Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New year, new start ...

This is a very strange new year for me. I retired from work on December 27 and now no-one has any demands on my time, except me.
It hasn't really sunk in yet, of course, and I'm not sure how long it will take. At the moment it just feels as if I'm on holiday, as I generally would be during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
My last days at work were a little surreal. There were few people in at Christmas week, I had a major contract to try to get over the line and First Capital Connect was in panic mode (introducing an emergency timetable because a storm was predicted on the night of 23 Dec). Why they had to introduce the timetable 12 hours before the storm was due was anyone's guess.
It meant that on Monday, I had a long, crowded commute and coming home that night was a two-hour journey because we were diverted onto the Hertford line. Next morning, trains were all over the place and we were back on the Hertford loop because of flooding in a tunnel at Potter's Bar. Oddly, Richard Nash's train went through the tunnel without a problem. Anyway, I'm not going to moan about First Capital Connect any more.
I have applied for my Senior Citizen's Railcard, so I'll be paying £20 for a one-day travelcard when I go to London in future.
On Monday, I met Max and Inna for breakfast at Victoria Station because they were going to carry some glasses back to Thorney for me. People at work had bought eight crystal glasses - four white wine and four red wine - but they were quite bulky and fragile, so I didn't really want to carry them on Tube and train.
Those of us in the office then went to the Queen's Arms for lunch, which has been a regular dining place in the past three or four years. They do a really good sticky toffee pudding (one of the best), so Davina and I has STP and a bowl of chips.
On Tuesday, I managed to get the last legal documents out for this contract. It still hadn't been signed, which was a shame, but all the documentation was done (and agreed) at our end. I also managed to complete my expenses for the past three months and get those submitted. We then went to the Willow Walk across the road for lunch. It's a Wetherspoon's pub and they do a Christmas dinner for around a fiver, so that's what we had.
Everyone left after lunch, but I had a few things to sort out, so I went back to the office alone to pack up. It was a weird feeling. I'd given Davina my phone and Howden pass, switched off my PC and left it docked; and I took an envelope down so I could let myself out and leave my pass with reception  in the envelope addressed to Davina. Before I left, I took a 'selfie' just me and an empty office.

And that was that.
Farewell to work - a selfie as I leave the office for the last time.