I’ve had more lives in teaching than a cat; I’ve risen like a Phoenix several times and made false starts to reinvent myself or return to teaching. But come 4th April, I hit 55 and a career that could have spanned 33 years comes to an end.

For most of that period from 1987 to 2013 (or 2015, if you count my nine days back on a saddle), it was a decent job.

Shit pay in recent years and shit conditions – but it wasn’t always like that in my 27 years of service.

Teaching defined me for so long and when I was first denied that dopamine fix of performing in front of classes, it felt like a grieving process. If you’ve spent all your life planning to be an English teacher and then doing it for so long, a sense of loss was inevitable perhaps.

Time though is a great healer – I still look at the scab of the past, but am generally delighted with the new opportunities that the colluders in Norfolk allowed me by blocking classroom doors.

I had an epiphany the other week too, when I was filling in a personal injury claim for myself and my daughter.

Under profession, I normally hesitate for a micro-second and think Teacher. This time though I stuck Web Designer and Copywriter in the box.

Next month, I will remember that past when a terrific lump sum and monthly pension lands. 

I’m buying a Rolex (for investment purposes); we’re staying put in Norfolk, and I will try to resist a trolley dash around Apple – there’s nothing I need from there to be honest and looking, instead, at what to do with the money.

I’m not retiring from work – who would leave this lifestyle for a slow slide into death? Get Pro Copy Ltd will continue to grow and provide me with great motivation and enjoyment – but I can finally see that 27 years in teaching, despite the absolute horrors of the final few years, has been time well spent generally.

Address all retirement cards to 11 Colby Drive, Bradwell, Norfolk, and raise a glass for me on 4th April as I’m squarely teetotal (though I keep it quiet!) and send gift vouchers for Karcher etc so I can engage in old people fuckery.

I was a teacher, a very good one, but now freelance has freed me.