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Misty morning on the Peak. Stop-over on the way to Sydney

Hi, my name’s Tony Rand and I’m the publisher of agewhatage.com.

I retired (temporarily) a couple of years ago and I started the website as a blog about our experiences of retirement in the 21st century.

I moved to Suffolk with Karen, my wife of 47 years, to be closer to other members of the family.  We have a married daughter, Hannah, with two small children living about half an hour away in a north Essex village, and our son, Edward, lives with his family in West London.

These are not the easiest of times for anyone, with incomes and wages under pressure and the price of all everyday necessaries including food going up far faster than official figures would suggest.

Over the last two or years we have coped with many of the challenges of retirement,  We sold our family home of 30 years, which was far too big for the two of us, and moved into rented accommodation while we worked out where we wanted to live.  Also, we may feel quite happy to have a medium sized garden to look after now, but will we still feel the same in 5 years’ time?

Moving to a new area means building up a new social network.  You can’t expect people to come knocking at the door so you have to reach out and contribute to the local community and get involved in local activities.

Retirement provides plenty of time to pursue activities. Last year I joined the local bee keepers’ association, and expect to have at least three productive hives by the end of the year.  Our first colony is doing well, and we have every expectation of surplus honey to sell by the summer.

Bees keep themselves to themselves during the winter months because they don’t want to waste energy flying around when the weather is cold. Even so, a few have popped out to have a look around on milder days. I have now been elected trustee of our county association and will be helping out in the divisional apiary come spring.

Also for the past year I have been attending regular practices with local bell ringing groups.  Full circle bell ringing dates back to the time of Charles 1 and the early 17th century. Our eight bells weigh up to a ton apiece, and the oldest was cast around 1405. So we get to ring a bell that announced the victory at Agincourt in 1415.

Bell ringing requires a unique blend of physical skill and mental dexterity. Done properly, it requires little effort.  The ultimate is to ring a full peal, taking something over 3 hours of non-stop ringing. A challenge, but one for a future year!

Bell ringing is experiencing something of a renaissance, but many towers are still silent for want of ringers. It is an excellent activity for retired people, and offers plenty of opportunities for social interaction as well as low-impact exercise for mind and body.

Life in the countryside almost dictates that you have to grow your own vegetables. Thanks to a local allotment plot I started the year we moved, we are now almost self-sufficient in vegetables, and this year we shall have an abundance of soft fruit as well. Gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries and even boysen berries will follow in quick succession, not to mention rhubarb. Growing your own food is intensely satisfying, and it is reassuring to know how it was grown and with what additives.

Retirement is no longer a simple matter.  Many people will continue to work after normal retirement age, and pensions, investments become ever more complex. So agewhatage started as a personal blog, but quickly grew to report and comment on the many aspects of retirement.

Like many people who have formally retired I am working on new business projects and opportunities. Over a working life you build up a huge amount of experince and knowledge. That shouldn’t go to waste, and the entrepreneurial instinct doesn’t go away!

We hope you find your visit to our site worthwhile, and please feel free to post your views on any of our posts and articles.