A wry view of life for the world-weary

A New Day Yesterday – Part Two


More observations from the pre-tirement frontline.

There is something intensely satisfying about waking up from the Sunday evening post-prandial stupor induced by Call The Midwife to realise that you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn (or earlier as rising times are static and dawn is a moveable feast) the following day to battle with the public transport system to get to work.

Of course, the puritanical streak that resides (deep) within me means that I want to use my extra day off profitably. What this means is that I rise a couple of hours later than I would ordinarily do if I was going to work but early enough to have the satisfaction of being up and showered whilst parents are engaged in blocking my drive dropping their little darlings off to school.

The extra day at liberty means that those annoying jobs for which there is insufficient time to accomplish during the conventional two-day weekend are quickly being knocked off. The garden shed has been re-organised (for the nth time) and the garage sufficiently de-cluttered that TOWT can now park her car in it for the first time in over two years. These are the measures of my productivity.

The next jobs looming imminently on the horizon are sorting out our two lofts and the planning for this immediately reveals the deep-rooted difference in attitudes between the sexes to impedimenta accumulated over a lifetime. I have thousands of books – the space taken up by my voracious reading appetite would be even greater but for my embracing the digital book form some seven years ago – an extensive vinyl record collection and thousands of football programmes and cricket magazines and memorabilia. As well as being an inherent reflection of what I am I see these enormous piles as accumulating assets (albeit imperceptibly and appealing to a limited but select clientele) whereas to the fairer sex they are nothing more than junk to be jettisoned in the same way as last season’s shoes and fashions. Battle lines are drawn and I will need the skills of the most consummate diplomat to emerge with the majority of my collection intact.

We then set out for a bracing walk. We are fortunate that within five minutes of where we live there are woods which we can ramble through, providing every now and again you don’t mind coming across a member of the military in camouflage hiding behind a bush. To some, the benefits of this exercise may be impacted by the fact that the ultimate destination of our perambulation is our splendid pub where a hearty lunch and a few pints are consumed before we retrace our steps.

It is quite apparent that those of us who are over 60 and fortunate to be in receipt of occupational pensions but too young to draw a state pension, occupy somewhat of a twilight zone. We qualify for free prescriptions and various store discount cards but are unable to benefit from a free bus pass or the Senior Citizens’ Menu offered at the pub aimed exclusively at those drawing (State) pensions. Life can be very cruel at times!


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