Brian Jones Diary

I’m Brian – not Bridget! – Jones and this is my diary. It’s about what really matters in life – staying healthy, keeping your finances on track, setting goals and making the most of time. It’s about seeing the world, engaging with modern society, enjoying leisure and being with family and friends.

Devastating news about our new tier 3 status

Was feeling really optimistic just a few days ago, infection levels were dropping, lockdown 2 looked set to end on time and vaccines were on their way.  And then it was rumoured the tiered restrictions were going to get tougher with the top one closing all restaurants and pubs. Then I heard that the restrictionsContinue reading “Devastating news about our new tier 3 status”

Am growing to love the National Trust

What is it in the head of a 60 years-old man that makes them want to join The National Trust? I’ve been aware of the Trust’s existence for as long as I can remember but only ever considered joining for the odd fleeting moment until I turned 60. Is there a Government-controlled microchip in yourContinue reading “Am growing to love the National Trust”

Already missing Great British Bake Off

How bittersweet it was to watch last night’s Great British Bake Off final.  Sweet to watch the bakers concoct their sugary cakes, bitter to know it was the last one in the series. Who among us hasn’t longed, on these glum autumnal evenings of soaring infections and grim fatality reports, to be transported to theContinue reading “Already missing Great British Bake Off”

Most over 55s unaware of pension tax trap

Yet another Covid timebomb could await the hundreds of thousands of savers who have dipped into their pensions during the pandemic, triggering punitive tax charges. However, 80% of those aged between 55 and 64 are unaware their future pension contributions could be capped after they make a withdrawal, research from NFU Mutual has found. TheContinue reading “Most over 55s unaware of pension tax trap”

A day out at Henry Moore’s sculpture park

On somewhat of a whim because there was little else to do we went to the Henry Moore studios and gardens in Hertfordshire yesterday. I’m glad we did. I’ve known a little of Moore’s work from a module on sculpture I studied as part of an uncompleted Art History course I did many moons ago.Continue reading “A day out at Henry Moore’s sculpture park”

Roll on 2021

I’m feeling an increasing sense of optimism.  It was confirmed last night that lockdown will end as promised on December 2nd.  What it will be replaced with I’m not sure but I have a feeling that pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will be allowed to open in my neck of the woods. We’re alreadyContinue reading “Roll on 2021”

So much untapped talent in our retirement community

Just started reading Pointless presenter Richard Osman’s book ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ which unusually for a kind of thriller is set in a retirement village. The club of the book’s title meets every week in the jigsaw room at Coopers Chase, a superior gated development in rural Kent. The puzzle the members attempt to solve,Continue reading “So much untapped talent in our retirement community”

The Show Must Go On in 2021

Am I the only one to find Amazon’s Christmas advert ‘The Show Must Go On’ so very moving? It tells the inspiring story of a determined young ballerina bringing the community together amidst the challenges of this year set to an arrangement of Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’. The campaign features 17-year-old French balletContinue reading “The Show Must Go On in 2021”

Mental Health in Later Life, part 4

Here’s the final – and my favourite part – of the series of blogs about mental health in later life.  This one is all about enjoying yourself. In life we can become so fixated on doing the right thing, keeping fit, losing weight, working hard, helping others that we forget how to have fun.  ItContinue reading “Mental Health in Later Life, part 4”

Looking after mental health in later life, part 3

Here’s the third and penultimate part of my blog about how to stay in good shape mentally in retirement.  The loss of work and the sense of routine and purpose that goes with it is a huge challenge for many of us, including myself.  It’s been made all the worse by the Covid restrictions severelyContinue reading “Looking after mental health in later life, part 3”


Some Useful Links

The Centre for Ageing Better – A UK-based Lottery-funded project which works to create change in policy and practice to improve housing, health, employment and communities.

The Oxford Institute of Population Ageing – Useful research and an interesting blog

Later Life – A range of courses helping people prepare for retirement

British Heart Foundation – 20 retirement transition tips from Britain’s leading heart charity

Age UK – an interesting article about preparing emotionally for retirement

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