Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Sunday, 27 November 2011

The car (2)

Travelling back from Manchester on the motorway, I heard a loud bang on the side of the car. It was obvious something had hit the car. As I was driving at 70mph I couldn't really do much about it. When I was able to stop I noticed a large scratch and dent on the driver's side. My poor car. Just when it looked its best after the service and clean! However lucky me that whatever had hit the car had not caused a puncture!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The car

Today I took my car for a service and MOT. Why is this interesting you may ask. Well this is the first time I have ever had a car properly serviced by the car dealer - mainly because I've never owned such a new car. I bought this car 12 months ago as a retirement present to myself and although 2 years old it had less than 2000 miles on the clock. A good service? Well yes I suppose! I spent a couple of hours washing and cleaning out the inside before I took it to the garage and then discovered that washing, polishing and valetting the car was included in the service!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Downe in Kent

Once again it was a beautiful, sunny, Sunday morning and so I went to visit  Downe in Kent. It is a small picturesque village with not much more than a couple of pubs and a tea shop. Its big attraction is that Charles Darwin use to live there and his home has now become a must for Darwinian fans. The surrounding area is criss-crossed with bridalways and pathways, making it possible to easily waik to neighbouring villages. We just walked towards Cudham and back and then enjoyed a refreshing drink in 'The Queen's Head' reading the Sunday papers in front of a roaring log fire. What a way to spend a Sunday!

After 60 -the first 6 months

It is exactly 6 months ago that I turned 60. It has been a great experience. I love the freedom of not working and doing just as I please. Friends say my smile gets wider every time they see me! Financially things are working out OK as my pre-retirement calculations proved to be correct so I am managing just fine. I seem to be doing something everyday and can't wait to see what the next 6 months bring.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

About 9 months ago I developed carpel tunnel syndrome. Very painful and made things like writing and knitting almost impossible. After a course on anti inflammatory drugs I had a painful steroid injection in the wrist which I hoped would give immediate relief. Alas - no. The next course of action would be an operation which I think can relieve the pressure on the nerve.  But then, during my travels in the Summer I found a very unexpected cure - travel bands. For the uninitiated these are elasticated bands worn around the wrists with a solid point which is positioned over the pressure point. Very soon I realised the pain had subsided. A simple, cheap, effective and non - invasive way of dealing with CTS. Maybe I ought to write to a medical journal with my findings!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Free events in London

Today I went to the National Gallery (http://www.nationalgallery.co.uk/ ) to take advantage of one of their free tours. Their guides are excellent, giving just the right amout of information to make the talk interesting without being patronising. They always include historical facts about the artists and the context of the painting. Today we were shown paintings by Botticelli, Gerald David, Velasquez, Thomas Lawrence and Deloroche. Afterwards I went to a free lunchtime concert at St Martin-in-the-field (http://www.smitf.org/). Unfortunately the concert was to celebrate the centenary of Carl Dolmetsch who was a recorder performer, maker and teacher. Not the most pleasant sounding instrument.

Body balance

Went to this class again. Didn't fall over quite so much. What I find difficult is trying to do the moves and watch the tutor at the same time. Impossible - hence the falling over.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

November in Greenwich Park

With the sun shining I parked the car in Blackheath and walked to Greenwich park. Many of the trees are still holding onto their leaves. The mighty oaks have yet to turn brown but other trees are a vibrant yellow. The colours are a feast for the eyes.The bright green parakeets can be heard screeching above the noise of the crows. Squirrels abound with no thought of hibernating..In the gardens the flowers are straining their heads to get the last of the sun's warm rays. It's a good place to people watch but I like to find an empty bench and enjoy the peace and tranquillity. Although I've seen a lot of the world and  visited places of outstanding beauty, there is something about London Parks which can never be equalled.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Grayson Perry

Went to the British Museum to see an exhibition be Grayson Perry. He is an artist whose medium is pottery. The exhibition far exceeded my expectations. The theme to me was about pilgrimages. He had used objects from the Museum's collection and developed his work around them. His own pilgrimage, to a town in Germany, was on a pink custom made motor- bike with his Teddy bear Alan Measles strapped into his own little shrine at the back of the bike. many of his pieces included Alan Measles in one form or another. There were so many exhibits that I wanted to hold and really examine in more detail, as there was so much detail on them, but alas this was not allowed. My favourite sculptures were the pilgrim father and mother. She was carrying the world and his wife on her back whilst the man just had one or two items deemed important for the man of the house.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

New class at the gym

Yesterday I joined a new class called 'Body Balance' which is a mixture between pilates and yoga and is supposed to strenghthen your core muscles. I am still continuing with the Zumba classes but as I keep falling over when trying to balance on one leg for any length of time I thought this is the class for me. It was not a beginners class so the others had been going for some time - many of them for years. It was no surprise then that I was by far the worst and could not do many of the moves. In fact I couldn't even work out how they were getting their limbs in the positions. Hopefully, in time,  it will improve my balancing so that I don't keep falling off the mat.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Audition update

First the good news  -just heard that I got through the audition. Yeah!!!!!!! Now the bad news. I have to do a second, role specific audition at the end of the month. But at least I got over the first hurdle. Zumba here I come (maybe I should double up on the Zumba classes!)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The audition

The audition was at 3 Mills studios in East London. They were being held in groups of 200. I thought we would be split into smaller groups but apparently they would be auditioning three lots of 200 at the same time in different studios. In total they were looking at 1800 a day. This did not make me feel any less anxious as the odds against me getting in had now increased. They put us through our paces for a couple of hours doing various activities. I have to say doing the zumba classes  certainly helped me and I felt at ease with some of the movements. There was a mixture of ages and abilities although the vast majority were much younger than myself. It was obvious who were trained dancers and who weren't but I don't think I made too many drastic mistakes. There were a number of people watching and marking you but as I had no idea what they were looking for it was just a case of trying to remain focussed. We were told that they would let us know the outcome in a few days so fingers crossed.