Build a sandcastle on the beach

We don’t often get to the beach. Toowoomba is a couple of hours drive from the nearest beaches and when we do go there it is mostly to visit family and friends rather than frolic on the beach. In any case, for some reason I’m not a great fan of sand in my bodily crevices or salt crust on my skin so I don’t rush to the beach even when we are in the vicinity.

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Walking in a rainforest

Another of the items I pulled out in the draw for my ‘bucket list‘ was “Walk in a rainforest”. I didn’t think that was likely to happen in Europe, though now that I’ve taken a moment to check it seems there are some fragments of temperate rainforest in Europe, including around Loch Maree which we passed by on our drive through Wester Ross. Had I known that or thought to look sooner we might have done it then but instead it stayed on the list for sometime after we arrived home.

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Out to dinner

The activity that generated my ‘bucket list‘ was driven by Majella, perhaps with some assistance from the other wives, so it was no real surprise that one of the items was ‘take your beautiful wife out to dinner’. That seemed like an easy inclusion for me, especially since we were planning to travel for 3 months and would need to be eating out more than usual during that time.

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Visit a waterfall

Another of the items on my ‘bucket list‘ was to ‘visit a waterfall’. I didn’t expect that to be a major challenge because we have always enjoyed short walks in the forest to visit waterfalls. At the same time we were going to be away for 12 weeks and had no specific plans for waterfall visits in that time unlike some previous trips such as our 2012 visit to the USA and Canada that included Niagara Falls.

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Read a novel

Cloudstreet coverReading a novel was one of the 10 items on my ‘bucket list’ that I expected should not be challenging in retirement. Thus it was one that I decided to tackle early. The lucky break I had with Emily’s quinoa cake took care of trying a new food so I had already ticked off the first item on my list. This was to be the second. Read More


1991-2017As of Monday, 1 January, I am officially retired. My retirement arrangement with USQ specified 31 December, 2017, as my retirement date with all leave to be taken prior to that date. It is 6 months since I did my last day of work at USQ and went on extended leave from 4 July. Read More

My bucket list

A few weekends ago we had a group of friends over for a shared lunch. Majella’s pretext was that somebody else had been going to host it but they were unavailable. Lunch was fine – food, wine and fun company – but the real reason was eventually revealed as a celebration of impending retirement for me and two of our friends, Jim and Warwick. Read More