I finally made it to retirement and, as the saying goes, "If I'd known I was going to live this long I'd have looked after myself better", but here I am, I've made it. Time to put the feet up, do only what I want to and when I want to – in fact, that's what it said on the engraved tankard the staff gave me when I left work, or words to that effect; if only it were true.

Sure, I don't have to get up and go to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week but to be honest, I don't know how I managed to fit work in; it feels as if I never stop. People always asked if I would get bored when I retired and I used to say "no, work gets in the way of my life", little did I know how true that was.


Of course, I'm no longer just the "Weekend Artisan" because, in theory, I can do things whenever I want:– one concession to retiring is, I've decided I'm going to stop doing the cheese making courses this year. It's always been a pleasure doing the course, but the setting up on the Saturday and the taking down again on the Sunday has become hard work; then there's the catering, Jan has to spend all weekend preparing the lunches, it's hard.

Also, I will be giving up the allotments, but there are justifiable reasons for stopping both.

At present my wife Jan is still working, but once she retires, we are moving away from where we live now to a more rural setting. The plan is to have a house with a bit of land so that I can have the veg plot at the bottom of the garden, get the chickens and bees back and continue with that aspect of our lives; who knows, I may start teaching cheese making again once we have settled in to our new area, but I'm not too sure, as I've said, it was hard work. I will be keeping the website going, I have no plans to close it down for the present time, so, if anyone wants to contribute with recipes etc. then please feel free. I will, of course still make cheese, only in smaller amounts and for personal consumption; also, I will remain contactable for those who want on line support with anything on the website.

I'm still working the allotments at the moment, busily setting produce; I hope to be able to harvest most of the produce before we leave the area, so no doubt I will be writing the occasional update for the website.

I have taken on the mantle of house husband because Jan is still working and as I often say to her, "I don't mind the house work, cooking and cleaning etc. but I don't find much time to sit down".

Then there's the time spent organising things, I worked for a bureaucracy and thought we were quite efficient, however, trudging through our pension system (both private and government) is so time-consuming.

Of course, because I have more time now, I take on things that I wouldn't normally have done when I was working, most of which are pleasurable. I spend more time catching up with people now and do crazy things like doing a dream drive – that was so much fun.

Jan bought me a gift of a "Dream Drive" experience for Christmas; I delayed doing it until the other day when Jan and I, along with her brother and his wife, dipped our toe into the world of the fast car. I drove an Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche around the now famous 'Top Gear' track, yes, "Gambon" and "Hammer Head" held no fear for me, despite it being a very wet day – great fun was had by all.

We recently went to Cornwall to meet up with German friends in Bude, that was wonderful, and if you follow me on twitter you will have seen we also dropped in on friends in Lostwithiel, that was wonderful too.

Jan's mother passes away in March so that was a bit of a shock and a challenging time for all of the family, she will be greatly missed; my parents are both 93 years old now and both quite frail, therefore I have to keep going back north to visit them, this is upwards of a 600 mile round trip, so all in all, I've managed to stay quite busy since retiring and supposedly slowing down.

That's my excuse for not updating the blog since January, I hope you understand.