Caravan pic to followRichard's Retirement Blog

The Beginning

Friday 26th February 2011

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Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Well, it's begun. This morning I said goodbye to my lodgers-become-tenants and left my home of the last nine-and-a-half years, to take up a new life living and touring in my caravan. This has been at least five years in the planning, and it feels good that it's coming to fruition at last.

It didn't start auspiciously. My driving school car, which I needed to move, would not start, so I had to unhitch my towcar from the caravan to get it to where I could use it to jump start the other. In the course of connecting the jump leads, I fell heavily: I'm still not sure how it happened, but somehow I got caught off-balance, and when I tried to move my left foot under me I found I'd got my right foot on the edge of my left shoe and couldn't move my left - and down I went on my right ankle, hip and elbow. I think I shall have bruises in memory of that one.

That was when I realised I'd lost the caravan keys. They turned up, eventually, after half an hour spent looking, at the bottom of a box of stuff I was not taking with me. That could have been a lot worse: I missed them before I'd driven off.

I got to my first pitch (Leo Farm, Broseley: I finally leave the area on Sunday), filled the water tank, turned on the pump to bleed the hot water system, forgot to turn off a tap in the toilet compartment and pumped about half a gallon of water all over the floor. I was lucky here - the van isn't quite level side-to-side, and most of it just ran straight out of the door. So that could have been worse too.

Before leaving my old home I did a little shopping. I didn't buy butter. That would have been OK, if I hadn't also forgotten to clear the fridge in the flat. Ham sandwiches with neither butter nor mustard? No - a walk to the Co-op half a mile away. Well, exercise is good for you. It just doesn't feel so good when various bits of you hurt from being fallen onto, and you're hungry!

However, I'm back now, warm, well-fed, with a mug of good coffee before me and a view out of the window. Life is good.

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