Tag Archives: outings

Planning for the Future

A while ago I celebrated a significant birthday and without giving too much away, but giving you enough so that you have a pretty accurate idea, they say that “life begins” at this age.

It passed quite quietly and insignificantly really with no big celebration party or fuss and the months following to be honest showing little or no evidence of the saying being remotely true.

What I have come to realise though is that I am obviously getting older – this seems more apparent now and I am developing urges to get my future plans for my life in order.  I have begun to compile my list in order to address this and here it is.

1. Pension

Ensure that my private pension is in order for when my retirement day comes.  I have to admit though that this is a strange one.  One day it seems to be looming ever closer, and then the next, the government decides to extend the working age, so it disappears further into the future!  Anyway, at the moment at current estimates and subject to the world’s economic state I have a pension which will I should (all being well) be able to manage on.

2. Making a Will

I know that this is something I should have done a long time ago, but it is always one of those things I keep putting off with the usual perfunctory comments of “I’ll do it tomorrow”, or “yeah, I’ll get around to it”.  I suppose now I am ever more conscious of my own mortality and think this needs sorting as soon as possible.

3. Regular outings to the garden centre

This is an absolute must.  I cannot wait until the day comes when I am older and retired and have all the time in the world to do just as I please.  I will save my ‘spare time’ visits to the garden centre specifically to take trips at especially well-coordinated times i.e. weekends or bank holidays.  I think this needs precision planning to time the outings to coincide with the desired effect of being really annoying to other people who have less spare time on their hands.

I plan to join up with two or three friends, link arms and walk at a very sedate pace along the narrowest of pathways with no option for anyone to pass by.  I will point at various plants, flowers and decorative garden ornaments with my walking stick, just missing other people with it as I wave it about.  I will of course not need this stick as a walking aid, I will just have it purely for the purpose of potentially taking someone’s eye out.

I will, along with said friends, go for lunch at the in-house restaurant or cafe and spend many minutes in the queue deciding whether I want a delicious cream scone or an equally delicious chocolate muffin.  Then I will debate with the person serving on behind the counter and tell them all about why I may not be able to manage the fresh cream inside the scone because of the ‘incident’ that happened in the bathroom this morning and how these days fresh cream can sometimes play havoc with my bowel movements.  I will say it loud enough so that anybody else looking forward to an appetising lunch or snack will be suitably put off by the discussion.

Once I have finally made the decision to eat the chocolate muffin (“because it looks soft enough for me to eat without my dentures in”), I will shuffle to the till area to pay for my food.  Oh, but first I need to converse with the cashier about the different range of teas and coffees available and how there “never used to be so many in my day”.  I will laugh with her (as she is such a nice girl) and eventually plump for a good old fashioned pot of English tea for one, not some of that “new fangled muck”.  I will not notice that she has just gone through the whole drinks menu for me explaining in great detail the differences and the taste experiences.   I will then have a long discussion with one of my friends who also would like a pot of English tea for one to see if it would be better value if we purchased a pot for two and split the cost.  I will then dismiss the idea, because tea doesn’t taste the same when it comes in a large pot!

I shall make sure I haven’t got my ‘right’ glasses with me so that I will have the opportunity of asking the nice young girl behind the counter to sort out my money in my purse for me.  I will then struggle to check that she has got the right amount, before allowing her to put it into the cash drawer.  I will then complain that there is nowhere to sit, until some very kind family give up their seats for me and my friends.  Aren’t people so courteous?

4. Go to town

In a not too far removed situation to item 3, I will set off into town roughly around lunchtime, just when the workers have their hour off to achieve everything, like paying bills, buying lunch, grabbing some urgent household supplies, visit the bank or other such mundane things.  I too will need these things, so I will time my visit to be as disruptive as possible to everyone else.  It doesn’t matter that I have been up since the crack of dawn, nor does it matter that I seemingly have the rest of the day to carry out these tasks.  I mean I won’t have will I, because after all, I will have to get back home in time to make tea for about four o’clock.  I don’t know when it will happen that I will start losing interest in having my evening meal around seven o’clock as I have done all my life, but I am preparing early for it, as it will come as sure as night follows day.

