Retirement: so far, so good

One week ago last Thursday (29 September) I retired after 19 years and 4 months working for Christchurch City Council.  I hadn’t quite reached the magic age of 65 by that date, but near enough that I was ready to call it a day 🙂 (Besides which, I had a date with my younger sister for the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Show in early October, and didn’t really feel like having to go back to work for only a couple of weeks after that.)

Two of my work colleagues arranged a fantastic farewell afternoon tea, where I was presented with some delightful gifts:  a lovely scrapbook full of photos of fun times at the Council; not one, but TWO certificates to commemorate the occasion; gift cards for two local coffee shops (to ensure I make a trip or two into town for a catch-up); a beautiful scarf; a couple of soft toys which have special significance (and tales to tell …); and a wonderful, wonderful basket full of fabrics.  Here’s a montage of some of the scrapbook and other photos:

It was a fun afternoon:  lots of good food, good friends, and good stories 🙂

The following day was spent preparing for my holiday in Brisbane (including persuading Henry Lee that he really did want to go to the cattery ‘holiday camp with Auntie Lisa’ while I was away…), before I flew out of a damp, foggy Christchurch early on the Saturday morning, to arrive to brilliant blue sky and warm sunshine in Brisbane a few hours later:  fabulous! 🙂

It’s been a year since I last saw my sister, although we Skype reasonably regularly.  In the last couple of years she’s also taken up quilting, and I was delighted when she presented me with yet another retirement (and early birthday) gift:  the most gorgeous, colourful African quilt  – have a look at this:

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Isn’t it stunning??!!  We’re the last two of seven children in the family, and were both born in Zimbabwe (the rest were born in England), so this is a very special reminder of our life in Africa.  I shall take great pleasure in snuggling under it at every opportunity 🙂

In my next post I’ll tell you about our three days at the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Show this week: inspiring, educational, and very fulfilling for my stash and quilting resources! 🙂


Community service … and the Big R!

Community service day

Yesterday my team at work spent some time out of the office to undertake a bit of community service, and we chose to paint out some of the graffiti in our part of town.  We struck a beautiful day weather-wise (after the morning fog lifted), with clear blue skies and a comfortable temperature in which to work outside.  Here we are gathered together in our best old clothes, smiles at the ready, at the start of the morning (minus our team leader, who was Acting Photographer in Charge) 🙂

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And here are some action shots to prove that we didn’t just skive off for the day!

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Good job, team!


The Big R Day is coming up really fast!

After nearly 19-and-a-half years with Christchurch City Council, I’m due to retire at the end of this month (scary to think I now only have 4 weeks left …).  I started preparing for this last July, when I was allowed to reduce my working week to 4 days; and as from 1 July this year, I reduced this further to a 3-day week (Tuesday-Thursday), for my final three months.  (I can thoroughly recommend 3 and 4-day weekends!! 🙂 🙂 )  With a retirement function scheduled for the last Thursday in September, I gave some thought as to what sort of gift I would like, and came up with the idea of asking for a small amount of fabric (fat quarter, fat eighth, or even scraps) from any of the invitees who would like to contribute, which I can then make up into a quilt to remember my time at the Council.  So this request was duly included in the invitation, and my friend who is organising the function set up this crate in the office:

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As you can see, there is already a donation in it – but I’ve been very good, and I haven’t peeked inside the bag … well, not really, but I couldn’t help but see that it was considerably more than what had been suggested; however, when I ‘chastised’ the donor for her generosity she just smiled and shook her head and said, “Oh, I just had a wee clean-out …” . Bless her! 🙂

It’s definitely a little weird thinking that in another four weeks I won’t be working any longer … but I’m looking forward to unscheduled days when I can potter at whatever takes my fancy; not to mention delving into the depths of my fabric stash to reacquaint myself with what I actually have in there, and putting it to good use! 🙂