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The Garden Shed Revisited

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Around three years ago I wrote "The Garden Shed" reflecting how the retired used their shed or the golf club or other means to give themselves space in their life. Those of us who had worked for the previous 40 (or in my case 50) years enjoy our retirement, but realise that permanently sharing every moment of every day with our beloveds is probably not the best for her and our sanity and relationship.

Three years into retirement I have now dropped to a single day a week working, leaving what was theoretically an extra day a week to spent time together with my wife doing "things". Somehow that is not quite how everything has worked out. Whether we have slowed down or whether other things have grown to fill the time is hard to tell. It does seem that my study at home has now become my own personal garden shed. I have taken on the post of church warden in our local church and frankly the Church of England's bureaucracy has absorbed more than a few of the extra hours we thought we had.

I now regard the world from my retirement garden shed with not a little puzzlement. Three years ago we had just elected a new coalition government dedicated to blood sweat and tears to get our economy and country back on line. After three years desperately hoping for just a sign of the green shoots of recovery we now have them and the senior partner in that coalition is not racing away in the polls, but is fighting off UKIP on the one hand and the previous governing party on the other.  The junior party in the coalition is not looking forward to the forthcoming general election as their love affair with the EU denies the electoral wishes of great swathes of not only the UK but apparently Europe as well.

The media is having a field day. Having bemoaned the state of the housing market since about 2008, we now have a housing boom that is apparently endangering our recovery. The IMF has been to deliver their annual self-righteous assessment of our economy and have just about acknowledged that they got it wrong last year. The Eurozone seems incapable of realising that their currency is part of the problem of a lack of an economic recovery and interest rates there are rapidly heading for negative territory.

But the contradictions continue to flow. Our current (nominally) right of centre government is handing ever greater (and potentially dangerous) powers to HMRC, despite our nation's very apparent antipathy to the EU two of the (currently) major parties will not admit that perhaps public opinion might be right and the next election might re-elect a party that contributed considerably to the devastation of the credit crunch. Strange times indeed.

I now wonder whether I am going to devote ever more time to my garden shed to hide from the strange reality of the world in which we live. Or then again is it the weird times in which we live. Or am I just (as much as I hate to contemplate the prospect) getting old?

David Ingall

Past President

UK200 Group

 

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