Retirement notes

After forty five years I’m heading towards my last months at the amazing Natural Theatre Company. I’m down to a two day week now. Segueing towards retirement as I like to put it.

Of course, they won’t be able to get rid of me entirely; I’ll be back for special one-off projects. But some other bum will be plonked on my faithful swivel chair in, it has to be said, my rather posh Artistic Director’s office (well, I was in charge of the building restoration, so naturally I bagged the best space!)

But how to fill my days? Feeding the swans from my new riverside balcony is quite good fun. I have trained up to seven (as in the song) to assemble at precisely 8.45 am to receive my papal blessing and copious amounts of special vitamin-enriched floating swan food (you’ve got to believe it folks…you can get anything on the internet these days). Though numbers may well decrease due to the vicious attitude the majority have towards one particular less elegant individual. Danny Kaye comes to mind…you know, the Ugly Duckling and all that.

As to further potential retiree activities, last weekend I tried Bath’s contribution to UK Older People’s Day. It was like a village fete with free Complan. I rather enjoyed it. My pal was demonstrating his famous Pramophone (see below) and actually got our MP dancing.

I got a free shoulder massage, picked up loads of useful leaflets about support hose and iron supplements and learnt about Tai Chi breathing. Then I had a rather embarrassing senior moment when I tipped my third free Complan smoothie down my best Hawaiian shirt. The entire container of blackcurrant gloop. Luckily, it’s a predominantly maroon shirt so the stain doesn’t show (much). It was the ill-designed packaging, I swear. At least, that’s what I wrote on the proffered survey form.

After that bit of excitement I decided to wander round to TK Max as another friend had been waxing lyrical about their home ware department. It was my first visit and I had high hopes. We old folks love buying things. Couldn’t see what the fuss was about myself. It’s basically a holding bay for a car boot sale. The only difference between it and the boot sale is that their products are displayed in neat lines. I found myself mentally pricing everything, the way one does when unloading the car at the sale. Ten pence, fifty pence, council tip…

Mind, I quite fancied a certain purple vase. Then I visualised it a few months hence balanced precariously on a trestle table in the middle of a field with a twenty pence sticker on it.

That’s all for now, I have a load of Saga catalogues I have to look through.

PS: The Pramophone is two wind-up gramophones mounted on a rather grand Silver Cross pram. Perfect for afternoon tea on the terrace. Or for that special retirement party! See www.pramophone.com

PPS: Blackcurrant Complan is pretty vile.

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