rootedatthesticks

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.

Read more: Take a leaf out of...
Picture of cow in a field

My MP,  the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport isn't really interested in me. I can tell by the way she answers my letters and emails (or doesn't as the case may be). I guess its because she's worked out that it would take a miracle beyond her power to persuade me to vote for her.

Read more: My Member of...

I suppose I'd better establish my claim to be here, to prove my roots to this spot. How far back do I need to go? There are some foreigners in my ancestoral line. That bastard William the Conqueror, you know, that Norman bloke who invaded a few years back and made us all start speaking French,

Read more: Great Grandparents
Sandcastles

 

Last night we went to the cinema for the second time in less than two months. In my retirement planning budget I have assumed we will go to see one film a month, an estimate that my daughter thinks is way over the top. Prior to our trip to see Blade Runner 2049 on 12th October the last film we saw in a cinema was, er, (and I had to look this up) I, Daniel Blake, on 30th October 2016. 

Read more: Was this the right...

 

I don't deny it. Brexiters bemoaning our fellow Europeans coming here and diluting our culture pisses me off. Sorry about the strong language but it does. Britain shares so much of its culture with the rest of Europe: music, art, language, food, philosophy.

Read more: Some Brexit...
Duck on lake

 

Learn the lingo

The culture of any place is shaped by and reflected in its language. The Potteries, which has lost most of its potteries, mines and major industries, a place which overwhelmingly voted for Brexit, maybe because it has been overlooked by posh speaking government and was trying to fight back, has its own lingo.

Read more: Hey up duck!! Ow at?
Shelves of jam and other preserves

My retirement in the style of Brexit and the Brexiteers' vision of post Brexit trade have finally come together. In jam. Apple jam and pear jam to be precise. I'm not fond of jam, except occassionally spread thinly, very thinly, on toast. It has too much sugar and I like eating too much to waste calories on fruit flavoured sugar.  Two small pots will last me a year at least. The webmaster doesn't eat any jam. At that rate we've already made enough to last me for the next 40 years (without making a dent in the number of apples) but statistically I don't have 40 years left. Can I leave jam in my will? Does it keep that long? 

Read more: Jam today, jam...
Two 1 litre jars of apple chutney on window cill

The kitchen at The Sticks has been busy processing its first batch of windfall apples this season. OK, so we didn't make jam, a proposed staple for our new post Brexit export economy, but our first preserve of the season has hit the jars. Apple chutney. What could be more British?

If we thought living off beans, to keep up with the cropping, was becoming tedious the volume of apples and pears is truely alarming.

Read more: Apple chutney....
Bean harvest

Independence. The good life. Growing our own food. What could be better? This is the dream, our perfect retirement in the style of Brexit, showing those doubters that The Sticks can stand on its own two feet when it comes to feeding itself. Who needs CAP and subsidies? Who needs imported food? We can manage without olive oil and bananas, orange juice or coffee. We've grown our own beans.

Read more: Living on British...

My husband is getting fed up with beans, although for now think I've calmed him down a bit, at least he is still cooking them every day. I've insisted he be patient and stop talking down the independence my retirement has brought us. I've assured him that the broad beans and runner beans we have planted will be much better than those we eat now.

Read more: The best possible...
Balancing and bending

What better way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon than reflecting the state of the nation through sport? Forget football, a restrictive team game with rules, over which we have no say, limiting the independence and personal sovereignty of our players. What we need is something with flexibility, balance and very few rules. Try slack-line walking and limbo dancing

Read more: What we need is...

I've now been retired for a month. It's hard work this independence from work but I've already ticked several retirement projects off my list: downstairs decoration complete and Christmas cards and letters were sent on time - the first time for many years.

Read more: My new blue...
Butterfly

The long hot summer is over but Brexit madness seems unabated. As the shear scale of what they have unleashed, and the complexities of what they assured us was simple, become clear, arch Brexiters are becoming more and more fanciful in their proposals. Despite their bravado their desparation is showing, they are grabbing at straws and throwing all caution to the wind in their blatant disregard of inconvenient facts. If it wasn't a cult before, it is now.

Read more: Good life
Whitewashing the greenhouse glass

I've quietly let my proposal to grow bananas slip and hope no one notices. I've even stood in front of a mirror and practised keeping my face straight and deadly serious while denying I ever said it. I've taken my inspiration from leading Brexiters. After all if Nigel Farage can deny suggesting UK could be like Norway with all the TV footage proving the opposite I can deny suggesting I could grow bananas.

Read more: Whitewashing...

I've only just realised a gapping hole in my "retirement in the style of Brexit" plan: I forgot to draw any red lines. The omission of the red lines surely undermines everything. How could I have been so remiss? I was so taken with striking out on my own, regaining my sovereignty, taking back control of my time, freeing myself from corporate rules and seizing the opportunity to negotiate my own deals that I completely overlooked them. And I'd told my husband everything else would carry on as before. No loss of anything. Only benefits. Duh!

Read more: Missing red lines...

This week we learned that the government's own impact assessment of Brexit shows that the whole country will suffer from any type of Brexit (soft, hard, squidgy, fudged or colourful). The Sticks, although very close to the border with the North West, is officially in the West Midlands which will be particularly badly affected.

Read more: For now the...