Couple swaps island life for Halcyon Days
Home owners Fran and Ian Ritchie have traded a luxurious oceanfront apartment for a bigger slice of social life at Halcyon Greens.
The couple lived on Ephraim Island at Paradise Point for almost two years, and while they loved the magnificent water views from their sub-penthouse, they felt that something was missing on the social front.
“When you retire you want a social network and we found living vertically, as you do at Ephraim Island, that there’s no social aspect to it,” Ian said.
“You might meet up with one or two people, but it’s just like high-rise living and you might not even know your neighbour.”
Fran said she didn’t entertain at the apartment as much as she had in their family home.
“I didn’t have people over nearly half as much as I did when we lived in our house at Monterey Keys,” she said.
“Those social interactions diminished dramatically, and our social life was basically the two of us going to lunch or movies.
“Sometimes Ian would be watching sport on TV in the living room and I’d be in the bedroom watching Netflix, and I’d think ‘is this living?’”
Halcyon Greens’ vibrant community spirit stood out straight away.
“What impressed us was that people were waving to us as we drove around, and people were going for a walk or taking the community bus out,” Ian said.
“There’s something on every day if you want to involve yourself in it – cards, aqua aerobics, golf.”
And the different lifestyle was evident from their first day at Halcyon, with their new neighbours quickly rolling out the welcome mat.
“When we moved in our neighbour from across the way very kindly came over and invited in us in for a cup of coffee, which we did,” Fran said.
“We felt very welcome. The next day, one of the folks told us that Happy Hour was on at 4pm.”
Keen card player Fran said she’s already found some ladies who are interested in starting a canasta group and, health permitting, she hopes to make the most of having Gainsborough Greens Golf Course on her doorstep by getting back on the fairways.
The couple has also swapped their boat for a motorhome in which they plan to finally see Australia.
“We’ve been around the world, but we haven’t been around Australia,” said Ian.
“We’re going to take off in the motorhome for two or three months at a time.”
Fran said they were looking forward to touring Australia in “bite size” pieces.
“Our plan is to do a fair bit of travelling over the next two years while we’ve still got reasonable health to do it,” she said.