Well, the transition from pre-retiree to retiree has been completed. It is amazing the difference that a prefix can make. The relief of not having to trek up to London on a daily basis was heightened following the tragic events of vendredi treize. I was with many French nationals in Mauritius when the news broke and the sense of shock and anger was palpable.
Of course, those of us of a certain age have been there before. I was in a building that was rocked by the shock waves from the bomb that killed Airey Neave in 1979 and in the self-same building in 1991 over which the mortar fired from Horse Guards’ Parade travelled en route to Downing Street. Life has to go on otherwise the terrorists have won.
Irrespective of your political persuasion the protection of national security is a prime, if not the prime, responsibility of national government. The timing of George Osborne’s plans (hastily overturned – but then aren’t they always?) to reduce the funding to police and security services and the absence of a credible elected opposition – we are reliant upon an unelected second chamber to force sanity to prevail – shows what a parlous state of affairs we have sunk to.
We are told to run for it by our benighted government in the event of being caught up in a terror attack rather than to play dead. I’m not sure of the wisdom of this advice. Many incidents involving large death tolls have been caused by people fleeing in blind panic, whether it be at the Hajj or a football stadium. Whether this is sage advice or not, only time will tell and let’s hope none of us have to use it in practice. I can’t help thinking the spirit of Corporal Jones is wandering the corridors of Whitehall.
On a much more mundane level, the loss of a prefix to my status has already engendered a major change. My work clothes have moved from my main wardrobe to the secondary one and my leisure clothes now have pride of place. Shoes have had a similar switch round and I can’t help thinking I have too many black brogues and Oxfords to last a lifetime. There may be some bargains to be had amongst the charity shops that abound around Blogger Towers.
Regular readers will recall that I presented my prize pumpkin to the BoJ who duly carved it and decorated it and put it into the pumpkin competition at his nursery. And won making me a very proud gandrad, as he calls me! He has already asked me to grow another one next year. The pressure is on! Thank goodness I have my gins to fll back on.
The collection grows. The latest additions are Caorunn, pronounced ka-roon – a Scottish gin which comes in a delightful pentagonal shaped bottle, is distilled in Speyside using Scottish waters and has a very crisp and dry flavour – and the slightly sweeter Plymouth Gin in a distinctive green tinged bottle, distilled in a copper Victorian still at the Black Friars Distillery in the Devonian city, bought for me by TOWT to celebrate the loss of my prefix.
Absinthe has fuelled many a masterpiece. We will see what premium gin will do!