Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Retirement, scariest word ever

I was going to entitle this 'Find me a man so that I can retire' but on hearing horror stories from my married friends - very comforting when you are sitting on your own with nothing more attractive than the sight of a good dinner - it has put me off.

Not on the list

Old men. Dear God. Just fancy if he was ill, I mean really ill. Even my daughter complains that I am bloody useless at such things and either order her to the doctor or tell her she will be okay. All I have in my medicine drawer is fresh air and sticking plasters.
So nobody who will get ill.
Also nobody who has no money. I am used to good things. I have made it so.
Don't need private medicine.I'm happy with the NHS, so those who might apply take note. I do live near the hospital and am on very good terms with the staff and with my doctor and also the lovely guy who looks after my hearing.  And my teeth. Very good people there. Brilliant.
I did go on a couple of dating sites years ago and carefully filled in all the things i was and wasn't, all the things I liked and disliked and they laughed in my face and said, 'You'd be lucky, Missis,' so I haven't gone back or thought seriously about marriage.
Besides, having done it once and been rather good at it I would hate to damage my record.
Also nobody who shouts at the telly and nobody who doesn't like Eggheads and nobody who doesn't like Coast and nobody who doesn't like Frasier and nobody who plays golf.
Nobody who likes football and nobody who doesn't like tennis and snooker.
I have to have my own newspapers, untouched every day. This includes the I, the Guardian and the Times.
Then he has to like going to nightclubs and dancing and he has to move well on a dance floor.
He also has to like drinking cocktails and lots of wine and going out to restaurants.  No vegetarians.
He must love Shakespeare, live performance, classical concerts, good restaurants and a house in the country so that I can be called Lady Liz and entertain various exciting interesting people to dinner.
But he mustn't hunt. I'm not into killing small animals. It implies lack of brain and that I cannot stand.
He can shoot. I have nothing against dead pheasants as long as it's not one of those ghastly driven pheasant shoots when buggers who can barely hold a gun shoot spaniels and game keepers by accident and wouldn't know a woodcock from on ordinary one. Or something like that.
He can't be short. I don't do less than six feet tall and I don't do stomach over the top of trousers.
I'm sorry. I know I am caught in a time warp here but there you go.
I do like fishermen. I have a real thing about them and dream of living on the Northumberland coast and getting the pan ready on the fire for when he comes home with trout. I did used to have that, the pan ready on the fire and the husband walking across the way about fifty yards to catch the fish. I thought everybody lived like that until he died and then realised that it wasn't so. God love him, he'll have been dead thirty years next summer. No wonder I haven't married again.
He was tall and slender and funny and had exquisite blue eyes like his father. He laughed so much in cinemas that I was always digging him in the ribs. He took sandwiches because he got too hungry to get through without. We went to see a film when a woman was raped and he jumped up out of his seat to murder the bastards. I had to calm him down and tell him it wasn't really happening.
He never came home from a day's hunting without a pheasant. He used to take the dogs up on the fell all day and come back with one pheasant, like a really decent hunter. The local blokes used to call him 'pot man' because he knew that if he caught it I would cook it and we would have a decent bottle of wine between us and talk as happy couples do.
He adored his child.
He loved dancing and he loved wine and he loved good food. We had a beautiful house in the country. No wonder I live in the town. Even now I hear his laughter and when my daughter looks up I can see him in her face and also in her bravery, her determination and her ambition. She is so like him that it warms me.
Now I am snivelling. Stop it you stupid pillock. Things could be worse. So I will go on working and I really like working. I'm lucky that way. Even on a bad day I can get up, watch Frasier, go to the spa and float in warm water, go out to lunch or dinner with friends, have chocolate and wine and cheese for lunch, read until my eyes ache and indulge my current passion for Suits. Suits, you know. The American guys who don't go to court. I have whole afternoons of Suits.
Just got to keep on working.  In my little town house with my lovely garden and my stained glass windows and my gorgeous fireplaces I have a good life. I have to keep reminding myself how very good it is.
And I have a three book contract. So there.

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