You may think that retirement is all pottering around the garden, playing bowls and going down to the bridge club. But strangely (like lots of fellow retirees) we find the time flying by with little or no chance to do everything that we want to.
The next few weeks are typical. We've got the National Theatre's production of One Man, Two Guvnors at The Lowry in Manchester but before we go to the theatre we have to travel to Knutsford to deliver some items to an auctioneer as we are starting to clear out our antique collection. And then there's dinner booked before the performance. It's all go on that day. The highly acclaimed play stars James Corden who hosts our son Paul's creation A League Of Their Own which returns to our screens tonight for a fourth series on Sky at 10pm. Set your SkyPlus now or, if it's not past your bedtime, watch it.
On Friday we've got a day in Liverpool followed by a meal with friends (imminent arrival of their daughter's baby permitting) and a visit to see more friends on Saturday and a cottage break on the edge of the Lake District the following week.
Before that we've got some catching up on our cinema visits to do so we're having another marathon at FACT in Liverpool on Monday when we're off to the 2pm showing of Paddy Considine's critically acclaimed directorial debut Tyrannosaur. The trailer looks a bit violent and grim so we're lightening the mood later on with a viewing of Woody Allen's latest offering Midnight In Paris at 6.30. With a bite to eat thrown in for good measure that's another packed day. Another day will be spent out with the metal detector if I can find somewhere for us to go.
One of the less pleasant parts of retirement is seeing older relations struggling with old age. Both our mums, pictured here in their early seventies, are now in their mid eighties after being widowed relatively young. My mum is coping very well apart from occasional falls which have sometimes left her looking like she's done ten rounds with Mohammed Ali but Marion's mum Flo (far left) is now finding it very hard to live alone and, after recovering brilliantly from two bouts of cancer in her seventies, is becoming increasingly confused. We've got several appointments lined up in the next few weeks in a attempt to find the best solution for her future but, whatever it is, it won't be the same as being fully independent like she has been for the past sixteen years. It's an unhappy and constant reminder to us of the necessity to make the most of what time we have got.
On a lighter note, let's hope that when we visit FACT on Monday we aren't faced with this..