Six in the morning and I can’t sleep. After 43 years I didn’t expect this day to ever come; my last day at work. Paid work, that is. I’ve handed over all my outstanding tasks and said goodbye to my friends and colleagues which was bitter and sweet at the same time. We had an office drinks party yesterday and it was a chance to invite my favourite people from EASA for a farewell bash. Too often these events can be like funerals but this one was rather boozy and light-hearted, short on speeches, long on Prosecco.
A few days after I’ve gone, I don’t suppose anyone will notice I’m not there anymore and that’s the way it should be. New people have new ideas and I wish them all luck for the future. Technology has moved on and the Agency has grown from a small, struggling concern to become a big organisation, so I feel rather like a dinosaur before the meteorite and I know that it’s time to move on. For me, this is a new beginning; a chance to relax, enjoy life and concentrate on writing without too many distractions. No more northern European winters, just sunshine and fresh oranges off the tree, writing, olive oil and fresh fish and more writing.
There’s a lot of work still to do, packing and arranging for the move but it’s all like a juggernaut now; impossible to stop or change direction. Luis went to Portugal to run our guest house, Casa Luiz (www.casaluiz.com), four years ago and I’ve been commuting every month, contributing massively to the profits of German Wings. But that’s all over next Wednesday when I fly to Faro for the last time and I’ll be glad for the stability because it will be nice to actually live with my partner again. And the dogs. And Puggie the one-eyed cat. Sounds like heaven, or something rather close to it.