It's nearly seventeen months since my father passed away and still the estate accounts have yet to be settled so we can, finally, draw a line under this particular episode in our family history. The family's solicitor, is confident that I will be able to sign the relevant paperwork, early in the new year and the bulk of our inheritance can be distributed between myself and two brothers in accordance to my parents wishes. What a bloody palaver, all in case the Inland Revenue are cheated of a couple of pence in death duties? Shame they are unable to apply this same level of diligence to the tax returns of Amazon, Starbucks and E-bay?
I'd been thinking of retirement, in the knowledge that Bev and I will be comfortable, although not rich, as a result of the hard work of my parents. But why retire? Spending money while I could still be earning? Conversations with several people have led me to conclude that all the time my health remains good and I am enjoying myself, then stick with it. Every penny earned is my own; with no mortgage, our only out goings are those associated with daily existence, food, utilities and council tax, etc. In the background is the unknown value of my Unilever pension package which is something I will be investigating early in 2018. "Everything, as we say at Fuji, in the garden is rosy!"
So what am I hoping for in 2018 and beyond ? Health and happiness is a well worn cliche yet I still hanker after just such simple goals as my life moves forward. I'm going to replace the Mazda 5 MPV with a van, purely because it is a more practical vehicle for transporting smelly fishing tackle. Some alterations to the bungalow are also on the horizon, but exact details are still to be finalized. I have to admit that I'm in a very nice place, at present, where I am now head of the Wrathall clan and able to repay the faith that my parents had in me by passing on those values, that I've been taught, to the grand children. Am I up to the task? I can only answer by saying, if I fall short, it won't be through lack of trying. The eldest son, of the eldest son, I have now to shoulder the responsibility that comes with that position.
The christian teachings, that are the very basis of my parents being, are not shared by my brothers and I, but are not discounted because we're opposed to the faith, just never brought into the whole "God Squad" fairy tale. To have witnessed the peace with which Mum and Dad departed this world has to be testament to the power of faith - I'm still searching and haven't found what I'm looking for - as yet! Realistically (and this is cold logic) I have another twenty years ahead of me in which I am able to preach/teach the virtues by which my life has been governed - hopefully my wisdom will fall upon fertile ears and the family values be entrenched at the roots of our next generations - moving on through the eons of time and space!