Seize the moment: you can live well in a lockdown

'New normal' ripe with opportunities if you let it

Latest News
WEEKEND MUSO: Kevin Chambers has used isolation to hone his guitar skills. Here he's pictured a few years back playing his Fender Strat at a Weekend Warriors concert at Capers in Hawthorn.

WEEKEND MUSO: Kevin Chambers has used isolation to hone his guitar skills. Here he's pictured a few years back playing his Fender Strat at a Weekend Warriors concert at Capers in Hawthorn.

Aa

Seniors find that even in a crisis, as one door shuts, plenty more remain to be opened.

Aa

IN topsy-turvy times, life is what you make it - as Kevin Chambers and Heather White are showing as they adjust to the "new normal" .

The couple, who live in a retirement village in Greensborough, are finding many new ways to enrich their lives, despite the coronavirus disruption.

With many regular events stopping, it hasn't been easy.

"I miss the Friday night happy hour and especially not being able to use the billiard table. My imaginary playing partner, Mr Fluke Shot, is missing it even more," Kevin said.

"Even more though, I'm missing the Eltham Men's Shed, which has been shut down."

The couple also found themselves isolated from others in the village, with interaction limited to a quick conversation while out walking, or exchanging books.

But they have adjusted and in some ways even thrived. Physical activity had become more prominent - Kevin dusted off the exercise bike, they walked daily and Heather's family circulated YouTube clips and encouraged each other to dance.

Heather embraced the likes of WhatsApp and Messenger as well as email and text messaging, including a daily puzzle competition her sister created. She also made an online "Mission Impossible" for four grandchildren consisting of craft, nature, dance, drawings, stories and videos.

Kevin said emails and the phone were how he communicated. He also read online and hard copy news extensively - and rediscovered some of his favourite pursuits.

"My guitar skills have reverted to their previous heights... in other words, I can remember set chord changes without looking at sheet music," he said proudly.

"I plugged my guitar into my iPod, playing lead with Hank Marvin and The Shadows backing me... or maybe that was the other way round.

"I have a Fender Stratocaster but do love my Aussie-made Maton guitars to bits too. I use headphones, so I don't bother Heather."

He also enjoyed reading and catching up on some of his favourite viewing - like the Bombers' back-to-back premierships in 1984-85, Minder and anything by the Working Dog comedy crew.

As for many, isolation has been different, at times frustrating, and there is plenty the couple miss,

Regular social events stopped, including knitting, craft, book club, indoor bowls, cards, happy hour, film nights, bingo and all organised outings, as well as podiatry services and exercise classes.

But they're managing to keep life full and interesting.

"It's been a case of 'head down and deal with it' - you get lots of practice at that when you are in senior years," Kevin said.

"I do want to get back to normal though... but it would be nice to keep up with the guitar - I get lazy with it at times."

NOT THE ONLY ONES...

DEFT HAND: Susan Greenfield keeps herself creating beautiful colouring-in works.

DEFT HAND: Susan Greenfield keeps herself creating beautiful colouring-in works.

THINK colouring-in is for kids? Think again.

It has become a popular pastime for people of all ages, and it was discovered by Susan Greenfield thanks to lockdown.

Susan does paint, but now admits she has become hooked on colouring-in, which has been shown to have many mental health benefits.

Sue Conwell has also managed to keep her hands well and truly busy.

"This is me attempting to complete my 120-triangle rug started two years ago," she wrote to The Senior.

"I am not sure which will be finished first - my rug or the pandemic."


NOT QUITE CUTTING A RUG: Sue Conwell with the blanket she's trying to finish off after starting it two years ago.

NOT QUITE CUTTING A RUG: Sue Conwell with the blanket she's trying to finish off after starting it two years ago.

Aa