As alluded to in my last missive Hot Under The Collar, in a few short weeks I’ll be moving from my late parents home into a Wakefield flat.

After thirty three years the familial castle, four to six weeks away from sale completion, will soon have the Strachan coat of arms flag metaphorically lowered….. Its removal from the pole signalling the denouement of an era for the whole clan. Not to mention a new dawn for the eldest remaining family member (yours truly).

The Strachan coat of arms motto bordering the motif, ‘Non timeo sed caveo‘ (translating as ‘I fear not, but I am cautious”), succinctly summing up my feelings about the new path upon which I’m about to embark.

To clarify, yours truly’s not apprehensive or fearful, just bearing thoughts of a person odysseying into the unknown. After all, I’ve never lived in a flat, not rented a property for 35 years and I’ve only a cursory knowledge of the area which’ll become my autumn/winter abode.

I’m sure things will work out fine, and if truth be told I’m looking forward to having my own property, even if it’s not owned by me. It’s fair to say the role of tenant isn’t how I foresaw early retirement panning out. That being said, GJ Strachan’s dabble into city centre living, although a spontaneous judgement taken on a whim, appeals to his horizon broadening persona.

With my six months tenancy (with an option to extend) predominantly covering fall and winter months, despite being a keen gardener, the lack of a residential garden shouldn’t be too difficult to tolerate….. Anyhow, it’ll give me respite from looking at moribund leaves on garden shrubs whose demise not only depressingly signal wintertide is imminent, but bear too much of a haggard likeness to Gail Platt (from Corrie) for my liking.

The rental property I’m hoping to move into in a fortnight sits close to the city centre. A base within close proximity to scenic outdoor sites such as Pugneys and Newmillerdam Country Parks; along with nearby culture at The Hepworth art museum, Sandal Castle’s ruins and the usual recreational/retail outlets and franchises served up in hubs of most UK metropolises.

Strolls around the country parks allowing time for quiet reflection; instilling a calmness of spirit absent from large swathes of my adulthood. The park’s lake water providing a different type of reflection; that of the individual on the waters edge’s face. A mirror image distorted by eddying waves, unless your visage is already distorted; in which case the reflection will afford you facial symmetry….. Errrrr, maybe.

Anyhow, undertaking a work role which didn’t play to my strengths, but I stuck with because I’d a family of four to support saw me enter retirement cognitively scarred from prolonged emotional disenchantment.

Irk which I’m now able to placate with unhurried and reflective rambles, either with friends or in solitude. The catharsis bequeathed to yours truly during these meanders similar whether with or bereft of consort…… Which is (hopefully) a more articulate way of saying I don’t mind tarrying these sights in solitude if necessary.

Witnessing the sight of ducks and other birdlife from a waterside pew bringing back memories of bath time as a very young child. An idiosyncratic mum choosing me a real duck as a bath time play buddy, as opposed to the more conventional rubber variety.

This feathered aquatic guest leaving me with minimal tub space and jeopardy of todger being pecked. What water I did have access to was ordinarily tainted by guano…… This hooey is clearly not true; however, I’ve included it as I’m concerned how serious this piece was playing out. Hence the introduction of such fictional whimsy.

Sitting watching the world go back with posterior bench in situ imparts the serenity my tortured soul bore for too much of my 30+ adult years. Although, I’m of a more positive mindset in retirement. As Boris Johnson proved with his resignation after a prolonged and undignified leeching to the prime ministerial role, ‘It’s better late than never’.

I can’t help but feel the two uninspiring runners and riders to replace Johnson (Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak) as PM come under the category ‘It’s better never than late’……. Actually, Truss and Sunak don’t have riders, which is lucky as they’re both slight things; consequently, my previous paragraph should just read runners.

As I’m heavily distracted by my male dog Deano cleaning his genitals with his mouth at my feet, I’m gonna curtail this journal at this juncture and make myself a brew.

Deano’s actions bringing to mind the joke of a pub landlords dog undertaking the same uncouth self-gratification in a tavern’s lounge. An act moving a customer at the bar to tell the barman “Bloody hell, I wish I could do that!“……. The barman responding “Well give him a biscuit and he might let you!

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