Cracking Retirement Hogmanay Fireworks

Goodbye 2017 – Hello 2018

It is Hogmanay. (The Scottish term for New Year’s Eve)

This time last year we were in New Zealand, sitting in T shirts at a barbecue. This year, we will have winter coats on, and are heading to Princes Street for the Annual Hogmanay Street Party. There’ll be fireworks

Cracking Retirement Hogmanay Fireworks

And thousands of people, all feeling chilled to the bone but determined to enjoy themselves..

Cracking Retirement - people on the street
People on Princes Street, Edinburgh at Hogmanay.

We are going to a gathering with old friends whom I used to work with. I haven’t been to it for a few years, so it will be good to catch up on all the news. We have an excellent vantage point, so I hope to get some great photographs if the weather is clear. If it is damp, the visibility gets so poor, the photographs just don’t work.

So what were the high points of 2017?

  • A great trip to New Zealand. We don’t often get the opportunity to spend time with our younger son, so when we do, we have to make the most of it.
  • My blog has been slowly gathering pace. A few guest posts helped considerably. White Coat Investor, Freedom is Groovy, Akash Sky, UK Money Bloggers Loose change twice, passing on skills and money changes in retirement. I have published 80 posts in the 15 months I have been blogging. I’m trying to do a little less on the blog, as I have so many more things to do with my time. As I once said, I don’t get bored!  I had hoped for 50,000 views, it is more like 15,000, but I have hit my subscriber target.
  • For yet another year, we have spent less than our income, even after all our travels, so our savings have continued to grow, and hence another year where we haven’t had to dip into the emergency fund. In Dream Big, one of my challenges was to grow our Net Worth by 10%. I only managed 6.5%, but that was mainly due to our very conservative long term investments not doing so well. My personal riskier investments managed 11%!

Cracking Retirement Net Worth 2017

  • We had another successful Slow Travel trip. Madrid was just amazing. We really loved that city.

Cracking REtirement Plaza Olavide Madrid

  • I’m still learning Spanish, I started the year with Duolingo at 58%, and after a few bumps on the way it is now at 65%, not fantastic, but I understand the language a lot better now, having spent 5 weeks in Madrid and also because I am doing a weekly class. I have stopped French just now because I was getting confused (easily done in my case!)

Cracking Retirement Duolingo 65

  • I am still continuing with my metalwork, between large copper pieces and small silver pieces, I have been busy
Cracking retirement - Copper Bowl
Fold Formed Copper Bowl

Cracking retirement cast silver twig mesh

What is 2018 going to bring?

  • There is one very important thing that 2018 will bring. In August 2018, our 2 boys, their wives and my husband and I will be in the same room, for the first time in 5 years! You have no idea of the pleasure it gives me to write that! We intend to meet up in Amsterdam. I’m sorry they won’t make it to Edinburgh, because lots of friends and family want to see them too.
  • Continued good health, all being well. We have been so lucky over our first years of retirement. I intend to continue my struggle to lose weight. I hope when we meet up in August the boys will get to see a slimmer Mum!
  • I’ll progress the blog. I aim to do a post every 7-10 days. I’ll continue the same mix, some travel, some money focused, some general and I hope to include more on my metal work. I am also trying to work out how best to use Pinterest.
  • Hopefully we will have another year where our income exceeds our expenditure. The more years we can do this, the longer our retirement nest egg can remain untouched. I aim to increase our net worth by 10%.
  • I will continue my push to learn Spanish. Hopefully there will be a short trip somewhere warm where they speak Spanish!
  • I will continue making things – small silver pieces, and maybe a couple of gold pieces, but also some large striking copper pieces as well. you can see the stuff I have made recently on my showcase
  • Travel is definitely on the list. As I write this I am trying to organise our next Slow travel trip.
  • Last but not least, I hope it brings lots of fun

I hope you all have a lovely Hogmanay, and have a good New Year when it comes.

All the very best for 2018!

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Cracking Retirement Goodbye 2017


  1. Congratulations on a great 2017, and many happy wishes for a great 2018. The meeting of the family in Amsterdam should certainly make it a great year! Edinburg looks like a lot of fun on New Years.

    I really enjoy seeing folks end of year/plans for next year posts. It really does bring home the fact that it isn’t really money we seek in life, its family, fun, experiences and freedom.

    Best wishes in the new year!

    Mr. 39 Months

    1. Hi Mr 39 Months

      I couldn’t agree more – it’s not really money we seek in life – it’s all the other things that make us happy.

      Have a great 2018


  2. Hi Erith,

    Happy 2018! I don’t think it is so much “Cracking retirement” but more smashing it out of the park! Looks like you are getting a really good mix in there with family, travel, blogging and your metal work.

    Keep up the good work, it is great to see how you are going, both in terms of building net worth and also in keeping yourself busy!


    1. Thanks FiL

      Happy 2018 to you too.

      Six years in, I am still really enjoying retirement. It has such a lot to recommend it.


      1. Hi Erith,
        Thanks – yes it seems you really are making the most of it, and I am really enjoying following how it is all going and what you are getting up to – starts to plant some ideas in my mind of what I will do when I can finally pull the trigger!

        1. Hang in there – preparation and planning pays off!

  3. Hello Erith 🙂
    It sounds like 2017 was great and 2018 will be even better for you! Good luck for your big family reunion – it sounds like it will be a very special event indeed 🙂

    1. Thank You

      I am hoping it works well. The boys saw each other last April, and we have seen each of them separately, but I am so looking forward to us all being in the same room, having a chat and winding each other up, as families do… (I am an easy target for the boys!) We have to go back to 2008, to find a time when one or other of them wasn’t getting married. There’s still a wedding involved this time, except this time neither of them is a major participant!

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