Well, things are moving on. I am now in my last month of notice period, my last day as a full-time employed person being 31st August 2012, a day that will definitely go down in the annals of my personal history although in what context is yet to be decided.
Gone is the (admittedly pretty pointless, given the state of pensions generally) company-paid pension scheme. Gone are the paid holidays and the long service days (and I'd just earned my third, too, as I completed 15 years of service in June). In their place will be self-employment on a monthly retainer, plus an hourly rate for any hours worked during the month in excess of 10. I will be reimbursed petrol and accommodation for any visits. They are also lending me a Blackberry, so that I can be contacted when not at my desk (which will be the vast majority of the time).
The cowardly, scaredy-cat wimp part of me is thrilled that I will at least be able to continue paying towards the household bills and the mortgage. The part of me that summoned up the courage to start this whole change in motion is sneering at me undisguisedly. What a wuss. Not only am I not escaping the job and attendant stresses that brought me to this pass, but I will not even be safe when out and about, with a ticking Blackberry in my pocket.
I keep reminding myself that the important things is that things are changing, and that I had the courage to change them. Now I have to find some more courage to deal with that.