Spinning, once again, towards a new year makes you think. Well, it does me, so I decided to review my 2015. Boring, I hear you say. Everyone does that. Yes, they do, but I intend to focus on the positive – if I can.
Last January hove into view with my decision to retire firmly sealed in an envelope, ready to hand to my head teacher. The next few months were a flurry of putting paperwork in order, reassigning jobs (which may not have always been strictly in my job spec but I had been doing anyway) to other people and, of course, teaching. Clearing my desk drawers was a challenge. The most important question I had to ask myself was “Do I need this?” My brain kept trying to substitute ‘want’ for ‘need’ but I won in the end. I re-purposed some items by donating them to colleagues and simply disposed of most of the rest. (There is one zip-top, plastic folder snuggling in a corner of the lounge that contains things I just had to bring home – mainly small items of stationery!)
There was ‘Poldark’, of course, about which I was in two minds, having seen the original, but enjoyed very much in the end.
In April we celebrated the 94th birthday of my crazy, wonderful dad. Brilliant to still have him making those awful jokes and, sometimes, even more awful faces! After a major operation and the addition of a pacemaker in the last few years, he is still going strong and is surprisingly independent for his age.
Later, we had an election which, in my opinion, was a travesty. No more on that – I was going to be positive!
On July 9th, 2015 (let it be recorded) I retired. It was a smooth transition and I can honestly say that the only things I will miss are some great colleagues – who, I hope, will stay friends! – and imparting knowledge. Two days after that I attending the wedding of my son and, in one, fell swoop, gained a daughter and a whole new family!
Now, ever since deciding that I would definitely retire people have been asking one question – what will you do? My first answer has always been ‘Nothing’, followed by ‘take the opportunity to go on breaks in term time!’ Well, first I did a lot of not-planning and not-marking throughout what was still, for me, the summer holidays. That was the only sign, at that point, that something was different. In September, when I did not return to work, we visited friends in the East of England and the Midlands; in November, we took an overnight trip to France.
This December we were lucky enough to share Christmas dinner with the best newly-married couple and had a wonderful, relaxing day with good food and good company.
So much for 2015. Next year will prove to be a challenge, but more of that later. May I wish all who have read any of my ramblings a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.