What were you doing 39 years ago today – 2 April 1979?
It was a very different world back then, let me tell you. Labour was just hanging on to government, and Britain had not yet had its first female Prime Minister. Gloria Gaynor was promising us she would survive. And a soviet laboratory released a deadly poison, killing a bunch of people. Ok, not so different!
I know exactly what I was doing. And I know what I was supposed to be doing. The two are not the same.
What I was doing, was playing golf with my friend Al. It was a nice sunny spring day and we had a pleasant round at Silverknowes golf course in Edinburgh. I was pretty rubbish as usual and, as it turned out, this was to be my last ever game of golf (to date).
I was supposed to be having my first day at work: WeeKeef – boy civil servant. But around a week beforehand I had had a call telling me not to go in that day as everyone was going to be on strike. “Have the day off” they said. “Don’t worry. You’ll still get paid and everything. Play golf or something. We’ll see you on Tuesday.” So there I was, tromping around after a small white ball, thinking that this working for a living lark was turning out OK.
Well, 39 years is quite a long time and a lot of water has passed under a relatively small number of bridges since then. But instead of looking backwards I have been doing a fair bit of looking forwards lately. We both have, Mrs WeeKeef and I. Because we are both old enough, and old fashioned enough to think that 40 years is a full career, and that 60 years is a good to age to retire. And both of those things happen to us next year.
So we’ve been taking some advice and doing a bit of planning and all of a sudden the “R” word – retirement – is a thing. It’s out there. It’s do-able. And, while I don’t actually think that I will be putting my feet up permanently a year from today, the welcome inevitability of it is starting to feature more and more in our conversations and our plans.
That’s especially true on days like this – 2 April 2018. A completely non-spring-like day, when the cold and the wind and the sleet are keeping us indoors on this Easter Bank Holiday. On days like this the “R” is not just capitalised. It’s bold, underlined, italic “R“.
We will be Returning to this subject. Regularly.