Complexity : the state of having many parts and being difficult to understand or find an answer to.
The Cambridge English Dictionary
You think things can’t get any more complicated. And then they do. Our morning walks, at an hour long, simply aren’t long enough to discuss all of our retirement challenges. Some of the complexity I hinted at in my last but one blog – number one son arrives unexpectedly from OZ and intends to stay for two months, something to do with his visa application oh, and can we lend / give him money for a college course which will be the answer to his residency problems. Ha, plus ca meme chose or whatever. His relationship with our gardeners will be interesting alongside his decision to work for us for the money he wants for his college course. Good plan on paper but I can’t help feeling that it’s going to get messy dividing the work out between gardening company and his financial needs – who gets what job and for how much money?
There are jobs at the Derbyshire cottage which don’t involve our gardeners but which I had got my neighbour working on and which now I will ask him to stop working on (painting the outside walls of the house). And did I mention the estate agent is coming next Wednesday to value the property, not my idea but theirs and we aren’t selling it yet anyway which I told them but they obviously think I can be persuaded but as, at this point, I’m planning on selling it to my neighbour without any involvement from estate agents, you can see it might get a bit messy – again.
Back to number one son. There’s jobs at the vineyard which he could probably do, like strimming the grass, a job I do not enjoy but which I’ve delegated to my neighbour up there, so that might be tricky, then again maybe he doesn’t like it either and would be glad to hand it on. Trouble is if I get number one son to do it my neighbour might not want the job back in two month’s time. Assuming, of course, that’s when he leaves. I’m a little nervous about this. He could continue Mrs Summerhouse’s work on wind-proofing with willow branches the fence around the vineyard although I doubt he has the patience she has. I’m trying to convince myself that there are always jobs in the vineyard he could do.
Then there’s work here at what you might call ‘the main house’. Quite a bit. There’s gardening work – a pergola needs repairing and a summerhouse (yes, the summerhouse) could do with a little underpinning, but that might involve treading on toes but also the whole house needs painting oh, and the porch door has finally given up the uneven struggle against being carelessly opened and closed, and dropped off. Son has a mate who will replace this and repair other parts of the house’s woodwork. That’s good and then maybe we could give the go ahead with the actual painting. I’m not convinced he’s neat enough for a job like this but he assures me he his top notch but then confidence never was one of his failings. Accuracy another matter.
So all this and not to mention having to give up a vehicle and put him on the insurance – twice, tidy, to a degree, out his room and just having him around alters the dynamics of the house and do 37 year old children really come in at two o’ clock in the morning? And don’t ask about avoiding previous girl-friends. Not everybody is delighted to see him back. His being here at the busiest time of the year for the gardening business could work out well. But look on the bright side. We can take on work we would otherwise have to turn down but maybe I’m being over-optimistic (who me?) but then again we’ve had two phone calls for quotes, so who knows. Watch this space.
The other little bit of complexity I mentioned in my previous blog was being offered a part-time job as a supervisor of Educational Psychologists. It’s very part-time but enough to throw me into some confusion. You will remember that a few blogs back I confidently wrote that I was definitely over this work business and yet, here I am considering what appears to be a job offer, albeit a small one. Those of you who think I should just get over work and retire properly will be pleased to hear that I’ve almost certainly sabotaged the offer by telling my prospective employer that I, a) didn’t know the educational system in that city, b) didn’t know the EP profession as it had changed in three years c) wasn’t at all sure that clinical psychologists (a very different animal to educational psychologists) of whom there is one, would appreciate being supervised by an ex-educational psychologist and d) how much was he going to pay me? It couldn’t have been any more unenthusiastic as a response to his enquiry so Sod’s Law dictates he will offer me the job. But would I take it? Oh, the dilemmas.
Throw into this mixed-up mix the complexities of my physical pains – one pain disappears and is replaced by another. The financial complexities of trying to decide how to clear our mortgage debt by the time we are 70 (bloody hell, that’s old) – extend mortgage until we’re 80? yes, apparently it can be done, but not on the terms of our current mortgage, or sell a house or the land, borrow money from family members? Stop, it’s making my head hurt and that doesn’t even include the big one – should I sign up for this summer’s jazz summer-school, you will remember the misery of last year and my ‘never again’ decision, but this time as a pianist rather than a guitarist. Ooh, this is a big one alright. In the meantime with just a few tiny issues hanging around, our retirement lives pass us by serenely and without any great drama. Retirement is a time of great tranquillity, yeah, right.