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On becoming a pensioner

Today I am 60 years old, and proud of it. It's a pleasingly round number, I'm lucky enough still to have my own teeth, robust good health and at least most of my faculties. And my whole family and four of my closest friends are joining me for a celebration lunch at the Sheriffmuir Inn, my favourite watering-hole near the site of the battle. It's a pub I've been walking to with dogs for over ten years, and we'll walk both ways today.

I don't, however, feel a day older and am getting fed up with the way officialdom has started to talk to me as if all pensioners are doddering, pathetic or faintly imbecile. TransportScotland tells you its bus pass is for "older and disabled people": older than whom? And don't they mean "or" and not "and"? Various letters have been arriving from schemes into which I paid trivial sums many decades ago (having turned self-employed when I was 30) demanding obscure choices to be made, screeching "you are retiring in X days": wrong, I'm not. Actually I've no intention of retiring now, nor in 5 years' time, nor perhaps at all unless my health breaks down. My father finalised his last book when he was 95 years old, and I'm enormously proud of that.

I really love my job, and as long as people go on using our guidebooks I intend to continue publishing them. I suppose I ought to apply for the bus pass and I shall definitely spend any "pension" windfalls (probably on diving kit or a new digital camera). But please, no more talk of retirement as if it's axiomatic. I'm off to Ireland tomorrow to check out changes to the Wicklow Way, one of several new titles we'll be announcing this year: much more fun than retiring. Rant over!

Comments (1)

Dan:

Many happy returns, have a great day. And glad to hear there are no thoughts of retirement (not that we ever imagined anything else!).

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