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Now sit back... and relax - Village life takes the weight off for Ginny and Joe!

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Ginny and Joe May have hardly stopped smiling since they moved into their sunny serviced apartment at Howick’s Bruce McLaren village.

In fact, says Ginny, Joe’s sisters commented that they haven’t seen their brother smile so much in years, such is the transformation that’s occurred.

The couple, who will have been married for 63 years on 1st October, had lived and run their engineering business at their Takanini home for almost as long but Ginny, 81, says it had started to become quite stressful.

“We felt like we were living on a desert island! Everybody that we knew had gone and it became a very lonely place.”

While Joe, 84, was reluctant to leave his familiar surroundings Ginny says it worried her that they had no-one nearby that they could turn to for help in the middle of the night.

“I was starting to feel unsafe and it was actually very scary.

“My daughter Annette had been saying for months we should move in here and then one day she texted to say she was taking us out to lunch.”

Confirming Ginny’s suspicions, Annette brought them for lunch at Bruce McLaren where they checked out a couple of apartments on the higher levels.

“He didn’t like going up in the lift and didn’t want anything to do with it so I had to say no.”

Another apartment came up, this time on the ground floor, but Joe still wasn’t interested.

A few months later the same apartment came up again and this time he came and had a look.

“The moment we walked into this apartment he said ‘this is better’. The sun was pouring in, he could see what was out this window and that door and next he said ‘what do you have to do to make it happen?!

“The rest is history!”

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They both love the way their warm, cosy corner apartment faces out over the bowling green and village entrance where they can watch all the comings and goings.

And Ginny loves the fact that the cleaning and linen is taken care of and there is a lovely cooked meal provided every day.

“There’s even a chap who mows the bit of grass out the front here, and we don’t have to do a thing!” she laughs.

Mind you, that hasn’t stopped them trying out the village’s many activities of course.

“We love the happy hour, they have had some great entertainment and we’ve been on a couple of outings – last week we went to Hampton Downs which was great.

“When my sisters used to visit us at Takanini they knew we’d always be there but now they have to ring first just to make sure we’re in!” she laughs.

Adds Joe: “We haven’t got time for anything but enjoying ourselves. Anyone who could find something to complain about must have rocks in their head!”

Both Annette and their son in Melbourne are thrilled that their parents are both enjoying the benefits of retirement living, and the security and peace of mind that comes with it.

“They’re absolutely delighted,” says Ginny. “Our son’s words were ‘you’re living in paradise!’

“It’s taken a lot of pressure off the family, a lot of the stress has just gone.

“We used to have a caravan up at Arkles Bay and we’d go up there on a Friday night and you’d sit down and go ‘Ahhhh’.

“And it was the same when we came here, we just relaxed and that loneliness was gone.”

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