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A mature transplanted ceylonese - empty nester - down shifted to the Suffolk countryside from London after a daily commute of 6 trains per day; I now walk 5 minutes to work!
My town is in a beautiful part of Suffolk and less than 30 minutes to Cambridge with 900 years of academic history and in the other direction 40 to Bury St Edmunds of Magna Carta fame, with Newmarket, where horse racing was born, just 30 minutes away, mediveal Thaxted 25 minutes and Stansted airport 15 minutes beyond that.
so plenty to see and do and enjoy - but, I had a project to complete first.
So what have I been doing in the past 3 years with the time that I have saved? Restoring a Victorian end of terrace built in 1888 and incorporating 21st century mod cons. in the winter months, oh how we luuuv, sitting in front of the reclaimed Victorian fireplace which I cleaned for 8 weeks after work.
Typical 100' long Victorian (narrow) garden tamed - lots of herbs, vegetables and flowers and excess donated to my lovely neighbours. (I know nearly all of the 40 in the quiet cul de sac).
The home project is nearing completion with the one double and one single spare bedrooms nearly complete and ready for paying guests. I learned a lot about the Victorians in the process, and me.
I joined the St Felix Catholic church parish fund raising, communications and welcoming groups and the choir.
What Joy; we shall be moving into the new Church early in 2012 - after 10 years of fund raising, the parish community can see their dream fulfilled.
In betwen, I entertain my friends from around the country, relis from around the world, my Church friends and neigbours, as well as visit my daughter in London and help out at my other daughter's award winning tea room in Essex., whenever she needs a short burst of help - it's one sure way of seeing her more often than she can get to me.
I love travelling and had a great job travelling first class and staying in 5* hotels. while that was fabulous (the best in Singapore, New York, Cannes, Hong Kong, Seville, Milan, Montreaux etc) I am now looking forward to staying with people 'in real homes' in order to get to know the real local scene with local residents, and their hidden gems that 'tourists' don't get to.
These are some of the things that I love/excite me. Old movies, live concerts, picnics, family and friend get togethers, space travel, crosswords, seeing at least one new country a year, learning to read music so I can play the piano, dancing, cooking, entertaining, good food, wine, gardening, trying new dishes (sorry, fried scorpians in Beijing was the only challenge that has defeated me to date), self improvement (always striving, with a glass half full turn of mind), supporting my charities of choice for years - Amnesty International (human rights), Action Aid (educating children in the third world) and promoting the use of public transport. I also joined a small but determined local group that is pressing the authorities to take up the issue of re-instating the rail link through the town. some observers say the bill will be in excess of £120M, and that can never happen and I say,
10 years ago, a band of impoversihed parishoners set their sights on raising a million pounds to build a new Church and they were told it would never happen..........
So until we meet,
God bless you