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Ruth Baker, Regional Winner Wales & Midlands, LaterLife Challenge

More from the Laterlife Challenge … this month we hear from Ruth Baker.

We announced the winners in our latest Laterlife National Challenge earlier this year, and we will continue to share with you some of the amazing stories we received.

It is wonderful that so many of our age group are doing so much; learning what others are doing can only help and inspire us all to make the very most of the years ahead.

Stratford Upon Avon’s Ruth Baker is a case in point. Ruth, 82, was the Challenge winner in the Wales and Midlands region….and she really is a wonderful example of the modern face of retirement.

Learning Spanish and Japanese, translating Pilgrim’s Progress into Modern English, playing violin in the local orchestra and giving concerts and helping at a local food bank are just some of the activities that have helped to keep Ruth busy since she gave up her job as an occupational therapist. We love the fact that she didn’t come to emails until her 80th year and now is totally familiar with the system and sends out messages, pictures, notifications and even her entry into the Laterlife Challenge.

Here is Ruth’s story:

I have been retired for over 22 years since my husband divorced me, but this has been an exciting time of my life.

I have acted as a host family for students from the continent which the coach drivers bring for short holidays , and latterly the drivers themselves and some of the teachers. I have been able to improve my French and German but also have taken up Spanish and Japanese.

I was given an Ipad for my 80th birthday, which I now use for emails, as an encyclopaedia and answers to many questions, games and jigsaw maps which take me to many parts of the world from my armchair.

As I have had three replacement joints and arthritis in my ankles I don't walk much. Even so I help at our local food bank each month and also send out notification of events to our group of single people at our church. This involves memos etc each month and participation in the activities. I also send out birthday cards to another small group 10- 15 people and make Christmas cards.

I have recently translated Pilgrim's Progress into modern English, which has been published, also some 30 poems written over the past few years.

As I like cooking I often try out new recipes and preserves. Recently I purchased a bread machine so now I make my own bread, which saves on costs and is far nicer and fresh, from the best ingredients, without any hidden unwanted extras.

During my retirement I have made many kneelers for our local church and chapel in wool; also many cushion covers, the designs of which I have taken from a pretty paper bag and a Japanese emblem pouch. I made many Teddies for tragedies etc. Over the past few years I was given a 'mountain' of wool from which I have crocheted squares for blankets for the third world, many of which have gone to Africa, some to India and Germany! And needy people here. I still have several more to make to use up all the yarn(wool).

In my 'spare' time I like to do word and number puzzles, my latest challenge is musicology, a musical notation form of Sudoko. I still play the violin in our local orchestra which gives concerts three times each year.

There are always new challenges as well as the normal things one has to do when one lives alone, but life is good and The Lord has been very gracious to me .

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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