It’s nice to be home at Tantula Rise
Bolton Clarke Tantula Rise Retirement Village residents Susan and John say that it’s nice to have found their home after a lifetime of moving around the world.
John, who is originally from Liverpool in the United Kingdom, was in the Royal Air Force for 38 years to the day he joined. As a result, he and his family have moved frequently.
“We have been married 58 years this year and we have had 29 homes in that time,” Susan says.
“I served in Singapore, which is where we got married, Hong Kong, Germany, Canada, Myanmar, and when I resigned in ’98 we moved to France and lived there for seven years,” John adds.
“We lived in quite a few places in the UK too - we lived in the Shetland Islands, which is the northernmost point in the UK, for 18 months. We have lived in some very interesting places.”
Susan and John say that their two children have inherited the same wanderlust they had. In fact, it was their daughter who married an Australian, inspiring the pair to make the move down under.
“We were renting at Peregian and we had been saying we wanted to move. I had always wanted to live in a retirement village,” Susan says.
“When we saw Tantula Rise on Facebook, we came out to see it, and a week later had put our deposit down.
“It just had the most wonderful community atmosphere when we walked in, which was so important to us, being used to living in communities with the Air Force.
“It’s been wonderful - it’s great living here, I love it. You haven’t got to worry about gardening, you haven’t got to worry if your outside is tidy, it’s all taken care of. You’re comfortable in your own little environment.
“After moving around so much, it’s nice to be home – our final home, we’re never moving again!”
Now that they are comfortable and settled, Susan and John have plenty of time to enjoy their hobbies - the pair have been avid tenpin bowlers since they got married, John loves geography and Susan has joined a local group that knits for charity.
They also help at the Village’s coffee mornings, in the library and have plenty of time to reminisce on the busy lives they have led.
“We always say if we had to do everything again, we have absolutely no regrets,” Susan says.
“Before I was married, I used to work at Chequers, which was the British Prime Minister’s country house - we used to have some very interesting people come and stay for the weekend there!”
“We also dined with Prince Philip one time, through the Air Force, at one of the RAF stations in Wyton,” says John.
“And you don’t just dine with him, you have a rehearsal the week before, with the same food and everything! You practice the timing of the meals, and someone acts the part of Prince Philip - it was quite strange but that’s what it was like in those days.”
“Now we feel as if we don’t need to do anything else with our lives but just enjoy them,” says Susan.
“And we’ve ended up in such a great place - it’s the perfect place for us. Life here is just happy, there are no worries, you just get on and enjoy.”