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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
On a more personal note, I have now completely retired from running my own electrical contracting business.
My wife retired at the end of February this year, so we are looking forward to spending more leisure time together, with lots of holidays planned.
We have recently returned from a nice break in Jersey, we are off to Switzerland on the 1st July for 8 days, lots of trains involved (y) , then later this year in October we are off to Japan for two weeks,
Bullitt Train journey involved, can you see a pattern forming here :)
Yesterday we booked a 24 day tour of Australia and New Zealand for the Nov/Dec 2023 (by land, rail, sea and air), which includes a 4 day trip from Perth to Adelaide, then on to Sidney on the Indian Pacific train.
In the mean time, I've just started treatment on my hands. I thought I had Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, but X-Rays revealed I had no cartilage left on both my lower thumb joints, which has been causing me increased discomfort over the last couple of years, probably due to 50 odd years of using hand and electric tools. Anyway, yesterday I had the first ultrasound guided injection into the joints, and it bloody hurt I don't mind admitting, and I think I've got a pretty good pain threshold. At the moment its still very sore, but should wear off in a day or two and I'll see if it has had the desired effect. Apparently the pain relief can last for a year or so or just weeks, if its the latter, I will consider surgery to remove the bone at the base of the thumbs, but hope it doesn't come to that as it has a long recovery period. Anyway, I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time on the layout, although her indoors has other ideas. But if I can combine trains with holidays, which seems to be going to plan at the moment, I think I will have a very happy retirement ;)
Regards to you all
Alan
 

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Your holiday plans sound great Alan. Happy days ahead, a well earned reward for a lifetime of hard work.

Don't forget, You Need Hands. Many years ago my wife and I were captive on a boat plying between Torguay and Dartmouth; a nice afternoon cruise up until the "captain", who was an ex Thames riverman, decided to regail us with a succession of Max Bygraves top hits. I link to it here as why should we be the only ones to suffer.

Best regards .................. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your kind sentiments John.
Just as a coincidence , I received an e-mail from Princess Line Cruises (who are handling the 13 night cruise element of the holiday around New Zealand) with details of excursions at the different port locations that we are visiting. One jumped out at me straight away at our first port of call Dunedin (Port Chalmers), a day trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway, so that was booked a bit sharpish :)
Although this holiday is well over a year off, several of the excursions were already well booked with one, a city tour of Wellington, only having 2 seats remaining !, which we promptly booked (y)
So another train experience to look forward to.
Regards
Alan
 

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In the mean time, I've just started treatment on my hands. I thought I had Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, but X-Rays revealed I had no cartilage left on both my lower thumb joints, which has been causing me increased discomfort over the last couple of years, probably due to 50 odd years of using hand and electric tools. Anyway, yesterday I had the first ultrasound guided injection into the joints, and it bloody hurt I don't mind admitting, and I think I've got a pretty good pain threshold. At the moment its still very sore, but should wear off in a day or two and I'll see if it has had the desired effect. Apparently the pain relief can last for a year or so or just weeks, if its the latter, I will consider surgery to remove the bone at the base of the thumbs, but hope it doesn't come to that as it has a long recovery period. Anyway, I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time on the layout, although her indoors has other ideas. But if I can combine trains with holidays, which seems to be going to plan at the moment, I think I will have a very happy retirement ;)
Regards to you all
Alan
Indeed, old age comes at a very inconvenient time of life.

I retired early at 58, almost 10 years ago now but since then bits of me have been falling off, breaking, wearing out, being bl00dy painful and silly easy jobs around the house I wouldn’t have thought twice about have been taking ten times as long to do if at all possible, enjoy as much as you can while you can.
 

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...We have recently returned from a nice break in Jersey...
Lovely place Jersey. I went there 5 times through the 70's and 80's prior to migrating to Australia in the 1990's. The earlier trips to Jersey were prior to 'Bergerac' and the later trip afterwards. I believe that today, it has gone back to being the sleepy/quiet island we first knew and these days, no-one has heard of Bergerac and the 'Bureau des Etrangers'.
Battle of the Flowers was always good. And the run out to Elizabeth Castle on a WWII DUKW was interesting. Facinating place if you are interested in WWII history.
The hotel we once stayed in (Le Coei) has long gone. It was probably the largest in St Hellier at the time. No council houses I believe.

