Just started reading Pointless presenter Richard Osman’s book ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ which unusually for a kind of thriller is set in a retirement village.
The club of the book’s title meets every week in the jigsaw room at Coopers Chase, a superior gated development in rural Kent.
The puzzle the members attempt to solve, however, is not the “two thousand piecer of Whitstable harbour” left unfinished on the coffee table, but rather one of several cold murder cases brought to their attention by Penny, a resident in the village and a former police inspector.
Of course, it doesn’t take long for the cold cases to become much warmer, and for the retirement village, with its bowling green and sauna and regular Waitrose deliveries, to become the site of all kinds of murderous intrigue.
What follows threatens to become the Famous Five in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, or a Midsomer murder for a whole gang of Miss Marples.
As well as the former police inspector, the five comprise an ex-psychiatrist, one-time trade union leader, a former secret agent and a retired nurse.
Their combined expertise will I imagine – although I’m only 30% of the way through the book my Kindle tells me – make a better job of solving the case than the local police team working on the case.
In my last night out – which feels like forever ago now – before the doors of liberty were slammed shut for the second lockdown a retired friend was telling me about the techniques he used to get the best out of the people who worked for him.
I ventured that perhaps he missed all of that now to which he agreed with real feeling saying forlornly that the biggest decision he makes these days is when to mow his lawn.
Earlier in the week I chaired a committee meeting and one of the new retired members mentioned that in his former life he was he was a negotiator for Rolls Royce. He reckoned he could be making a better job of Brexit which I don’t doubt, not least because it would be difficult to do worse!
How much untapped retired talent is out there, I ask myself? You would have thought our digital world coupled with the new tools of the gig economy could harness some of it.
OK many retired people don’t actually want to go to work full time anymore but lots of them would like to use their brains and experience to contribute to something meaningful. And some of the more comfortably off retired people would be happy to do it for nothing.
A new UK-based Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs needs to find a way to make this happen. I’ll take 10% for the idea!