Narrated by Emil Collins
Since I was forced into retirement a couple of years ago, I’ve had a lot more time on my hands, which I mostly enjoy.
I do get a little bored. I’ve considered looking for work again. I miss my old job sometimes. Or maybe I could be a spy.
I told Anna about that and she told me the SCIA didn’t want a 64-year-old rookie spy.
I’ve spent a lot of time playing video games. Anna bought me a console for my birthday this year. It's been years since I've owned one and I forgot how much fun they are.
I’m sure Anna wishes she’d never bought it for me sometimes. She bought it so I’d have something to do during the day while she was working, but I end up playing it a lot at night too.
If Anna wants attention, I really need to give it to her. She doesn’t let up until I do.
It gets lonely around here without her during the day though, so I can’t say I mind too much.
I thought I’d spend my extra time during the day visiting the kids but it somehow didn’t occur to me that it wouldn’t really work. Hope and Nathan both work regular 9-5 type jobs, so we can only catch up in the evenings and weekends anyway.
Hope has just moved in with her boyfriend Malcolm and Anna and I went to see the house this week.
She also invited Nathan and his girlfriend Rebecca over, so we could all catch up together.
I can tell that Hope isn't very fond of Rebecca, probably due to her altercation with Hope’s best friend Julia last year. They seemed to be able to keep it civil for the duration of our visit though.
Anyway, it’s a nice place but the reason the rent is so cheap is because it's quite isolated. From Hope's front door, all you can see is farms.
Hope insists she’ll be fine. She’s got Malcolm with her and it’s a very safe area.
I’ve come around a lot on Malcolm since he and Hope first got together and I’ve told him to take care of her. I trust that he will.
Malcolm works a lot of nights at the moment though, meaning she’ll be home alone at night. I can’t help but wish she was in an apartment building with an intercom.
Hope and Malcolm are obviously quite serious now. It makes me wonder when I’ll be seeing grandchildren enter the picture.
I hope they wait a few years. I feel old enough without being a grandfather just yet. I’m content to just hand out candy to the neighbourhood kids on Halloween. They know it’s just the two of us living here and that we’re always home on the night.
Daiquiri always seems to be around to help me greet the children. Thank goodness she’s friendly or else they might not ever come back.
I don’t think she has too many years left in her. The poor thing is so old that I don’t think she could really do much damage.
Anna hates Halloween, so she never comes out to see the kids. She spends the evening inside reading and hiding from trick-or-treaters.
She’s always relieved when the doorbell stops ringing and Halloween is over for another year.
Anna just isn’t crazy about other people’s children. She’s not the kind to coo over babies and she never has been. She took a lot of convincing when we decided to start a family and I never did manage to talk her into a third child.
She loves our own children but even so, I think she likes them a lot better now that they’re grown up and can take care of themselves.
Nathan and Hope both take after me, in that they’re very family-oriented. They both see themselves married with children, sooner rather than later (though that obviously depends on Malcolm and Rebecca too).
It’s not something Anna really understands, how eager they both are to settle down and start families.
She’s accepted now that it’s just the way they are and she doesn’t harp on them about the topic any more.
She hasn’t stopped harping on at me about going on a vacation though.
It honestly feels like we don’t talk about anything else a lot of the time.
Anna reads the travel section religiously, looking for different places she’d like to go.
Then that night at dinner, she’ll just casually drop mentions about this resort or that beach. It never ends.
We just can’t afford it though. There’s airfare, accommodation and then plenty of incidental expenses once we get there. We’d burn through all of our savings and we don’t have a lot!
Anna didn’t like hearing that at all.
I did a little research online and found that we still couldn’t afford a holiday but we could probably swing a night or two in a fancy hotel downtown.
So off we went to the Vista. It was actually quite pricey but I don’t think Anna would have even set foot in the other hotel in Exeter. From the pictures I saw online, I’m not even sure I would have walked in. It looked very dingy.
The Vista was a wonderful place though and it thoroughly met Anna’s approval.
It wasn’t quite like going away somewhere but it was surprising how relaxing it was, just having that hotel room to ourselves for the weekend.
I guess it’s not really peak travelling time right now, because the whole hotel, including the restaurant, was almost deserted.
I’m not under any illusion that a weekend downtown has completely satisfied Anna but hopefully by the time she starts up again, we’ll have enough money to go away for real.
- Title is from Walk On by Neil Young.
- Emil rolled the want to get back into the Slacker career or, failing that, Intelligence! Sorry Emil but I'm not bothering with those piddly elder jobs, so you're going to be staying home. Or maybe not. Depends how desperate they get for cash! They have about $5000 in their funds right now.
- I tried to add a loveseat and armchair to Hope and Malcolm's place, only to find there is no plain black recolour for the loveseat or armchair. Argh, repository meshes, people! So if you happened to notice the couch is different, that's why.
- Yes, Anna has been to the Vista before. I didn't realise that until just this second! But I don't think she'd have shared that little tidbit with Emil anyway, lol!