Our Woman of the Week feature highlights all kinds of #womenover50 to show the kind of lives we are living right now. This week we are featuring Jane or The Page Turner as she is known on our website. She is someone who is a ‘doer’ and is always there to help those who need her and consequently her services and company are called upon a lot by all those who know and love her. There is no-one who can turn a lemon into a melon quicker than Jane though there are never many lemons to turn in her house as she keeps them for her G&T at the end of a long day!
Tell us a little about yourself:
After 21 years of working as a Psychotherapist/Counsellor, in both the private sector and the NHS, I hung up my boots. This meant moving up river to Henley-on-Thames from Kingston-upon-Thames, but still living by the river to the relief and love of my retired Publisher husband. He has had a love affair with the river since childhood. When we moved, we had 3 children, 2 sons and a daughter.
When we bought our quirky and delightful Boat House, with few bedrooms, we had not taken into account that we would have five Grandchildren. So visits to us means a lot of air beds scattered on the floors. So far they all think that is quite exciting, and have not yet kicked us out of our bed!
How have you have changed since you turned 50?
Since turning 50 I have had the confidence to go backpacking around Asia many times. Something I was unable to do in my twenties. I definitely felt and still feel the same age as the young back packers we met on the way. I am very lucky that I have very few aches and pains. When I was 60 I went to Tanzania to Volunteer with a Secular American Organisation. It was a life changing experience.
Places you have lived and where you would like to live.
As a 4yr old I moved from Wimbledon to Edinburgh and went to school there for many years before coming South again. As an adult, I have lived in the suburbs of London until we moved to Henley 15 years ago.
Whenever I visit a new country I ask myself if I could live there? If I had to choose one, I would pick South Africa, my mother’s homeland and where I feel my soul is.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My free time is divided between Grandchildren care and trying new things. I recently went with a close friend to a Buddhism Course. I love meeting up with friends, walking our rescue dog, Hugo. Attending our fun book group. Generally making the most of my very fortunate life.
What are your favourite fashion brands and what item could you not do without?
I have a few favourite places to shop from. Me+Em for blouses and tops. M&S for underwear. Artigiano for dresses and classic trousers. I also enjoy trying new retailers. I couldn’t live without my everyday jeans and cut offs in the Summer months.
Have you embraced technology?
I love and embrace all technology. Nothing gives me more pleasure than a new gadget.
Of course, I love CountryWives . So refreshing to have a website that feels it is there for me and featuring all the things that interest me. I love playing solitaire online. I also enjoy many News apps and fashion apps. I’m always looking up things online. I spend some of my time helping my husband with his IT. He is not a natural. ‘Too many moving parts’, he says.
I buy many of my beauty products from Space N.K. As I suffer from rosacea it is important to find a good foundation, moisturiser and concealer. I love By Terry Cover Expert Foundation. My moisturiser of choice is Elemental Herbology, Candula and Rose damask. The concealer I use is Terry’s Touche veloute.
Over the years have you picked up something that has been beneficial and you include in your beauty/make-up regime?
Every day I wash my face with a very hot flannel. This opens the pores and make up seems to sit better on my face. It definitely wakes me up in the morning. Recently we visited an Ayurvedic Herb centre in Sri Lanka and they recommended mixing Sandalwood oil, natural aloe vera and pure fresh powders, kokum, kalumba wood, crocus and jojoba! Of course we all have those in our back gardens!
Do you cook? If so what is your signature dish or most often used cookery book?
Now I don’t have to cook I really love it. I flit from cook book to cook book, but at the moment I’m enjoying Pru Leith’s Vegetarian Cook Book and Joudie Kalla’s “Palestine on a Plate”.
What is your favourite food and drink?
On a winter’s day my favourite food is a roast chicken with all the trimmings. In the summer it would be a Salmon ceviche.
My favourite drink is a long gin and tonic. There are so many to choose from. We had fun at The Gin Institute in Portobello Road, blending our own. There is also a non alcoholic option called Seedlip which I love.
Do you have a favourite book or author?
I love reading and reviewing books and belonging to book groups. I recently read Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine. A book that taps into my background and interest. (You can read Jane’s latest book review for CW by clicking HERE).
TV or Box sets?
I’m hooked on Netflix and one of my favourite shows was House of Cards and also The Sinner.
On terrestrial TV I love the Nordic Noir series on BBC4 or All4. Also I am fascinated by historical documentaries.
Do you have a favourite music artist?
I’m very sentimental and Elvis ticks that box. ‘Always on my mind’ is one of my all time favourites!
Who do you most admire?
I most admire Nelson Mandela. I could learn so much from him. Bravery, compassion and forgiveness to name but a few. To carry no bitterness after everything he went through is amazing.
Your top tips for #womenover50.
My top tips are:-
- Do it now – don’t wait.
- Do not compare yourself with others, especially the young.
- Try not to worry about things you have no control over.
- Enjoy your family and friends.
- A Gin & Tonic at the end of the day!