Well, I'm no longer a working stiff - I'm now a financially independent man of leisure...
And I have to say - I think the lifestyle rather suits me.
I'd been in the saddle with a large UK government department for over 40 years. It was enough: I'd done my bit for Queen and country, I reckon. And frankly, I felt deeply unappreciated: in the private sector, people doing (a far, far easier version of) my job - Data Protection Subject Matter Expert/DPO - earn something like three or four times my salary.
So when I realised that early retirement was a viable option for me while there's still plenty of tread on my tires, I jumped at it.
So, precisely two weeks ago, on 8 April 2019, I became a 58 year old (early, and not at all pensionery) pensioner.
Now here's the thing. For much of my life I've been a keen angler (coarse/carp/pike fishing) but I'd fallen out of the habit for years.
The urge never goes away - once an angler, always an angler, I suppose - and now that my time's my own again, I'll be wetting a line whenever mood takes and opportunity presents.
Specifically, I intend to gallivant around the country and (hotel availability notwithstanding) spend time - a week here, a week there - checking out places I've either never fished before; or have always wanted to spend more time at.
I can't wait.
At each of these venues I'm going to give pellet waggler fishing a go (even though it's pretty much how I've fished commercial fisheries for the last twenty-odd years, before it had a name!) - and I'm thinking about a week in September in Norwich, for River Wensum Pike.
And - maybe - I'll be casting a bait at the fish in a couple of the waters of the local club I helped to found. I hope so - I literally dug one of the fucking things out from the corner of a flooded field, which was as good as it got for coarse anglers up here 40 or so years ago.
I imagine that none of this sounds like a big deal logistically, but imagine trying to do it solely by public transport - that's where the challenge is for me, and I'll be writing about how I'm going about it without shoving a six foot rod holdall in people's faces...
And I'm rejoining a fishing club which I helped found, and served on the committee of (variously as secretary, vice-chairman and chairman) for many years.
Read more in my new blog.
22 April 2019