As some readers may already know, and others outside of the UK might not, summer has officially arrived here in the UK of late, and quite delightfully so, for me. Why, you might ask? Simple, as with so many joint issues, they tend to flare up in cold, or damp weather (or worse, both), and ease to some degree when the weather is warm/hot, and dry.
So yes, at present, I’m in a lot less pain than I was a few weeks ago, when it was cold, and damp, shall we diplomatically say? In truth, I have contemplated easing off on the meds while its like this, but in truth, I’m practical, would hate to have any issues, of my own making, so have stuck to standard levels of painkillers for now. Mind, I’m due my quarterly review on Thursday, and I’m sure the matter is going to be discussed. After all, the Naproxen was only meant to be a top up while the weather was bad, so whether I really need it currently, who knows? But yes, I’ll let the medical experts make the call on that! Have to say that its lovely that on an evening like this, I can sit here typing this, not wearing the brace. Mind, it might mainly be because, being neoprene, I sweat like hell underneath it when the weather is like this, and even if I could do with losing a couple of pounds, maybe, thats not my planned way, or probably the best way of doing it!
As previously mentioned, I did a pre retirement course through work yesterday, and a rewarding experience it was too. Fine, a lot of it related to Civil Servants, with decades of work, and very nice pension funds, unlike my modest amount, but it gave me things to think about, and plan for my future. Hopefully I’ve got nearly another 6 years to give that pot a boost, but whether my back will let me go on, that long, I wouldnt put good money on it. Of course, a new option could come into my life anyway, and change matters, and I dont just mean the lottery jackpot at work, because I’ve never won anything in life, so cant see that happening. Yes, a jackpot win would very quickly see retirement on the grounds of health, believe me! I’d love to say enough to move somewhere hot, all year round, but given there are about 25 of us in the syndicate, it would need to be a rollover jackpot to do that on my own basis, probably!
Yes, I notice the difference with the weather. When its bad weather (cold, damp, or both), the 0.7 miles from work to bus station (or other way round) seems like the end of a marathon by the time I get there. Even in average weather, its about my limit. In the heat of yesterday (Low 80’s, I guess), I walked back from the course location, to Leeds station, about a mile, no issues whatsoever! Was just starting to tire at the end, but seriously… And yes, in Seattle, I was probably doing as much, if not more, at times!
So yes, somewhere warm/hot to live, post retirement, I really need to! Either that, or find someone daft enough to marry me, who lives somewhere hot, lol!
Right, video time. I’m sure many will have worked out the song tonight already. Of course The Kinks couldnt do anything too seriously, so they filmed the video on a freezing cold day in winter!
Oh, and as an added extra, another song of a very similar title, from about 10 years later, though to some degree, it sounds like something from 30 years earlier. Well, maybe not the electric guitar, but…
One thing I’ve had to accept is the fact I’m getting old now. How much longer I’ve got, who knows? How much longer (given the pain I’ve got now) I want to last, who knows, but in this current organic body (yes, I’d love a cybernetic upgrade, if offered, lol), I dont want it to be forever. Whats the pleasure, when you’ve got a body with permanent ache, and lets face it, even if its now my personal choice (due to no pleasure in surgery pain), I’ve got a body thats screwed up gender wise too! If asked my ambition, I’d aim for a few years of retirement, but not too many, then just leave the world to the next generation. Fine, we dont get all the say we want in that matter, but anyway… But yes, I’ve started planning for the next stage now, that of retirement.
Let me say, I have no idea if my body is still going to be up to work by the time I hit the current retirement age of 66. I’m hoping it is, to build up the work pension, but in truth, not sure that I will. But while I can, I will, at least unless they change the retirement age for women again, something I think that despite campaigns, is not going to happen, but besides that… Not going to hold out for the suggested compensation payment either!
But yes, facing facts, as things stand, just under 6 years from now, I can retire from work. Now, I probably will. Until the back went, given that I could have carried on for a short while, I was considering October 2024 as retirement date (50 years of working life), but now, the sooner the better!
