Much as I enjoy life as a shopkeeper, I do find myself increasingly looking forward to the day when I turn the door sign round for the last time, pull down the depleted uranium security shutters, hose away the blood, drunks and pavement pizzas at midnight and retire to my allotment in rural Lewisham.
Or at least I used to. I’m afraid I have squandered all of the ill-gotten gains of this business on luxuries like soap and dogfood (I should really get a dog but one somehow acquires the taste). I still have a pension, but at last valuation the pot (a nice Hartley’s New Jam model from 1974) itself was worth more than the original Silver Jubilee Coin, six brass buttons and nine rusty 1972 Esso Football Coins that it contains.
Happily the government is all in favour of seniors working on into their seventies, and of course it is actively encouraging this through targeted fiscal measures - which as Mr Hammond explained to me consist largely of not paying a state pension until after the beneficiary’s death. Still, it should have mounted up a bit by then, eh?
So there’s no need to worry, even though my accountant is suggesting there are one or two wholesalers I shouldn’t do business with if I’m to come out the right side of Christmas with my marbles intact.
After all, even Aldi is having a problem or two with the old profitability, after unexpectedly finding that having to invest costs money.
It’s really Mrs May’s retirement I’m worried about. Most Tory PMs can rely on the lecture circuit for financial security once they are knifed in the back (Labour prefers the front). But public speaking requires a little charisma. And, I’m told, a pulse.