I am sure that I will think of many more things to plan for, and I sincerely hope that I will have many more years to do this, but you can never be too prepared can you?

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Afternoon Out

Being a fulltime working mum and married to a football fanatic, it’s not often we go out as a family.  Although hubby’s team were playing away from home this week, he had to still be around to listen to the game in the comfort of his own living room, we had a small window of opportunity to make a trip out as a family.  We could only travel locally as I obviously had the regular ‘end of week household chores’ to do first.

My daughter asked if we could visit a local retail outlet in the next village.  It was converted from a mill complex in the 1980’s-90’s and by all accounts housed some very interesting boutiques and craft shops. 

 Well, as I live locally to the place, obviously I have never visited it before – well who does when it’s on your doorstep?  It doesn’t feel like a day out if it’s so close does it?  So, armed with thermos flasks and a ‘pack-up’ of sandwiches we set off on our long journey.  (Only kidding – 5 minutes by car after we had lunch at home).

 The mill complex, retail outlet is very snugly positioned in the middle of the village.  As we approached the street where we needed to turn off, I became overwhelmed by a strong desire to turn back thinking that this would end in tears. 

 The road should have been wide enough for two cars to pass comfortably going either way.  There was a car waiting to pull out onto the main road.  I indicated to turn down, however, upon initiating the manoeuvre, discovered almost instantly that I could not gain access until this car moved out of the way, due to a car being parked immediately on my left on the entrance to the street.

The car waiting to turn out of the street was unable to move, as I (along with many others parked on the main road) were impeding his vision.  He couldn’t go anywhere, nor could I.  Eventually after a two minute standoff, the car ventured out steadily and committed himself to turning onto the main road.  At last, an opening….. but oh no, stupid me.  Another car decided it would be a good idea for him to move into the last car’s position.  Back to square one.  Several minutes, several cars, lots of tutting, horn blasting and swearing (not always a good idea when you have a 9 year old in the car with you), we were able to move on.

Brilliant – just have to calm down now and enjoy the rest of the two minute journey.  Easier said than done.  Why? I asked myself, on a two lane road, with one lane blatantly completely blocked with parked cars and the other is occupied with a travelling car (i.e. me who incidentally, has right of way) does some idiot think that they can drive up that very stretch?  Where were they going to go??  Again another standoff.  I was confident in my position though, I was backed up with plenty of vehicles behind me.  I was confident now when I mouthed obscenities and gestured that he may question his sexual habits that I had right of way and was not going to back down.  However, I do concede that my parenting skills could’ve been called in to question.  The way I figure it now though – my daughter was laughing her head off, so that can only be good can’t it??

Finally we managed to get into the (very busy) car park.  With much anticipation of the treasures ahead, we left the car and walked into the complex.  Disappointment is not a strong enough descriptive term for what we found.  The 12 or so shops and ‘attractions’ available to us were exclusive – yes – expensive – yes and shoddily presented – a resounding YES!  I am so pleased that we hadn’t travelled so far to experience this.   We strung out the whole trip as long as we possibly could and still could not make it stretch beyond thirty minutes!

I am in two minds about the whole experience.  It was good that I managed to get some ‘quality’ free time with my family and it was virtually free as we couldn’t find anything to buy that wasn’t ridiculously overpriced for what it was.  (Even my daughter who spends money like it is going out of fashion couldn’t find anything to buy!)

However, on the flip side, having lived around here for most of my life I feel very passionate about the area, and I feel sorry and a tinge of remorse that anyone visiting our beautiful part of the country may leave with regret at their trip and may not come again.

I will not reveal the name of this place, as I do not wish to smear it’s name and the good hardworking business people who make their livelihoods here as I do appreciate the contribution they make to the local community.

I will just console myself with ranting!

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