If anyone asks me what I do, I say i’m “semi-retired”. The truth is I don’t actually have any type of employment, so really i’m fully retired, but part of me feels I should be doing something, even if its voluntary work, so the “Semi” leaves me some wriggle room. Having only been in this position for just over 4 months, I’m still learning to adapt to this new lifestyle. From the age of 16, I’ve only experienced one week when I wasn’t in full time employment. This is all very new and a little scary. I do quite fancy a little part time job, maybe a couple of days a week, so I’m always looking, but not desperate. If I take something, it will be because its going to enhance my quality of life and my wellbeing…..(leans back, lights scented candle). If nothing materialises over the next few month or so, I’m minded to have a look at volunteering with the National Trust or similar (I’d make a great car park attendant).
So how do I fill my morning? Its very easy. I get up, have breakfast with the better half and wave her off to work at about 8.30am, she works school hours, so I will see her again at 3.30pm. That limited time away from each other is important and as a bonus we get all the school holidays together. Then the dog walk. This task is an enjoyable part of the day, I normally walk the mutt for about 1hr 15 in a local country park, which is 2 mins walk away.
Over the last 4 months I’ve built up quite a little social circle, chatting with other dog walkers, catching up on gossip, marvelling at each others dogs, looking at the wild life and generally chewing over in my mind all of life’s problems and conundrums. The dog, I hear you ask?, well he loves it. He’s mainly off the lead, sniffing, playing with other dogs, eating anything of interest, chasing sticks/frisbees/me (delete as appropriate). We have little areas of the park where he does certain things, a little bit of hide n seek, a roll in the leaves. There’s a certain routine and predictability I like about it. Plus of course we are always on the look out for the dead body in the woods. I don’t know of any early morning dog walkers who haven’t wondered what they’ll do if fido appears from the hedge with an arm hanging out of his mouth!! Keeps it interesting.
I’ve also become very territorial about MY country park. I notice any new visitors or vehicles. I tut-tut at the wheel tracks left by the loggers managing the woodland. This is my park, woe betide anyone who abuses it. I found myself recently becoming very irritated by the amount of litter in the park and the apparent lack of interest from the council to clear it. So after a few phone calls and a couple of emails, they finally did what we pay them to do and deployed some litter pickers to deal with it. Hurrah, MHD 1. Council 0.
Having just watched some reruns of “One Foot in the Grave”, in my post-retirement eyes I can see Victor Meldrew is a mild mannered, misunderstood, easy going gentleman. Its just life and people in general that need a good shaking.