Anyway, last week, got an email at work for a pre-retirement advice course from work (well, I work in right department, lol), but unfortunately saw it one day after the closing date to apply. Anyway, yesterday, got an email that someone had dropped out, I was top of reserve list, so now I’m going. Just under 2 weeks time, in Leeds. I hope I can learn a lot, including how you apply to a previous job for your pension that they owe to you, when you’ve had 2 name changes, and a gender change! I guess the name change isnt going to be new to them, women get married, lets face it, but the gender change might be new to them! Thankfully my National Insurance number hasnt changed, so they should be able to trace it, but… Another advantage of that, payment was due to start at 63, even when the retirement age was 65. It wont be a fortune, but if it makes the differenece between the need to do a 3 day week from 63, instead of a 4 day week, might be handy!
But yes, who knows where life will take me between now, and then, anyway? But hopefully, on 2nd July, I can learn a lot more about that next step in my life thats fast approaching. No, I dont expect the robot body offer in my lifetime, lol!
Right, the video. I always assumed that the US Sports video of this song was the original one, but seemingly not! Bit dated with things like £1 pound notes and the like, but hey, its old, just like me!
Its funny to think, in the week when I reach 60, that as little as 8 years ago, if I’d been off this week (and fine, I probably wouldnt have been, in that case), I’d be retiring from work this week, and drawing my state pension. Yes, up to April 2010, women retired at 60, wow! Since then, much to the annoyance of those affected by it, the pension age for women has risen to 65, to match men, and in the next couple of years, will actually go up to 66, the age I will get to retire at. Dont get me wrong, something had to be done, as everyone (well, most people) seem to live longer now, so this was sort of inevitable.
One of the amusing challenges I have to look forward to, or think about in that case, is one of my occupational pensions! Yes, William Hill, round 2 (there have been 3 rounds in all), between 1985 (2 years after starting there) until I left in 1999, I was paying into an occupational pension scheme with them. And actually, that was drawable, even for a man back then, at the age of 63! And I guess if I’d worked there now, for 33 years, with 3 to go, it would be quite a decent sum! But no, it was about 14 years, so not a fortune (I’m guessing about £3000 – 4000 pa, from what I can remember of last salary), but better than nothing.
The thing is, since then, I’ve changed gender, I’ve changed name twice, and though ‘theoretically’ I’ve got the deed polls to cover that, I’m not sure how easy they would be to find? National Insurance number hasnt changed though, and at least one of those names was used on William Hill, round 3, so who knows how complex that would be? Still, something to think about in the next 3 years or so, for sure. Not a fortune, but given the state of my body, a top up to wages like that might be handy? And where I’d start, 22 years after leaving, no idea? Anyway, something to consider, I guess?
Its funny to think what I’ve packed into my first 60 years, though yes, the transition stands out as my proudest moment by far. Maybe one day, I’ll even brave the surgery, and get everything done, though as I’m not one for surgery now, for the sake of it, I cant see it, unless the need really arises to get ‘my bits bobbed’ as such.
Its funny though. I’ve written, I’ve acted, but in neither case, anything I’m likely to be remembered for. Well, up to now at least, anyway! Still a few years to go, hopefully, though how much more acting I will get to do, no idea? I know, given that I will definitely play the role on Friday, you could say I’ve got one more part, but I suspect I might be the only one looking at it like that! I suspect most, if not all of the others just see it as helping out, and being dressed in an old fashioned way, but we will see?
Writing, well I keep saying I might do more when I ease off work, but doesnt seem to be happening just yet. I only wish I could gather enough information to do a biography of a certain chorus line dancer, and bit part actress, but given she died in the 50’s, and any children (she mentioned one, a daughter, seemingly) would be in her late 70’s by now, if still alive, if I could hope to trace her!
Oh, other point of amusement for you. Not surprisingly, for someone who has spent so much of her life working in the betting industry, the Cheltenham Festival has always been a bit of a special event for me. When I’ve been able to, I’ve tended to take some time off that week, ostensibly because of my birthday, but hey, its good racing, so… Well this week, I missed a couple of races today (only able to watch 5 on ITV), because of the need to go to the doctors, I’ll miss all of tomorrow, due to getting things done to me for Friday, and then I’ll miss all of Friday, because of the Blackpool thing! Funny thing is though, I didnt really mind. Is it because I’m now a woman that I worry less about it? Who knows? I’ll let you know next year lol!
Right, thats enough, dont want to keep you here forever with my waffle. So, video time. In my humble opinion, one of the greatest singers of my lifetime. Yes, I used one of his songs recently, and here’s another!