Mrs Summerhouse and back to the paintbrush

Is retirement the perfect opportunity to start a new life? I guess if we were ever going to engage in that old cliché, now is the time. What shall it be – escape to the proverbial desert island although I think not a hot one, I don’t like too much sun? Or take to the highway, sell up all houses and buy a campervan and never have or need a permanent home? Or then again take the ‘cruise option’, the one where again people sell up and use the profit (and how could baby boomers not have equity in their homes) to fund a continuing life on the high seas, hopping, well maybe staggering would be more appropriate, from one cruise to the next. Never returning home because you haven’t got one to return to. Hmm, right now all of the above sound quite tempting at least until common sense and a growing cowardice and lack of adventure in my soul, raises its sensible head.

But why would I even be thinking this way after four years of retirement? In simplest terms it’s to do with being pissed off with the world as we know it (Jim). The week started well, it will be last week by the time you read this but the judgement remains a sound one or it did. In the context of our campaign to simplify our retirement lives, two things happened. One, the gardening business looks like it is finally dying brought about not by us but by our main gardener simply not turning up and, we were told, having bought a van and set up his own business. Whether this is with ‘our’ customers or his own, I neither know nor care, just as long as it’s finished. The second related bit of good news is that, after many months of trying, number one son has got his visa to study in OZ. His flight is booked for November 21st. We wish him well. Until he has gone the business will never quite be closed and a tiny voice says nor will it be even when he has gone. Be still tiny voice. In fact, shut the f—k up, little voice.

So, despite the above qualifications, basically good news. All we needed was to hear that we have definitely sold the Pateley cottage and we would have our hat-trick of good news. However, the buyer has pulled out because of the complexity of something called a flying freehold. If you don’t know what this is look it up, it’s too painful to retell. It means not only have we lost this sale because apparently banks don’t like lending on properties with flying freeholds, but it could be very difficult to sell to anybody else unless they are a flat out cash buyer (which the last guy wasn’t). It’s doubly annoying because we’ve wasted the last couple of months of the selling season waiting for this chap, and, on the whole, people don’t tend to buy houses in the winter which means our deadline for paying off our mortgage debt before next July becomes potentially quite problematic.

So no hat-trick and, along with the last set-back, seemingly a series of other irritations all designed to push me further and further off balance and set me off on the road to cruise brochures / campervan sales or isolated islands for sale. Briefly they went something like this – all the trouble I had with buying a new mobile phone were in fact not over as I had thought and I hadn’t got the deal I thought I had and I can’t write any more about OhGod because I’m still too angry about the whole damn thing. It continues still. Maybe another time. I will just say that my ‘disappointment’ was not helped by the assistant manager calling me ‘pal’ every second sentence. After 5 or 10 minutes of this I was moved to tell him that my name was Peter not pal. He seemed puzzled and asked why, I told him because it irritated me considerably, he said he had not meant to upset me. I said that didn’t help and it went downhill from there but, as I say, I don’t want to write about it at this point.

So there was the phone and my football team lost just as I was foolish enough to begin to believe that they might be hitting a bit of form. Silly, silly me – again. My blog readership figures continue to disappoint, so that was a problem. By coincidence I have agreed to put another (the third) advert into the magazine entitled The Oldie, so let’s hope that helps. It won’t help my feet which are giving me a lot of pain – gout, arthritis? Who knows? I know that walking through town last night I was in agony, again just as I thought they were improving. Silly, silly me.

The problem is that when I get in this kind of trough I seem only to notice the bad things of life and even though they’re about the state of the world in general not my world specifically, they get me down. Like watching the news, another terrorist atrocity, another case of sexual harassment and much, much more in the way of daily dross.

Shall I carry on to the end of this blog in this manner or drag myself kicking and screaming back to the path of positive thoughts? Personally I’ve always hated this positive thinking bullshit but there is, of course, a place for some of it. So I sit down with my diary and I do what I have suggested to clients in the past that they do – write down everything that’s a problem and then write next to it a positive action or a sentence that states nothing to be done about it, so in the ‘what cannot be cured must be endured’, context, just get on with life and stop expecting it to be a stress-free, perfection gig. So we have new plans for the sale or rent of the Pateley cottage, the business will finish, our son will start his new life, I’m advertising my blog and just writing this has been therapeutic, I’ll stop watching the news for a while, we’ve got a new porch after months of trying to get our joiner to do it and Mrs Summerhouse is painting it (see photo above for proof of this) – the porch itself not a picture of it, even if it is very nice. Football is well, football and generally retirement life goes on. Deal with it. Turns out this blog wasn’t about starting a new life but rather coping with retirement life as is.

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