The other day, I was complaining how busy I was to somebody and they said “So what do you do all day now that you’re retired?”
Let’s take yesterday, which happens to be a Thursday. I had been late getting to sleep the night before, but I had to be up on time to wake my sister Julie and feed the poultry in the backyard. We needed to be at the Croquet Club on time for the Thursday morning golf croquet game.
The game went off well, but we spent so much time gossiping and exchanging Christmas greetings that we didn’t have time for a second game before we had to leave for a lunch date.
Julie’s old school friend (and fourth cousin) Madeleine was in town and had a small window for lunch while her mother was at the hairdresser. We met at the Green Store cafe in New Town and caught up over a meal. She needed a few extra Christmas lights, so we suggested dropping in to Chickenfeed in Moonah.
That didn’t help much, since we discovered the Chickenfeed store had been closed for flood-related reasons since the torrential downpour on Monday. Fortunately the very similar Reject Shop is just across the road.
After Madeleine had hurried off with her purchases, Julie remembered she wanted to drop off a Christmas card at the Croatian restaurant down the street. We wandered in there to find them busily cleaning up and putting everything away, ready to leave for their Christmas holiday. “Come in, come in!” they said cheerily and we ended up sitting in the darkened restaurant with a glass of champagne while we discussed their holiday plans.
We left with a large plate of cakes that they’d cleared out of the display at closing time. “That will do us for dinner,” I observed, hefting the weight of the platter.
The next detour was in to the St Vincent de Paul shop, so Julie could go through the $1 bargain rack and look around for any knickknacks suitable for last minute Christmas presents.
From there we drove to the feed store to pick up some wheat, and then on to Julie’s property to feed her animals. After I had walked the dog, I sat down for a few minutes to wait for Julie and felt very tired. The five hours sleep I had last night seemed to have been not quite enough to recharge my batteries.
We drove back to my house and I checked my e-mails and Facebook page while we had a cup of coffee. I stuck with the decaffeinated sort, since I was planning to take a nap for a while.
Two hours later I got up feeling a little better. I woke Julie, who had followed my example, and put the kettle on again. There was nothing on television we wanted to see, so I pottered about gathering up the week’s garbage, burning some audio files onto CD, and throwing together a makeshift supper. By then, it was time to switch on to listen to the Nightlife programme on ABC radio.
We listened to the late-night quiz segment, then went outside to feed the poultry in my backyard. After that we got back in the car and drove to Julie’s place to repeat the performance with her animals.
I walked the dog again, then shared an apple with her. The ginger cat wandered in and curled up on his blanket. I raised an eyebrow and said “What have you been doing today?” but there was no answer.
After Julie finished feeding the horse and checking on the new batch of ducklings, we went back to my house. I made a cup of tea, then set the computer to record this week’s episode of Those Were The Days for me overnight.
I looked at my watch and found it was very late again. What had I been doing all day? Blessed if I know.