It’s fond farewell time I’m afraid. Yes, time that I come to terms with the departure of the wonderful Isabel Howse from the Sarum family.

I did make reference to Izzy’s retirement in my February Birthday reflection blog. Still, I wasn’t ready to say farewell, let alone a fond one! You see, Izzy and I go way back, having worked together briefly in Salisbury before Sarum. When we immediately hit it off because of our like-minded approach to life… and Physiotherapy. Firm friends quickly, working together was a natural progression, and she joined the Sarum team shortly after we opened. Meaning we have worked together for twenty-seven years.

So, you can see why it’s so hard for me to say farewell

Izzy came to Sarum specialising in dance injuries. Having worked in London looking after the students of Royal Ballet Schools. Not to mention, but I will, cast members of many West End productions. Bringing all this knowledge to the practice, it’s not surprising that she went on to build incredible working relationships between the practice and Salisbury’s local dance studios.

Then there were the small Pilates classes she started in the Centre that were extremely popular. And with our shared love of cycling, together we ran cycle physio clinics, which were a tremendous amount of fun and fed into our fully hands-on approach. We even ventured out on the roads to help one patient on her first time with cleats (**) – always going above and beyond.

Now you might be wondering what Izzy is up to, so we asked her for you.

Since finishing work in December (2021), I anxiously decided not to immediately engage in any holding commitments but instead take the time to ‘breathe’. As a result, and for the first time in over forty years (well apart from the odd maternity leave) I am not working or earning my own money, 

Since retiring, I have woken a couple of times and thought – what on earth will I do all day. Of course, there are always jobs and chores to be done, but I have to be in the mood for those….and often I wasn’t and am still NOT!

However, it’s now been over four months, and as everyone predicted, I’m getting busier by the day. And the old cliché of ‘how on earth did I find time to work?’ has kicked in. 

The grand plan of doing more together with my recently retired husband hasn’t worked… principally because he didn’t retire. Well, he did, but it lasted about a day. So, until he fully embraces retirement, our grand plans are on the back burner. However, we have found time for several wonderful trips, including time visiting our son and daughter-in-law in the US. We also spent a couple of weeks in Costa Rica with our entire extended family – three children and their partners. 

Plus, we’ve found ourselves, unexpected hosts, to our middle child and his partner for the last five months as they returned from living in Switzerland jobless, penniless and homeless.  But honestly, it’s been wonderful, much to our surprise! Energising, fun and expensive as our wine cellar has depleted faster than anticipated! They have now both found jobs in London, and we shall be on our own again very soon.

New adventures are sprouting up for my husband and I all the time. We’ve just fitted out a shepherd’s hut, which we are advertising on Airbnb, and it didn’t take long to get our first booking – so we’re feeling optimistic. This helps with my need to feel financially independent, if only marginally.

We also hope to race our boat more, possibly on a Wednesday afternoon, which we’ve never been able to do before. Then having always cycled (mostly road bikes), last year we bought each other e-bikes; and are looking forward to exploring the off-road trails around the New Forest and local area. 

And best of all…. we’re looking forward to becoming grandparents!! So that means more trips to the States, and I can’t tell you how excited I am with that news!!!!

So, you can see why I love and miss Izzy so much

She is full of life, loves an adventure and nothing much fazes her. Thank goodness it was a friendship first for us, and while she is no longer at the Centre looking after clients, she remains and always will be my friend.

** Cleats are the part of a clipless pedal that attaches to the bottom of your cycling shoe – the cleats are what actually clips in to the clipless pedal.