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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Small ambitions

This morning on campus I met a  newly retired colleague waiting for the lift to the 6th floor where the Faculty of Education is housed. 

"Retirement experiences are as varied as one's fingerprints, " he told me, "Some people, mainly men, who have been in management, can't accept the change to just an ordinary person. No power, no glamour. But as for me - I love it. I doing a bit of marking and have some short term duties. This has helped to phase in the transition."

I listen, somewhat enviously. I am under pressure. I am off to an overseas conference and just when I thought I was under control,  unpredicted demands popped up. My email went on the blink. A minor family crisis emerged. I must re-apply for a research contract.

"But you must prepare for retirement," my friend continued, "Make a bucket list. I did that and so has my wife."

"Okay...." I muse.

"My wife just wants to walk on Red Square!" he continues, "And as for me, we follow my dream later this month. A barge holiday on the canals of southern France".

"Mmmm", I walk off intimidated by such colourful ambitions, "That's one deep bucket!"

That darn bucket list bit has been worrying me ever since.

All I can think of is the joy of an hour or two of gardening after early morning coffee. Playing ball with the dogs without glancing at my watch. Fetching Jethro from preschool for the afternoon without having to juggle his nap with  finishing a report. Making quilt after quilt without tidying up the sewing mess in the sunroom. Taking a leisurely stroll down the aisles at the supermarket with a scribbled recipe in my hand. 

The delights, the sheer attraction of small ambitions. They would fit into a teacup and bring me as much pleasure as that bucket.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Winter on the Highveld means blue skies and sunshine but it can get chilly. May weather has been balmy and today - officially the second day of winter - the midday temperature reached 26 C. Barbecued hamburgers with lashings of German mustard, tomato sauce, fresh rolls and salad made a great Sunday lunch in the  back garden.

Flash has settled into his new home and loves having Jethro for Sunday company. 

Flash is a four-year male Labrador which I rehomed about 8 weeks ago. He has stepped into the gap left by Galahad. Flash is gentle, sweet and loving. But what else does one expect of a Labrador?  He's also ball-crazy. 

And where were Kaela and I on this sun-dappled Sunday? Both behind the camera!