Retirement for me meant that I finally had the opportunity to do what I wanted, and to do something really worthwhile. It’s frustrating (I would say wrong) that there are many activities that are really important and valuable, but for which it’s impossible to make a business case. Whilst I might argue that society should not rely on the goodwill of volunteers to get these things done, retirement is an opportunity to turn ones back on the time-is-money paradigm, for the benefit of everyone and the future of the small planet we inhabit. As an engineer, I appreciate equipment that has been designed so well that it can be maintained indefinitely. The Victorians had this down to a fine art, but now we seem to have forgotten it, which I find shameful. Hi-tech equipment is now so complex and inscrutable, it was inevitable that shops that offer repair services would become unprofitable and disappear – the business case for repairing cannot be made.
Organising Repair Cafés in my local village was a logical response to this, and having now run sixteen, I have to say I have found it enormously rewarding. Judging by their popularity, the community seems to agree with me!”