New book snap shot into Village life
Published author, talented footballer, and skilled snooker player – Coastal Villas resident Brian Colegate may be 82, but he’s not planning on slowing down anytime soon.
Earlier this month, Brian celebrated the launch of his second book, Retirement Villages Residents’ Verdict, a handy guide to leaving the family home and moving into a retirement village. He chats to More in Store about his latest project and gives us a fascinating peek into the life of Brian.
You’ve just published a book on retirement villages. What inspired you to write it?
I recognised a dire need for a guide that covered all the critical phases, from leaving a home and selling the property, to becoming a village resident. Prior to my book, the only places to find information were the internet and village marketing packs and open days. I wanted to share what it’s like from a villager’s perspective and thought a hard copy of comprehensive information would be a handy tool for families.
You interviewed a lot of village residents for your book. What did you learn?
Residents were overwhelmingly positive about the village lifestyle, as they no longer had to worry about home maintenance, and they enjoyed a greater sense of safety, more companionship and the convenience of on-site medical services.
This is the second book you’ve written. Tell us about the other one.
Bi-polar Expedition is a memoir of my lifetime adventures, including everything from my difficult childhood in London, to the years spent living in the depths of the Kaingaroa Forest, and my nine-month hitchhiking voyage from New Zealand to the UK. The book delves not just into my personal struggle with bipolar disorder and depression, but into the many ways I’ve discovered to tackle life’s hurdles.
As well as a masterful wordsmith, you are a talented sportsman. Tell us more.
This season is my 50th season playing soccer for Kapiti Coast United. I’m a life member of the club and one of the originals. Throughout the years I’ve been a player, coach, referee, club president and chairman, and have a trophy in my name for the player who scores the most goals each season. I still play and referee there every Sunday.
You moved into Metlifecare’s Coastal Villas just over two years ago. How has life changed?
In many ways, little has changed! The village is near my previous home so my social networks remain unscathed and I continue to do all the things I’ve done for years – play football and snooker, go for spas and saunas at the municipal aquatic centre, visit friends. It’s very convenient having my main meal delivered from the village kitchen on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. I halve each meal so the only day I have to think about is Saturday.
What advice would you give to someone considering retirement village living?
Don’t leave it too late!
What’s next? Any new adventures in the pipeline?
Yes, I’m planning to write another book comprising short stories about my life.