Week 15

30 March 2009

Life has been so hectic that everything has ground to a halt. What I can tell you is that Pauline & I are in our last few days of teaching. Sooon after Easter we will take paid Gardening Leave, be given a couple of years salary and then take early retirement. We are overjoyed by the outcome. We will put our house on the market as soon as we return from Greek Easter, go to Greece in early July whether it sells or not and return in lat October/early November to explore the next stage of our lives.

The photo albums have hit a small technical hitch but the Repton one will soon be up and running. I aim to get that finished before I fly on Saturday. Some lovely memories to come:

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31 March 2009

The Blog has been sparsely populated for a few days. It has been a stressful time combining end of term when we always feel bombed out with negotiating our exit policy to best effect. We look like meeting our financial target and, whether we do or not, we have left in our heads and cannot go back. Our doctor says we have done enough and if we don’t get paid gardening leave, she will write us a ‘stress note for the final twelve weeks’.  We won’t go to Greece early because we are trying to sell the house. We want to be here to keep up the garden and show people round – assuming we get people to look interested.

The Repton Album is up and my favourite photo is of Dad in 1933 in the Picnic Place of the newly built 81 High Street.

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1st April 2009

Had to have a couple of days off to calm my blood pressure and prepare for retirement. Pauline and I have been at home today to speak to our legal advisor over the final redundancy settlement, liaise with the Teachers’ Pension Service to get our final quotation, have our car serviced and generally sort our lives out.  I have been emailing friends like Martin in Stroud and Richard & Linda in Ipswich. The more people I tell that I’m retiring, the more it becomes a reality to me. People who have retired tell me that initially it is like a bereavement. Pauline and I have parked in the same place in the same carpark, walked up the same path and opened the same main door every working day of our 37 years sevice. I am now the longest serving member of staff but many have been with us for 20 or 30 years. I don’t think I will miss them much. Keep moving forward is my motto.

Stavros says the Spring flowers are outstanding this year. That means our land will be carpeted. The thought of it makes me smile.

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3rd April, 2009

We have retired! Pauline & I left our School at 1.00 pm today after 37 years of loyal service. We cleared our desks and the Office we shared, gave our kettle and fridge away, left our keys in the draw and walked out. It was a very strange experience and soon became totally anticlimactic. We left a couple of years early without loss of pay which suits us fine. Now on with our lives…………

Fly from Manchester with Olympic at 10.15 on Saturday evening. That is 12.15 am Greek time. Arrive Athens about 4.30 am. Only taking hand luggage so we will go to our favourite hotel until Monday lunchtime when we will go down to Piraeus to catch our ferry at 2.15 pm. Our ferry to the island has been withdrawn on Sunday morning so we can’t get there on Sunday. These are the vagaries of Greek infrastructure.

4th April, 2009

Got up early. Got to set standards when you’re retired. Did the Sainsbury’s shop and bought 500Euros. Had to go to the Post Office because our bank, Nat West, hadn’t got enough. How ridiculous! You’re a Bank! Mooched through the day and set off for Manchester Airport at 5.00 pm. Check-in at 7.00 pm and for the first time we only had hand luggage. Mind you we did send a huge box of stuff with Parcel Force a week before. Olympic Airways flight took off on time at 10.30 pm. For once the food was awful. Just had a glass of water and slept for the three and a half hours.

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