Location Location Location

Flaxen posted a little conundrum in the comments to my last brainfart –

Here is the conundrum, Granddad. I’m seriously thinking of retiring at the grand age of 62. This means I have the next 14 months to fulfill my tenure. My poor father died just three months before retirement- very sad. I would like a few years free of work’s absurdity and contemplate my navel, in my own free time. I’m thinking of moving to New Zealand’s South Island. Somewhere sleepy and quiet which suits my contemplative nature; nothing too busy or totally serene. In this regard I might have a problem. Regardless of where we hunker-down it will have to be within an hours drive of a major hospital due to my wife’s medical problems. Anyway, after working very hard for most of my life, I deserve a little time in the sun, until oblivion intervenes.

I had much the same conundrum myself.

There were two main reasons for considering a move. 

The first was money.  The Manor is worth a lot for various reasons, but of course it may have a value but it is worthless to us.  Offering a payment in the form of a square yard or two of land doesn’t work.  By moving we could buy a place a lot cheaper and with the difference we would have money to burn.

The second was that this place has a strange layout and is rather old.  The age means constant repairs and the layout is tricky in the event that one [or both] of us requires some form of wheeled assistance to get from room to room.

We considered two destinations – France and the south of Ireland, maybe in West Cork.

France was an attractive proposition.  It had beautiful scenery [in the area that we used to frequent], we could afford it easily and best of all they have long warm summers, which as Flaxen points out is something we deserve.  However there were two disadvantages to France.  One was the language.  I know we could get by with our current smattering and doubtless our skills would improve, but I don’t think we would ever get to the stage of casual conversation and banter.  The second was isolation.  If something happened to one or the other of us, the “survivor” would be totally isolated in a foreign land, hundreds of miles from where we consider “home”.

The West Cork option was different.  They speak much the same language, and property there is considerably cheaper than here.  We had a bit of a health scare a couple of years ago, so like Flaxen we want to be near[ish] to a hospital and it would be handy to be able to walk easily to a shop on tired old bones.  The area around Schull has all those qualities and none of the French disadvantages.  We could afford a small place that Herself could get around, that would require a lot less maintenance and we’d have tons of cash in the bank, though we wouldn’t gain the sunshine.

We decided to stay put, for the time being at least.

There are two huge reasons for staying.  One is the sentimental thing – I built most of this gaff [the bit that doesn’t need constant repairs] with my own fair hands so I literally know every brick and block in the place.  The second is that this really is “home”.  I can’t go down to the village without lengthy chats in every shop, and my visits have become much longer since I rejoined the library [Herself thinks I fancy the librarian but in fact it’s the other way around, naturally].  Our friends and family are close at hand and we are just part of the scenery.

The second reason is probably more important.  Moving house is a massive undertaking, what with people traipsing around the place making sarcastic remarks, having to deal with solicitors and banks, waiting for phone calls that never come and ultimately shifting all our stuff across country.  We have moved house two or three times, and each move knocked years off our lifespan [it’s a wonder Public Health haven’t copped that one?].

So it looks like we are here for the long haul.

At least until we run out of money or health.

Waiting to retire

I’m getting too old for this retirement lark.

They say retirement is all about taking cruises [not something that appeals, to be honest], joining the local bowls club [it’s miles away and doesn’t appeal either] or generally having a relaxing and carefree time.

I wish.

Things have been quite busy for the last few days. 

Apart from one or two family crises and a couple of other completely unexpected events which involved a lot of driving, I had decided to redesign a website.  The old design really pissed me off but I had been procrastinating for the best part of a year, so a couple of days ago I decided enough was enough, rolled up my sleeves and got typing.

I’m still not completely sure about the new design, but take it from me – it’s a thousand times better than the old one.  It’s still far from finished but I put it live last night.

This morning I got up to find an email from a friend to say his website was down.

Now his website is nothing to do with mine.  It’s on a completely different server so there could be no connection between his site and the new one I had tweaked?  The two were on different servers so one couldn’t possibly affect the other?  To make things even more confusing I could see his site perfectly but he couldn’t.

I actually found the problem and to put it mildly, it was really fucking weird.  I won’t go into the details.  I’m not being patronising with the assumption that you wouldn’t understand; it’s more a case of I don’t really understand.  For the technically minded – I had to add a couple of A records to a DNS server.  Simple?  No.  I’m confused too.  It shouldn’t have made any difference, but it did.

Anyways, all sites seem to be running smoothly and the new one is up and running.  All I have to do now is add about fifty pages.

Here it is.

And regarding the image at the top – yes I would!

Smoking Drunks and Couch Potatoes

They are fond of doing surveys here in Ireland to discover how “healthy” we all are.

They did one a while ago and for some reason that eludes me, they called it Wave 1.  Now they have produced another report which is called – you’ll never guess – Wave 2.

Presumably the idea is to discover whether we are behaving ourselves and improving our lifestyles in accordance with the diktat of Public Health?  Apparently things aren’t going too well?

While 90% of respondents know that alcohol is a risk factor for liver disease, only 27% of women are aware of the increased risk of developing breast cancer as a result of heavy drinking”  Fuck me but they’re obsessed with risk! Is that all they ever think about?  It’s no wonder they’re a miserable shower of cunts.

Obesity levelling out but 60% of people still overweight.”  Overweight by whose standards?  And if “obesity” is levelling out then there is no need to worry about taxes on suger?  Yeah!  Right!

84% of people living in Ireland say their health is very good or good although 28% indicate that they have a long-standing illness or health condition“.  In other words, 12% have a long standing condition but are healthy.  Either the questioning was flawed or some people just aren’t obsessed with their health.

37% of drinkers indicate that they drink six or more standard drinks (“binge drinking”) on a typical drinking occasion“.  There are two ways to alleviate this non-problem.  Firstly, stop using the term “binge drinking” – it’s a term concocted by Public Health to try to put us on a guilt trip.  Secondly stop using this arbitrary limit on the amount we “should” drink.  It’s a load of bollox.

I notice in Wave 1 they say that “fewer than 1 in 5 people now smoke“.  So I would assume a figure of 19%?  However in Wave 2 they say that “23% of the population are current smokers“.  Woops?  That’s a bit of a jump up the ladder, isn’t it?  [*snigger*]

While 19% of people living in Ireland smoke on a daily basis, recruitment of new smokers continues at a high rate with 20% of those aged under 25 currently smoking“.  Hold on now….  they just said 23% are current smokers and now they’re saying 19%?  Or do they mean that the 23% smoke currents [or raisins or even sultanas]?  I’m getting confused.  As for the yoof sparking up, well that’s what they get for making smoking an act of rebellion.

18% of the population in Ireland is exposed to second-hand smoke on a daily basis”  Er… “exposed”?  What precisely does that mean?  They walked past someone in the street who was smoking?  And what does it matter anyway as it’s completely harmless.  I might as well say I was “exposed” to a lorry or a tree recently.

17% did not use any form of contraception outside of a steady relationship”  So fucking what? 

Almost half the population is in a social club or organisation“.  What the fuck?  I’m a member of a Credit Union.  Does that count?

Approximately half of the people living in Ireland have had some experience of people with mental health issues”  Only half?  Surely nearly everyone has seen them on television, if not in the flesh? 

They’re called politicians.