Welcome to my tales of cookery school, food and travel

The first 30+ posts of this blog describe my experiences as I complete a nine month cooking course - the City and Guilds Diploma in Food Preparation and Culinary Art. I did this after I moved out of full time employment and it was purely selfish - I love food, cooking, eating and drinking. Subsequent posts are about, food, travel and adventures.

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Retirement Files:1

 
But what will you do? Many are bewildered as to why we, relatively fit and healthy 61 and 63 year olds, have sold up our 20 acre vineyard in lovely Marlborough and moved back to windy Wellington.
 
“What ever we feel like” we reply.  
 
Nine years of working on the vineyard was our first retirement. God knows why people call small vineyards lifestyle blocks.  They must consider constant chores and hard labour a desirable lifestyle.  Exaggeration, but it’s a tie that binds.  From mid September to late April there is always work to do. True, you can arrange your work to fit around the things you want to do, but like Damocles’  sword, it is always hanging over you.
 
The first challenge is downsizing from a house with lots of storage, a decent wine cellar (aka space under the stairs), a large double garage, a three bay shed and my girl cave (garden shed) to a three bedroom apartment with two car parks and two storage lockers.  
   
Bye bye house and vineyard
The hunter-gatherer has two motorbikes and the accompanying paraphernalia , and of course, far too much fishing stuff.  He’s had to rent a garage.
 
Despite what I thought was ruthless  sorting and chucking out while packing to move, it’s surprising how many things become less essential when you can’t find anywhere to put them. I’m on intimate terms with all the charity shops in both Blenheim and Wellington.  Both the h-g and I have become quite unsentimental about family ‘heirlooms’ and old photos. Of course digitising photos makes it easier to throw out hard copy albums. I must do that soon! 
 
So here we are. City dwellers again.
 
Hello city apartment
Month one has been dominated by organising tradies and delivery companies. And repair people. Exactly ten days after the new Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawer was installed it has turned up its toes. The h-g tried to unload it yesterday morning and couldn’t open the drawer. Locked tight.  No lights flashing - indeed, no lights. The F&P mechanic arrived this morning (a small miracle getting one to turn up within 24 hours) declaring it a 10 minute job.  Two hours later threw up his hands and said he was recommending a replacement. Glory be. I wonder how long we’ll wait.  Six people for dinner tomorrow night and I suspect the h-g will be up to his elbows in suds at night’s end.
 
Yesterday, on a splendid Wellington day, we took the mighty 4 wheel drive around the wilds of the South Coast to go visiting. 
Coming over Devil’s Gate on the Wellington South Coast
 Laurie and Isabel have lived there for about 40 years, and while the access is, in parts, not for the faint hearted, there is no better view in the world. Stunning is not overstating it. 
 
How perfect is that?
Aside from entertaining tradies, we’ve been to a comedy show, out for several dinners, socialised  with neighbours in the apartment building, watched two lots of spectacular fireworks (Diwali and Guy Fawkes), and I continued Russian classes (now finished). I started to learn Mah Jong - God knows why I didn’t learn when I lived in Hong Kong for three years; found my old massage therapist; am trialling a yoga studio - though no-one is as good as Trudy; found an exercise class I actually look forward to - it reminds me of late 80s aerobics; have connected with friends not seen for a while and know all the baristas at the downstairs coffee shop by name.
We’ve got plenty to do so far.