Boats, Guitars and Viking Funerals (and Writing Wills)
I spent 12 years managing rented and leasehold sheltered housing schemes for older clients. And even now I’m writing wills rather than letting flats, managing budgets and rents, or dealing with anti-social behaviour, I do still have a “soft spot” for my older clients.
One of the perks of my current job is the privilege of having in-depth conversations with clients about the things that matter most to them. This can be anything from their family and friends, their pets or their hobbies!
Last week I met 3 couples all in their late 70s.
The first couple had been married 47 years. The gent who told me him and his wife had 4 kids between them when they met and very little. He and his wife wanted to take all the children on boating holidays, but they couldn’t afford them. So he’d bought a boat hull, (as you do!) and spent hours building a boat from it for them to use on their future family holidays. (No, he wasn’t called Noah by the way!)
The second couple had again been married 47 years and were obviously still very much in love. The husband told me he’d got oesophageal cancer so wanted to get his affairs in order. He showed me his collection of beautiful guitars, which he’d made from scratch in retirement using offcuts of wood. One of them was made using bogwood, which I’d not previously heard of.
The last couple I visited showed me the model sailing boats hubby makes. His final wish is to have members from his model boat club sail it across the local lake, with his ashes upon it, on fire, in true Viking funeral style. His wife did utter the rather apt words “over my dead body” so whether it actually happens or not remains to be seen!
I do wonder whether this kind of craftsmanship is dying out with the older generation. I hope not. But it makes me aware of the need to keep these traditions alive, and to have those conversations with our older relatives, to learn about the things they hold dear.
Anyway, if the thought of getting your affairs in order, and particularly if you have an unusual hobby to share, floats your boat, do get in touch.