Passing acquaintances have taken to giving me helpful advice now I've retired . They say things like "It takes a while to get used to ...", "It helps to have a hobby ... " , "There's always volunteer work ..."and , of course the classic "A good pension is vital ..." The lovely hairdresser I found ( who had just called her salon The Hairdresser and therefore was the obvious choice ) was the only sensible one to date . "Don't jump into anything . Enjoy doing exactly what you want , when you want ..."
All uneccessary in my case . I've taken to idleness like a pig to mud . But I see two neighbours are having problems . Two big hearty men who've worked in the building trade , man and boy , seem to have been totally surprised by retirement and are adrift .
One spent his first week hacking down a rather hideous evergreen in his front garden with what looked like a fretsaw . By week two he was uprooting the stump with a trowel and by week three he was outside gouging weeds from between the crazy paving with a kitchen knife .
The other is more mechanically minded and spent the first week power-cleaning all the rugs in the house , having draped them over the pergola . By week two he'd run out of rugs and his dog looked as though it would cry if taken for another walk . This week he'd found a new pastime . He's acquired a blowtorch attachment for a large domestic gas canister and has been blasting the weeds between the paving stones up his side of the street .
My new hobby ? Well , let's call it people-watching .