People who know me will be well aware I have difficulty remembering anniversaries so it will come as no surprise to learn that I forgot to mention the first anniversary of my retirement.
So, to put that right, on 1 January 2013 it was 12 months since I gave up my ID card, my laptop and the key to the stock cupboard.
Lots of people wondered what I was planning to do with all the time I would have on my hands. Well, planning, helping to build, and then using Skylark has taken up quite a bit of time. Learning new songs to cover while playing my guitar has filled a few hours. Holidays in and on the Landy, camping, walking the hills and coast, and cycling have also kept me busy. The rest of the time has been taken up with ordinary stuff like shopping, housework, visiting friends and rellies, eating, drinking, relaxing, walking around the block, visiting antique shops, taking Kay's empties to the bottle bank and writing my blogs. Oh yes, and I also got married in April (or was it May?).
So, you can see it's not all bus passes and bed socks!
Lots of people also ask me what I miss about work. Well, I miss being paid obviously, and the never ending supply of coffee. I miss the ever developing list of jargon and the highly sophisticated performance management indicators. I miss the stretched targets and tight deadlines and, of course, I miss the stress of managing ever decreasing budgets. I still wonder how many hours are wasted by organisations trying to justify their own existence - but don't get me started on that one!
Something I am still very proud of is how we introduced innovative and worthwhile projects to help improve our services and facilities for the public. I am also pleased I was able to work with some extraordinary people who could make things happen on the ground with local people. I still think about the financial challenges they are having to deal with and wish there was something I could do to help. I hope it will not take too long to sort things out. Then everyone can get back to doing what they do best.