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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Hi,

Officially I retired from active conflict 16 years ago initially on a works pension aged 53 and now at 69 on the state pension. I'm wondering just what retirement should be like?

Ever since leaving school and going down the pit I've grafted full time. Like many others Bron and I have struggled for many years in order to buy our dream bungalow which turned into a nightmare 30 years ago after we had only lived here for six weeks when two ceilings became damaged during a thunderstorm; the outcome was we were told to get lost by the insurance company the reason being "Lack of maintenance". A really good start given that we couldn't borrow another penny due to being on maximum mortgage and the whole roof on both the main bungalow and two roomed rear extension required replacing at a quoted cost then of £6,500. We couldn't afford the repairs and we now lived in a bungalow we couldn't sell. 18 months later after living with buckets and bowls every time it rained; sleeted or snowed we had finally saved enough money to buy roofing materials so Bron and I installed the new roofs.

I worked in a highly stressful job and couldn't take holidays during the normal holiday periods; we've not had an holiday away from home for the last 39 years; when we were working our holidays were always full of home maintenance so we've never had a rest. During our 30 years here in the bungalow we've carried out repairs from the foul drains right up to replacing the chimney stack adding a new chimney; it's been ongoing and as one big job was completed another big job cropped up but then our house (Bungalow) is a house Jack built the builder being Jack Brook.

Fast forward to retiring in 2000 and at last I now had all the time in the world to carry out home repairs and upgrades; money was tight but at least I was now clear of the stressful job and could relax? Well it's not quite worked out as expected; during our short summers I've grafted working outside on the bungalow exterior and in the gardens felling trees etc. During our long dreary winters I've worked indoors all with my lovely Bron giving encouragement and support without her ever complaining or moaning. Last July I was admitted into hospital as an emergency having doubled over in agonising pain; three days later cause unknown of the pain I was discharged from hospital only to quickly end up with a huge rash problem on both legs. I tried my best to sort this rash problem out thinking it to be food related and all the while I was still grafting. It all came to a head about three weeks ago when I couldn't go on any longer due to the amount of pain and itching I was suffering so I ended up at the doctors. Thankfully I'm well on the road to full recovery and feel like getting stuck in once again.

No sooner do I wander down to the garage for the first time in three weeks to give the Yeti a good cleaning out that as I was using the vac our postie interrupted me asking if I would take in parcels for two neighbours? Our neighbours directly across from us were at home but they are too idle/tight to get their door bell repaired and as the postie said there is a rather sarcastic note stuck to the door saying perhaps the bell won't work and if it doesn't you'll have to knock on the door; well this knocking doesn't work either and these neighbours are most unpleasant so I refused to accept the parcel for them; years ago I accepted a large envelope for their son which had to be signed for; when the son arrived home I called him over only to receive abuse; the son was most annoyed saying why did I have to sign for the envelope so now I take nothing in for any of the family. The second parcel was for our brand new neighbours across the street whom I hadn't so far even spoken to but absolutely no problem and yes I'm happy to accept the parcel for them; the husband of the new neighbours was delighted when I popped over with the parcel and we parted as friends on a hand shake. Bear in mind all I wanted to do was to clean the Yeti out. Then came the guys along the street with charity bags insisting on thrusting these into my hand; what the heck does it take to get a bit of peace just to clean the car?

We have a lovely lady neighbour next door who sadly lost her husband four years ago hence she moved in next to us. Absolutely nothing wrong at all with this neighbour other than she is on her own and is constantly finding jobs for me to do; because I've been out of action for three weeks three jobs have cropped up; her pendant light fitting not only blew a bulb but the bulb exploded; her heavy curtains to the front room had pulled the curtain track away from the supports so she has had the curtains reduced in size but the track problem remains; she bought a new dash cam but couldn't get it to work? Yesterday I went round to have a look at her dash cam but without success; as usual then the problem started to bug me as I don't like to give in or be beaten ending up with this dash cam on my mind; she was to return it today for a replacement but last night I emailed her asking her to let me have another go at it this morning. This morning I sorted the dash cam out; the plug for some reason was faulty not letting power through; once I realized what the problem was I inserted a spring which then completed the circuit to the fuse and all was now well as I tested it in the Yeti; a simple enough job once the fault was known but it did shatter my concentration. I asked if the light fitting was dangerous in any way and it wasn't so she's getting her sparky to visit to check it for electrical safety; regarding the curtain track she has bought a Titan cordless drill together with an assortment of DeWalt drills and bits etc; I showed her all the adjustments on the drill yesterday. She has a son who lives not too far distant but it's much easier for me to do lots of jobs for her; last year I installed a new chain link fence demolished a garden shed amongst lots of other jobs I did for her; I don't mind helping anyone but it's all starting to get rather silly.

