First day back this morning after a 4-day mini-retirement.
This weekend we hosted two couples:
From Vancouver Island, Dave and Pam Rogers. Dave retired 10 years ago (this December) after a long career as an Air Canada pilot.Pam still teaches yoga when the fancy takes her;
From Edinburgh, Willie and Xandra Maceachen. Willie and Xandra retired just a few weeks ago, having sold their dental practice.
Dave and Pam are experienced retirees and are as busy as ever with family and friends, and regularly exchanging their home with other couples around the world. Their trip to see us was at the end of a month-long sojourn in Kent.
Willie and Xandra are trainee retirees and Willie confessed that he hasn't yet got used to the idea of not working and thinks that someone might arrive, exclaim "April Fool" and send him back to his surgery.
In honour of our guests' visit, I closed down The Bunker on Saturday morning and stayed away from all work (apart from a brief emergency phone call yesterday with a client in a pickle).
So that has been my 4-day mini-retirement:
Sleeping until we wake;
Long coffee mornings of chat;
Day trips - to our new house in Hartford, Cheshire; to The Hollies farm shop near Tarporley, to Manchester (to demonstrate how it is turning into Manc-hattan); to both Manchester football stadiums, to Chester to walk the walls, the River Dee, the Roman ruins, the Cathedral and The Rows;
Evening meals al-fresco (when we could) with a selection excellent food, real ales, fine wines and the occasional dram.
Endless conversation and laughter;
Later nights than I am used to.
It's been especially interesting the last 2 weekdays, to see so many other couples "of a certain age" doing much the same as us. People I don't normally notice in the hurly burly of business life, keeping lunch venues busy by meeting in groups to share time and stories.
I'm exhausted by having all this fun - and realise that, in a real retirement, you couldn't keep this pace up for very long.
I've enjoyed my mini-retirement.
I might try it again sometime.
Now - back to work.