Friday, 13 November 2009


Before I get into the topic of this posting, I must firstly thank Ladybird World Mother for kindly giving me an award. Here it is-

It is a rather girly pink (and flowery) but based on the "it's the thought that counts" I am very chuffed to have received it.

I also feel somewhat embarassed as I am very conscious that I have been neglecting my blogging readers over these last few months. I've also noticed that many of the bloggers I've been following since starting this milarkey eighteen months ago have likewise either reduced or, in some cases, actually ceased blogging. In my case there hasn't been a great deal going on that I felt was suitable blogging material. Some things seem too personal and some things have to remain confidential (I'll explain more below). I read my daily newspaper and many of the things I read irritate me and give me a strong desire to blog about them but what bothers me doesn't seem to push the same buttons with many of my readers.

When people meet me for the first time and learn that I'm an "early retiree" one of the first things they ask me is "so, what do you do with all your spare time?". Some people actually ask me every day what I do with all this leisure time. These people are referred to on this blog as "Mrs Troy".

So I thought today I would try and answer this question. Having no work committments I no longer need to get up early for a long commute to work. What does stop me staying in bed in a decadent way is the need to walk Troy Junior to school. So I'm up and dressed by 8.30am, at least during school term time. I then walk down to the village to pick up my Daily Telegraph from the village store. Breakfast is now a hearty meal at about 9.15am (I could never eat heartily at the crack of dawn) whilst I peruse my newspaper. Usually the business section first but the sports section on Mondays. I'll then have a quick glance at the Letters page. I've had a few letters published in the Telegraph - about 40% of those I submit. I used to feel most aggrieved when a letter I sent in wasn't published. Recently I learnt that they receive 700 letters a day and publish about 20 - so anything better than 3% success rate is actually a good result and gave me a smug smile!

Time then to boot up my PC. (Truth is that I've already been on my netbook at 8am prior to getting out of bed to catch up on the news headlines and weather forecast. I used to listen to the radio but now prefer to go online and choose the topics myself). I look to see how my share portfolio and my gold bullion are doing. I might do some buying or selling and research for this can take up a good half hour or more of my time. Mrs Troy and I are also looking to invest some of the surplus funds we got from the sale of previous properties back into the property market so I keep a eye on Rightmove and also on several property auction sites. We've done quite a lot of viewing and made the odd offer but so far its come to nothing. Only last week we offered on a house that would have been a great renovation project and potentially would have given great blogging material. But the price it actually went for made no economic sense. I'll never make a fortune as I'm too cautious!

I'll stop for a coffee and have a trawl through the several blogs I follow then "bang, clatter" - it must be about 11.45am. The post has arrived - usually several envelopes for me and I'll spend some time dealing with them.

It's now "post meridian" and my thoughts turn to lunch. I didn't used to "cook" but now I'll do a couple of soft boiled eggs with bread "soldiers" or perhaps pate and toast. (Yes, I include toasting within my definition of "cooking"). I'll take this with a yoghurt and a drink through to the sitting room and I'll turn on the TV. 12.40pm and its half way through "Bargain Hunt". A very silly programme but if I catch it after half way through I enjoy watching the auctions of the things the contestants have bought. Usually they lose money - buying retail, selling wholesale ain't the cleverest strategy after all - but I find it interesting viewing. I keep meaning to apply to go on the programme with Mrs Troy's father - one day! Then I'll watch the One O'Clock News.

Mrs Troy gets home about 1.50pm from her part-time job. So I've just time to remember that I haven't yet washed up the breakfast items and now also have the lunchtime items to clean as well. Usually I just get the washing up done, wiped down all the work surfaces and have gone back to the PC in my study when Mrs Troy gets home. We catch up on her office politics and anything in her mail whilst she has her lunch. I'll show her anything I've found of interest on the internet (properties, blogs, news etc.) and she'll have a leaf through the newspaper's main section (which at this stage I've still to read!).

Time then to collect Troy Junior from school. Mrs Troy likes to do this but usually I'll also come along for the walk. When the weather is fine (Easter to early October) I'll play football outside with Troy Junior but in winter TJ will play with his toys and watch the TV whilst I finally get to read the main section of the newspaper. After dinner, if Troy Junior is watching a ninth repeat of Top Gear on Dave I'll read a book for a while.

That's a typical stay at home day. However, if the sun is shining (summer or winter) I'll jump in the car, head down to the beach with lunch, a rug and a book in a rucksack. I'll walk 2 to 3 miles then have lunch and a read then walk another 2 to 3 miles and get home just in time for the school run. I do love the coast on a sunny day. Other days I might potter round the shops and meet Mrs Troy for lunch.

On summer evenings the three of us may go out for long walks or get our bikes out. In winter its just the TV or the occasional live Ipswich football game. I've also got quite a few evening committments arising from my School Governor role. I'd love to be able to blog about some of the things I see and hear but it's all done in the strictest confidence.

It was a great regret not to have succeeded in the Council election back in June. That role, which also comes with a useful monetary allowance, would have greatly occupied my time whilst serving the local community. I've recently been approached to be co-opted onto the local Parish Council. Not quite the same thing (and not helped by the image set by the Vicar Of Dibley TV programme!) but I've said yes to them.

So, in a nutshell, that's what I do all day. I very rarely get bored although I much prefer the summer to the winter. In a perfect world I'd work, in an interesting role, from October to Easter but so far that concept has proved easier said than done.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


I got an e-mail this morning from the Tax Payers Alliance offering me a free book. This book (available free to the first 5,000 applicants) is written by an academic and envisages Britain in the future - 10 years after it has taken the courage to break free from the European Union. The book, by Dr Lee Rotherham is called "Ten Years On, Britain Without The European Union".

I can't give you a review of the book - so I don't know whether it is a brilliant read or badly written - but if I waited to do a review before blogging then my readers would lose the opportunity to apply for one of the first 5,000 free copies.

Use this website address:-

to get an opportunity to be in the first 5,000 applications. You'll have to cut and paste it, for some reason it won't add as a link*. I applied at 11am today and got back the message that my free book was on its way.

Regular readers will know that I feel most strongly that the European Union is developing in a very undemocratic way and already it has a significant influence over virtually every aspect of our daily lives. I truly believe that in the years to come its democratic deficit together with the minimal influence that Britain has within the EU will lead to situations similar to those experienced with the IRA for Ireland or ETA for the Basques. Make no mistake, the EU is on a federalist path which aims to eliminate sovereign nation states and instead create a United States of Europe with an ethos and way of life quite alien to the traditional British way. Let's be friendly next-door neighbours with the rest of Europe and trade freely with them but lets not live in some giant commune totally under the thumb of "Big Brother".

If you decide to get the book do let me know what you think of it. I'll do a review here in due course.

* perhaps Big Brother is watching?