If I go into our rear garden the neighbour living next door is constantly moaning at me giving me no peace at all regarding our trees and bushes; I've taken down two 80' tall conifers; a huge double trunk Elderberry and a big Scots pine at over 30' tall because she was moaning about light being blocked from her kitchen and bedroom windows; last year whilst I was suffering badly with my legs I completely removed our 80' long conifer hedge at 8' tall and shredded it whilst she and hubby were away on holiday I also lowered the privet hedge by her bedroom window. Upon her return from holiday this neighbour then verbally abused Bron saying she doesn't like what I've done because its "Too open". Bron came to get me and I explained I was going to erect a new fence to replace the conifer hedge after all its our boundary and not theirs so it wouldn't cost her anything; of course this was unacceptable and she started going on about different types of fence; I gave up and told her this garden is our garden and I'll do as I like in it then walked away from her. Her husband is a nasty piece of work and both he and she are usually performing WW3 given the terrible arguments they have; he screams at her in the foulest language and years ago their son burgled the bungalow the other side of them and a couple of years ago their grandson who lives across the street had a drugs bust by the police. I'm going to erect a chicken wire fence this year and if she decides she has some say in it I'll tell her to leave me alone. I've had enough.

I can't go into our driveway without someone wanting something of me; I can't work in the garage with the garage door open because I'm pestered; I can't go into our rear garden without either listening to WW3 or again being pestered; I can't sit at the computer in peace with charity bags and junk mail dropping at my feet like confetti and also unwanted callers there being a whole procession of them all wanting money in some way from us. This morning I simply wanted to visit the post office and petrol station but the council is patching the lane up over the next three days; I've no problem with this in fact welcome it but what a struggle it was to get onto the lane having me drive a couple of miles just to reach the post office; on the return journey the lane at the top was closed so I followed the detour again for a couple of miles only to find the lane at the bottom now closed; a guy in a van was on duty so I drove up to him and explained I'd now tried to return home from both top and bottom of the lane without success; I was let through; I'm not against the work being carried out and the guys are doing a good job but it's all these little things which are constantly winding up the big key in my back.

I typed the above this morning and have now just resumed to be interrupted as another charity bag glides to the floor this time for the children's ambulance. I feel hounded wherever I go or wherever I am; in stores I'm standing in someone else's place; I visit the doctors only ending up sitting for an hour because the doctor is running late whilst the electronic message board winds me up stating doctors appointments are ten minutes only also a message says 170 appointments were missed last month; perhaps the patients simply died through having to wait? After paying my dues into the system I'm now only entitled to ten minutes with my GP; the government are very happy to call me a burden upon society because I haven't obliged by dropping dead at my last day at work. It seems every traffic light I approach either on foot or driving turns to red just in time to then place me at the front of the next queue. I visit our post office and great just one person in front of me so how come it takes half an hour to get back out; the last time it was a young mother with a brat of a daughter waving an umbrella around.

A week ago now feeling better I decided to go for a walk; I'm unable to walk near home because the valley is so steep so I drove over to Thornhill where I was born intending to walk through The Rectory and down Hall Lane into Mill Bank the area I played in as a child and know so well. As I struggled to pass the farm entrance with the lane badly rutted I found the lane virtually impassable due to very deep long wide dirty puddles of water and all around was deep wet mud; it really was most disgusting and this is a public right of way. I ended up with the bottoms of my trousers and my safety shoes caked in this clinging wet mud so now I can't even go for a walk in peace.

