Dress Rehearsal for retirement, a retrospective
Dear friends, readers, followers, guests: Preparing for retirement is like getting ready for a big holiday. We´ve been forewarned that like Covid, it never
goes quite as planned. So the better the plan, the better the
outcome. One needs to have the flexibility to adapt
to changing circumstances. You never know what retirement will be like
until you get there, and in order to make a smooth transition one idea would be “practicing retirement.” I have been thinking of it as a dress rehearsal before taking the big ( sometimes reversible, sometimes irreversible ) step to fully retire. When Covid arrived (first reported case) in Portugal on Monday March 2nd 2020, lockdown seemed inevitable. By 18 March the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, announced a State of Emergency.
Suddenly by default our rehearsal for retirement had begun, cancellations of bookings were quick to the fore and what was to be our last year of opening the doors to guests and our intention of "going out with a bang" now became "going out with a miserable whimper." The irony was that if we were to host no occupancies for the year and yet hold deposits ( our cashflow saviours and a huge thanks to those who offered here ), our exodus from hospitality would be postponed and mean we would start work again the following year, even if just to honour the previous years cancellations. As it turned out we managed just 16 occupancies out of a possible 972 ( barely a respite from payment plans ) at the end of the summer in the tight margin between quarantine regulations changing....
"The best sellers of 2020 were Sanitizer, Sourdough Starter, and albums by Dua Lipa and Celeste. It says it all really. Hospitality didn´t get a look in."
2021 Amber alert.. Hospitality hosts be prepared.The norm now is that the rules change frequently, stopping and starting with very little warning.In 1967 R.Dean Taylor sang
"Red light green light speeding through the dark night .....Freeway, byway, tearin' up the highway runnin' from a world insane."
"A chair is still a chair, even when there's no one sittin' thereBut a chair is not a house and a house is not a home"
the poignant lyrics songwriter Burt Bacharach wrote for Luther Vandross.The chair will still be there but our house will become a home. When your signature lemongrass and cardamom pannacotta no longer sets correctly and is lacking its tell tale bosomesque wobble. When your Indian twist gazpacho no longer packs a punch. These are significant nods toward stepping down.Your one year short of septuagenarian legs sorely retaliate when forced to make numerous trips of 107 steps back and forth to the garden table each day.The final cue to sign off is given when polishing the floorboards of the long hallway and catching a glimpse in the grand mirror that once graced the back of a bar in an East Anglian pub. You see what you imagined was once a fabulous front of house face now portraying a rehearsal for a withering glance (Note to self; even a wonky mirror never lies!!) You now know full well It's time to practice being retired. And no, that doesn't mean we get to start eating our dinner at 4pm. Retirement, or financial independence as it's often called, I definitely think it requires practice .Call it "Mock Retirement" if you like. It will provide us the hopefully undisturbed luxury of time to rehearse a beneficial retirement and practice living on our retirement income, and see where our future is to take us. We have made the decision to close the doors at the end of October and reflect.
|Such Fun!!! Julia Toms and Sian Lewis shoot for 25 Beautiful homes 2013|
The house has experienced a variety changes in 15 years with an assortment of pets.
A 24KITCHEN Channel TV shoot, hosting a bloggers weekend with journalists, hosting a workshop with Algave Michelin starred chefs, entertaining tourism officials, magazine editors and offering open house for photo shoots and most of all you. Opening our doors to you the colourful array of guests who have entertained "us" in your own different and unique ways.
|2012 The kitchen is radically transformed for a 24KITCHEN photoshoot|
|Hosting a garden lunch for Vanessa and Carlos from Sawdays 2017|
|Our big day 12 October 2019!!!|