I went to the opera again last night and once again it was a glorious day - the first for ages - and so I go into the theatre. What is it about opera and nice weather?
I did spend the day in the garden and got the weeding done and planted the plants I'd brought back from B's so the garden is looking quite pretty now, and much less weedy than before. I have to weed after rain because the clay soil gets baked so hard in sunshine that the trowel just bounces off and you can't get near any roots. As my garden is full of couch grass which is all roots I need to hit it when it has been rained on.
La Boheme was lovely. All the singers were excellent and so was the production - quite stunning visually as well as aurally, so despite the uncomfortable chair it was fabulous.
Less fab was discovering that I will probably have to work till I am 65.
Up to 15 years or so ago I was due to retire at 60. Then they decided to make women the same as men and for a long time I was in the middle of the scale moving women to 65 so was due to retire at 62.5. That is when the State pension would begin, up till now I could chose to retire from work under the terms of the Local Government pension at any time after the age of 60.
Then the lovely (!**) government decided to move the goal posts again and my State pension moved away from me so I wouldn't get it till just short of my 64th birthday (about 1 month short). As my colleague who has a January birthday in the same year as my July birthday stayed at 62+ I did feel miffed (along with lots of other people I suspect). As Brian has already retired it was more annoying, though I could still retire earlier and just not get the State pension till 64 (if I could afford to).
There is a sense I find now, as I am approaching 60, of feeling that I need to make the most of the next 10 years before increasing age may prevent me doing things. I may be lucky and be very fit past late 60s but one can't presume that. As B is 4 years older that adds to the sense of time slipping by.
Now the latest Local government pension scheme agreement has come out. It isn't final yet, it has to go through lots of hoops before that but it seems likely that it will go through and in many senses it is very fair. The one thing that made my heart sink is that they are bringing in a minimum retirement age of 65. If you retire before 65 you will actually lose a percentage of your pension - so it isn't a matter of ceasing to add to your pension which is what would happen before, you will actually have some of the already accrued pension taken off you. This means that I will now have to work till 65.
I know that those younger than me will have to work till 67 or more but I have a strong feeling of something which was nearly in my grasp being snatched away at the last minute. Those a few years older than me have slipped under the bar and missed the changes, those more than 5 years younger than me have a bit long to acclimatise perhaps (though the idea of doctors, firemen, policemen and teachers working till 67 is madness!!!).
It has made me feel surprisingly depressed, more than I expected when I first read it on Thursday. I know it is only one year extra, but .....