Only one more teaching day this term, plus one day of justifying our existence by having meetings. Then freedom! Freedom from reminding people how to use the full stop, comma, colon, semi-colon, apostrophe..., from photocopying (oh! the trees I have exploited in the course of the last few decades), from rushing from classroom to classroom, from always planning ahead, from filling in forms and answering emails.
Mind you, there are a few things to curtail this freedom. For example, my mother, 89 next month, has at last made the decision to move out of her flat, which is now on the market. She's finding this - understandably - very stressful. She keeps saying that she can't cope and that it's all too much. Above, you see her sitting room. Her flat is the bottom part of a large Victorian house, plus what was originally the staff quarters - a kitchen and various offices built out from the main house at the back, with two bedrooms up above. Britain had to fill in census forms last week, and this involved counting the rooms. She has ten, not including bathrooms - some quite large, as you see. This is too many for one old lady. In these rooms, she has a lot of furniture. And all the rooms have cupboards with 89 years' worth of things in them. Not that she's a hoarder, particularly. But she's done a lot of things in her life. And someone - and it won't be her - will have to clear all this out. She'll have some difficult decisions to make.
She's going to move in with us, which will be a huge change for her. (Not to say for Mr Life, who is a saint.)
It's taught me a serious lesson, though. By the time we're 80, and not a second after, Mr Life and I will be in a retirement flat. We'll have minimised our possessions (though I'm not a minimalist by nature) and someone else will be looking after the roof and the gutters and the garden; and there will be a warden to call on us every morning to check for signs of life.
To be honest, this idea has a certain appeal even now. I wonder if cats are allowed in retirement flats. (Would that make them flat cats?)