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I spent days trying to work out how to “Claim my Blog on Bloglovin and found this Daily Post that was really useful What the Heck is Bloglovin’, and Do I Need IT?

Accepting upfront that when it comes to anything slightly techie i am immediately out of my depth, the trick was to understand that I needed to add the RSS feed address in the Claim Blog section.

Steven Gerrard – Retiring at the Top

Source : www.telegraph.co.uk

Source : www.telegraph.co.uk

There has been so much attention in the football (soccer) world about Steven Gerrard’s recent announcement of his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

The BBC Five Live Team saying over and over again, surely Liverpool,should have done something to keep him. Other sports commentators have said the same. The pervading view being he must stay.

Gerrard has other ideas. Apparently no longer guaranteed a starting place in all games, he’s made the decision to play out the balance of his career in the US. No doubt he’ll make a fortune playing less games and continuing to be acknowledged as a giant of the game. Good on him, I say. He’s taking the same route that fellow Merseysider Tim Cahill took a couple of years before.

To Gerrard’s absolute credit, he has made it clear that he will not continue in the Premier League with another club. He’s a Liverpool legend and to put on another shirt would be unthinkable.

He will also retire from the EPL in good form. Memories of him in his final season will be littered with strong performances as evidenced by his two goals in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup, where he was judged BBC’s Man of the Match.

So many outstay their welcome, playing that one or two seasons too long. Gerrard won’t. He’ll leave on top and at a time of his own choosing. This is just the way it should be for someone who has been a true champion of the game.

Author Declaration – I am a “dyed in the wool” Arsenal supporter!

My New Veggie Patch

A few weeks ago we were walking to our favourite coffee shop and noticed in a courtyard of one of the apartment blocks crates with wheels and veggies growing in them. They looked really cool and we thought we might do the same in the courtyard of our apartment block.

After a bit of research we found The Little Veggie Co Website. They had a useful blog and lots of books, but couldn’t get the crates delivered to us before Christmas. We were however able to source crates from elsewhere as well as the requisite supplies. All were delivered before Christmas and made a great present from the family.

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With the Boxing Day Test Match, Australia v India, in full swing and the radio on (what can be better than listening to the cricket on the radio?), I set about filling my crates with sugar cane straw,compost/soil, pea straw, slow release fertilizer and worm castings. This apparently makes a bed which does not require any form of digging.

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Having filled the boxes it’s time to let it all settle for a few days and decide what to plant. Maybe some Basil, Spring Onions, Radishes and Lettuce to get it started.

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Well that’s done but it couldn’t have been done without the music or The future is Streaming!

20,000 words, an exam and oral presentation and this academic year is done! Maybe just as significant is the amount of music listened too.

Day after day, Spotify has continued to provide a seemingly endless stream of music, supported by Pandora and my substantial iTunes library.

Through this year many of my posts have highlighted a new love of country, a revisiting of Dylan, and how music has been an integral part of my day.

I have since my late primary school days had an insatiable desire to buy Singles, LPs, and CDs. That is until now.

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My purchasing habit led to a brief foray into importing records. For a couple of years a close friend of mine and I started to import records for our friends, less for profit and more to bring down the price of our own purchases. It lasted until the local post office told us that we would be considered a business if we continued,

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A daily occurrence – the best of times, the worst of times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” -Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

For me this is a daily occurrence as planning for retirement or transition brings these emotions on a very regular basis.

I often describe my days as a roller coaster of mixed emotions, moving through a cycle of euphoria ( “the best of times”) to ambivalence and then to panic ( “the worst of times”). During a day I find myself excited about my future, a period post retirement from my firm, relaxed that I’ll be able to fill my days with gainful activity and then frightened that I am not properly prepared or ready.

In those times when I am looking forward to the next phase, it can be the best of times. No more time sheets, budgets, and relentless pressure to grow the business. My excitement also comes from the opportunities I have before me.

University the opportunity to learn, complete my Honours, start a PHD, research and teach. These are all things that over the last 12 months I have come to enjoy. I feel confident that my network of contacts will engage with me in a way that neither they nor I have before, providing me new and exciting opportunities. I’ll have more time for travel and riding my bike.

I then cycle through feelings of ambivalence arising from the assumption that it will all work its way through and I’ll be OK.

But then there is the fear of the unknown, the worst of times. Sheer panic!

What happens if I don’t like it. I’m moving from the cocoon of a very large firm where I am relevant to perhaps being completely irrelevant. How will I feel about that? What happens if I can’t afford to live the way I want too? What happens if my planning simply doesn’t pay off? What happens if I don’t continue to enjoy my study, it’s too hard and I can’t make a success of teaching? What happens if I my network no longer engages with me after I no longer have my Partner badge? It’s very scary!

So yes on a daily basis I experience both the best and worst of times.

Daily Prompt – Extreme Tale