147. Sunday 1st August 2010. Week three since announcing retirement and omens…

Yeah, it has been three weeks since I announced I would retire. One week to go. Excitement in the camp?

Hmmm. Not really. More of a busy numbness. I am not one to overtly display my emotions. Even laughing is kept to a dignified chuckle.

Hmmm! I am sure I used to laugh aloud and often but I really cannot recall any particular or often events. Perhaps it is more of a case of wishfull, wistful expectation on my part.

I often call myself a Grumpy Old Man (GOM) perhaps I am to some people, perhaps not. I know there are times when I act grumpy and speak grumpily…


We have strayed from la raison d’être, which is French for reason for being. When I was young and read a lot – you can when you spend a couple of hours a day on a train or bus to/from home – it seemed that many of the books had that French phrase somewhere.  It used to annoy me. Here is a book, in English, which suddenly had a French phrase stuck in the middle somewhere and at the time I had no idea what it meant. Even asking much more learned people than myself, IE students who completed an extra two years schooling and took French as a language did not know the phrase and could not translate. I had no French speaking friends amongst my immediate circle or enlarged circle for that matter. It was many long years before I discovered what the translation is. Reason for being, reason for being, reason for being. It still annoys me when a writer throws in a French or Spanish or even Arabic word or phrase into a stoty written in English. Hellooo writers. Stop trying to show off your fancy language skills which none of your readers possess. How about sticking to English.

Whoops. Here I am complaining about the insertion of a French phrase and waddya know? I am doing the same thing myself. Perhaps I am showing off a lack of fancy language skills.

I am also off track.

This week amongst the usual stuff that sends me home feeling emotionally and mentally on edge I had two omens which reminded me the decision to retire, at this time, was the correct decision.

Omen 1. (Nothing like the movie of the same name starring Gregory Peck) I had this wart like growth on the back of my left hand. Initially I thought I would buy some wart solution and burn it off. While at the doctors getting a blood pressure prescription I casually asked about what he might think is the best treatment. He took a look at the “wart” and announced it may not be a wart at all but could be a squamous basal cell melanoma. He suggested minor surgery to remove it and send away for patholgy tests. On Wednesday I had the surgery as well as blood tests to test for kidney function. Not related. Just a separate issue.

Hmmm! Methinks. I am sure I had one of these things cut out a few years ago and on reflection it is probably the third or perhaps the fourth. In fact one of them was burnt out, around 15 years ago, using dry ice. Same hand.

Hmmm! Gotta be a good time to retire so I can get to enjoy whatever is out there without my enjoyment being interrupted by going to work.

Omen 2 (Still nothing like the 2nd movie of the same name and starring somebody other than Gregory Peck) Sorry, off track again. Less than two years ago a respected marine insurance Underwriter, Mike Matthews, retired after being diagnosed with an incurable muscle wasting disease and given 18 months to live. The prediction was pretty accurate. He died on Wednesday. He was my age. His last year and a bit was spent in a wheechair getting progressively worse. That stopped me in my tracks for awhile, thinking about Mike and then thinking about myself. Roll on next week. Saturday begins my new life.

I must mention our verandah again. It has been a year or more since I last wrote about it.

Ahhh! Mornings in the Whitsunday’s. Most mornings, summer and winter I am up early, go for a brisk walk, read my email and one or two blogs then have breakfast on our verandah. The sun also rises. So do the birds. They all call out as they sit on their perches in nearby trees or as they fly past. Butterflies are on the move once the suns rays start to warm up the land. It is the birds which attract my attention. I cannot identify all of them but I hear at least 10 different calls each morning.  Glorious. Surrounded by threes and the Conway Range all around.

Did I say Ahhh already?

Today we took WWWGO to Mackay and parked it in a caravan park. As usual I was up at dawn, finished what I had to do and waited for Donnis to wake up and do what she had to do. Once again I had a timetable in MY mind but failed to pass the timetable on to Donnis. So while I am pacing wanting to get on the road, Donnis was hastening slowly. While I wanted to be on the road before 9am we eventually got away at 10.20am.  I really need to slow down and get timetables out of my head!

Then we had to get fuel. Donnis drove ahead in her car and we kept in touch by UHF radio. I have a in vehicle base station while Donnis used a hand held UHF radio. It was good for a range of somewhere around 1.5klms but beyond that all I got from her was static whereas she could hear me clearly. It was a good test to see how well they would work when we go on the road full time.

Now, what was our “la raison d’etre” for being in WWWGO in Mackay? Errol, Donnis son, has a property with a shop and a house which he has been subdividing, since…forever. If not forever at least the last two years. The final stage of the subdivision is the building of a toilet for the shop and he has had long drawn out delays with approval from council. Finally it is approved and he is coming to Mackay to build a brick “shithouse”. Pardon the language but it seems appropriate. Errol is an airline pilot not a brickie, nor for that matter is he a brickies labourer. Oh, well. He asked to use WWWGO as his accomodation and after a lot of discussion about where it will be parked we agreed. You see he wanted to park in the back yard of the house. For a number of of logistical and logical and even illogical reasons, that was not going to work. Convincing him and Donnis was the hard part. Eventually reason prevailed and WWWGO is parked where he is close to shops, food outlets, restaurants and he has the use of a camp kitchen twenty paces from WWWGO and the toilets and shower block about 60 paces, plus he has 240v power and grey water outlet all set up. It just means he has a 1 klm walk to do his work. If he needs to run the air con he has the power to do it AND he has perfect TV reception of something like 27 channels including HD.

Donnis agrees this is a better location.

So, until next week when I will be retired, stay tuned.


One Response to “147. Sunday 1st August 2010. Week three since announcing retirement and omens…”

  1. Claude Brown Says:

    Now I know you are having too much of the good life.
    Great prices on a pie and slice and just good company.
    Frank n Donnis, don’t wake up. You may have to go somewhere else to find some more heaven.


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