You may remember that recently we sold our little cottage by the sea, and moved up the road a bit, into one of those Lifestyle Village thingies. We’re still close to the sea, but about 100 metres further away than we were before. Mr Tilly still gets his morning walk on the beach almost every day.
I’ve given you a glimpse of the unit we purchased the lease for life on, but I haven’t shown you around the village yet. So get yourself a cuppa, get comfy, and I’ll show you around.
Firstly, the front garden – each resident can choose to do their own front garden, or the village gardener will see to it , which is included in the monthly fees. The back garden is our responsibility. We’ve chosen to do our own front garden. If the garden ever gets to much for us, we’ll get the gardener to take it over.
There are 179 units in the village, and three areas for caravans to be parked. One of the main reasons we moved quickly to purchase our particular unit, is firstly we liked the unit, and secondly there’s a caravan bay almost at our back gate. As you can see in the photos below, the houses are not all the same, and they’re not the transportable type of house that you get in some retirement villages. Ours is the third one along, the one with the garden yet to establish. There’s a little bit of separation between each of the houses too, although some of the garages share a wall.
Right opposite the caravan bay is the back entrance into the pool, gym, sauna and spa. I swim three times a week, and Paul uses the gym most mornings.
There’s a few units between us and the bowling green. Bowls are played there three times a week. As soon as we get some bowls, and some spare time we’ll give it a go.
The movie theatre has proper theatre chairs that are staggered, and i think they show three movies there each week.
There’s a craft room with sewing machines, and over lockers which we are welcome to use, and of course there are organised craft activities, and art sessions. There’s also a well equipped men’s shed, (I’m sure women are welcome to use it too).
A restaurant on site, and cafe provides meals several days a week, plus caters for functions whenever the need arises. Theres also a big function room, with a stage, and dance floor. I believe New Years Eve is a big night in the function room.
There’s pool tables, and table tennis tables. There’s cards, scrabble, mahjong, and much more organised weekly for whoever wants to take part. Yoga and Pilates instructors hold sessions regularly, and personal trainers are sometimes brought in to show residents how to use the gym equipment. Some things are included in the fees, but for other things like the personal trainer, there may be an additional charge.
There’s lots of lovely little garden areas throughout the village where one may take a book to read in the sunshine, or shade if it’s to hot, and there’s a library on site too.
A shopper’s bus will take residents into town once a week for shopping, which must be a real bonus for those who don’t drive. The same bus can be hired for a small group to use for an outing. I believe winery tours are often scheduled in the summer.
We think that with 179 units its big enough for everyone not to know each others business, but big enough to offer companionship and security as we get older – and lets face it, we’re certainly not getting any younger. While we were wandering around taking a few photos this morning, we met a couple of residents. They’re not ‘a couple,’ and each has their own unit. Both have lost their partners, so they often go out to dinner together, attend functions together, and just generally team up for things so as they are not alone. Paul and I sometimes talk about that time most couples eventually reach, when one drops off the perch, leaving the other behind. The two that we met this morning gave us a warm feeling, the feeling that we’ve made this huge lifestyle change at the right time. We are still young and fit enough to take advantage of all the things on offer here, but when that time comes that one of us gets left behind, well I think we’ve done our best to keep on caring for each other long after one of us is gone.
So thats our not so little life style village. More like a resort than a retirement village I think, and I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’ll do us. We’re happy!