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Monday 4 July 2022

June in Review: Bikes, Birthdays and Jubilees

 Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon with her mother, 90 year old June, in Plymouth

Dear friends. I won't forget June 2022! It's the month I finally retired from work. Plus we had two days of public holidays for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee;  the hubster completed the arduous Land's End to John O'Groats cycle ride, and my mother was 90.

I Became a Lady of Leisure

My last day at work was June 10, and my lanyard and PC were handed in at Cambridge for the last time on June 14. I wrote the inevitable LinkedIn post and created a blog post about the amusing experiences I had while working at a BBC local radio station, and in particular how I was one of the first female soccer commentators. I also wrote a post on how I plan to spend my time. 

It's still quite a novelty, and every weekday morning when I wake up, I think "Oooh, I don't have to go to work today."

I was intending to do a couple of Meetups in June but there was a public transport strike so the two I'd booked got rescheduled. 

As for the title "Retired," well, I'm quite conflicted.  To me, saying you're retired implies someone much older. The word "retired" on Google gives mostly pension information. I'm hoping to create content to show how today's retirees are active, fit and full of vigour and interest in life. We're not  doddery in elasticated waists and cooing over babies.

Mum Reached a Milestone

My mum June reached 90! I went down to Devon for a few days for some family celebrations. The hubster was unfortunately not able to join, he'd booked a cycling holiday more than a year ago and we hadn't realised the significance of the date.

Top:  Mum with me, and above, with my brother. We had a lovely lunch of reminiscences on Plymouth Barbican, just the three of us. We also had a big lunch with her grandchildren and my brother's wife too. 

Mum is very active for her age; she gets a bus to do her shopping, meets up with friends and still keeps her large garden looking good, with a bit of help. She doesn't particularly like being old. But she is lucky in that she was in good physical shape until about the age of 85. Now she gets breathless and cannot walk very far  (terrible bunions are partially the cause). She also hates having wrinkles and feels that she has more than peers such as the Queen and actor Dame Sheila Hancock.

You might think well surely at 90 you should expect some wrinkles. But it's interesting to me to see that you don't change as you age: you still want to look good for your age, you don't necessarily "give up."

Back to the 1990s

I'd been hoping that I would receive in time for my trip a digital conversion of a VHS tape which I was reunited with recently.  It dates from New Year's Eve 1990.  It was waiting for me when I got back. It was wonderful to see my grandmother and dad again. My grandmother died the following year, and my dad in 2004.  The video also features my first husband (who was doing the filming) and my brother's first wife. 

Land's End to John O'Groats

Husband of Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon on the Lands End to John O Groats cycle ride

John did this gruelling cycling challenge for the second year running.  He trained for several months in the run-up to it, including using an indoor trainer during the winter  (similar to Peloton but with your own bike). He's now got this particular route out of his system and next year is going to Portugal.

While he was away it was our 12th wedding anniversary and we celebrated it belatedly. Read my post of our visit to Dinner by Heston.

He took two GoPro cameras, so that he could film from the front and back of the bike, and put together some cool little videos. Watch the last day and some highlights here

Colour Analysis Re-Rate

I wrote here about how I had another colour analysis, which confirmed the first assessment, back in the early 1980s,  that I have warm colouring and am a Spring. For some reason I'd got confused over the years and had been gravitating towards cool colours.  

Fortunately some of my wardrobe is "crossover," so colours like Chinese Blue are suitable for spring and winter, and the universal colours such as True Red suit me very well.  So I'm able to make small adjustments to my wardrobe, and I've bought a small number of items in my new colours. Orange is one of my new colours, but I don't think you'll be seeing me in that anytime soon. I tried something in Apricot, which I thought might work, but to my mind it didn't! 


Carried on with the Epping Forest walks and John came with me on a few because he's currently not training for anything, having done the cycling holiday.  Above: a good clear day, showing the two reservoirs. 

I've also got into a good routine now of doing Pilates at the gym - I did three sessions last week.  I really enjoy it now, more than yoga. Plus I've been doing the occasional home workout with weights. Need to do more of those! 

Platinum Jubilee

Celebrating the Queens Platinum Jubilee in red white and blue:  Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon

Or as it became known on social media, "Platty Joobs." There was a two day bank holiday and lots of street parties  (sadly not in my road), plus the televised concert and pageant. It was a jolly occasion, just what the country needed after Covid and all the government debacles. I am not an ardent monarchist but I think the royal family is a good tourist attraction, and on the whole, an asset to the country  (with the exception of a few of them individually!).   

I think that when the Queen has gone, it really will be the end of an era, and the Commonwealth won't survive very long. I dread the occasion of her death because she always been the backdrop to our lives.

Sharing this post with: #SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Rena at Fine Whatever,, Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Link Up Pot Pourri at My Bijou LifeTraffic Jam Weekend at Marsha in the Middle


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