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Volunteering

So today I did my first ever bag packing for a charity.

That will be the last time I go out for coffee with Gill!

It was quite an experience actually. I thought I knew a lot of people in Troon but hardly saw a soul I knew!

It was for the charity the RNLI for whom my friend  Gill is a very active volunteer. They  were looking for people for the 12 till 2 slot so I thought, why not!

Fascinating seeing what people buy when they go shopping although generally I must say that they seem to be quite healthy eaters here in Troon. There was only one family who packed 120 quid’s worth of full fat cans of fizzy juice, chocolate, high-fat meals like pies and pakora and thousands of packets of crisps into the trolley.  Everyone else had a pretty fair trolley full. Although a lot of booze was included.

People were really generous; two people gave me 5 pound notes to put in the box.  Apparently the last time they did this they raised over £1000 so it’s pretty well worth the effort.

I told them to call me again if they do another bag packing as it really was quite fun!

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Preparing for retirement

So, I wasn’t going to start this particular theme until I handed in my notice but having had a very pleasant walk down to Morrisons in the sun, I am thinking that just maybe retirement ain’t such a bad concept!! Took the long route along the beach. Waves were gently breaking on the shoreline, a few couples were strolling along the promenade, a handful of children were on the beach and the sun beat down on us all. Stopped for a while to watch several families of Eider ducks picking through the seaweed for food.

Eider ducks on the sea
Eider ducks

Would normally have been on my way home from work and missed it all. But retirement opens up possibilities of enjoying the rare sunshine.

Retirement!! Not something I was expecting to consider quite yet. Although I am 61 I still have loads of passion both for midwifery and for teaching. So I had always expected to go parttime for a while. Never even considered that this would be a problem, but when I went through the process and put in the request, it was refused. Three times!! On the third occasion, after a month of soul searching, I informed them that in that case I would be retiring. I certainly have no wish to continue working at the breakneck speed expected of everyone nowadays. And I have other things to do. Like baby minding!!

So I have decided to retire at the end of November. When I am due to get my Old Age Pension. Old!! It needs renaming. I am not old. So I am building up a portfolio of paid and voluntary activities.

I am already serving as an adjudicating member of GTCS. Have an interview to become a volunteer at the Commonwealth Games next month. Have completed my Instructors sessions for the SMMDP programme. And have registered to become a First Aider with the Red Cross. These plus the work I already do for the ARM and the VIDM should I guess keep me busy. I also have a book to update!!

And I haven’t even mentioned grandchildren….

This then is my first blog of my journey towards and through retirement. I wonder if I will be any better at writing this ‘diary’ as the ones I started in my teenage years.