Eileen Hale is enjoying a new lifestyle in her Churchill Retirement Living apartment at Chantry Lodge in Andover, and with more time to do the things she enjoys, she has also rediscovered her love of books and writing.
“I self-published my own book on Amazon a little while ago, and I’ve also written for Hampshire magazine in the past,” explains Eileen. “Since moving to my new apartment I’ve started working on a new book, but I have such a busy social life it’s sometimes hard to find the time!”
Eileen’s love of books has also led to her overseeing the growing library in the Chantry Lodge Owners’ Lounge. She says: “Everyone has donated books to keep our Owners’ Lounge well stocked with reading material. I’ve just sort of taken on the role of librarian, keeping it all neat and tidy and putting the books in alphabetical order so people can find what they’re looking for. I really enjoy it and it’s helped me feel part of the community here.”
Born in 1944, Eileen started life in a block of flats in the East End of London, and is now enjoying the benefits of a return to apartment living. She recalls: “Back then there was a Superintendent – not a Lodge Manager – who looked after us all. He’d come and shoo us children in at 8pm every night so that peace could reign for the other tenants. Although the war had just come to an end I remember my life being carefree and fun. I was surrounded by friends and family. I had my Grandma and Granddad, aunts and uncles, cousins all living in the flats plus all my friends. We had a coal fire in the sitting room. Happy Days!”
“Years later, after living and working in various places I bought a house in Charlton Village, Andover in Hampshire. The decision was made to be nearer my family and grandson. The house needed total refurbishment and I set about putting it to rights. Five years on and all the basic work completed I was still finding maintaining a house pretty much a nightmare.
“Then I came and viewed Chantry Lodge, in Andover, and the decision was made immediately. Here was my answer! I fell in love with this one bedroom apartment, three floors up with a balcony and a lift to all floors. The apartment was immaculate and I moved in at the end of May 2019.
I no longer maintain a house; pay out for building insurance, window cleaners, gardening work etc., or even have to remember to put the rubbish out. The kitchen is completely fitted out with fridge, freezer, eye level oven, and washing machine/dryer. Even a Care line if needed. Also, being situated within walking distance from the shops, doctors, dentist etc, my life doesn't run on bus times anymore.
“The added bonus is a social life; various activities for all tastes ranging from cinema evenings to theatre trips. Needless to say, I will not be considering moving again. I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined this, but I have well and truly come full circle. It’s given me a new outlook on life and I’m very pleased I made the move.
“My social life has mainly improved by being nearer my family, especially my grandson, but I do enjoy some of the social events here at Chantry and my lovely neighbors. I had to pull on the 'lads' recently when my lights blew at the weekend. The comment was 'we are here to help each other' - which has proved very true.
If anyone reading this finds themselves at ‘decision time’ I hope this has been of some help.
For more information on the brand new apartments for sale at Chantry Lodge, call 01264 252 348 or visit www.churchillretirement.co.uk.