They say that when you get older three things happen to you. First your hair turns grey, second your memory starts to go, and finally … I can’t remember the third one. Oh yes I can … you start repeating yourself and you turn into your dad and begin to live in the past … you start repeating yourself, turn into your dad and begin to live in the past. There’s no chance of that happening to me. I’ll be too busy collecting vintage umbrellas, old fountain pens, J. B. Priestley first editions, and getting fashion tips from the Antiques Road Show. (Extract from Retirement Speech, April 2009) Twenty-one years as a primary head was probably long enough. Retirement at sixty sounded good and was, for me, the beginning of a new life. After a 'gap year', during which I relaxed and concentrated on completing an ongoing doctorate, I needed to do something useful that allowed me the flexibility of part-time work. This came in the form of supply teaching combined with an Associated Lecturer's contract with the Open University. It's a great life with significantly less responsibility and stress. It's also financially rewarding when combined with a teacher's pension. I enjoy the challenges and flexibility of supply teaching along with the Open University's academic work and the added bonus of free time on days off and in the evenings when I can enjoy some gentle cycling. I feel that I have a good deal without the worries of additional pension contributions and the expectation to stay in post for much longer. I enjoy working in a range of schools across a number of Local Authorities and still find time for leisure and relaxation. At last I have managed to achieve a good work / life balance. It's only taken forty years! ... Now where did I put me bicycle clips?