Tuesday, 4 January 2011

So This Is What Retirement Is All About

So you are all back at work and catching up on the two hundred emails and big pile of post that arrived this morning. And while you do that Marion and I are finally starting to understand what it's like to be retired. "But you retired on 30th November" you may well say. Very true but, let's face it, going into hospital a couple of days later and the subsequent period of recuperation don't really count as normality.


With the leg well and truly on the mend I think it's fair to say that today is day one of the rest of our retired lives. And what a fascinating day it has turned out to be. I still have to complete the Guardian quick crossword (it's part of my OCD) but I no longer have any deadline as I don't have to grab my coat and rush out of the house at ten to nine. I can even take the crossword to the loo with me if I feel like it.


Crossword done, we have some stuff to take back to M&S and discover that the average age of everyone in Southport on a Tuesday morning is probably about twenty years higher than it is at weekend and the place is crawling with the grey haired and balding. But there's no queue to speak of at the returns desk and we get things done much faster than usual.


My hair could do with a trim. This usually involves several trips to the barbers where I pull up outside, count the number in the queue and drive away. I then repeat the exercise at half hourly intervals until I find a lull and triumphantly make my entrance to be seated immediately at the chair. Today I turn up at 11, there's no queue and I'm seen straight away.


Marion decides that she'll give the daytime classes at the gym a go and I gamely decide to accompany her and give my new hip a work out. You know what it's like at the gym at the start of the new year when everyone has made that resolution to invest £30 per month and actually turns up leaving a queue at every machine, compared to every other month when the money continues to go out of the account but the trackie and trainers stay in the wardrobe. Well it's not like that at noon and I've virtually got the place to myself and manage to exercise for half an hour.


I discover that there are toilets just outside the gym. It's not that I need them but it's the first time that I've had the time to look around the place and I had always assumed that the ones in the changing rooms were all there were. I wonder why people spit used chewing gum into the urinals. Do they have no spatial awareness and think that large blob of gum will somehow go down the small hole? Or does it give them something to aim at? Or do they think that after a certain number of pees the gum will shrink sufficiently to drain away? Or do they simply think that the cleaners enjoy removing the piss soaked globules? Oh yes we love removing your gum from the urinals - it makes our day and is so much more preferable to finding it in the lined waste paper basket positioned a foot away.


Yes it has certainly been an interesting day. We've discovered that we can do everything so much quicker just when we don't need to. Which means that retirement hours are probably worth two working hours. Which means that we're going to have so much time to do all that stuff that we've always wanted to do. An old bloke at the gym told me that it took just six weeks for him to feel fully recovered from his hip replacement. Which means that in two weeks time it should be all systems go.