This is only the tip of a very large ice berg; I'm not depressed in any way I'm just fed up that I'm retired and unable to settle back to enjoy retirement; I've remodeled the garage into a nice big workshop but every time I try to get into the workshop I'm pulled in another direction; I used to be able to plan projects when I was working but I can't even sit at my computer without interruption these days; I know I'm a soft touch only too willing to help others but I think its taking the Mickey a bit when our lovely neighbour is out enjoying herself playing golf whilst I'm grafting up her steeply sloping rear garden installing a chain link fence; I've come to the conclusion I must rank as stupid. Sorry for the moan but I feel much better for it. Good job I didn't include my nasty family of vultures or I might have ended up depressed.

Kind regards, Col.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:16 pm 
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Col: I think you'd get bored if you couldn't fill the day with something - it's annoying that you can't always fill it with exactly what you want to do, but hey, you're retired, there's always tomorrow.

You could try to become a grumpy old git like me and not really talk too much to anyone, but I don't think it would suit you.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:05 pm 
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From a psycho analysis point of view I believe you have, what they refer to as Victor Meldrew Syndrome (VMS) :?

Only kidding Mr tired

I think we all get stuck in a rut and life become quotidian, melodic or melancholy, as they say change is good as a rest

I go through periods of lack of direction ever 6-18 months then I end up off on a tangent



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:11 pm 
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quite a rant there Col...

I think your your neighbour may be taking advantage of your good nature with all those odd jobs. I know it's "nice to be nice" however perhaps on occasion you could suggest that she pays a "handyman" to sort out her curtain poles etc.

As for the neighbours who complain that the trees are too high/low/not dense enough... tell them to get a hobby that isn't complaining.

I'm very lucky, our neighbours on both sides are very reasonable people, I only occasionally have issues with the noise from the 8 bedsits at the back of the property. The 80 odd foot conifer filters out most of the noise.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:19 pm 
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Col,

have you ever considered moving house?

Not to be pushy or anything but there's a cottage in our village up for sale that would suit you and Bron down to the ground. Two bed, nice garden, loch view aspect, trees! garage and space to put up others if you need them. Needs a little work though :roll:

Our village comprises 10 properties on a C-class road where three cars an hour is 'rush hour'. Tesco deliver to your door. Water is from our private system, sewage by septic tank. There are loads of forests where you can gather firewood or chop logs (at 25 quid/ton) for the obligatory woodstove. We even have our own 'blackie' as well so you won't feel totally isolated :lol: But when the sun shines it's stunningly warm and the most relaxing place you can imagine.

Doctors surgery is in the nearest village (Taynuilt) and 20 minutes away (one bus service, three times a day right outside your door), never any queue's and the main hospital (Lorn) is not under strain (afaik) and my need for a hernia op was sorted in a matter of weeks.

It's 40 minutes to town (Oban) and 2 hours to Glasgow or 2-1/2 to Edinburgh but with t'internet and Tesco we can go for 6 weeks before contemplating leaving the house and then, only because we want a change of scenery! There's even the West Highland rail journey judged to be one of the most scenic in the world.

There are local walks (hills and easy-going) right outside your door, friendly neighbours (me for one!), peace and quiet and the local god-botherer has recently left his posts :huray: All you'd be missing are the shopping precincts but a 'day out' to Glasgow or Edinburgh isn't too hard and can be very enjoyable - Edinburgh in particular. Day trips on the ferries to the islands are dirt cheap and great fun (in good weather). Night skies are as dark as you can possibly imagine - superb star viewing.

Have a look via Google earth (do you still have my home address details?) and 'walk' through the village. It's not too late to make the change.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:22 pm 
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:dunno: Kellys-eye..... do you have a local monthly "auto jumble".

