Over a year ago when I realised I would be retiring from Topaz at 60, Nuala and I started to plan for our gap year. We sat down and looked at all the things we would have to do to simplify our lives, rent out the house and put in place all the plans needed to make this journey happen. (You don’t want to see the size of the list Nuala came up with!)
One of the first things I had to look at doing was selling my fish tank with its 26 fish. I put the tank up for sale on the Done Deal.ie website and after six weeks of enquiries ,a recently retired man from Clondalkin, Dublin came to view it, and after a lot of haggling purchased the tank and all the equipment I had built up for €360 ( a fraction of what it had cost me to set up the tank!).
I was sorry to see the tank go, as over a five-year period, starting with five fish and no experience, I built up the system and the fish has bred , so that I had now 26 fish in total ( having killed a number along the way!). But somehow, knowing that it was part of a bigger plan made it easier. My friend said it was a good thing I had got rid of the tank as the dining room looked like a Chinese Restaurant!
Next to go was my motorbike. Nuala’s brother Aidan learned that I was selling it. He rang and arrived over from England and bought the bike. Again this was an end of an era as I had only learned to ride motor bikes in my 50s and was proud that I had mastered this skill. It made me feel cool and not so old! Again, all that make it easier for me, was knowing this was all part of a bigger plan. Secretly I think Nuala was glad it was gone!