This one is a tad self-indulgent.

I graduated from university on Friday 5 July 1985.   I started work on Monday 8 July 1985 – it was a time in history when, without the help of the old-school tie, it was difficult to land a job that was compatible with your degree and so when I was asked, following what I recall being my fourth job interview, to join a local council in Edinburgh at the earliest opportunity, any plans for a few weeks of down time were put to the side.  It’s a decision I’ve never regretted.

Today, Friday 27 March 2020, I will enjoy my last day of paid employment, after my application for early retirement through voluntary redundancy was accepted.

It’s been an incredibly strange and frustrating end to my career as I’ve mostly been working from home these past two weeks, taking part in regular conference calls with my fellow managers, doing our best to keep things ticking over and trying to keep staff morale as high as is possible in such challenging and uncertain times.

From a selfish point of view, the planned night out has, of course, been cancelled but I’ve undertaken to go back in for one last time when this all eventually calms down and to do my very best to have a leaving do that will be legendary.

I have no intention to work for a living in the future, and the plan, eventually,  is to devote as much time as possible to travel, music, Raith Rovers and golf. Oh, and I have good intentions about trying to pass my driving test!

EXCEPT……… such challenging times everyone had to be less selfish and so I’ve offered to stay on, free of charge on a voluntary basis, to continue to help and support my colleagues as we implement business contingency plans, including, eventually, preparing for how best to get going when there is some sort of return to normality.

I did think about changing the intended piece of music that has long been scheduled for today, but will stick with the latest one-hour mix tape, with most of the song titles having some sort of link to the past 35 years.  The opener is one that myself and Jacques once danced to at the Xmas Party that we organised jointly on behalf of our colleagues – the one piece of music we decided should clear the floor for a couple of minutes.

I’m happy to say that I have had many more good than bad days during my career and have made a number of lifelong friends along the way.  I’ve been lucky that way.

mp3 : Various – The End of an Era


Pixies – Debaser
The Wedding Present – What Did Your Last Servant Die Of?
The Rakes – Work Work Work (Pub Club Sleep)
The Clash – Career Opportunities
Idlewild – You Held The World In Your Arms
Fun Boy Three – It Ain’t What You Do
R.E.M. – Finest Worksong
Buzzcocks – Everybody’s Happy Nowadays
The Jam – Just Who Is The 5 O’Clock Hero?
Le Tigre – Deceptacon
Magazine – Model Worker
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Patio Song
Electronic – Getting Away With It
The Fall – Fantastic Life
International Teachers of Pop – The Age of The Train
Stereolab – Ping Pong
Lloyd Cole – Don’t Look Back (original mix)
Otoboke Beaver – 6 Days Working Week Is a Pain
PJ Harvey – Big Exit (edit)
Young Marble Giants – Final Day

A new life beckons.  Eventually.



  1. Have a happy retirement and I hope you get to see Raith Rovers playing soon.

  2. Happy retirement JC even if under the circumstances it’s not quite what it should have been. Looking forward to celebrating it with you in person once this shit is all done.

  3. Soooo jealous, but it speaks volumes of you that you’re staying on voluntarily during a time of crisis. My mate retired recently and has described his first three months of freedom as “wonderful”. I hope you have the same experience once you finally finish for good.

  4. JC
    I started in the NHS around the same time and I’m still working (until next July!)
    Happy retirement and will see you for a pint when this all blows over
    Stay safe

  5. very soon you will wonder how you had time to work for an existence…. enjoy the retirement when it finally happens

  6. Enjoy, when eventually coming fully true! I’m sure you will find plenty of things to fill your time with.

  7. have a lovely retirement with no more ‘working for the ……… dollar’ and lots of ‘happy Days’

  8. Congrats! Well-done! I am your age and graduated university in America 2 months earlier than you. Needless to say, I won’t (can’t) be retiring anytime soon.

  9. It’s finally happening! Couldn’t be happier for you. Now you can focus on your second career as A Scottish Music Writer! Not giving up on celebrating your birthday in person but, if it doesn’t happen then, we’ll make it a retirement bash when you get here at last.

  10. A great day, JC – congratulations, and may you
    never work again (beyond your extremely kind
    voluntary offer).

  11. Happy Retiremtent, JC. Speaking as someone who is the same age, give or take a couple months, I can heartily recommend it. What took you so long?

  12. Congratulations on finding the escape route and a great playlist. The choice of Electronic certainly made me smile! I feel like I’ve been doing tht for all my (working) life. Hoping to join you in a life of leisure next year and having more time to read the blog and comment. Stay safe.

  13. Maybe not as you pictured it, but a proud achievement that will be recognized by friends and family in due time. Congratulations to you and yours.

  14. Retirement? I’m seething with jealousy. In America it’s almost off the table completely for entire generations of us. The brief here seems to be work until you can’t then get thrown into the meat grinder. I’ve not had a job with retirement in 20 years. What little I’ve manage to sock away in the 90s in the by now bleeding money 401K scam that was given to Americans of my age, instead of a proper pension like my dad had, will probably be whittled away into naught soon by the vagaries of the “free market.” Which is currently in freefall thanks to the malefic guidance and monetary policies of the least fit generation of leaders throughout my entire adult life as an American. But good on yer, son. I’m just being miserable and shouldn’t be raining on your parade with my clouds of personal gloom.

    I’m one of those people who cannot conceive of boredom. I’ve been making things my entire life. It’s my passion. And if I didn’t have to dump a third of my life [plus commuting time] into the black hole of work, I’d be thrilled to make all of the things that my mind can’t stop conceiving of. Mostly the grandiose boxed sets of god® that I sometimes write about on Post-Punk Monk.

  15. As Steveforthedeaf says, the new life has started already for all of us. Brilliant gesture but then it’s the sort of thing I’d expect from you. Take care in the big city.

  16. Very best wishes for your retirement when it eventually arrives. A colleague of mine should have retired on Friday as well. He’s stayed on too as we’re also in the public sector. Another 14 months (not that I’m counting) before I can go, although depending on where the kids are up to with their studies, I may stop on for a short while.

  17. Sorry for he belated comment, my friend, I didn’t find the time to ‘touch’ the internet on the weekend. Well, what can I say, apart from: “I’M BLOODY JEALOUS!!”

    Enjoy your free life once your colleagues are able to cope with the current situation on their own and I do sincerely hope that we really see later this year.

    All the very best, congratulations and so forth from someone who has another 11 years to go … blimey!


  18. Congrats JC and here’s to a future filled with the things in life that make you and your’s happy. Like a few others I will admit to some jealousy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.