I think that would be the deal-breaker.. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:25 pm 
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Only if you held your own! :lol:

That's (perhaps) my only gripe - if I want to do one of them I have to go to Glasgow. But the internet equivalents will have to do.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:28 pm 
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How does the saying go? "No good deed shall go unpunished"
OK so I'm a miserable git.
(No need for confirmation thanks :lol: )
But there's helping people, and there's letting them extract the proverbial. If the lady neighbour has a son, then except in real emergencies let him help. If she wants to play golf, then great, but not while you are being her unpaid handyman.

The neighbour with the hedge and abuse would find herself largely ignored. Walk away.

K-e's village sounds pretty good! I can certainly recommend not having neighbours


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I completely understand how you feel, and sorry if you think I'm making light of how you feel, but your "right good moan" made me smile out loud :LoL:



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Here's something that will cheer the lovely Bron up Colin, I can't think of a nicer way to make you feel better than to put a smile on her face!!

Debbies kitchen/diner is a bit 'girly' for me but Brons' gift fits in perfectly :thumbright: :thumbright:


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I think the time has come for you to make a move Colin and you know my views on this. You are fortunate in that you have a cash cow in a potential building plot in your garden which would raise a chunk of money to finance a move. Sometimes things around you are telling you something so let's set out the facts:

(a) Surrounded by arseholes

(b) Nice person but a bit of a user nuisance next door

(c) Rotten weather due to location

(d) Arsehole charity chuggers

Time to go. There is a lovely place for you to move to just waiting for you to find it.

At least have a look around and see what you can achieve and then make a decision. Have a word with the Planning Department and seek their views on the building plot potential. You know it makes sense :thumbright:

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DWD is right - no one will make anything happen except yourself Col - as you've found to your detriment.

His plan seems an excellent way to find a REAL retirement location.

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Hmm you seem very keen to get Colin to move up to your village. Have you got a lot of odd jobs that need doing KE?? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Hi,

Thanks ayjay; you are so right; yes if I'm not busy then I don't feel right and me being grumpy doesn't last long before I snap out of it; the problem of course during the last three weeks or so is in being grounded due to my legs being under medication and the sticky ointment I've applied to both legs for two weeks; the only time I've ever been idle since leaving school has been when I've been in hospital; three weeks though on the trot without doing anything useful has rattled me. :cb

Thanks flash; I was just getting the moan out of my system but I'm now starting to potter around in the garage so the moaning will soon subside. :thumbleft:

Thanks wine~o; I've already told our neighbour if her son gets stuck then I'll have a look at the curtain rail; it's not life or death but you are right in saying I need to suggest alternative solutions to her rather than me having to drop everything to go sort her little problems out. Both Bron and I feel sorry for this neighbour who is mostly a brilliant neighbour but the way things are progressing I feel like I've got two big bungalows to maintain. The next time our nasty neighbour complains I think its time to tell them that I wish I had neighbours as good as theirs? Bron and I have endured many problems in our 40 years marriage including my late parents and family doing their utmost to split us up to the point they ruined our wedding day but it's simply not in either of us to be as nasty as they are; my parents are dead and I've now divorced my entire family just walking away from them; when my mother died four years ago she left a detached bungalow and it sums up my family of vultures that not a penny has come our way by inheritance; what we've never had we'll never miss and it's a cheap price to be finally clear of the lot of them; Bron and I will never change; we know the secret of being happy together which is love and trust and not money something my estranged family know nothing of because money is a very poor friend indeed. :huray:

Great reply and excellent suggestion k_e; you aren't pushy at all and if Bron and I hadn't put 30 years into this bungalow making it into our dream home then it's highly likely given your description of your idyllic setting we would be your neighbours in a blink; it's such a big thing to move home leaving behind not only the bad memories but the benefits we've enjoyed; I would miss being able to pop out to the scrapyard or a local timber yard; we are on the valley side with wonderful panoramic views but it is very hilly indeed; every amenity we need is virtually on our doorstep and we never ever visit towns or cities because parking and traffic wardens just aren't worth the hassle. If we moved to a more isolated position I would fear for Bron should anything happen to me because my lovely Bron is very timid and cannot drive so relies totally on me; I was born in Thornhill near Dewsbury and Bron was born in Almondbury near Huddersfield so we are both genuine Yorkie's and feel we have powerful roots here. We have considered moving from the valley side but find just browsing the web looking at bungalows is hugely boring; we love our bungalow and gardens it's just a few neighbours who tend to spoil things but this is life isn't it? Thanks k_e I'm sure I've saved your address details in back up on SSD. I would love a location such as yours; I believe Bron and I actually drove down your lane to the loch when we were courting finding it to be a dead end and a very long single track lane but it sure was as beautiful as you describe it.

