Bren – Age 67
“This year it was great that the British Legion took part in Pride because it is now legal for LGBT people to be in the Forces. I love Brighton. Every day you see something that would be strange if it was in another place, but we say, ‘That’s just Brighton!’”
I work as an information volunteer at the Royal British Legion – people ask for details about their ancestors, involving veterans and service personnel from all of the forces. I’ve been doing it for just over a year. My favourite part about the job is meeting people, being able to help and speaking to them.
The most memorable thing which has happened since being here – so many things have happened in the past year – really, is the Legion being involved with Pride for the first time. The fact that it’s now possible for the Legion, because it’s now legal for LGBT people to be in the forces and for them to be able to go into Pride. That was Pink Sue who did it. I just did the background, laminating the badges and things. I have arthritis and I can’t walk that far.
What I most enjoy about being retired, is the fact that I can get up and decide what I’m going to do, if anything. This week I’ve spent three days in the garden and sort of just gone shopping. I have foreign students from a language school during summer and students from Sussex University during winter. So they keep me quite active and I take them to Arundel Castle and those sort of places. I feel it’s important to mix with different generations because it keeps me young and they appreciate someone older, who is more versatile in cooking and different things. The cuisine changes daily – bit of French, bit of Greek, bit of Chinese. It’s a hobby of mine. I’ve had different students – the one I’ve got at the moment, I have purloined some books for her. I told her ‘It’s not going to cost anything, you’ve just got to cook’. So she cooked a meal on Tuesday.
If I was to give some advice to a young person in life starting out in work, it would be to work now because you’ve got plenty of time to play later.
The thing I most love about living in Brighton is… just Brighton! Every day you see something, that in another place would be strange, and we just say ‘That’s just Brighton’.
I did look at other places to retire. One was a retirement village near Rye, which my son’s friends know about. That was a no-no. My son said, ‘Mummy, you can move to Eastbourne where you will be young or you can move to Brighton where you will stay young’.
Be sure of yourself. Live life, because suddenly it’s not here any more. If you work hard when you’re done, and study hard you can get the career that you want and you can earn the money to travel and do anything that you want.