What does one do on retirement? Take it easy? Relax? Not me. When I retired last November I had no intentions of taking it easy. I acquired an allotment – not that I’m green fingered. I’ve grown tomatoes and runner beans and flowers in the garden. Last year we had a glut of tomatoes in our garden; but then so did a lot of other people. I do like the outdoors though and watching things grow.
I also had a novel to finish and a sequel to write. The publishers were waiting so this was a priority.
On top of this, my first grandchild was due in March. So 2010 promised to be a very hectic year.
We are now in September and my grandson is five months old; he is adorable and comes first with me all the time.
Second, is my writing. My first book has been published and I’ve had a book signing In Grays. The Strength of a Kiss is available on Google via AuthorHouse website or Amazon; where reviews and an excerpt from the book can be seen.
I am still writing my sequel The Strength of a Promise and hope to finish this by the end of September.
I have enjoyed almost a year on my allotment, which was very overgrown when I took it on. For someone who doesn’t like creepy crawlies, I haven’t done bad. I’ve sat in my shed and watched a mouse outside running back and forth. Funny, but outside they don’t seem so frightening; indoors I’d have been terrified. I’ve kept my head whilst digging up potatoes and unearthing red ant nests full of eggs and hundreds of ants. I haven’t jumped when finding a creepy crawly on my arm, but flicked it off calmly and carried on. Though I still run when confronted by a wasp.
I’ve weeded and dug and weeded again. All back breaking and tiring for a sixty year old not used to gardening. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The most satisfying feeling is sitting down to a meal consisting of vegetables you’ve grown yourself. They taste so different. Cucumber fresh from the garden is crisp and crunchy. Runner beans are young and tender. Carrots sweet and tasty. Spinach and cabbage out of this world. The only drawback has been finding different ways of cooking courgettes. I put three plants in and produced so many courgettes, my family and friends are sick of them. I do love courgettes but will only be planting two next year!
We have a problem with moles at the allotment site. I have mounds in the middle of my spinach and tomatoes. They have even come up underneath the decking outside my shed. I can’t bring myself to do anything about it though. When I think of moles, I think of Beatrix Potter and they become characters in a book. Not how a gardener should think, I know.
We are coming to the end of the summer and my husband says he has been busier this year than ever. He has been retired for some time and used to a slower pace of life. Prior to my retirement he spent his days playing the keyboard; pottering about in the house and garden and generally relaxing. I think he secretly enjoys it though.