“On the move yet again!”

The Office of National Statistics is supposed to be a font of all knowledge about the demographics of the UK.    However, a note of caution is needed if you are thinking of moving house to relocate to a healthier location in this country.     They don’t seem to be able to make up their minds and their advice changes with each new analysis of the same figures – the 2011 census data.

Back in 2010 based on their information, I could have been tempted to move to Dorset where people live longer than anywhere else in Britain.  Fortunately, I didn’t rush into anything because when I visited there this year, the traffic was terrible and there were bungalows everywhere.  (You can see the post by clicking in the Archive on May 2010).

Then in 2012 a new interpretation of the figures suggested Somerset as a better bet for longevity (see “Move to the Country” in the Archive – 25 April 2012).     I guess it could be drinking lots of cider with Rosie 😀.    A word of caution though, be careful of the floods on the Somerset levels, they are evidently too level.


Four years further on and yet another analysis of the same figures in a new report recommends Wokingham in Berkshire or Richmond upon Thames are the best places to be.    I wish these people would make up their minds!

These are the two best places to live a healthier lifespan – 70 years of good health (plus untold years of bad health ?).   For men, all the top five places for good health are in Berkshire, Surrey and Buckinghamshire.   For women, the best place of all is the Orkney Islands.    So I can see this latest advice could lead to a few marriage breakdowns 🙂

No mention of Dorset or Somerset at all.     I guess the traffic fumes or the floods must have got to quite a few people.     Or, if they have been acting on the information, it is probably all the stress and strain of constantly moving house that has done for them in the end.

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5 Responses to “On the move yet again!”

  1. Mo Graham says:

    *Ping*. Lightbulb moment….

    Is all the de-cluttering you’ve been driving me mad with for weeks because you’re thinking of selling up and moving house John? If it is may I just state publicly that I don’t want to go and live in Berkshire, in Surrey, in Buckinghamshire or in the Orkneys. Or anywhere else come to think of it. I’d rather we just stayed put and took our chances here in Warwicksire.

    Besides, packing up our house (albeit much de-cluttered now!) with 37 year’s worth of belongings would probably kill us anyway 😏

    • john graham says:

      Don’t worry we won’t be moving anywhere in a hurry. The thought of having to shift and lift a whole houseful of possessions puts me off any idea of relocating for at least another twenty years !
      I just want to be able to open a cupboard and not be killed by an avalanche of clutter. Or to open a drawer without pulling my arm off. Or to even go into some of the rooms at the far end of the house.
      Or just find a few everyday things first time. You know, something light a ———-


  2. Oh Dear! John what have you done, what are you thinking? On your throne and thunderbox, within the ”Nettie” reading yesterdays times?? It is life together and memories together, One may wish for something? and someone has to give? Is is your waistline as you leave the ‘Nettie’, or your ‘Tin hat’ as your enter the afray of domestic Bliss? Good luck to both of you: and Mo that Pinging sound is the ”Pin’ dropping on the floor” as John Open mouthed, wonders who he is in Love with, himself or you?? God Bless you both.

  3. Mo
    Dear Mo, your reply to John’s blog, has me wondering: Why, I do not know?
    John in his time and his latest blathering on decluttering, has had consequences, and you appear to be asking the ‘God Lord’ for ‘salvation’? The truth is there is none! It is all in John’s mind, and in the ‘eye of the beholder, or beloved’?
    While John was introducing us to Lovat Fields a retirement Village within the EXTRACARE CHARITABLE TRUST, we had many, discussions as future residents, and advice from learned staff, on how to prepare to come to terms with physical downsizing, and living as retirees, we still as individual prospective resident had to go ‘Through the MILL of Life’?
    The basic point Molly and I came to terms with was firstly each other, and the ‘What if question?’ should only if and when one of us survives the other.
    AS to downsizing from a 3 bedroom detached house, with our modest garden, in terms or area we were in a commuting community (people and neighbours out at work all day), the actual thought of reducing floor area to maybe from 1500 square feet internally to say 900-Including a small open air balcony) was very sobering. However the plus points were no stairs, a wet room [ (Shower –no bath (getting in and out as we aged has become difficult)]- handle bars for the loo, and totally tiled surface, and non-skid floor, a two way opening door-with lock accessible from either side. One downside was cupboard space? One had to look carefully at the designs. Each room had a door frame wide enough for an electric wheelchair access with ease: Now the rub! One has to think on ones feet and court with respect ‘OLD FATHER TIME’ as when one plays around with ones furnishings for such an accommodation? The thoughts have to be what is comfortable, space occupying, and yet pleasing to the eye- and again remember old age and infirmity? Should one require the use of a walker or wheelchair-powered or not, how is access gained around the accommodation, and within each room of that accommodation.
    My personal view is storage and wardrobe space in the broadest terms is the conundrum to solve? With many a cherished ideal or procession being sold off on eBay or passed among the family, or consigned to the local charity shops. I will deal with the sectors as follows:
    1 Clothes- a personal choice, but as the body waxes and wanes, one has to be ruthless. Clothes and shoes for
    i/ that odd occasion (Moss Bros may help), family and red carpet occasions- or the black for that more frequent wake and funeral.
    Ii/ Everyday wear, and
    Iii/ A to hell with it day or holiday when one feels like a delinquent?
    2 Books and records
    3 i/ These physically require and occupy space
    ii/ Books are a nightmare, one reads for pleasure, and one may have young children as guests, and one’s own annuals, story books are part of that syndrome? What to discard
    iii/ Video’s and photographs what to keep what share, and what to shred? It is all a blur
    iv/ Paper records, deeds, agreements, financial details and the taxman, insurance- Current policies, and current account banking details. Reduce if possible to a minimum, but do not forget they or at least most of them are required for at least 7 years?
    4 Hobbies and current interests, here the floor becomes invaluable and one just kicks the items around until the following week.
    5 Pictures, Flowers (real and plastic varieties)? Here it is how precious one sees ones wall space? The odd Mona Lisa, van Gough, or family rouges gallery may adorn the walls to relieve the many photographic frames on may have adoring every available surface
    There are many more personal issues to consider, but then if with a loved one, and one decides to downsize, one has to be ruthless, but loving, committing most of past life to memory (Until Alzheimer’s or senile dementia catches you up.) The suggestion of a ‘Book of Life’ but then so many memories, what triggers what? Only that is in the ‘lap of the almighty? SO you answer is?????
    All this has to be done at a pace when one decides, and then what type of property, freehold/leased/shared/rented? Does it have a dedicated garden or a communal garden, does one live with in a community, or within a dedicated as designed retirement complex, then what do you wish for? Community spirit, socialising or to be alone, or a mixture of both. It costs and one must do the sums of a regular charge levy, or intermittent charges if one is within one’s own house such as, decorations external; gutter cleaning, gardening and plant and equipment replacement? The list goes on however you wish to discuss the matter?
    The basic choice is what do you wish to achieve and how do you aspire to live as a retired twosome or family? There is no simple answer, and if there is it is very personal to you!

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