Christine – Age 71

“I was a dietician for 44 years, when I started out the only place you could get wholemeal bread was a health food shop! Being retired sometimes seems harder work than working. I care for three generations of my family, cook for a lunch club and I’m a Rambler.”

I was a dietician for 44 years. When I came to Brighton I went to about 17 different hospitals, visiting patients. I’m from Yorkshire. I’m 71 and my Father is 100. When I first started working as a dietician we had a kitchen that made 100 meals a day by hand. There’s been such a change in nutrition. When I started out you couldn’t buy wholemeal bread, you could only get it in the health food stores. Food’s changed, people are a lot more aware of what they eat. You never knew what you were going to come up against but there’s a satisfaction is helping people, making them feel better.

Young people should find something that they’re really interested in, that they can learn and improve their talents in. Work takes a lot of your day so you need to find something that gives you satisfaction. Being retired is harder work than working. Working for the health service was very busy, but now I’m busy because I care for 3 generations of my family, I do some voluntary work, I do some cooking for an old people’s lunch club at my church.

I suppose I have a certain amount of freedom now although I am tied to my family. I stopped work when I was 58 and then I went back a month later, they called me and said they were desperate so I went back part time. But during that time I walked the Inca Trail at Machu Picchu in Peru and I went to the Galapagos Islands, I’m a rambler and we walk all over the world.  I’ve been walking in New Zealand, the Caribbean, South America.

I’ve lived in Brighton since 1971. You’ve got to make the most of every day. My sister died when she was 50 and I thank God that I’ve got every single day and try not to moan. We’re so lucky in this country, we don’t really appreciate what we’ve got. The health service is fantastic and I hate to hear people maligning it because everyone I know works really hard and tries their best. You’ve just got to be grateful for every single day, every day is precious really.