I’m a keen walker, living close to the beautiful New Forest in Hampshire and happily married to travel and transport-mad Paul.
I’m currently reading American Studies at Winchester University, researching the Scandinavian emigration and pioneer settlement in the USA. When I’m not doing my structured studies I’m positively approaching the challenges for Baby Boomers in retirement by developing strategies for keeping mentally fit and physically healthy.
My quest for a satisfying and meaningful retirement comes from an education-focused career that encompassed school curriculum enrichment, teacher advisory services and my own experience and learning as a headteacher at two London church schools.
I fired up my own success in the last 13 years of my career as Director of Poshbrains management and development consultancy. As a professional practitioner in the skills and techniques of self-awareness, self-help and self-management I devoted all my time to help improve standards of management in education. This time round, I am using all these skills once again to pursue my quest.
The pages under this section catalogue just a few of the actions and activities I have pursued in retirement. Some were winners and some not so successful. There are no particular surprises. I tried all the usual routes that busy people take to keep themselves well… busy of course! You can explore more of my random journey under the culture, travel, and creative arts sections of this website.
The ‘breakthrough’ projects started to appear when I was able to combine my study interests alongside culture and travel. You can find these under the Rubble Women, Spanish Civil War, Dresden, Bomber Boys and Sweden pages.
Hopefully, the apogee of this approach is getting closer! Find out more in my blog America 18/70.
Managing the Gifts of Retirement
Retirement gives you one of the greatest gifts – Time. But to succeed in retirement, requires work! With all my work energy free and unattached, I wanted Retirement as a Work of Art – a typical Baby Boomer aspiration! But this time there is no organisational chart, no structure and only one defining deadline! This makes it one hell of a Big Dipper.
The first dip came when I began to look for meaning. What was this time all about? There was no horizon, no direction and so far, no threat. It was a privileged yet unfulfilled life. Everything was OK but that was part of the problem – the ‘okayness’ – the nothing but ‘okayness.’ Meaningful retirements require a new force, a new focus, new challenges but how to find them? Retirement un-structures everything. I had to avoid the retirement stupor.
The first peak came when I realised that I could devote time to my first loves of History and Geography – neglected through over work. A chance conversation with our special German friend Torsten Schmidt, led me to seeing Europe as my new research playground. I further realised that because I had been so wrapped up with work and my London life, I had no real understanding of modern History in Europe.
This became a turning point in the quest and with many fits and starts, eventually led to the emergence of the organic Breakthrough projects – which are still works in progress!