Patricia Gouk didn’t know anyone when she first moved into Linda Jones, just over a year ago.
But having run a well-known swimming pool and spa business in Flagstaff for 17 years it didn’t take long for her to be recognised!
“I used to go on a local tv programme helping people with their pools and I’d always end it with a quip to make them think. That was great fun that was,” she says. “I’ve since discovered lots of people I know from that.”
Trish used to run the business with her husband Bruce after they decided to have a change from farming.
But being widowed since 2011 and living in a big house on a large section prompted her to look at retirement options, something her four children encouraged.
“I went to Possum Bourne to take a look and I came back and said ‘yes, that’s what I want.’
“Everything is that much more pristine and better quality with Ryman. Bruce would have loved it here.”
Since settling into her sunny townhouse just a short walk from the soon-to-be-opened village centre, she has found her decision has been reinforced time and time again.
“There’s always something going on, and the staff are extremely friendly. At Happy Hour, I don’t drink, but they always have something for me.”
Growing up in Wales where she went to the same youth club as Sir Anthony Hopkins, Trish has lived in New Zealand since she was 21 and makes a point of greeting anyone with a Welsh connection in the native language.
“I always greet David (de Veth, sales advisor) and Glyn (Jenkins, the gardener) in Welsh. It’s one huge happy family, it really is,” she says.
The lockdown experience really underlined to her that she had made the right move.
“You have still got people you can talk to, there’s always someone here.”
A keen traveller, Trish was delighted to finally join her family on a recent sojourn to Papamoa and Mount Maunganui where they surprised her with a once in a lifetime experience – a ride in a low-riding V8 trike.
“I don’t like motorbikes but you don’t get on it, you get in it! We did 110km down the open road!” she laughs.