The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Monday, 2 January 2012

All Change...!

The train conductor of life has called out that to our family quite a bit of late.  Both The Daughter and The Husband had notice of redundancy issued in 2011, my girl being ahead of my man by three months.  She is 30, and a newlywed with a daft dog to support, so had to get her finger out pronto and find something else to do.  Happily, the very first set of interviews she had led to her being offered the job, and she starts it tomorrow, still in fundraising but no longer for a major NGO (as one cog in whirring clockwork wound up by someone else, with a team to manage) but this time as the sole professional fundraiser for a small local charity with only the director to report to, and volunteers below/alongside her. Good Luck, darling, with all that!  I have spent a few minutes thinking of all the millionaires I am aware of who might be a soft touch for a charity such as hers, and told her my list.  She was good enough not to laugh my ideas out of touch.

The Husband is another matter.  As I said in my last, he has been working full time for forty years solid and in my view this means he has no obligation to look for other work, especially as we can sell his house and move to mine so don't have the worry of wondering how to pay the last six years of the mortgage on it (assuming we can sell it quite quickly...eek!).  Forty years is long enough.  Had he done A Levels and a degree, like most people I know well, he wouldn't have had his first serious job until he was about 22, so he's six years ahead of the game.  He's done enough.  Come on, and let the good times roll!

We had a week over Christmas in the Welsh house entertaining guests and practising for retirement.  It was a week of almost non-stop unmitigated filthy weather where the sun hardly broke through for a moment and it rained an unconscionable deal of the time.  Between shopping on Christmas Eve and going out for a drive to see someone on 29 December I didn't actually leave the house, my choice, and really not a problem.  We had enough food for an army and the appetites to do justice to it, so I cooked up a storm once a day and spent the remainder of the time asleep or resting, mostly curled up on a couch with festive lights twinkling, fire glowing and the telly pouring out entertainment into the room in a steady flow; comedy, new drama, vintage movies, a smattering of news and weather (more wet stuff coming, as if we dodn't know) and the occasional documentary or quiz to stiffen the spine and rouse the little grey cells.

We discussed possible changes to the house that will be needed to make it a perfect retirement home for the two of us.  Once The Husband's equity is available we may well do some building, extending out at the front which faces northwards so's not to use up any of the southerly elevation or the sun trap that is the back garden.  These houses are back-to-front in that the sitting rooms face backwards with views over the fields and the kitchen-diners are at the front facing the street.

We hope to push the house forwards a bit and make a soopah-doopah, 50% bigger, all-singing, all-dancing, eat-in kitchen, and add a downstairs cloak to the other side of the front door and a porch in the middle.

I'd like the kitchen extension to have a glass roof, a conservatory in effect with brick walls up to worktop height, to get the most possible natural light, but then there is also the two story extension option which (if affordable and passes a planning application) could add extra space above the kitchen extension to enlarge the second bedroom.  If we did this I'd want a dormer window above it fitted into the roof to bring light into the loft.  We may or may not do a loft conversion one day, so why not design a new facade to the house that prepares the way for this?  Even if we don't do it, the next occupants might.

So, as I say, All Change!!  To working life, to where we live, to the fabric of the building we intend to spend our retirement.  If that isn't an exciting and challenging start to a new year, I'd like to know what is.