The Catalyst for Retirement

It’s hard to believe it is eight years since I took up blogging. These days, I have plenty of ideas but not so much time. The blog began as a way of documenting an upcoming European Holiday, and was first called “55 Days with Gwen” the reason for which will become obvious in the next few posts.
I was scrolling through those a few days ago, and it occurred to me, that while we all have a wings clipped for the time being, why not revisit a virtual holiday? Some followers have been with me since the beginning of this blogging experience – thank you – but for others, the stories will be new.
First of all, the background to how I became, ‘The Reluctant Retiree’.

The Reluctant Retiree

Dad cropped for blog Noisy, circa 1943

Bill’s father was an unskilled labourer. Like thousands of his generation he served in WWII, in his case as a Sapper in the 23rd Australian Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers.

When he returned, he got a job in a factory, fathered two sons and went on with his life, never speaking about his war experiences. Nicknamed “Noisy” by his mates, he was a quiet man who led a simple life, never travelling or straying too far from his home base at Coogee. He never bought a house, never owned a car. The beach, the pub, the club and family were his main interests. He got a start on the waterfront in the days before mechanisation, loading and unloading cargo by hand and hoist on the various wharves around Sydney. Casual shift work that he reached by public transport. He was still working in 1974, when an observant…

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13 thoughts on “The Catalyst for Retirement

  1. I love the serendipity of you and Bill finding the same place on the same day, Gwen. What a good sign it was, and I’m sure, now looking back perhaps even more so. I love how you are looking back a bit. We are often so focused on the future that we completely forget the joys of pausing to look back and see where we’ve come from. I can’t remember when I discovered your blog, but this story was new to me, and provided a lovely insight into the reasons for your retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thirteen years we have been here now, and although it took me personally a little while to settle in, this is definitely home now. And it has been a wonderful haven during the worst parts of the COVID lockdown. We have a great community here.
      Thanks for the positive comments about my looking back indulgence.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been divorced and on my own for many years now – remarrying was an option that I declined. Freedom to go where I want and do what I want whenever I want is so important to me – I’d make an impossible wife or companion. Of course there’s a negative side to everything in life, including freedom… Have worked hard to stay in shape for travel, but honestly, being on the road has always been agreeable for me healthwise. Vibes in the US are bad these days – not a good time. Come join me at some point on the trip Gwen! For an unknown, strange reason I feel “at home” In Belgrade? Will be interesting to see if they’re still having weekly Saturday protests against Vučić. He’s still there! The dynamic protests were massive but peaceful, and I joined in a few times :o)… Lovely experience!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I will be re-blogging my travels, so Belgrade gets a brief mention. As you know, we can’t leave the country at the moment, so I will travel again vicariously. We booked a holiday to Queensland in May, and would you believe it – the very day after booking Brisbane went into lockdown. If they don’t get on top of this small outbreak, there is every chance if we crossed the border we’d have to quarantine on returning to New South Wales.
      We joined a protest on Murano Venice years ago, and another is coming up in a Sicily story in this series. It was very interesting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful post, Gwen. So good to see you back on line.
    Like you, it is 8 years this month that I started my blog.
    My retirement came about because I had to undergo a different treatment for my leukemia. Both worked out for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh, that must have been such a challenge at the time. My “forced” retirement was ego destroying, but not life threatening. I’ll explain more in the next post (since Paol Soren kind of asked).
      I love your stories. I went to a small one-man music concert today – only forty audience scattered throughout the room – and I kept looking back at the guy in sound and light booth, thinking of you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like you and Bill are happy and have achieved your goal. We all know when it’s time… After hectic 40 years in San Francisco, I knew it was time to retire, and at 62, moved to Oregon longing for greenery, the coast, and quiet days of hiking and gardening. Ha – a few years into the lifestyle, I longed for BIG cities, more excitement, and foreign adventure – so there you go… At 74, it will be interesting to see how I hold up on this next long adventure with covid as a backdrop! Humans are strange creatures – maybe I should speak for myself, as your life sounds fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hah! It was Bill’s goal. I just got swept along in the slipstream. But for now it suits. Who knows when I am 74? You are an inspiration!
      želimo ti sve najbolje for what you have ahead.
      And my life is very “comfortable” I must admit to that! Believe me – I know what the other side looks like.

      Liked by 1 person

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