For my first blog I will set the scene and explain why we moved into a retirement village.
Picture a coastal village in Devon set in a valley, or combe, running down to the sea. A chalet bungalow 400 yards up from the beach and village centre with a panoramic view of a section of coast and with a moderately sized productive garden. That was our situation. Sounds idyllic, or does it?
When we were a few years younger it was just what we wanted but as we got older the disadvantages became apparent. The garden was on a mean slope of one in six and the slope up the road from the village centre was nearly the same. The necessities were some distance away – shops seven miles, medical centre nine miles, main hospital 25 miles, nearest railway station 25 miles and in the summer months the roads, particularly the narrow Devon lanes, were often clogged with tourist traffic. All of these factors persuaded us that even though we were still fairly fit and able, we should move before everything got too much for us.
We were aware of several retirement complexes in the South West and had a look at a few but didn’t see anything that we fancied. Then, in the September 2007 edition of SAGA magazine, we saw an advert for the Retirement Villages’ new complex, specifically for the active retired, in Taunton – Blagdon Village. We felt it was worth a look and we liked what we saw. A look around the town showed us that the necessities were relatively close by. A medical centre, hospital, dentist and shops were all within walking distance, or a short car ride. There was an hourly bus service into town past the village entrance and the railway station was just the other side of town. We came back a few weeks later for a second detailed look at the village and decided that this was the place for us, so we bought an apartment and moved in on Friday the 13th of June 2008 when we were 74 and still active. We have had no regrets since.
In my next blog I shall give my views on retirement and when to move to more suitable accommodation.