P is for Paddy

I am doing the A to Z Challenge and am running a bit behind but am trying to multipost as part of my catch up. To make life ‘interesting’ (I should have made it simple) I am writing on the spot based on a set of prompts using Rory’s Story Cubes- so I have 9 pictograms to work with. For April 18th:

  

After years of clock watching and packed lunches and exhausting commutes the day had dawned that Paddy had dreamed of since the day he joined the civil service. Forty years done, grey hairs earned and he was retiring.  The pension wasn’t exactly a fortune but Paddy had been saving since his thirties so he knew it would be enough for what he wanted to do. Pottering around his garden and growing apples for his home-made cider. 

There were so many things that Paddy planned to spend his time on now that it was all his own and the fairer hours of the day no longer belonged to the taxpayer. He might learn to ballroom dance or take up a new language. Nothing too expensive – he was prudent and didn’t want to gamble his long term future on anything too rash in the first few years. He knew of colleagues who sold up and moved abroad to enjoy their retirement somewhere sunnier. They could get plenty of exercise just hiking and walking and not need to spend huge fees on a gym. That idea appealed to him, the hiking at least, so he had bought the walking sticks at lunchtime and planned to take them home with his small box of possessions packed under his desk. 

It it was five to five in the evening and Paddy started to tidy the desk. The ‘out of office’ email message was already set up to say “Gone Fishing!” As the second hand of the clock climbed to 12 he stood up and put his coat on, quietly picked up his box and walking sticks, and headed for the door.

He  hadn’t wanted a tea party following a collection from people who couldn’t really afford it and would resent being asked for a presentation by someone who didn’t know him of something he didn’t want. And he didn’t want a fight with his immediate colleagues who would feel he should get this after his years of service. So he was taking all the holidays he had saved up, six weeks in all, and given notification of his retirement in an email timed to send at 6pm. He laughed to himself as he walked to the bus stop. “Gone Fishing!” He would have plenty caught when they realised he had gone. 

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