Moving into `My Village’ during lockdown

By Diane Moriarty: 

I have loved Living Choice Glenhaven since the first time I saw it many years ago.  My sister-in-law and her husband live here, and my husband and I would often pick them up so that the four of us could go together to yet another family wedding.  I remember thinking, One day I’d like to live in this beautiful village.

That’s why, last year, after my husband passed away, I picked up the phone and called Living Choice. I spoke with Carlie, who was lovely. I looked forward to social events where I could meet other ‘waitlist clients’ like me.

Needless to say, ‘COVID’ had other ideas. It was April 2020 and the whole world came to a stop.

I kept in touch with Carlie throughout Sydney’s first lockdown. She encouraged me to ring her any time - and I did! (I hope I was not a nuisance.)

As the months went by, I would sometimes drive my daughters and friends on a tour of ‘my village’. Everyone loved it just as much as me.  “No wonder you want to live here, Mum!’

Finally in March this year, I had a call from Carlie inviting me to see a villa. I was so excited.  It was only a few short weeks later that I got the news:  Villa 287 was to be my new home.

The weeks that followed were a busy time, trying to get organised. My daughters and I agreed on the date they would help me move. It was to be Tuesday 29 June 2021.

But once again Covid had other ideas. On Saturday 26 June one of my daughters arrived at my house.  She came running up the stairs with the news that there was to be a lockdown commencing at 6pm - which was just a few short hours away! “Quickly, Mum, we must move you NOW!”  Luckily my new bed had arrived a few days ago and Gail had kindly lent me some curtains because the blinds were not quite ready. We moved fast. My sons-in-law helped out, and by the time lockdown officially began, I was in my new villa and ready to spend my first night here.

There are so many people I have to thank for helping me with this big change in my life.

Thank you, Scott for the wonderful refurbishment of my villa. Thank you, Gail for the delicious lunch and tea you brought to me on a cold wet freezing day, for loaning me a lounge (until Harvey Norman finally brings my own!) and for checking in on me.  Thank you, Subhash for noticing that my TV wasn’t working when you came to install my MediMinder. You immediately arranged for a repairman who had the television working again in no time. This was my first introduction to how easily problems can be solved in my new life.

Thank you to all of my new neighbours for making me feel so very welcome. As soon as I moved in, I started meeting people as they walked past my villa. They would stop to introduce themselves (while socially distancing of course!) and I would come inside and write down their names as I wanted to try to remember them. Within a week I had 26 names on that list – and more to come!  I have been invited to cups of tea and scones with jam and cream, to bowls, line dancing, craft etc etc. Of course, all of these invitations must wait until lockdown is over, but I feel very spoilt and I am not at all lonely.

I always knew I would be happy here and I was certainly right! In fact, I’m even happier than I imagined, and once this lockdown ends, I’m so looking forward to taking part in village life and meeting new friends.

Editor’s Note: Diane is the mother of three very famous authors – Liane, Jaclyn and Nicola Moriarty – and also has two other daughters and a son. We can’t wait to see them at the next Glenhaven Writers’ Festival!