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Well I did promise/ threaten all that time ago- feels like a LONG 5 months-when I bid you all a fond farewell at the end of March, that I might pop back up at some point- and here I am! 

This time I don’t have any legal issues to discuss or sage advice to share, but I thought you might like to know what life is like , well for me anyway, the other side of that huge milestone called retirement. To sum it up, it’s a bit like the curates egg, good in parts. The first month or so felt very strange. I was living in limbo, but then we all were due to the pandemic. I hit a bit of a weird time after that first month where I felt like I’d lost something or someone and I was quite sad. It’s not like I haven’t had plenty to do- we’ve redecorated the house, done a really thorough spring clean and adopted a new dog- well he’s second hand actually but more about him later. 

So, go on then, I’ll admit it, I’ve missed you all- and at the risk of making him come over all misty eyed ( fat chance!) , missed my daily rants/ discussions/ case conferences/ laughs with Kieron too. As with all the jobs I’ve had in my life, it’s not so much the actual work I miss, although it does help when what you do is appreciated as most of the time what I did for all of you thankfully was, but it’s the people, and particularly those we connect with along the way. After working for 43 years and having made lots of memories- mostly good-it was never going to be easy to walk away from that daily structure and discipline that working brings to your life, but it’s been replaced by a new, more relaxed and flexible structure which is constantly evolving. I have to have a project or 3 on the go but I set my own deadlines and make up my own policies and procedures these days which is fun! ( Give it a go but don’t tell Kieron!) 

Our new 4 legged friend, Luther, who at the time of writing hadn’t been with us a week, has now brought with him a new timetable and range of daily tasks. He is a retired racing greyhound we have adopted from the Greyhound Trust. He’s 2 yrs old , which given they can race until they’re 5 tells you that he wasn’t the fastest thing on 4 legs, but what he lacked in speed he makes up for in snuggles. He is amazingly affectionate, biddable and sweet natured. He has a mad half hour racing around with his toys first thing, goes for a decent walk ( whoever said they only need 2 x 20 minute walks a day was fibbing),  has his breakfast, goes to bed. He goes out again in the afternoon for another hour or so, bit of play, has his tea, goes to bed. Living in a house is all new to him and a greyhound is new to us so we are all learning together, but our big, shiny black gangly boy, who looks a bit like a cross between a giraffe and a kangaroo at times, is an endearing, funny and very welcome addition to our family. 

So that’s where I am at. Looking forward to a holiday in Northumberland, 3 delayed weddings, my Mother in laws 90th birthday, the arrival of a great niece and whatever else life has in store for me in 2021 and beyond! Bring it on!