Today has been a good day. My pension forecast has finally arrived and the process of sorting out my retirement has begun. All the paperwork has been completed, all be it with quite a few question asked of Rosie the finance department at work and this precious document has been scanned and emailed. My resignation has been submitted, my final holiday entitlement calculated with HR, booked in and accepted. I’ve even drafted my final goodbye email to the staff – including all those not quite true niceties such as, nice to have worked with you, I’ll be thinking of you, don’t hesitate to call me, etc., etc.
Yes, a very good day indeed and I’m more than a little excited at the prospect of starting my retirement on the 31st of May. At least that’s my official final work day, with holiday entitlement and a day of flexi-hours to take, I’ll actually be stopping work on Thursday 20th May at 4.30 pm precisely. And not a Nano-second later.
To be honest, I still cannot quite believe I’m going to retire at the grand young age of 59.5 years. Only six months ago, I was under the impression that I’d be working to 65 or even 67, before I’d be able to retire. So, it just goes to show, do your sums early, calculate your income and outgoings and you might be pleasantly surprised. Yes, I’m not going to have a lot of spare cash to play with, at least until the state pension kicks in at 67, but we do have a pot of savings to fall back on if need be. Anyway, that’s all my excitement shared for now, back to turfing. This is a page about turfing after all.
A quiet stroll in the woods was the order of turfing this fine evening, and the grounds of Dalhousie Castle was my chosen destination, about 15 minutes’ walk from the house. My target this evening was just a half dozen zones, there are others near by but I already held them and I just cannot seem to get into the mode of revisits unless I’m actually passing by close to the zones.
First zone was Dalhousie, located on the approach to Dalhousie Castle Hotel and opposite the bird of prey centre. Then it was along the River South Esk for WitchesHouse, a folly in the grounds of the castle. This was one of my own suggestions and the zone name came about when I heard some local children asking their parents if they can go to the witch’s house. Next stop, zone MillHolm, located further upstream. I’m fairly certain MillHolm was a working mill at some time in the past as there is evidence of a possible mill lade connecting to the River South Esk further upstream just above the old ford. However, there is no sign of the usual weir that would raise the water level high enough to enter the mill lade and feed to waterwheel at the mill. Some further research required. A short walk further upstream gave me zone SouthEskAside, located beside a field of very curious young bullocks who came across to see what was going on. Not sure they understood when I told them I was turfing?
I then retraced my steps but instead of following the river back downstream, I turned left up Castle Dean Wood following the course of the Dean Burn for my next take of the evening, zone DeanWoodPath, situated on an old bridge located on one of the paths that wend their way around the castle grounds. My final take of the evening was DeanWoodTurn, on the path that returns back to the castle. It was nice to do some turfing at a gentler pace, on foot rather than cycling, and having the time to see what was going on around me. The blue bells and wild garlic are beginning to flower and this wooded area is well worth a visit when they are in full bloom.
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