Not crafty, but want ideas for retirement activities

May I suggest to the lady in Moreton Bay area, that she reflects on what motivates and interests her - see what is available in her locale to satisfy those interests. If the answer is "nothing" - do your research and try to set up your own group. From your letter, you had the skills to research, set up, market and run a group.

I am now 71, but on my retirement 12 years ago, I wanted to study architecture - especially architectural history and modern developments. I found the classes - was enthused - met like minded people. But what pushed me into action was the realisation that people were very naive about their/our built environment - what was in it, how it worked, why patterns changed, what clues were left of former uses,why we need new buildings etc etc

At one of my classes, I mentioned that I would be willing to lead weekly walks, explain the historical background, the function and purpose of buildings and major developments. A handful came the first few weeks but by word of mouth, more people joined and we became a lively social, theatre going outfit as well as urban walkers. Several of the fitter ones go off after lunch to visit galleries, events etc

Because I have such a broad canvas to start from here in London, there has been no need to repeat walks entirely. But that would be no hardship as the changes in the urban environment take places at a remarkably fast rate.
Others are now involved in the regular Friday input and our remit has expanded to include planned visits to public and private venues -like the houses of Parliament. And of course, as residents we do not do the tourist trails but go off the beaten track. After 400+ different walks, I still feel enthused.

I did not charge for the walks - but most made contributions to charity. We have lunch in the old fashioned greasy spoon cafes in the streets behind the main roads, so that the total spend for the day out was very reasonable.

I learnt so much about my city that I am in danger of becoming a bore about it. I still find it endlessly fascinating and rewarding, even though now a slightly younger set are poised to take over and set course for the future of the group.

And what are they called? Maureen's meanderers.

Good luck to you.
Maureen McCarthy


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