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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Retirement

The Spanish word for 'retired' is 'jubilado'.  I don't know whether that's more akin to 'jubilee' or 'jubilation'.  Wikipedia tells me that a 'Jubilee is a particular anniversary of an event, usually denoting the 50th anniversary'.  So I suppose if retirement takes place at 65, that implies that you started work at 15.  In fact, I started at 16, working Saturday mornings and in the weeks before Christmas in a department store in the menswear section.  And I've been working more or less ever since.  At uni, I used to work part time, coaching schoolchildren in maths, and later on tutoring first year economics students.  In the long uni holidays I tried to take a different job each year (the university summer holidays in the southern hemisphere start in late November and end in late March).  One year I worked as a lab assistant to an engineer testing sediment deposition around harbour mouths.  Fascinating.

When we first immigrated to England, I was jobless for a few months while I tried to find a job.  Later on, I was thrice made redundant and each time I was jobless for two or three months while I went about finding a new position.

Well, at the end of June, which is only a few weeks away, I shall probably lose my job.  I shall be made redundant for the fourth and last time.  The last time because I won't get another job, at my age.  Don't believe them when they tell you there's no prejudice against the old, the odd, the gay, the dark-skinned, the different, the lower classes.  There most emphatically is.  Subtle, sometimes, but definite always.

So we will be selling our house here in our overpriced dormitory town and moving much further out of Melbourne.  Two weekends ago we drove down to explore these country towns, places we've never visited before.  Kilcunda, Wonthaggi, Cape Patterson, Inverloch, Venus Bay, Leongatha, Korumburra.  And we found some charming towns, beautiful beaches, magnificent scenery.  The towns right on the sea are too expensive for us, but the inland towns (Wonthaggi, Leongatha, Korumburra) are in our price range, and are only 20 minutes from the sea.

Venus Bay was wonderful.  The town itself is just a little holiday town with shabby unpretentious holiday homes (unlike Inverloch which has too many vulgar grandiose glass palaces owned by Melbourne's super rich) but its ocean beach was stunning: the most magnificent beach I have ever seen.  The beaches all along that coast are marvellous.  Venus Bay's is superb.

The ocean beach at Venus Bay (click to enlarge)


The thing is, for a while now I have been too tired and dispirited to write, but as we wandered from beach to beach, my head filled with new stories, and I was longing to start writing again.  But back in the office, the worry and stress soon put paid to that.  But what that made me realise was that when my lady and I retire we will be writing again.  I will join the local swimming pool and gym.  I will garden.  But best of all, I will be free from stress.  I wonder how many of my ailments are due to a lifetime of stress at work: my allergies; my overweight; my joints; my gut?

Today we're going down to Korumburra to have a look at a house which might suit, though it's a little expensive.  We'r going to explore Leongatha and Korumburra and other local townships.  And we're going to go to the beach again.  Living up here in the mountains has its advantages, but we're a long way from the beach (2 hours drive).  In Korumburra we'll be just 20 minutes from the sea.

Best of all, I have the feeling I will be writing again, lots.  And my servitude will be over.