Yesterday we booked a 24 day tour of Australia and New Zealand for the Nov/Dec 2023 (by land, rail, sea and air), which includes a 4 day trip from Perth to Adelaide, then on to Sidney on the Indian Pacific train.
Just be aware that this part of the world is BIG. It usually takes around 21 hours of flying to get to Sydney, a few hours less to Perth. Qantas flies non-stop from London to Darwin in 17 hours with a B787 Dreamliner. It takes roughly 4.5hrs to fly from Sydney to Perth to give you an idea of the size of this place.

Clive James once said that "if a plane leaves an airport in Australia and only has two engines, it is going to the suburbs. If it has four engines, it is going somewhere".

On the run from Perth to Adelaide, you will of course, travel along the world's longest piece of straight track across the Nullabor. (Nullabor means 'No Trees'). There really is nothing but desert and scrub, but it has a beauty all of its own.
My parents have used Princess Cruises a few times and speak highly of them.

Good luck and happy travels/retirement!
 

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Thank you for your kind sentiments John.
Just as a coincidence , I received an e-mail from Princess Line Cruises (who are handling the 13 night cruise element of the holiday around New Zealand) with details of excursions at the different port locations that we are visiting. One jumped out at me straight away at our first port of call Dunedin (Port Chalmers), a day trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway, so that was booked a bit sharpish :)
Although this holiday is well over a year off, several of the excursions were already well booked with one, a city tour of Wellington, only having 2 seats remaining !, which we promptly booked (y)
So another train experience to look forward to.
Regards
Alan
Can definitely reccomend the Tairei Gorge Railway, having had a great time on a few years back!
Sky Train Mountain Rolling stock Plant


As others have said, enjoy it!
 

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Alan It's the Best thing you ever did Retiring Providing you keep your Health, Does your wife like trains if so that is fabulous. Sorry to hear about your hands not nice, Hope the treatment works for you.
Regarding the Holiday in Switzerland Don't forget to get your Swiss rail travel card from the Swiss Travel centre in London Great Service indeed ( You cannot buy them when you arrive in Switzerland.) I recomend the !st Class which gives you unlimited travel on Trains, Boats , Buses & Cable cars and the freedom to go anywhere. It might seem exspencive but buying tickets and having cash is more difficult. For reasonable food at great prices eat in the COOP usualy on the Top floors Great Restaraunts and also most of the Migro's Enjoy every minute of your time there.
Babs
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lovely place Jersey. I went there 5 times through the 70's and 80's prior to migrating to Australia in the 1990's. The earlier trips to Jersey were prior to 'Bergerac' and the later trip afterwards. I believe that today, it has gone back to being the sleepy/quiet island we first knew and these days, no-one has heard of Bergerac and the 'Bureau des Etrangers'.
Battle of the Flowers was always good. And the run out to Elizabeth Castle on a WWII DUKW was interesting. Facinating place if you are interested in WWII history.
The hotel we once stayed in (Le Coei) has long gone. It was probably the largest in St Hellier at the time. No council houses I believe.


Just be aware that this part of the world is BIG. It usually takes around 21 hours of flying to get to Sydney, a few hours less to Perth. Qantas flies non-stop from London to Darwin in 17 hours with a B787 Dreamliner. It takes roughly 4.5hrs to fly from Sydney to Perth to give you an idea of the size of this place.

Clive James once said that "if a plane leaves an airport in Australia and only has two engines, it is going to the suburbs. If it has four engines, it is going somewhere".

On the run from Perth to Adelaide, you will of course, travel along the world's longest piece of straight track across the Nullabor. (Nullabor means 'No Trees'). There really is nothing but desert and scrub, but it has a beauty all of its own.
My parents have used Princess Cruises a few times and speak highly of them.

Good luck and happy travels/retirement!
Thanks Graham,
Yeah, Jersey was lovely, we were there possibly just pre season and it was not too busy, some of the excursions we went on still give Bergerac a mention. The island has a lovely feeling of a slower pace of life, and parts of it reminded me of Cornwall. Lots of shops didn't open on Sunday (y), to my wife's despair :LOL:
We stayed at the Pomme D'or Hotel right across from the harbor in St Hellier, lovely hotel, steeped in history. Due to its location it was used as headquarters for the Kriegsmarine during the occupation
Building Photograph Window Black-and-white Style

