“The reality is that when you get older, some of your friends pass away and others move to other areas, so you can suddenly find yourself with a far smaller social network,” says Tony Carter-Johnson, who moved into the Cirrus apartments at RAAFA’s Air Force Memorial Estate with his wife Kathy in February 2021.
“That was what happened to us, but then we moved into our new apartment at Cirrus and we made such wonderful friends, something we hadn’t really anticipated.
“Now we have a ready-made social circle which we love, everyone here is so friendly and while we go to a lot of arranged social evening and events, there are many impromptu things that just happen too, like a group of us from our floor might get together for some drinks and nibbles in the afternoon, or we might wonder down to the train station and pop into the city for lunch.”
Despite his love of his new home however, Tony is the first to admit that he did have some initial reservations prior to moving into the estate.
“My sister has lived here for around five years and she only had positive things to say, but I did have reservations about moving into a retirement village as my wife and I are only in our early 70s and I wondered if we were too young.
“But when we viewed the apartment, we just loved the configuration and we were struck by how green the surroundings were, which I suppose wasn’t surprising given we were up amongst the treetops on the third floor.
“So we made the decision to make the move then and there, and everything went seamlessly. We sold our villa in Applecross very quickly and the moving process was the best we’ve ever experienced, we used the removalists that RAAFA recommended and they were fantastic.”
And in the almost two years that Tony and Kathy have lived on the estate, Tony reckons he’s never been fitter.
“I use the pool virtually every day and I walk down to the river most mornings which are two things that I love to do,” he explains.
“And it’s so easy to keep fit and socially active here with the gym, the pool and all of the activities, outings, lunch and dinner engagements and trips to the theatre,” continues Tony, who was born and raised in South Africa.
“It sounds strange, but I felt that as soon as I moved in I really started to enjoy life. We participate in so many things and we have lots of friends, many of whom are in their 80s and all look really fit because the lifestyle here is so great.
“What’s more our grandchildren actually ask their parents if they can come to visit us, they love the place too, and they’re very useful to have around as they help us with our new technology,” laughs Tony.