Driving on the pavement

So it snowed and snowed and snowed.  It was the heaviest snowfall in the UK in seven years.  And joy of joy, snow day! Yes, all the schools were shut an the hard working, underpaid staff got a day off.

Of course, the weather was so awful, I didn’t go out.  I sat at home, eating chocolate and watching Christmas films. And not good ones at that. The films I mean. the chocolate was fine.

That night the temperature dropped to -7 in London and the whole bloody lot froze. Although the conditions were actually worse, the schools reopened.  I later found out the main reason for reopening was that it was the day of our Christmas concert and lots of parents had taken the day off to see it.  She had a point I suppose.

However, I am jumping ahead.  So on that icy treacherous morning, I decided it would be safer to walk.  I am a nervous driver anyway and ice did nothing to reassure me.

I used to walk everywhere, back in the day.  But then I got a car and I would come out the house and it would be sitting there waiting for me. So I had sort of forgotten the rules. For example, I was picking my way through the ice, keeping up a fair pace. But then I caught up with the woman in front of me. I wasn’t going fast enough to overtake so I just sort of hovered behind her.  Plus I have a nylon coat so i was making a swishy sound right behind hr.  Must have been terrifying for her.  I resolved to cross the road once we were round the corner as I did have to be on the other side.  Horrors! She crossed before I could. Now I couldn’t follow her as she would be completely freaked out. Had I been driving I would have indicated, overtaken her and sped (within the speed limit) away.

Coming home was not any easier. I encountered someone I had good reason to believe was intoxicated. He weaved from side to side on the pavement.  In the car I would have got away from him as soon as possible. At one stage he lurched to the side and looked over his left shoulder. He could probably hear the swishy coat.  Seizing my chance I passed him on his blind side , and sped (within the speed limit ) away.

Tomorrow I will take my chances in the car.  At least I know the rules there.

On the bright side, I easily did my 10,000 steps.

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Semi retirement and all that

When I came up with my semi retirement plan I had this vision of copious amounts of spare time which would be filled with writing my blog and dare I say it, my novel.

This hasn’t happened. And really for reasons that should not make me unhappy.

My eBay business has really taken off.  I sold so many things that some nights i was still packing parcels at midnight. I am on first name terms with the local Post Office staff.

I have been going out with my friends on a regular basis. Charles Dickens museum in London. Do go if you ever get the chance.  Quite small but very interesting. I also went to the Churchill Rooms in London.  Huge! allow a whole day.  very very good,

I have done dog walking galore,  helped my steps no end.  On those days getting to 10,000 steps is a breeze. Its lovely to see my friend and her two German shepherd

And we went to Amsterdam. Becasue I now have Friday off We were able to go there for the weekend and a  bit.  It a lovely city and the people so friendly.  Their English is better than mine.

So why am I complaining.  well, i am not really. No, the main problem is that spouse delights in nagging daily that I am doing nothing every day (not true) while he will have to work until the day he dies (also not true).  it’s just so tiring having to justify my decision. And it’s not that it was sudden.  This was a year in the making and I included him in every step.

And its not like my work life is any better.  Bitten, kicked, punched and jumped on, on a daily basis. I know I work in a special school but still.

In the end I said that if he wanted to retire, to come up with a plan as I did. We have not lost out financially.  In fact, if my tax bill is anything to go by, its possible we are getting more money now.

He says less about it now, but there is still the odd dig.

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Who knew eating out would be so hard

So it’s near the end of term and I am in the middle of a union meeting. Things have been going badly wrong at work and as the union steward I felt a meeting was called for to get everything out in the open.  I held it in the local carvery because they have a large (generally empty) bar and a massive car park.  Feelings were obviously running high because most of the workforce came and it lasted just shy of three hours.  All this time, although I was concentrating and taking minutes I was also smelling roast dinner.  Three hours of roast potatoes, gravy, stuffing etc. By the time I arrived home, I was tired and craving roast dinner.

I sold it to the spouse by saying “kids are out, lets go on a date night”

He was agreeable to this until I suggested the Carvery. He wrinkled his nose and proposed a a pizza. I wasn’t feeling Pizza. I was also a little surprised that he turned down carvery.  He NEVER turns down carvery.  He turns down sex more than carvery!

However, I booked a table and off we went. Once there he stood behind me when I was giving the details to the Waiter.  Behind me!  The waiter saw him and said “Hello Jim”,  And my! Was Jim sheepish. He squirmed on the way to the table.

Eventually I got he story out of him..Jim is a regular visitor to this establishment, had been there the week previous and had imbibed too much (not unusual for an alcoholic)

Jim had picked a fight with this man and told him the beer was off.  Its unclear, but he may have been escorted from the premises.

This is not unusual.  I have lost count of the number of places we cannot visit because he has been ejected and subsequently banned. You kind of get used to the embarrassment.

i must say the waiter was politeness itself and totally professional.  i just hope he didn’t spit in our drinks.

