Oh! Apparently I have been blogging on WordPress for eight years (they don’t seem to have noticed that I’ve been missing for a while). If you add my previous blogger blog, that adds up to about fifteen years. (Though I’m guessing as Blogger only seems to have kept posts as far back as 2005 and those were definitely not the first posts I wrote – some kind of update? Oh well. Not immortal words then.)
Well it’s not like it was when I started – I said in my second post it was like talking out loud in a dark room and not knowing if anyone else was there to hear. The image of the dark, echoing room has been replaced by memories of sunlit rooms and gardens and cafes and much loved faces, smiling and laughing and a kaleidescope of blogs from many lovely people.
So, a new year and an oldish couple : ) We haven’t had much work recently and have attempted to work out a budget to compare with what we might have to live on if Barney has to retire early. Some people, I know, have this sort of information at their fingertips but for us, it has involved a lot of head scratching and list making. Also, muttering and peering at the bank statements and thinking, what on earth was that paid for? (I know, I know – for what on earth was that paid – it really doesn’t work any more, that correct grammar. Reminds me of a lengthy argument/conversation I had with my son over Christmas about some inept phrase and whether the ineptness was as important as the sentiment it conveyed – or didn’t convey if I remember rightly).
Anyway, I’ve decided that whether he is able to use it or not, Barney must have a computer of his own for his birthday (don’t tell him I said so – he won’t like it). If he retires, he will certainly start using the computer more often – even, he may get better at typing. Already, he is assuming that at any moment he can pop down and send an email while I am busy with something else. Since I have my computer set up so that our email and files are completely separate, this means moving over every time and also, raising and lowering my (MY) computer chair. And anyway, I am getting tired of pointing out that this is MY computer, bought with MY money. The business owns the printer. Just the printer. (Possibly the router as well? Probably not.) So Barney’s new computer will solve one potential problem when we are together full time.
Another will be transport. I suspect that we won’t be able to run three vehicles (the car, the toy car and the pickup – which is rattling along on its last wheels anyway). One of the reasons we are so happy together is that we have widely different interests. Widely covering the whole country – as in blog parties in Norfolk and hills and valleys in Wiltshire and Yorkshire for me and stamp fairs all over the place for him. I like to set off on a sunny morning to some corner of England and spend two or three hours driving, parking, hopping out and waving a camera, hopping back in and driving a hundred yards further and so on. Actually, it would be really useful to have a chauffeur for these excursions as then I wouldn’t be constrained by parking spots which won’t offend the local farmers and walkers and householders. However an unpaid chauffeur (Barney? Hmm.) has to be considered more thoughtfully than a paid one (I suppose – I’ve never had a paid one – should I look into the possibilities?) and might quite reasonably say “I’m pissed off now, let’s go home”, while I’m still thinking”in half an hour, the sun will be shining right across that hillside and the shadows will be all long and curvy – unless the sun goes in and how long will it be before those clouds arrive in which case I’ll still take the pics but they won’t be as good. Maybe I should drive a quarter of a mile to the next spot where the sun is just right, take some pics and then hurry back here”.
No. We’ll have to have a car each. Or we’ll have to negotiate and I’ll have to learn to plan more precisely, only with the British weather and the increasing warming and unreliability of the globe, that’s going to be really hard. At least stamp fairs are usually in the same place at the same time. Oh or maybe I can drive him to stations and send him off to stamp fairs while I trundle around the countryside?
Then there’s cooking. We both like doing it. Until recently, I’ve done most of it and Barney occasionally embarks on a culinary odyssey. I can see that, with more time on his hands, Barney may feel like spending more time cooking. Which will be nice, of course.
Neither of us likes clearing up but only one of us does much of it. Also, only one of us knows where everything is but if the other one does much more in the kitchen, neither of us will ever know where anything is. Or how much of anything is left.
As I’m going to say in a future post, there are challenges ahead. Meanwhile, I shall have another glass of wine and here are some pics.
A stormy and sunny afternoon at Coombe Gibbet. There’s no way I could have planned, in advance, to be here at this exact moment.
Nor this one! Somewhere near West Ilsley, below the Ridgeway.
This on the other hand was planned to the last minute – somewhere between 8 and 10 am.
Anyway, I wish you all a very happy New Year (the 358 odd days of it that are left – it”s not a leap year is it? Oh oops! It is. Well that would account for the odd day)