At the end of June the SKUA project finished and so, too, did the only contribution to my position at Leicester: I was receiving 0.3FTE towards my salary. After June, nothing. There had been several irons in the fire (and a lot of time spent organising and writing proposals) but all came to naught and, around the end of September, the university served notice of redundancy. October was spent negotiating this and the upshot was that I took early retirement.
And it is truly weird. We had already booked a couple of weeks up in the Scottish Highlands at the end of October, so the last two weeks of my employment were spent on holiday and so the date of retirement passed largely unnoticed. I still, two weeks later, feel as if I am on holiday. I guess I am at that … until I drop dead that is.
No idea what I will do in retirement (even typing that is surreal: I am too immature to be retired!). Idea of a PhD in Philosophy disappeared when I discovered that I would have to fund it myself: my meagre pension would not cover that. The current plan is to write and I’m working on, initially, some science fiction stories. It is well known that no-one gets published straight off so what I will do when I receive nowt but rejection letters, I do not know. I do not take rejection well.
I bought a DSLR at last (Nikon D90) with some of the redundancy payout and have also ordered a new computer with the idea to use it to work up some of my photographs for display. That at least is something I can do solely for my own pleasure (whereas writing has to be published IMO).
And, there is always art: I like drawing and would like to learn how to paint but I am not sure I am ready yet to join all the real OAPs at the village hall for watercolours.
First thing to do is to get off my butt and finish at least one story. More on that later…