Ormiston postmaster Alistair Main is to retire at the age of 62 and hopes to use his new-found freedom to see more of the world.
The Moffat Road resident is packing in the early mornings to focus on his family and hobbies.
Mr Main grew up in the Ormiston area and previously worked with Prudential as an insurance salesman for 24 years, but took early retirement at the age of 50 as the stress of the position was proving to be too much.
He knew of the post office and knew the then postmaster was nearing retirement age, and so put plans in place to buy over the shop.
Despite the change of direction in his career, he said the job of postmaster was still a serious commitment.
“I work from six in the morning until half past five at night, so the job is probably less stressful, but more tiring.
“I’m looking forward to not having to rise so early,” he said.
An active man, Mr Main is already a member of Jogscotland, and trains with a team of ten joggers at Meadowmill Sports Centre. In his retirement he wants to rekindle his love of golf.
He said: “I’d like to take up golf again as I haven’t done it in around five years.
“I have arthritis in my left wrist which can make it difficult but I hope that without the Post Office I’ll have the time to get back into it.”
The desire to travel is also a major factor in Mr Main’s retirement. An avid fan of cruises, he plans to fly to Acapulco and travel down the Panama Canal, as well as touring Ireland.
Yet it’s not just a more leisurely lifestyle that convinced him to sell up, “I had three friends, all the same age as me or younger, who have all passed away before me. I decided it was time to see a bit of the world.”
His wife Ann, also an employee at the Post Office, will be retiring with him, and Mr Main admitted: “She looks after me.”
A current deal to buy over the shop could be confirmed within weeks, which means the pair will retire at some point in October.
As well as travelling and golf, Mr Main is also looking forward to spending more time with his family.
He is the father to two daughters – Lisa and Sharon – who live in Musselburgh and Luxembourg respectively.
“I don’t see my daughters as much as I’d like to, especially as one of them lives in Luxembourg, so I hope to see them more often.”
Yet Mr Main said he was still sad to leave his colleagues at the Post Office. He said: “I have a wonderful staff, I picked the right kind of people.”
As a final farewell, he is treating the staff to a day at Kelso Races in November, to thank them for their time working with him, and to celebrate his retirement.