Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #3.

What’s top of my mind
: Looking at the stock market dipping.

It’s interesting. This is the first time I’ve been a retiree watching my portfolio values dip. All other times I’ve been in the accumulation phase of investing, where a sharemarket dive is a cue to buy more shares on sale, if you had some money set aside to take advantage of it.

Now I’m at the stage of pulling money from my investments to live from, it’s more a rolling of the eyes and a “Really? Another down day? Where’s the fun in that?” I’m still too young to draw from my superannuation – and I don’t intend to do that until I’m 60 when it’ll be tax-free anyway – so I’m very glad that if the dip we’re seeing now continues, I have a few years’ worth of expenses stashed away for just this eventuality.

I worked too hard to earn the money for those shares – I’d hate to simply give them away for a low, bargain price! I’ll push them to one side and let them burble away, doing their thing in the market, and be all’ Che será, será ‘ about it all.

Where I’ve been: Officeworks.

I haven’t been to Officeworks for years, but Ryan27 needed to pick up a few things before he starts work in a week or so. I’ve often said that teachers don’t choose our profession because we like the kids… oh dear me no! We get into it for the stationery.

All of those pure, pristine, empty notebooks full of possibilities.

The pens, just waiting to fill those pages with words.

The sticky note packages. The uniball pens, so crisp and clean.

This is a shop that can cause major damage to my credit card if I don’t watch out. Seventeen dollars later, I left. Considering all that was in there, waiting to be bought, I escaped pretty lightly!

Where I’m going: A Wedding Venue.

Later today I’ll be driving to Burwood to meet up with Izzy, Izzy’s Mum and David28 to have a look at the venue they’re pretty sure they’ll book for their wedding next year. A few weeks ago I asked Izzy if I could be included in some of the girly wedding plans, because I’m never going to get to do this with a daughter of my own! I’m glad she thought to ask if I wanted to come.

What I’m watching: Station Eleven.

A couple of years ago a friend from work gave me a novel called Station Eleven, about what happens after a virus kills off 99% of the world’s population. Yeah, crazy… who could ever believe that something like that could happen, ammiright???

It was the author’s debut novel, and it was so well written that it has kept a place on my bookshelves. So far I’m only a couple of episodes into the tv series, but they seem to be doing a great job in re-telling the story.

What I’m reading: Warlight

This was also given to me by my friend. It’s been sitting by my bed for t least 2 years. I’m really enjoying it. The writing is excellent – great attention to detail. For example, a name dropped in casual conversation at the beginning of the novel turns out to be a person of great significance later on. When this person came onto the scene, I thought, ‘Hang on. I’m sure someone said this name a while ago.’ I had to go searching back to find it, if only to prove to myself that I wasn’t imagining it! I’m up to the last section now – today I go to the library to pick up a couple of books on hold that I’ve been waiting for.

What I’m listening to: Nothing.

That’s right. Absolutely nothing.

After 17 years of working at a school with 200+ teachers and nearly 2,500 students, I’m basking in silence. Sometimes I’ll put on music or listen to an audiobook or podcast, but usually I’m living to the sounds of birdsong, dogs’ claws clicking on the hardwood floors and the distant sound of traffic.

Schools are very noisy places. I had no idea that, a year later, I’d still be enjoying the subtle sounds of peace and quiet.

What I’m eating: Carrot Cake.

We had quite a few carrots that were starting to look sad, so to use them up I made my very first carrot cake. OMG, so very good! What have I been waiting for all those years? I just googled ‘Thermomix carrot cake’ and I picked the one with walnuts because that sounded good.

Ryan27 will be taking lots of slices of this when he starts work next week. 🙂

Who needs a good slap:

My next-door neighbour. He plays JJJ Radio very loudly most days. That in itself isn’t too bad – it’s not thrash metal, after all. But he started forgetting that it was on outside and I’d go to bed and hear it playing.

I cracked it a couple of nights ago and sent a text to him at 10 PM… “Hey Dave, you’ve left the radio on outside. :)”

A couple of minutes later my phone bleeps ; “Thanks.” Music was turned off. Hopefully that’ll be an end to it. Otherwise there’ll be more slappery ahead!

What I’m planning: My Little Adventure for January.

I’m rapidly running out of month! (Hmmm,,, would the wedding venue count??? Guess not. Pity though; I like killing two birds with one stone.)

What has made me smile: the neighbourhood chook.

Some mornings, like today, as I’m sitting here on the couch with the little woofs asleep beside me, I can hear a chook a block or two away, protesting about laying an egg. It always makes me smile and remember when we had chooks, back in the old house. There was always one or two that would complain about having to lay those darned eggs!

Dad joke of the day:

I got into a fight with 1,3,5,7 and 9.

The odds were against me.


  1. Maureen

    Thanks for the Station Eleven idea. I just started watching it. How did you make it so long without home made carrot cake?

    • FrogdancerJones

      Tom30. That’s how. He’s addicted to eating raw carrots. When I told him i’d made this cake, he said, “Sounds like a waste of good carrots.”
      I said, “No, these were sad carrots. They needed to be used up.”
      “He replied, “Those carrots were sad because you didn’t eat them raw!!!”

  2. Maria

    Ooh Station Eleven on telly. Hmmm. I loved the book. Not sure how well it would translate onto the screen…

    Are you ever tempted to keep chickens again, or is it too much hassle?

    • Frogdancer Jones

      When I bought The Best House in Melbourne I had around 24 ‘must haves’ leading down to ‘would be nice to haves’ on my list. This house had all but 2.
      One was being close to work; the other was a block with space for chooks. So clearly, the chooks had to go.
      I liked having them, but at the same time I don’t miss the messy parts of chook ownership. It was nice while it lasted.

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