Diary (Men and Their Toys)
have been volumes written on the way to have a happy retirement. Foremost has to be your health closely
followed by financial security. It may
seem odd to those who have not faced retirement in old age but there are so
many problems that simply cannot the solved with money: health, happiness,
loneliness to name a few. It is hard to
be happy without health and financial security however personal relationships
should be placed high on the list and the activities which occupy your
hours in retirement, after those spent on domestic chores, can be used
productively to improve one’s wellbeing.
The best activities will tax the mind causing it to be resourceful,
problem solve and recall information: there is the saying “use it or lose
it”. (Jimmy Connors, b.1952) The best activities will require some
physical exertion and will also require an involvement in a social group. Implementation considerations are important
too: can I afford the activity, do I have the necessary skills, and do I have
the space to pursue the activity?
much as I enjoy Freemasonry, it alone does not fulfil all the objectives any
more than being a “couch potato” does sitting on a lounge all day with a
“stubbie” watching TV. Our eldest son,
WBro David in Canberra, has recently taken up pendulum clock repairs and construction. He could put his watchmakers lathe on the
kitchen table. It is mentally taxing,
requires special skills, little material, physical movement and keeps him
involved with one of ther many amateur enthusiasts groups where members help
each other, an Australia wide, indeed a worldwide fraternity.
interest in clocks also has the dimensions of the historical development of
timepieces and the people involved.
Arguably it was the innovation by John Harrison (1693-1776), an English
carpenter who manufactured a precision clock that facilitated longitudinal
accuracy in navigation that gave the British the edge for over 100 years in
navigation at sea. It helped to
facilitate naval dominance and the creation of an empire. James Cook had two of these clocks with him
in his voyage to observe the transit of Venus and then on to New Zealand and
Australia. It involves an appreciation
of the fine arts too. For example, we
own a number including a French sculpture clock c1872 with a neoclassical
figure of a veteran carrying a child after the Franco-Prussian War
(1870-1871). For the enthusiasts, it
probably originally had a silk suspension.
was motivated by enthusiasm than thought when I resumed a youthful interest in
classic motor vehicles. Their
restoration satisfies all of the criteria for an active retirement hobby but it
is expensive, requires space, special equipment or extensive outsourcing and
the development of new skills.
have two very rare classic cars in restoration at this time. They are:
A 1927 AA Vertical 8 Stutz with an original Brewster saloon body, and
A 1930 25HP Sunbeam saloon with an original body made by Diskon and Molyneux,
the Sunbeam is currently the focus of my attention at the moment.
as they say, “The only difference between men and boys is the price they pay for
their toys (or the size of their toys)”.