Singing into Retirement

As a regular Gloucestershire Radio ‘lunch-breaker’ guest, former nursery school teacher and Operatic Society lead, Virginia Ring has no intentions of letting her retirement years slow her down.

However, after her husband passed away in 2018 and the upkeep of her bungalow started to become too much, Virginia made the decision to downsize, so that she could focus her time on doing all the things she loves. 

Virginia explains: “I’ve had my own health problems, so I never expected I’d be on my own one day. After my husband passed, managing the garden and the house began to become difficult.  Then one day, unexpectedly, a lady who lived in my village popped by and asked if I had ever considered selling my bungalow and if so, could she have first refusal? I’d never really given much thought to moving before, but I thought, you know what, I want a new life for myself and the time to enjoy my retirement, so I began exploring my options. 

“I’d seen Llanthony Place being built in nearby Gloucester so decided to take a look. It was perfect. The location was ideal, right along the canal and close to all the shops, the doctors and the Cathedral. There’s a Hobbycraft on the doorstep too, which is brilliant as I love crafting, sewing, knitting and quilting. 

“Although my moving experience didn’t go quite as planned, as lockdown was imposed just a couple of days later, the team at Llanthony Place have been absolutely wonderful in ensuring we’re all looked after. We’ve had meals brought to our door and the team are always checking in on us. 

“My patio is also right next to the canal towpath, so I enjoy sitting out each day and looking at the lovely view. In fact, during lockdown I met lots of new people who would stop and say hello during their daily walks as I sat outside, some even offered to do my shopping for me!

“Lockdown also hasn’t stopped all of the Llanthony Place residents getting to know each other either and we’ve established a brilliant community spirit. We’ve kept in contact over the telephone and via email, and I’m absolutely thrilled we can now start meeting in the garden. 

“I’ve also been keeping busy making cushions, table runners and baby clothes for a friend that’s due to have twins. I’ve even continued my guest slot on Radio Gloucestershire via the telephone and virtually catch up with members of the choir that I’m in.

“I used to be a member of the Gloucester Operatic and Dramatic Society, and love the theatre. As well as the Guildhall which live streams the ballet and opera, along with films, we have a lovely old cinema here in Gloucester, complete with its own projectionist, so I’m looking forward to going back as soon as we can. The town is full of restaurants, festivals and markets. That’s the joy of where we are, is right next to everything we could want. 

“I’m truly happy here. We have lovely residents, amazing staff and are well looked after. There is no doubt that moving here was the right decision for me.”

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