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Stress, cats and herbal cures

It’s a beautiful autumn day. Despite the fact that it is mid October I am in the garden in my t-shirt. I am pottering about, pulling weeds and sweeping leaves.

We have a swing in the garden.  It’s like a sofa and swings gently in the breeze, it was a present from the children for their father. Misty, the cat, has purloined it.


And, amazingly, we let her.  Because according to the vet, Misty is suffering from stress.  She is an over groomer.  She has washed herself so much that she is quite bald on both back legs. Any attempt to stop her washing gets us bitten. She is also quite bad tempered.

The vet prescribed herbal capsules for her, which can be sprinkled on the food.  They are pleasant to taste so the cats will eat it.  Will they heck!  she knows there is something on there and flatly refuses to eat.  I even mixed it in cream and she wont touch it.  In desperation I got a plug in diffuser with soothing  fluid in it. I put it in the lounge (her favourite spot after the swing.  She refuses to go into the lounge.  Does she want to be stressed?

Haunted catts

Meanwhile she continues to wash, continues to be bald, continues to be bad tempered.

It seems the only cure is to gently rock her on the swing.  If nothing else it momentarily stops her washing.



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So this is Semi retirement

A few months ago I made the decision to semi retire.  I am not that old, 58.  But my job is very challenging and to be honest I am the oldest one still doing it. I work in a special school and its a brilliant job, but you need to be full of energy.  I am not always full of energy.  By Friday I am almost dead. So I concluded, it was semi retirement, or dropping dead soon. I applied to work three days and to make up the pay I claimed a pension that I had on the back burner. Sadly, work would only give me two days, but to soften the blow offered me supply work on the other three days.  That means if they are short of staff, and my friend, they are always short of staff, I could go in and cover.  This seemed perfect.

This week, the one just finished, has been the first week. I was not called in on any of the days.  I think this is because its the beginning of term and no-one goes sick at the beginning of term. However, not everyone is happy with my new lifestyle. My spouse is particularly annoyed. Although it will not make any difference financially, he has decided to play the martyr.  “I will work until I die”  is one of his phrases.  ” some of us have to work now”  Stuff like that.

And I am not doing nothing on my days off.  I buy and sell on Ebay.  It’s going quite well.  I made £80 last month.  I mean I am not taking on Richard Branson but you know I am doing OK.

And the Fitbit?  Yeah, that’s going OK too.  7 or 8 thousand steps a day.  Seven hours sleep a night.

The rest of my life just started.

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Nice is nice

Sorry about the title. Couldn’t resist. So, I have been to Nice.  I probably would have enjoyed it if I hadn’t been accompanied by a psychopath.

I don’t care for hot weather and sitting on the beach staring endlessly into the middle distance is not my idea of fun. However, it is the spouse’s favourite pastime. And I was prepared to put up with it for a week.  Truly I was.  I packed suntan lotion, umbrella to protect me, and books. As for footwear, I packed flipflops and sandals.  See! Perfect prepared for holiday.

Well no, as it transpires. To punish me for not liking the whole beach thing spouse decided to do a lot of walking.  I wouldn’t mind this, I like walking, but I was not prepared.  My sandals wore out after three days. We were just walking along streets for no purpose and at the hottest part of the days.  Average temperatures were 29 degrees.

My feet looked like this


My sandals covered in blood and pus.  Oh the hand isn’t mine, in case you wonder why they don’t match.

How far did we walk?


Yes, during the week I walked 46 miles on broken unsuitable sandals in burning heat.  Sometimes I suggested stopping for water or a rest.  No, we ate a fairly substantial breakfast and then nothing until dinner at eight or so. If he wanted a beer I  got water but was teased for it.  Clearly I should be drinking beer. Yuk!

On the way back, he had packed a mini bottle of wine in the hand luggage which  was obviously confiscated. So glad it wasn’t me that did that.  I would never hear the end of it.

Nice is beautiful.  Just wish I had been with someone else.


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Another year, another attempt at getting fit.

So, I had a birthday. How did I get to be 58. I still feel 23.  Well, not in the mornings I don’t. When I tentatively  creep down the stairs one at a time creaking as I go. Then I fell 80.

Anyway, I had a birthday and one of the presents is a fit  bit.  Actually not a fit bit but a fit bit type thing. It counts steps, records my heart rate and my sleep.  The steps is cool, makes me walk more to up the steps. My heart rate is erratic and sometime shows my heart is working at all.  Worrying.

My sleep is the most surprising. I found i don’t have deep sleep that often. 45 minutes maybe and the rest is light sleep. That is if this thing is accurate.

Setting is up was quite funny. I know my age and height but I never weigh myself so I guessed my weight. So it probably means the calorie count is wrong. Oh yes it counts calories too.

So I shall be writing again next birthday saying I am twig like and super fit. And sleeping like a log.  🙂 :):)

Oh for anyone that’s interested in 48 hours I fly to Nice.  Last minute as ever.

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