Behave yourself wine~o; you know me too well; had Rufforth Auto Jumble been within a few miles of k_e then I might not sleep at night suffering from temptation. :scratch:

Thanks Dave54; yes I think the time has come for me to politely pull back a little otherwise there will be no let up; I feel mean by not volunteering to sort out our neighbours light fitting and curtain rail but I know for certain if I did sort them then another job would quickly follow; I've already dodged touching up ceiling paint for her; her bungalow suffered slight damage during recent bad weather resulting in a couple of small water stains one to the ceiling and extending to the adjoining wall; she told me her decorator said it just needed sealing with cover stain and touching in; I gave her a jam jar of cover stain plus a new paint brush; she already had plenty of the correct colour emulsion; the stains were only light and I'm sure a coat of emulsion would have sorted them; a ten minute job at most; the stains remain because I haven't sorted them. It's just one job after another with her; I'm also very careful that whenever I go round Bron accompanies me because this lady is the same age as me and I certainly don't want any complications in my life; Bron is my lass and always will be.

I'm pleased I brought a smile to your face SN and no you aren't making light of my problems because I can laugh at my own situation which is what keeps me going; I could simply dig in and throw a wobbly but it's not the way to go; in a sense it's good that neighbours trust me and like me enough knowing I'm capable of doing just about any job at all and that I'm never offhand with them even if I often feel ill; Bron and I have earned our place the hard way and we are respected for it because all our neighbours have seen us stick together even when we first moved in and installed the new roofs ourselves; the only job I never touch is the central heating; I can do plumbing but it doesn't push the right buttons with me; why play with CH when such a top guy as Razor is available to install and look after our Intergas boiler; it's not worth getting my hands dirty and we regard Razor as a friend not just a CH guy.

This is so typical of me though; I felt a bit fed up this morning so rather than do nothing but moan I settled down on the keyboard and added my thoughts which focused my attention onto the problems; this kept me busy and yes its still a moan but it's been a useful moan and I know I'm not on my own so it's also generated some lovely replies from you guys. :salute:

Tomorrow I'm taking Bron out to M&S in Pudsey for some well deserved retail therapy assuming we aren't blocked in by the lane roadworks; I'm rapidly coming round after my recent spell of health problems and have already located a very heavy duty spindle I knew I had stored under the bungalow; I'm planning a new 4hp saw bench which once I start on it will be a full on project and something I can get stuck into; I enjoy designing and making my own machines from odds and ends.

Wow I was about to submit when more replies appeared.

Thanks for adding the picture Razor; yes Bron thinks its lovely and she's pleased you like the heart enough to display it; Bron loves her craft work; hopefully we'll see you and Debbie again during this year when you can both get up north; the welcome mat is out ready. Good point about k_e being keen to get us to move near? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Many thanks DWD; what both you and k_e say makes perfect sense and yes I agree I'm the only one who can change things but if only it was so simple. We could convert our rear garden into a very desirable building plot and given the size of our detached bungalow and its location we are financially secure so funds for moving wouldn't be a problem at all but I'm afraid its a lot more personal than that; without going into a lot of detail Bron and I couldn't move too far away because of ill health; Bron is unable to travel far; a couple of years ago we did consider moving near our best friends in Cottingham but it's a major upheaval and one Bron couldn't face having to start over again. As I say though this is too personal to expand upon; on the whole though we are very comfortable here its just people who are spoiling it. A bungalow is also a must for us.

Thanks guys. :salute:

Kind regards, Col.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:07 pm 
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I guess a 'contract' to take out the undesirables would be cheaper than moving then :lol:

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