I’ve been taking stock of my life lately. After a gruelling couple of weeks at work I’m finding that I’m drawing on my last reserves. This time of year is always busy, but this season, for reasons which fail to impinge or make rational sense, has been exceptionally busy. Currently life is no more than a never ending cycle of getting up at 6.00am, commuting and working solid for 11 hours. Frankly, I’m buggered and often fall asleep in inappropriate places. Weekends are just an extension of my working week. Usually I’m sequestered in my cosy study peering over a stack of files, gently rocking and farting. I never get visitors.
The point of this particular ramble? I suppose it reminds me that I’m not as young, and more importantly, resilient as I used to be. I’m becoming aware of my own mortality and I’m seriously contemplating a retirement plan. I’ve no intention of working beyond 65, or 62 for that matter. I don’t care about the government exhorting us ‘oldies’ to continue working well into our dotage- the government can fuck off. I’ve the example of my poor father to ruminate upon: The poor sod died ‘in harness’ 3 months before his official retirement at 65. I don't want to be morbid but no one is guaranteed a span and although I’m fit and healthy for my age, at least according to my doc, there is always fickle chance and circumstance to contend with.
I’ve worked hard all my life and deserve a little time in the sun to reflect, contemplate and write; somewhere rural and quiet- far from the squawking mass of humanity. I’m reasonably well off financially and have made provision for my elder years. I’ve pursued a prudent fiscal policy throughout my adult life (steady Flaxen, you are starting to sound like a twat). So tis a matter of sorting out the intricate web of finances, gathering in all the strands and placing the suitably entangled, juicy fat fly, in the gaping maw of the awaiting arachnid (accountant). Obviously there will be a few adjustments. Lavish spending will have to be curtailed. I’m not high financial maintenance as my pleasures are simple and inexpensive. But my wife……..She enjoys shopping and amassing clothes and shoes. We have four wardrobe areas in our house, including a large ‘walk in’. In this entire expanse my clothes occupy a small portion of one wardrobe. The rest is a vast repository for ladies’ apparel. Of course, my lovely wife is a bit younger than myself so she has the option of continuing to work in order to fund her lavish hobby.
Apart from adjustments in the household budget, my wife is worried about what I’ll get up to when I have no organised routine of work. I’m a darling creature of habit. If I foster good habits, all well and good; if I foster bad habits, all well and good. She suspects that I’ll retreat into my inner sanctum (study) and immerse myself in writing, appearing only for the occasional evening meal. She has a point. I have a need for solitude and require a little time to myself. Time to engage in lonely activities which I enjoy (get your mind out the gutter) and stare out the window imagining what it would be like if I owned a high powered sniper rifle: ‘There goes Mr Plinkington’s head. That’ll teach him for regarding me in a slightly askew manner while I'm practising nude Tai Chi in the privacy of the communal garden’. I’ve digressed.
Regardless of outcome, I’ve made my decision. This gives me a year to sort everything out and get rid of the accumulated household detritus spanning 40 years. And then I need to look for a place to hunker down. I’ll not be free to roam the country at will.
house prices are ridiculously high and thus I’ll be constrained by regional
price variation. Mayhap the sublime winterless north? At this stage, who can
say? New Zealand