Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Forty-three days ... and counting!

Whilst trying to explain to a student how little time there was left them to complete their work before the end of term, I realised that I only have forty-three more days before the term (and my contract) ends! That is eight more Mondays, eight more Staff 'Briefings', and nine more Fridays (and weekends) to look forward to.

Despite the amount of manure we currently have coming into contact with the air conditioning system here (there is a lot of it flying about at the moment!), things are looking good.


  1. That's the spirit!
    Press on to, "the green fields beyond" and send your cavalry into the Hun's rear areas..... oops!

    Carried away a bit there. :-)


  2. I am delighted things are looking good!

  3. if you just stopped going to Monday morning meetings, what is the worst they could do to you?

  4. Brigadier Dundas,

    Please keep getting carried away!

    All the best,


  5. Tradgardmastare,

    As the days count down, I seem to be less and less concerned with the petty little niggles that are the daily way of life where I work.

    All the best,


  6. Steve,

    Unfortunately the 'Briefings' take place on Tuesday mornings!

    This morning's was the usual round of 'could do better' statements from our lords and masters ... with the odd threat of further redundancies it we don't.

    The threats don't worry me any more. I won't be there after July 15th!

    All the best,


  7. Hi Bob,

    Some comments on your forthcoming retirement from one who has.

    Relax. It will be great. Relax those shoulders. Learn to smile. Take a deep breath and realize you don't have to hurry through life anymore. Sleep in once in a while. Do something occasionally just because you want to. Give the wife a hug and big ol' kiss for no reason whatsoever.

    The first question is do you have enough? My answer is, enough for what? You might not get to take as many cruises as while employed, but you don't need to lock yourself in the closet. Plan ahead and everything will be fine. Buy yourself a present once in a while. Don't be a spendthrift, but don't be a scrooge either.

    The second thing everyone asks is will you get bored? My answer is, if I do it's my own fault. This question usually comes from those without a hobby or three. I think you will be able to keep yourself busy. If you find time on your hands, clean house. Sounds silly, but it works. And the house is clean! Or, in your case, go visit your father or father-in-law and have a nice chat. Teach them to play your Portable Wargame just for the heck of it. Or not. It's your life, have fun.

    Not really questions here. No one wants to ask, or know. If you're healthy, no problem. If you're not, plan on the expenses and time drain for doctors, etc. This does affect the Boredom item above as one must run around getting checkups, medicine, etc. Less time to be bored.

    Social Interaction.
    Don't become a recluse. Get out. Get busy. You are only retiring, not carrying a great contagious plague around. Retirement is not a social disease. Think of it as an opportunity.

    Personal Worth.
    Remember, and remind yourself, you are just as valuable a person when retired as when employed. Retirement is just another career choice. When you look in the mirror, just think of all the poor souls stuck in traffic commuting to work. Feel a little sorry for those dealing with Ofsted. Smile smugly to yourself.

    No whining. You are in control of your life now more than ever. Make decisions. Do things. Get off you butt. Go for a walk. Reread the first item in the Wellbeing paragraph above.

    Life is Good.
    Yes it is. Don't bother counting down the days, they will pass fast enough. Enjoy your life.

    Best Wishes for your Retirement,


  8. Bob,
    Once I'd given my notice in last year, the work-related hassle also didn't seem so bad. I think it actually reduced, as management realised there was no point expecting me to do things like updating long-term pland that I was not going to be implementing personally [I already had my excuse that it would be unfair to my successor to impose my ideas on them &c well prepared, but never had to deploy them...].

    Much good advice from Jim Wright. I certainly feel much better mentally, and can spend some time doing more socially useful stuff, by volunteering in a local charity shop, instead of trying to drum a dead language into the skulls of the sons of the rich!

    The only thing I miss is the use of the Xerox machine and the school wargame club...

  9. Jim,

    That is some of the best advice I have ever read!

    Many thanks for both taking the time to write it and for sending it to me. I feel quite humbled.

    I have lots of things that I can do, and being retired will give me the time to do them. I am luck in that I live in London. As a result I get free travel on all public transport ... and it means that if I want to visit a museum or suchlike I can get there at no cost other than the time it has taken ... and that will not be wasted thanks to such things as books and my iPad.

    One of my first projects is to sort out both my library and wargames collection. Both have grown over the years and need cataloguing (and pruning) as well as reorganising so that I can find things. I also want to be a little less of a butterfly when it comes to buying/acquiring stuff, and having to work within a slightly restricted budget will be no bad thing. Over the past few years I have been buying much less than I did, and it has been good training for retirement.

    I am very lucky in having a wide circle of friends who share similar interests (both wargaming and non-wargaming) and I have already been discussing what I can do once I am retired. The latter has included suggestions that I should write a book (or two), do more research and lecturing, and try to make some of my wargame designs work commercially (although I think that this is very much of a pipe-dream).

    My wife also has lots of ideas about what I will be doing … especially as she will probably be working until July 2012. This includes doing the shopping (which I don’t mind) and some of the washing (which can be done whilst I am doing other things).

    So I am feeling far more buoyant about things than I did some weeks ago.

    Only forty-two days to go!

    All the best,


  10. Arthur1815,

    As I wrote in reply to Jim Wright’s comments, it is some of the best advice about retirement that I have ever read.

    Thanks for your support and advice as well. I still feel some apprehension in the morning as I go to work, but since I realised that the whole sorry fiasco had an end-date (and that the end-date was not that far away) the feelings of inner tension have begun to dissipate somewhat.

    Ironically, as I have begun to feel better, I have noticed that everyone around me seems to be very depressed. I suspect that it was always thus … but whilst I had my head down (metaphorically speaking), I had not noticed how bad things were for them as well.

    All the best,


    PS. My wife still has access to a photocopier, so I will not have to worry too much for the next few months about that. After that … well, we shall see.

  11. Hi Bob

    I've taken the liberty of downloading Jim Wright's excellent advice and pinned it on the wall next to my desk at work?

    When you are ready to start exercising your Fredom Pass you might find this blog useful;

    Should the train carry you anywhere near Twickenham you would be very welcome to call in for a game of Little Wars in my garden (weather permitting!)

    Best wishes, Brian

  12. Brian Carrick,

    It is a very well written piece, and deserves a much wider audience, and I am pleased that you have printed it off and have it next to your desk. I have a copy next to my computer at home!

    Thanks for the link and the kind offer of a FLW game at some time in the future. The joy of my current army is that being mainly plastic, it does not weigh as much more than a 28mm-scale army of the same size.

    All the best,



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