What has happened to the year? October and already too dark to walk the lanes after work without a torch. But my retirement day is fast approaching, then the day light hours will be mine. It is a strange thought. Since I was five years old, apart from holidays, someone else has been determining what I spent my daytime doing. Now 56 years later I am looking forward to owning my own time.
Don't get me wrong. All my jobs have provided plenty off opportunity for continuous learning and development whether in technical speciality, relationship management, appreciation of other cultures, business skills or other professional development. The rewards have been far more than just the money paid and, although I will need to adapt to operating on a reduced income, it is the other aspects I will miss most.
I have retirement projects planned (besides gardening) which will keep me intellectually active and demand the acquisition of new skills, but it will be difficult to replace the companionship of colleagues from all parts of the globe. In Rooted to the Spot my theme is to focus on my local area, a ten mile radius, and learn how to really appreciate what it has to offer. I know that will be very enjoyable, but it is a narrow window onto a small part of the world and a narrow view will gradually lead to a narrower mind.
It will require much more effort on my part to stay informed. I will have to actively seek out the opinions and perspectives of people from other countries and cultures. There will be no natural diversity laid on by an enlightened, global company.
Orchestrators of populist no-brain sentiment are seen as possible leaders
I will be adrift on my own in Brexit Britain. A government and culture claiming it wants to be global but doing everything to build walls and not bridges. A country, at least England - as Scotland attempts to distance itself and Ireland is worrying about its borders - which is sending out "not welcome here" messages to anyone that doesn't have British heritage running through them like "Blackpool" through seaside rock. Surely it has to be a temporary aberration. I hope so, but news from the Tory Pary conference last week suggests the orchestrators of populist no-brain sentiment are still seen a potential leaders and trouble makers can get away with it, well, if they make you laugh and they are reliable buffoons. Boris is Boris. It's as though we are all living through some sort of sitcom or X-factor show.
I never thought I'd say this but I'm a bit concerned about Mrs May
I never thought I'd say this but I'm a bit concerned about Mrs May. I've never liked her politics but since I found out we were born only a couple of weeks apart and she, like me, suffers from an auto-immune disease I've felt a bit of an affinity with her. She doesn't seem comfortable as a sitcom star or X Factor contestant to me. She puts a brave face on it and makes a few jokes, but she's one serious lady and her party conference was beset by disaster. It had the atmosphere of a waiting room outside an intensive care unit.
Now she has now refused to say how she would vote in a rerun of the EU referendum and the Brexit hounds are baying for her blood. She looks knackered and the cracks are showing. She has clearly proved to herself beyond doubt that her mission is impossible. As I see it, she should take a leaf out of my book and retire. To save her health and sanity her only hope, short of resurrecting Jim Phelps, is to persuade a deluded nutter (enter Boris stage left) to take over so she can retire. She could spend more time baking those cakes she is known for, eating them and reacquainting herself with reality. And I'm sure she could get some lucrative speaking or book contracts. She could write a sort of sequel to Dave's "How I f***ed the country and ran away." Hers could be an homage to Spike Milligan, in the style of "In the Land of the Bumbley Boo".
He thinks he's clever, probably thinks he's Harry Potter with a magic wand and his incantation of Latin spells
But back to retirement. Mrs May's chance to retire and go out in a blaze of publicity, Boris style, was last week at her conference. It was her birthday and she missed a big opportunity. She should have made herself a big birthday cake, preferably with Union Jack icing, eaten it in front of all the cameras and then said "See it's gone. And now I'm off. I'm retiring. I might be in the WASPI age group but Philip can afford it. If you lot still think we should be following a cake and eat it strategy, then Boris is your man. He thinks he's clever, probably thinks he's Harry Potter with a magic wand and his incantation of Latin spells. You deserve him. Good luck. You'll need it. Goodbye."
So Theresa, if you missed out on the birthday cake I'll be having a party at the end of November. A retirement party and late birthday party. If you take my advice and retire you can come, but don't bring Karen. I didn't vote for her and she isn't likely to be a very good conversationalist. If her letters and TV appearances are anything to go by she just echoes you anyway. I'll get a cake we can both eat with our inconvenient auto immune diseases. I'll decorate the place with my flags. You won't mind the nice blue ones with the yellow stars will you? I do think they add a bit of cheer to an occasion. The clown I booked for the entertainment has cancelled. Said something about being too busy running, or was it ruining, the county. See, my jokes are as bad as yours!