Home alone

Men can find life tough after retirement

Men can find life tough after retirement

First published in Sharon's View

DON’T laugh – there really is an illness called Retired Husband Syndrome.

It’s the wives who suffer from it, of course, when they’ve got their lives all nicely organised and then suddenly have to put up with a husband with no work, prowling the house all day with nothing to do, no one else to do it with and even expecting to be fed, like a gigantic cuckoo in the nest.

For every couple who relish the chance to spend time together at last, there’s another where husband is bored and wife is demented.

Italian academics, who coined the phrase, found it gets worse as they get older. There’s a cheery thought.

If he’s like this at 60, what’s he going to be like at 80?

All new situations take a little while to get used to, of course. But my husband’s been working from home for nearly three years now and I haven’t killed him yet. How good is that?

We’re the lucky ones – writing groups overflow with suspiciously heartfelt stories of wives murdering their husbands after 40 years of marriage. Still, at least they’re only writing about it. I hope… If you’re feeling murderous, probably better to buy him a shed, teach him to cook, get him out and about doing something useful.

And if all else fails – get out yourself and leave him to it.

WHEN it comes to holidays, David Cameron can’t win.

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. And no doubt he chooses his holidays with an idea of what will please the voters rather than the family.

Still, seeing him on a Cornish beach in his wetsuit clutching his body board, looking rather like the old Moneysupermarket ad – made me realise what a nation of softies we’ve become.

A wet suit? For bodyboarding?

In Cornwall? In the hottest summer we’ve had for years?

How wimpish is that.

Yet nearly everyone wears wetsuits now, even if they’re just going to paddle in the shallows.

The whole point of a British seaside holiday is to plunge briskly into the icy waves and emerge a few moments later, shivering, with skin like a just-plucked turkey and an interesting blue around the lips.

It’s holidays like that which made Britain great.

Wetsuits seems like cheating.

HAVE you had some marvellous marmalade ?

If so, you’re unusual – “marvellous” and “marmalade”

both being words that are apparently dropping out of use, according to new research. We don’t eat much marmalade and even if we did and we liked it, we prefer “awesome” instead.

“George’s Awesome Medicine” just doesn’t sound the same.

“Pussy cat” is on its way out too.

Mrs Slocombe has a lot to answer for… Another word losing its popularity but which we should reclaim passionately is “fortnight” – if only because Americans haven’t a clue what it means and it’s good to remind them that English was our language first.

Another fading word apparently is “fetch”.

So what do dog owners say?

AT Scotch Corner on Saturday morning at 6.30 the temperature was barely an unseasonal 10 degrees and decidedly chilly.

But even in the wintry dawn, a cheerful busload of Geordie girls on the way to Leeds Festival were maintaining standards – teeny tiny shorts, teeny tiny tops, full make- up including false eyelashes, spray tan and wellies.

It could almost make you proud.

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