Hi y'all,                                                                                                                30/05/2012
    Its been a busy time, so to have a rest I thought I'd sit down for a bit, and writing a newsletter sort of just happens, if I don't doze off straight away.
    We had excellent weather for a couple of months now, as will most of you in the UK. It seems to be coming to an end, but the plants will appreciate a bit of rain, particularly the ones we just moved. Our new tenants have been in for a few weeks now, and all seems well there, a short while ago they asked if I had considered putting in a proper drive. Fair enough, the garden was reasonably tidy, but they didn't need something else to maintain, and the drive would be much more useful. I hadn't thought about immediate action but the lads who did our drive were working nearby and I happened by and asked for a quote. What with one thing and another, two days ago I got 45 minutes warning that they would be starting, which they did, and so I had to go and rescue the plants Fiona had put in some weeks back. Half way through the work, the central heating went down, which might have meant they'd squashed the oil pipe, though that seemed unlikely. Its working again now, they hadn't. I flushed it out, but to be honest I'm not sure how I fixed it, perhaps the vibration loosened some dirt in the pipe. 

​   A New Drive

    Around the same time a friend in the village needed a water heater put in. One of those plumbing under the sink jobs we all love, and the MOT on the car had nearly run out. Now, I'm glad to report, the car is MOT'd, I've rescued the plants that would have been demolished, including a 9 foot tree, landscaped three lorry loads of soil into our bit of woodland, scraped up the cash to pay the builders, shifted the remaining slabs and gravel and generally tidied up. Fiona wanted a spare parking space, so the redundant material went into that, and the tree went into an available hole in the woodland. And Jim W has hot water.
   So retirement has meant that I've speeded up rather than slowed down, I remember retirees saying they didn't know how they fitted a job in beforehand, and I can see what they meant. I have seen some just shrivel up though, so make sure you have a few, and I mean several, hobbies that can replace the 9 to 5 before you go. Changing to part time, 2.5 days a week, was a great move for me, I got used to the reduced income and the increased time, ready for the big change from Professional Radiographer to Official old duffer in September 2011.
    I'm glad to say that, in the event, the financial impact of going full time retired was not significant, though we've obviously had to pull our horns in a bit, the lack of commuting alone makes up for that. We should cut down on the number of cars, but the cost of running two is reasonable, and the second hand value poor, so we'll not rush into that yet. What I'd really like is a proper electric car, but they are still far too expensive and I doubt any would pull a caravan, even a fold down type.
    The Kit cars continue to develop, I'm putting wire wheels on the (Triumph Herald based) green one and finishing the bodywork on the (Ford Escort based) silver one. These things usually get named, but I'll wait till they are nearer completion.

   I don't help matters by tending to have more than one of various types of car.

LandRovers 3, 
Kit Cars 4,
Zafiras 4, 
Triumph Spitfires 4, 
Morris I000s 3 
and Austin Somersets 2

(those are the duplicates I remember anyway), not all at once of course, and over the last 40 years or so, but when I have more than one of the same kind at one time I tend to name them. I hadn't noticed that until I thought about it.
​   The party mood has come over me, so we had a little do for the immediate neighbours, and there'll be some more soon, and we are going to pop down south for a bit to see Mum (and do Cornwall) so the jobs will have to wait for a bit. The Porch roof needs lifting soon, since I raised the floor to be level with the new drive, and it can be a bit risky for tall people. Hopefully the weather will hold when we get back, as I don't want to take the roof off in the rain, it takes all the fun out of it.

    So off we went and did Cornwall, and jolly nice it was too. Saw St Michael's Mount, drank some cider, checked out Truro Museum and Cathedral (good food there.) Some bronze and iron age villages, and quite a few other places including the Minack theatre. (good coffee) Farm shops, lots of winding, narrow lanes and St Ives of course. Lots of fun and good weather until the end when, coming back from St Michael's Mount, we got a bit wet, but soon dried out. Mostly the rain fell when we were driving or indoors, so it wasn't a big problem. Fiona achieved a lifelong ambition to drive a tractor. A Massey Ferguson 35 which was made just as the little grey Fergie went out of production. It was the type I learned on, if memory serves, and this was a very neat machine running as smooth as you like, having been rebuilt from a heap by a very competent engineer. 

Time to go