This weekend Max received an email notifying him of the death of an old work colleague. Another one. He died while abroad, a sudden illness while on a business trip to India - although it could equally well have been Kazakhstan or Timbuktu. A sudden, short illness, then he was gone.
That makes three who have died in harness over the last couple of years.
Like so many of the driven men with whom Max used to work, this particular man wouldn't retire, not because he didn't have the funds, but because work was where he felt happiest. Perhaps it was how he defined himself.
It was certainly how Max used to define himself.
However, few years ago Max began to tire of the travel, airports, flying, the business meetings, being away from home and family. I was lucky. He was lucky. He decided to retire.
It wasn't easy for him to give up 'being someone', nor was it easy for me to adjust to having him around Parsonage Cottage so much, we are like chalk and cheese in so many ways.
Max has had to find a new role for himself, adjust to not having minions scurrying around to do his bidding and I have had to get used to having him here all the time, after a working lifetime of having him work away, often for months at a time.
It hasn't always been easy and we have often clashed, but somehow we are making it work, life is good.
Our days are long and full - actually, the days whizz by, they don't seem to be long enough to accomplish all that is on the 'To Do' list, but that doesn't matter, they can go onto another list until they get done, or not.
After all, it is supposed to be retirement.
Poppy, I'll send more photographs of Cowslip Cottage, when there is something other than building, plumbing, or electrical work to show you. There is such a lot of work going on, none of it pretty, all of it is worth doing. The fun phase will come soon. xxx