OK, so what's new?
Well, I'm no longer a working stiff - I'm now a financially independent man of leisure...
I have to say - I think the lifestyle rather suits me.
I'd been in the saddle for 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.
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...
(With that said, my blog also covers some of my trials and tribulations in trying to bring to an end my reliance on trains and buses.)
I'm also 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