Sunday, June 12, 2016

Tales from the Coast---Green Acres all over again!

If you are either 'elderly' or just love those really old black and white comedies from 'yesteryear, you will be able to relate to this little gem. Do you remember the rich couple from the city (Zaza Gabor?) was the delightfully over-the-top lady of the house, who with her husband decided to leave busy and somewhat stressful life of the city, to settle in the country. You know the rest, if I have hit the spot.Picture me minus a few of her obvious 'qualities---yeah, I'm not as pretty and certainly not on the rich list or a few more-----below it! BUT, I have been accredited with a few of her other eccentricities. I most certainly posses her ability to bugger things up, even though I try hard!How about this little observation from the Coast. Today, I decided to use the new lawnmower. I have not mowed a lawn for more than 20 years. Now to put you in the picture, I decided that I needed to 'future-proof myself, health-wise---that is, I did not want to stress myself re mowing a big lawn (it'a only about 700m2 and all flat, but with a shite-lode of fruit trees, sharp roses (which are in the most silliest of places, requiring one to manoeuvre any mower around etc---I prefer my dearly departed Dad's solution---I am going to gradually accidentally mow the bastards down! Prickly things!!!! So I went out out and purchased a lawn mower with all the bells and Whites; one that key started and yes---self propelled. My excuse---it was so I did not take a heart turn, given the experiences of late. I have of course since learned that exercise is not going to bring on one of the AF(Atrial Fibrillation) attacks---it seems that I am regularly 'out of rhythm---no news to most of you who know me---lol. Indeed, if anything, exercise is really good for kicking me back into 'normality. Picture me again, taking out my flash new mower, wondering if the bloody thing would set off on its own down the road towards the town centre!It did not---it was a superb experience. I did my best to make it look like I was actually pushing it, looking like a fit and energetic new addition to the 'Coastal' population of Thames. Imagine how hard it was to keep a straight face (extremely hard for me!) when a neighbour across the road, aged in excess of 80, came out with his mower to attend to his lawn. Not for him, a flash self-propelled, key started piece of machinery. NO---he had an old fashioned PUSH MOWER---yip---non petrol! PLUS he had a walking stick. I shall be watching to see when he goes away before I attempt any front yard mowing action in future. I could not stand the SHAME. Oh well---such is life for an ex-city bloke, who decides to adopt the past! Perdy of course, watched from the window, wondering what the hell IO was doing. I swear she was laughing.

Semi-retirement in Thames?----no----I need to redefine the term to---'Mostly retired!'

When I arrived in Thames, I thought that I would slide into a sort of semi-retired state, whereby I would return to Auckland for at least two days a week to see up to 6 clients. I assumed that I would find this challenging enough, re keeping my hand in the 'counselling/supervision world and to meet any financial needs. Let's face it---the 'Superannuation,' that the State pays is not meant to satisfy all of the wants, that one previously felt were--NEEDS!' Two weeks down the tracks, I have undergone a shift re those 'assumptions.' Once the expensive tasks, re setting up house in a 'new land,' on the 'Coast,' as it is called, and the inhabitants---Coasters,' are nearing comfortable completion, then one can take a look as to whether the same need as previously believed, to constantly return to the 'big smoke,' with all the attending stresses of battling the traffic and finding places to stay, with or without a camper-van, still exists. Two weeks into this new journey, I have come to the conclusion, that I love it down here, next to the Firth of Thames, where my day starts with a walk with Perdy along the shell-strewn shoreline, being intermittently reminded by noisy and somewhat nosy feathered friends that this is where I belong, along with my hairy four-legged companion. Do I need a lot of extra income to supplement the State's contribution (one of course that I have worked for for 40 plus years---just saying!) to my approaching dotage? I guess that depends on what each of us decides is 'necessary' for our needs. I have arrived at the conclusion, that as long as my basic needs are met, that I do not need a great deal 'extra!' Given that 'epiphany' (Yeah OK--- I am prepared to admit, that if a 'financial bomb hits re health or other unforeseen needs, then that stance could change) I am quite content to return to the source of the 'add-on' income, only when necessary. My return on a regular basis to Auckland is as much influenced by the need to remain 'connected' to friends and family, but even then, it seems that I may well be the recipient of more visitors than I ever had in the little flat in Mt Roskill. The next few weeks will be crucial in the 'testing' of what I have written. Will I remain constant down here on the Coast? Watch this space.