Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Well done, Carol. Happy retirement

Hello. This is a blast from the past, an oldie picture of me and my best friend Carol. Taken about 30 years ago, I think. Note the big hair, ha ha, we were always having perms. 
Carol wrote this on Facebook last week.

Well I think I can now say I'm officially retired. After only working half my hours in August it was time to hang up my boots. After working 51 years without a break, plus during this time the longest period out of work I had was one week. That's not bad for the amount of moves I had.
I am now just waiting to exchange contracts on my sale, and purchase, and up north I will return after moving away 42 years ago. 

Carol is two months older than me, we have remained friends almost all of our lives, living just down the road from each other when we were at junior and secondary school. We sat together on the school bus, hung out together, people thought we were sisters. Carol went to college when we left school at 15, and I got a job in Wooly's. Her family moved to Blackpool, and when I was 17 I went for a holiday, and moved there when I was 18. I stayed three and a half years, then moved on to Birmingham, then back home to Burton on Trent. Carol met someone and married, and moved around quite a bit after that. Carol didn't have any children and neither did I. 

We always kept in touch, by phone, letter, and visiting each other. Now we phone, email, and text each other, with the occasional visit.  

I am mighty proud of my best friend Carol, she is the sweetest nicest person you would ever wish to meet. She has been through a rough patch or two but has never shown any anger or hostility to anyone when in a difficult situation. Her family are absolutely thrilled that their sister, aunt, and great aunt is coming home. 

It's funny that we are totally different when it comes to lifestyle choices, yet can still remain friends. Carol chose a well paying career and likes to spend her money on nice things. I did the opposite, had a career with reasonable pay, and don't place any importance on nice things. It must be down to our upbringing that we have both lived within our means. We are from working class families, and both learnt to make do and mend from our mothers.

I have been nagging Carol to retire ever since I finished work at 60. She has carried on another seven years because she enjoyed what she was doing, and got used to earning extra money to fund her chosen lifestyle. Now at last she is free from work, and is about to make the move from Hampshire back up north to where the rest of her family are. After working for 51 years, an amazing achievement, I think she has done her whack, and deserves to enjoy her retirement. 

When she is settled in her new abode I can see a visit on the cards, I will be popping over to the west coast, and who knows, I may even take the train and walk back, ha ha. 

Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.


  1. How lovely to have a friend you have know for all that time, I am sure she will have as much fun in retirement as you, love that hair it suited you xx

  2. It's wonderful to have a friend of such long standing, isn't it? I have a friend who is a few months younger than me and we met on my first day in school in Devon in 1951 and we've been friends ever since, I think that makes it 65 years!
    Margaret P

  3. Well done Carol. I love that pic of you both. Love the hair!

  4. Congrats to Carol on reaching retirement! I'll bet you two have some wonderful memories of your friendship. :)

  5. What a wonderful friendship! The photo is fabulous to see and you two will have so much fun on future visits. JanF

  6. I met my close friend whilst we were both working at the same hospital in Northampton. We started off not likng one another, but soon became close friends. We were both from Yorkshire and people used to think we were sisters. Even though I moved to Devon and she went to live in Ireland we are still close. I haven't seen her for about 30 years, but I know that if we were to meet tomorrow we would carry on where we left off. Such is a treasured friendship.

    Joan (Wales)

  7. Lovely post. It is so special to have a long standing friend - I lost of best friend of 50 years two years ago today and am thinking about her so much. Quite a coincidence that your post today is about your lifelong friend. Make sure you see her soon! SueM

  8. Long time friendships are special since you have over the years seen many things together. She is due her retirement and I think you will visit her.

  9. Happy retirement carol. May it be a long and happy one,xxxx

  10. Long time friends are the best! I was just out this evening with a group of woman and we've all been friends for many, many years - one of them for 50 years now. I hope that Carol has a wonderful retirement and that the two of you get to visit much more often now.

  11. Hope you have a long and happy retirement Carol. Love the photo. My best friend is Anne we met at Cotys when we were about 18 (60 years ago) and have remained friends ever since I am going to stay with here in November which I do every year when we go to the New Forest together, we have experienced so much together, marriages, children born and deaths. Enjoy the day Ilona.
    Hazel c uk

  12. Looking back at old photos I see my hair just like yours, Ilona. Didn't we love it! I have known my best friend for over 50 years and we became best friends 37 years ago as young mums. We have been there for each oth r through divorces, family illness and happier times. It's a good feeling to have such an "old" friend. X

  13. My bestie and I just came back from our once a year meet up. Met the first day of highschool, 45 years ago. Separate lives and paths were taken. But in the words of her husband "you two always find your way back to each other".

    I have a few more years to work because I followed my husband around because of his job. She retired last year.

    Distance often makes the friendship stronger.


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