Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #73.

What’s top of my mind:
Good friends are wonderful.

Long-time readers of my personal blog will know that when I went to the UK and Europe in 2015, my excellent friend Scott, who used to work with me until he and his husband upped stakes and moved to England, travelled around with me for much of the time and planned my itinerary for me for the whole 9 weeks.

It was the BEST holiday I’e ever had. Well… Antarctica??? No, it’s unfair to compare the pair. they were both so different.

Anyway, now that I’ll be back in the Uk for 37 days in September/October this year, we’ve arranged to spend the last week together, touring around Essex and looking at all THE HISTORY. (I love how I wrote “we’ve” arranged. Scott is the organised one.) We left it to the end because he was booked on a Rhine River cruise when I was due to arrive.

Anyway, last night, just as I was about to close the laptop after a frustrating stint of Spider Solitaire and go to sleep, I receive a message from Scott, asking if I’ve organised any activities with Corinna from Antarctica during the weekdays I’m in London.

No, I replied. We’re going to Windsor Castle on the Saturday so I can stand on Henry VIII’s grave, and I think we’re seeing an interactive art show on the Sunday night, but that’s all we’ve booked in.

Then I get this message:

I scrambled out of bed and grabbed my itinerary, because I had an awful feeling that I was arriving in London on the day after. But NO! Because we in Australia are living in the future, by jumping on a plane on my birthday and travelling to London, I get to have TWO birthdays.

I was so excited. In fact, I still am. We’re going to have a sumptuous lunch and do a sightseeing activity (unknown as yet. Gee, if only I knew an organised person who knows the sorts of things I like to do and see…haha!)

While I was messaging Scott on the laptop being all excited, I was frantically scrolling through Whatsapp on my phone to find my conversation with Corinna, because I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that I might have told her I was arriving on the day after I actually am.

As it turned out, yes, I did. WHAT an idiot I am. I hastily messaged her. She’s coming back from Italy either the day before I arrive or the day of. So I might not get to see her in the morning when I land, but that’s ok. Scott suggested I stash my bag in a luggage thingy at the station before we head off for the day.

I was having a bit of a ‘down’ day yesterday, which is unlike me. But this perked me up big time! Good friends are the best thing on earth.

Where I’ve been: to the throat specialist.

I’ve had a chronic cough for the last 7 or 8 years. Just before my trip to North Korea in 2018 I went to the best throat specialist in the state and he sent me off to a speech pathologist who gave me some exercises to try and de-sensitise the nerve in my throat that is giving me grief. They didn’t work.

So I’ve been soldiering on since then, coughing hundreds of times each day, sipping water (drops of peppermint oil in it when I’m having a bad day) and chewing gum. When one of the assistant principals at work heard me coughing and came rushing around the desks to see who was choking, I decided I had to go back and see if there was anything else that could be done.

Turns out there is. Yesterday I was given pills to disrupt the nerve that is sending the cough signals to my brain all the time. I have to wean myself on them, but hopefully by the time I go on my trip, my cough should be pretty much under control.

Where I’m going: To Mornington to pick up the title to my house.

I paid for The Best House in Melbourne years ago, but I left the title at the conveyancer. Lazy, I know. I’d put “Get the title” at the back of my mind until someone at work said that they couldn’t find the title to their house when they wanted to sell it and it cost them 1K to get a replacement.


Suddenly it sped to the top of my ‘to do’ list.

What I’m reading: The Far Land – Presser.

This sounds really interesting. It’s all about what happened during the mutiny on the Bounty and then how the mutineers lived on Pitcairn Island. It’s non-fiction but written like a story, so it’s easy to get into.

I was seized with a desire to go to Pitcairn Island but when I read that you have to be there for months before the next ship comes by, I decided I could live without seeing it.

What I’m watching: Poppy, Jeff and Scout sleeping on the couch.

It’s freezing, so I turned on the split system and the dogs are happily snoozing away. Jeff has positioned himself directly under where the warm air comes out. I always say that he’s as dumb as a box of bricks, but maybe I’ve misjudged him…?

What I’m listening to: Mum’s Boppin’ Bangers.

After living in silence for a week and a half during the holidays, I’ve reached the stage of wanting to hear noise during the day again. Spotify is such a nice little luxury!

What I’m eating: a roast dinner.

David29 and Izzy are coming over tonight for dinner, so they can have a look at the photobook I ordered from Snapfish of their wedding. Izzy is lactose-intolerant and a roast is the easiest way to feed them a hearty meal without making her feel queasy.

What I’m planning: to hire a house painter.


I’ve done the first coat of paint in my ensuite and I HATED doing it. I was utterly miserable and since then I haven’t been able to bring myself to lift a brush or roller.

The woman across the road gave me the number of the painter she used and was very happy with, so I’ve given him a call and he’ll pop around to give me a quote.

If his prices are reasonable, I might even bite the bullet and get him to do the whole house. The paint job that the previous owners did to sell the house is WELL past its use-by date.

I felt really guilty about deciding to spend the money on a painter. After all, painting isn’t hard. But the last time I painted was over 20 years ago in the old house. I guess time has moved on…

Who needs a good slap: ME.

For not looking at my itinerary correctly the first time. Again – WHAT an idiot!

What has made me smile: Seeing my sister’s Airbnb apartment.

For months, my sister and brother-in-law have been changing the second floor of their beautiful house into a self-contained apartment that they plan to rent out to holiday-makers. Kate has put so much work into this project and it’s looking amazing. Only a few more finishing touches to do and then it’ll be open for business!

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Amy

    Did you decide to start the 100 day challenge of wearing the Wool& dress? I find it intriguing!

  2. Onevikinggirl

    Loosing track of days and dates is common for retirees! Btw, there are quite a few graves I’d travel far to stand on too. Currently Bernard of Clairvaux. What’s your beef with fat Henry?

    • FrogdancerJones

      I love him and I hate him. Such an interesting reign but so awful for his wives. Christina of Denmark apparently said, when he was looking for a wife after Jane Seymour died, “If I had two heads, I would happily put one at the disposal of the King of England”.

      • Onevikinggirl

        You couldn’t possibly know but my master in history is entirely dedicated to her and having spent years reading her remaining letters I can confidently say that she most certainly did not say that. But it is a good gag.

  3. Katie from Q

    Peter Corris wrote a fantastic book ‘The Journal of Fletcher Christian’ which I think you’d like. I must look up the one you’re reading. Have you been to a Norfolk Island? Lots of history there and a lot easier than Pitcairn!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Yes, Norfolk is definitely an option. Pitcairn is NOT.

      • Katie from Q

        Norfolk Island is beautiful. We lived there for nearly two years in the early nineties and have been back a few times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *