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Meet Regional LaterLife Challenge Winner Christine

Members of our wide Laterlife family continue to be an inspiration for the new face of retirement in the UK. When you think just three generations ago or so women stayed at home and the life expectancy for men after retirement was often just a very few years; it is unbelievable how things have changed.

Our recent 2014/2015 Laterlife Challenge brought in an amazing number of entries from across the UK, and everyone of the entrants in the top 100 had a fascinating story to tell. No wonder some are now saying retirement rather than schooldays are the best days of your life!

Scotland’s winner was Christine Ainley, and our judges were particularly impressed with her involvement in keep fit and her willingness to address new areas in her retirement. Christine was happy to move 200 miles to start a new life; has driven abroad for the first time, undertaken a post graduate certificate course and so much more. We also loved her philosophy of…happiness comes from inside oneself, not outside. Here is some of her story….

“I have been fully retired for six years now (and partially retired for seventeen!). My main career was in Information Technology and then I worked part-time doing administrative work for small charities and community centres. I live an enjoyable and active life with my main interests being keeping fit, personal development, looking for a romantic partner, and volunteering, while settling in my new home in the north-east of Scotland. Active in later life, I am fortunate to be in very good health which helps me to keep fit. One of my favourite activities is Zumba dancing. I go to the more energetic class with the younger women and my teacher is in her twenties. I love it and I feel in my twenties myself when I come out of the class! I also go to a keep-fit class led by a male in his twenties. It is amusing trying to do some of the exercises he finds easy. One is to stand up from lying on your back on the floor with your arms in the air (try it). I just managed this but cannot do it holding a large ball above my head like he can! Every week I go to two keep fit classes, one Zumba, and one yoga. At the other keep fit class sometimes I can skip non-stop for one minute, which I find really hard. I also do ten minutes of yoga every morning when I wake up followed by a few minutes mindfulness practice. Yoga keeps me supple. I also cycle, just for fun, once or twice a week, summer and winter (weather permitting), about 12 miles each ride. Once a fortnight I go to Scottish Country dancing, which is great fun and I have just started going regularly to circle dancing (or sacred dancing as it is called here). I also go on weekend circle dancing breaks. I also walk to most of my classes, which is a round trip of two and a half miles.

A few months ago I started as a volunteer in the local Job Club. I help people create an email address, put their CV’s on the computer and search for jobs. I am gradually finding my way around the different websites. Job seekers vary from not being able to use a keyboard to being quite experienced computer users. It keeps my brain active and feels good to help others.

I believe in life-long learning. The courses I attend and the books I read, lead to more self-awareness, which brings more self-acceptance, contentment and happiness. I believe happiness comes from inside oneself, not outside."

A new Challenge is not underway yet, but we would still love to hear what you are up to and how you have managed to make the most of retirement. Just email us on

Also a big congratulations go of course to our overall Challenge winner Annie Makepeace, who you can read more about here.

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