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...

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
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...


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?


I'm still struggling to get my head around the idea that jam will be the great British export that saves us after Brexit, especially as much of the EU seems to export more than we do. But on the theme of things to spread on toast, what about honey? What could be more natural? 

Read more: Staffordshire Honey


Must eat: Oatcakes

Picture: My grandmother Elizabeth Cooper in her oatcake bakery c1955

With the pound going down and holidays in Spain now set to be much more expensive, Staffordshire is well placed to provide an alternative holiday location.

Read more: Oatcakes to become...

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...