"What on earth am I going to do after 44 years of working almost day and night? Of course, I have my dog, Amber, a gorgeous German shepherd who at 15 weeks chose me by sitting on my foot and gazing adoringly up at me with beautiful amber eyes. That was 8 years ago. Her development was great fun and the start of a very close bond with mutual love. We walked and played for hours, enjoyed sunsets on the beach and roamed the woods with the changing seasons.
The only time I have left her was when I joined the geology tour organised by Cardiff University. We flew to Salt Lake City and were awe inspired by Bryce Canyon, arches, Meteor Crater, Monument Valley and flying over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter. I saw dinosaur bones, petrified forests and walked deserts to see the Navaho Indians and their ancient settlements at Mesa Verde.
My husband is so frustrated with my passion for rocks that I have to hide specimens and one year whilst caravanning in Scotland, our petrol consumption plunged from 25 miles to the gallon to 15 on the way home. He nearly had a fit when he found hoards of rocks, fossils and minerals that I had hidden to add to my collection.
I also run a monthly geology club for the South Wales University of the Third Age. Some trips are not suitable for Amber so she is happier when I settle down to do some painting. My introduction with water colours has been quite a revelation. I disagree with my husband who thinks my paintings are good enough to sell but no doubt after my days my son will sell them all in a car boot sale.
I love my garden and any free time, I plant, weed and prune but that is often overshadowed by my new computer skills. I'm trying to get to grips with the 21st century. I love it. This story is my latest project. How funny, Did I really worry that I was going to be bored when I retired?"