I’m slowly but surely organising my new home in Pitrmedden, unpacking all the cardboard boxes still piled high in the garage and ordering things I need from Ebay only to find that I already have what I need as I unpack yet another box! But where the hell is my electric drill and the battery and the charger for my mower?? (Stop Press: just found the latter!). But I’m training myself to try to take this whole process slowly and steadily to avoid a coronary just as my perfect life in retirement begins to take shape!
Like all Scottish rural villages, Pitmedden has no gas supply so a switch from oil-fired boiler for central heating to an air-to-water heat pump looms.. I’m expecting an announcement early next year from Nicola Sturgeon, post-COP-26, about further grants for “green” investments in the home. I believe that all politicians will want to be seen to be doing something positive! So I am giving my plans until Spring to let me understand the pattern of behaviour of my house and heating system vs the weather and for Nicola to beckon. But next year, I plan to invest in increasing the value of my house and decreasing my soon-to-be-much-larger energy bills by investing in:- 1.) solar panels (and battery storage system) on my south-facing roofs, 2.) an air-water heat pump and improvements to the radiators and HW storage, 3.) more insulation; 4.) a log burner; 5.) a large heated conservatory and 6.) all managed by an IoT home control system. I’m afraid my engineering background just loves all this stuff but I will appraise them unemotionally first in terms of their effects on increasing my house’s value and heating bill reductions!!
Otherwise, I have had my memory jolted by this beautiful countryside, the clarity of the air and light and the feeling that my visible world is a great dome of sky that fills 90% my view in any direction. Almost every day, vivid cloud masses suddenly surprise against a startlingly blue sky, followed by dramatic sunsets when the rim of sky glows red in 360 degrees, west to north to east to south and back again to west! Astonishing! I’d forgotten these wonderful skies – and that’s before views of the Northern Lights appear.
I’ve discovered lots of interesting woodland walks less than half a mile from my house, walks past wee waterfalls and woodland ponds, around the gardens of Pitmedden House and Gardens and out to nearby Udny Green where there’s a wonderful old pub and restaurant on the Green – see: https://my.viewranger.com/route/details/MTg5MDE0NQ== and https://www.eatonthegreen.co.uk/. I’m threatening to drag my teenage granddaughter around these walks, probably kicking, spitting and screaming (that’s just me!) as I try to separate her from her many screens. Last week, I managed to reverse my hulk of a Land Rover into my son-in-law’s car and to put a big dent in his wing when I visited my daughter and her family in their cottage out in the countryside near Pitmedden. But we’ve reached a rapprochement which involves me taking him fishing…… And this is all in the fishing close season! Which gives me time to sort out my house, I guess, hopefully before Christmas and the season to try to be jolly, if I can remember how…….?
I’m on track to finish my – probably last – paid working assignment in management consultancy, one with a wonderful client in Dresden who works in the field of supply systems for microelectronics and chip-making. A real growth business at present! It’s been really enjoyable and interesting, helping me to catch up on the microelectronics manufacturing industry. But I’m planning now to stop all industrial management consultancy activities in early 2022, on which my little consultancy business FINNbiz has been focused for over 20 years, and to completely change my website and business focus, still using my FINNbiz monicker, logo and promotional activities, into a writing, blogging and online publishing small business. I’ve found that my blogging activities from my FINNbiz website have been building me quite a few followers over the last few years and I believe they may be converted into some sort of membership system which can be expanded into several different and interesting ventures. We’ll see. It’s not about making money but working in interesting ways to create something of value which can be flexibly changed to point in different direction as opportunities evolve…? And to keep boredom at bay! But, “who knows”, as my local Pitmedden owl hooted?