Retirement from work brings many advantages – not having to sit through interminable boring meetings springs most readily to mind. However I do miss having colleagues. Work forces you into contact with all sorts of different people and many long-term friendships are forged through shared experience in the workplace. Inevitably friends drift away as circumstances and tastes change. It is harder to replace them in retirement, particularly if you live in an isolated rural village.
I was discussing this problem with my four year-old grand-daughter as we walked round our village. I told her how lucky she was to have a friend here (a neighbour’s grand-daughter the same age as her), whereas I was friendless. Her advice was forthright: ‘you should be less grumpy and more polite and talk to people about their farmyards’. I don’t know much about farmyards but I will do my best and see how if this new approach has any effect.