Retirement in the style of Brexit isn't working out quite as I'd hoped. At first I proceeded as though it would be easy. Back to the Good Life: rural calm, self sufficiency and tranquility for me. Sunlit uplands for the rest of my life. Ahh, it sounded so good.
To 'get behind Brexit' I forced myself to go along with the confidence of the Brexiters' arguments when they assured me that it was easy to secure an obligation free, low cost life full of benefits.
I forced myself to believe that I could create a sort of semi permeable membrane around myself that let in all, and only, the things I wanted. Belief it seemed was the critical ingredient. The impossible was possible with enough faith. If it applied to a whole country, surely it would be even easier for little old me.
But no. Even something as straight forward as tightening my borders has brought problems. All I did was close my gate to stop unwanted strangers wandering down my path, not that many did - mostly a few stray dogs who didn't stay long - and the only refugees I've taken in over the last few years are a couple of Turkish Van like fluffy cats. They are a little disconcerting as they have a different culture and attitude to the good old British tabby. I blame the neighbours, they should have stopped them before they got to my borders, but I'm not taking any more chances.
So, I closed the gate. (To be fair, I've always had the gate and could have closed it anytime, but having left it open for 30 years I didn't want to admit I was always in control of it, so this Brexit style retirement has given me a perfect excuse).
It's worked. No more Turkish Van cats have moved in. OK, there are some unexpected difficulties and I'm in the process of drafting technical notices to provide work around instructions.
Since I closed the gates delivery drivers slow down, see the closed gate and drive past. A couple of minutes later they post a message on their tracking site saying "No one in", "No access to property", "Address not found". Then I have to call them and get them to come back. I have to wait for them and open the gate. If the delivery company doesn't use on-line tracking I have no idea where the parcel is. I don't even get one of those little "You were out" cards. All my parcels are delayed.
But, for now I'm sticking to my decision to keep the gate closed. It was my will and I'd be letting myself down if I betrayed my own decision. I'm resiliant and great so I will get through it and come up with a solution. Missing deliveries is a small price to pay for respecting my own will. Honouring the belief in Brexit has made me realise that although I suffered no real ill effects of leaving my gate open for 30 years and all the while had the benefit of on-time deliveries, it would be a disaster if, I now I've decided to close it, I am forced to leave it open it again.
But all is not lost and Brexit still provides a few ideas. I'm thinking of new infrastructure and technology to solve the problem with my gate. I'm keeping a sharp eye on whatever solution is found for the Northern Irish border. In the meantime, I'm getting used to the delays.
A whole batch of my apples went off because I couldn't make chutney due to the jars being delayed in transit. According to the Brexit script I knew this would happen when I made my decision to close the gate, but I'm not sure I did.