Building Black Black-and-white Window Style

Sky Cloud Building Window Tree
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Alan It's the Best thing you ever did Retiring Providing you keep your Health, Does your wife like trains if so that is fabulous. Sorry to hear about your hands not nice, Hope the treatment works for you.
Regarding the Holiday in Switzerland Don't forget to get your Swiss rail travel card from the Swiss Travel centre in London Great Service indeed ( You cannot buy them when you arrive in Switzerland.) I recomend the !st Class which gives you unlimited travel on Trains, Boats , Buses & Cable cars and the freedom to go anywhere. It might seem exspencive but buying tickets and having cash is more difficult. For reasonable food at great prices eat in the COOP usualy on the Top floors Great Restaraunts and also most of the Migro's Enjoy every minute of your time there.
Babs
Thanks Babs
We are travelling to Switzerland with Riviera Guided tours and all the rail and other travel is included in the package including narrow gauge railway to Lauterbrunnen , mountain cog railway to Kleine Scheidegg, Brienz Rothorn railway, train along the lake to Spiez then BLS railway through Kander valley to Kandersteg , then a cable car to Lake Oeschinen. Train trip to Lucerne, narrow gauge train returning back over the Brünig Pass via Meiringen along the lake to Interlaken, and a couple more linking trains.
This one is only a few weeks off now and I'm really looking forward to it. My wife isn't into the modelling side of things but she does like rail travel so we plan to do more like this.
Think I might get a copy of Bradshaws and follow Michael Portillo :LOL:
Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Indeed, old age comes at a very inconvenient time of life.

I retired early at 58, almost 10 years ago now but since then bits of me have been falling off, breaking, wearing out, being bl00dy painful and silly easy jobs around the house I wouldn’t have thought twice about have been taking ten times as long to do if at all possible, enjoy as much as you can while you can.
Thanks David,
I'll be 71 at the end of this year and all things considered, I think I'm in pretty good shape 🙏 apart from the hands issue, which hopefully will be a lot better in a couple of weeks. I know plenty of work colleagues, younger than me that aren't so fortunate and a couple that are sadly no longer with us, so I intend to make the most of the time I have left (y)
Regards
Alan
 

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Thanks David,
I'll be 71 at the end of this year and all things considered, I think I'm in pretty good shape 🙏 apart from the hands issue, which hopefully will be a lot better in a couple of weeks. I know plenty of work colleagues, younger than me that aren't so fortunate and a couple that are sadly no longer with us, so I intend to make the most of the time I have left (y)
Regards
Alan
It sounds like your starting off with a fantastic adventure across Europe , cannot say I am not a bit jealous ;) but I got some good news today as it appears I am now top of the list (at last) for my full left knee replacement, had the right knee done two years ago between lockdowns (it went so well, the NHS had me “done” in the Nuffield private hospital due to COVID and TBH it was like a holiday!)…….and the news today was it is back to the Nuffield again…woohoo(y)

Keepmthe news coming with the tour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi David,
I will endeavor to take lots of snaps and videos of the railway adventures to share on this forum.
Glad to hear of your next knee holiday is imminent :). I have also opted for private treatment, unfortunately, due to lack of insurance ( I decided long ago the amount I was paying Bupa each month would be better off being saved and used in case treatment was needed ) and not wanting to wait for NHS, I am self funding, so the non paid Bupa subscriptions are being called upon :)
Regards
Alan
 

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And as for 6991, all I get is a trip back to the UK (I'd rather be travelling around Germany). I will be on the ground from September 2nd until October 17th. Ah you say, luxury ! all that time, but no, the missus has friends and family to catch up with, and I lost both my sister (70) and dad (94) last year and was unable/not granted an exemption to travel back. I managed to sort a lot from here, but there are loose ends to tie up all over the place. My sister lived in Jersey, dad in Rugby, mates everywhere etc. I sincerely hope there are some shows/steam spectaculars that I can catch up with.
When you are in Sydney Alan, there are lots of interesting railway things to do, as time progresses I will be able to shine a light on next years events.
Cheers all,
6991
 

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Indeed, old age comes at a very inconvenient time of life.

I retired early at 58, almost 10 years ago now but since then bits of me have been falling off, breaking, wearing out, being bl00dy painful and silly easy jobs around the house I wouldn’t have thought twice about have been taking ten times as long to do if at all possible, enjoy as much as you can while you can.
Keep working at it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi all,
thanks for the heads up 6991.
I had the injection into my left hand this afternoon and am sure it hurt more than last week :eek: I mentioned to the doc that my right hand was a lot better than it was but still slight pain every now and then as apposed to constant ache I had in both hands. He seemed quite confident that after a few weeks it would all settle down and I'd be pain free 🙏
Regards
Alan
 
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