Me in 2034
Despite only being in my early 30s (I can still say that at 34 can't I? Can't I? Can't I?), I often think and plan for my retirement and am always filled with terrible envy when people at my work retire (despite being happy for them). Don't get me wrong - I don't mind work. But I always have more fun on holiday. And that's what I imagine retirement would be, an endless holiday. Except I probably won't be able to enjoy it - knowing my luck I'll be bitter and housebound, rather than off in Vegas and New York.
Anyway, one of my preoccupations is visiting places in the UK to decide where I will retire. I had considered a holiday home somewhere warm, but after this year's hot summer, I've been put off that forever. Pensioners die in the heat. And I don't want to be forever worrying that the air conditioning will konk out and I'll have 30 minutes left to live.
So the south coast sounds viable - the weather's better. I wouldn't have to learn a new language (other than the local dialect words for bread) and I always like a sea-view. The gays seem to flock to the seaside resorts also, so if I did end up needing someone to give me a bed-bath, at least I could get 'family' to do it.
Anyway, this place looks lovely. I'm particularly impressed by the testimonials from real life pensioners called Freda, Pat and Mary who already live there. They all look like they'd be a right laugh and I am already imagining the fun we're going to have, meeting up in the communal areas to play whist and watch Day-time tv. Except wait, by the time I'm ready to retire, they'll all be dead. And the whole estate will have had a council estate built around it. Oh well.
Although it's easy to make fun of testimonials, I shouldn't forget that the last but one apartment we bought, we were asked to do a testimonial for it. The company had been having trouble selling the apartment complex, so they asked us to write something. I sent off a glowing report, which was used in a full page advert in our local newspaper. However, because me and my fella constitute a gay couple (which, in north Lancashire does not equal THE WOW FACTOR), they put a picture of the nice heterosexual couple who moved in next door, next to my quote, attributing it to my fella, who has the title of "Professor", which in the UK actually means something, not like in those countries where all you have to do is a little unqualifed part-time teaching on a flower-arranging course and they call you professor. So our testimonial was a composite of all the best bits of all the people who lived in our building. Needless to say, it worked and within a week all the other apartments had sold. You'd think they'd have given us a basket of jams or something, but we didn't even get a thankyou.