topics covered. Alternatively you may prefer to look at the Summary or the Tips from Wisdom Acquired or even our Have Visited List with its retirement atlas and dip in and out of the blog using the links given.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The Christmas Holiday

Someone warned me that when I no longer worked, Christmas would no longer be a holiday. Well that may be true in one sense. In reality it has felt more like a holiday than ever with the foreboding shadow of the office no longer looming over me as the New Year passes and we head towards the first full working week of 2015.

I recall that when I took the whole of the period between Christmas and New Year away from work, I would inevitably return in January somewhat vacuous. I'm not sure, and it could be simply that I am now empty-headed all the time, but, as on returning from Cuba, it feels like I have had a complete interlude of relaxation that I shall wind down from gradually rather than have abruptly severed.

It has of course been a busy couple of weeks since I last made a blog entry and with the eldest and youngest back at home as well as all our visitors, the joys are multiplied along with the washing-up. Further, and although they are of course both now over the age of 18, they together with our guest provided the perfect excuse for a day out on Friday to blow away the last of the festive cobwebs. 

We headed for Durham City under a blue sky but a chilling wind and enjoyed not only a bracing stroll but also a visit to the cinema to see that  latest whole-family, feel-good film: Paddington. We all laughed out loud but best of all it was calypso music that dominated the sound track to the film. It was like being in Cuba all over again when we moved our hips and made salsa steps down the aisle to the exit door as the final credits rolled.

We took our guest to see the iconic views of the castle and cathedral from Framwellgate Bridge and then into the cathedral itself. Every time I visit, I am always amazed by its sheer size. Whilst the under-25's climbed the spiral steps to the top of the tower, I found myself taking a seat in a pew and enjoying a time of quiet contemplation.

My goodness good food and company, a Latin American band and time for thought; work or no work, it has definitely been a holiday.


  1. I really like your blog and have just subscribed to your feed. I have only recently retired and am trying to blog about it as well. I am hoping that blogging will help me figure it out! Thanks for the inspiration!

    PS my blog is

    1. Thanks for the link - some great pictures there and it is wonderful to see (as well as read) how someone else is planning and more importantly implementing their retirement.

  2. I envy you going to Cuba. I am really trying to figure out retirement. Most of the retirement blogs I have read have good advice about the logistics. But I am really interested in connecting with people who are reflecting on what retired life feels like, looks like.

    1. I agree - there are too many retirement blogs selling financial wares. That said it is hard to get the balance between blogging about the theory and practice, whilst trying to avoid keeping an online diary. I do believe retirement is a time of opportunity and adventure, but so much that I have read (especially in books written on the subject) seems to emphasise the pitfalls rather than the excitement. You only retire when you reach an age where you have the wisdom to reflect and philosophise about this new phase in your life and more importantly the ability to make it as fulfilling as you want it to be. In the absence of appropriate guidance, mine so far has become an enthralling journey into the unknown and I look forward to hearing about your own experiences too.