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By Maggie Wilkinson


Do you sometimes long to have a go at drawing and painting, but find the sight of a blank, white page daunting – with negative thoughts of not wanting to make a mess? Sometimes, we need to make a start in a small, gentle, and easy way, to get our creativity flowing again and to restore our confidence. Think back to when you were a child; do you remember those cold, wet playtimes when you couldn’t go out, and how cosy and enjoyable it felt to be cosseted up indoors in the warm and colouring in?


Colouring is now a really popular hobby, with fabulous books designed especially for the adult market. Grown-ups are finding immense pleasure in this relaxing craft: the contemplative peace of sitting at the table at your retirement village living and setting out the supplies; then, the simple comfort of laying down the colours, bringing the picture to life with your own handiwork. What a delightful way to spend an afternoon, perhaps with your grandchild or craft group, working on your pages together, side by side.

Before you take the plunge and buy expensive books, why not click on the links below and print yourself off a selection of free images that appeal to you?


Supplies you can use:

  • Pencil crayons – these are a great medium to start with, and they vary enormously in price and quality. All the “colourists” have their favourites, and the serious devotees often have several sets. Pencil crayons are more forgiving and subtle than felt pens, with less chance of bleeding through and spoiling the drawing on the other side of the page. The Staedtler 157 SB24 Ergosoft Triangular Colouring Pencils are good, and come highly recommended by the creator of one of the loveliest series of colouring books, Johanna Basford. These are brilliant, relatively cheap, and a perfect place to start. The colours lay down very softly and are easy to layer and blend. Always lay a sheet of clean white paper under the page you’re working on, to prevent marking the underneath design.

Pencil Crayons


  • Fineliners  – These are very posh felt-tip pens, brilliant for complimenting, enhancing, and highlighting your pencil work. The tips really are very fine and work well for tiny shapes, adding decorative dots, lines, and flourishes.



  • Colouring Books – Johanna Basford has designed and produced a series of beautifully drawn colouring books. She has even drawn a very sweet and free colouring book, which you can download and print as a pdf—see the links below. Johanna offers inspiring, free online tutorials, and there’s a very friendly Facebook community who generously share their work, tips, recommendations, and ideas.

Free colouring downloads

Johanna’s Free Book, “Flourish”


Another way you can ease yourself into creating with colour is to start a journal— a small book to fill with doodles and sketches, inspired from little things you see around you whilst at your retirement community near the sea or out and about, or your thoughts. It’s fun to collect ephemera from places you visit and stick them in, embellishing by hand.


It’s truly rewarding to give yourself the time to be creative, and everyone is creative - we just forget to use it! So, why not check out these links and inspire yourself?

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By Maggie Wilkinson 


It’s always useful to have a little project up your sleeve for when the little ones come to visit and need some relaxing indoor entertainment in your retirement flat.   

Children love to do creative things, so here’s something to do on a rainy day from the comfort of your lifestyle village, without making too much mess in your lovely apartment – meet Cressida the cress head and her friends! 

Children as young as four can enjoy this project, stick-on eyes can be fun, and older children love to get creative with the detailing and character of the faces… 

To make this project, it’s good to get the preparation done ahead of time so the kids can get stuck in straight away and everything is to hand. 

Requirements: – 

  • Save some eggshells, and when you crack them open, cut as neatly as you can close to the top or the bottom of the egg. Your choice will influence the shape of the final face. Wash them and let them dry out. 
  • An ordinary pencil for each child and coloured pencils, or fine liner pens, felt tips; an assortment provides choice. 
  • Some plastic sheeting or newspaper to protect your work surface 
  • A small bowl of compost 
  • A packet of cress seeds and a small saucer 
  • A teaspoon for each child  
  • An egg cup for each “Cress head” 
  • A square of kitchen roll for each, or scraps of fabric 
  • Water to moisten the compost. 
  • Egg boxes if taking home 



Method: – 

Get each child to draw a face on their eggshell. It’s companionable to work alongside, as it gets them going and gives them confidence. 

When they’re happy with the features, and have doodled a bit of hair maybe, let them colour in with the pencils, or whatever they choose. 

When the colouring is dry, put half an inch of water into the shell, and show them how to nearly fill it with compost, using a teaspoon. 

 Show them how to drip water in slowly, so the compost doesn’t spill out, then firm it in carefully so as not to break the shell or spoil the art work. 

Get the kids to open the cress packet and tip the seeds onto the saucer. 

Show them how to sprinkle the seeds onto the soil virtually covering it for a thick head of hair! 

Tap another teaspoon of compost to cover the seeds, and drip on more water. 

Fold the kitchen paper or scrap of fabric into four and tuck it into the egg cup to make a decorative neckerchief. 

Park the eggshell into the egg cup, or if they are going to take them home, place them into an empty egg box for transport. 

The cress will need a careful water each day, and after four or five days on a sunny windowsill, the cress “hair” will start to grow, and the longer it gets, the more characterful and quirky the head will be. 

It’s good to use real soil because it teaches them about seeds, growing food and when it comes to hair cut time, there’s another opportunity for a secondary activity…lunch! 

How about boiling some fresh eggs to mash with a bit of mayo, and an egg and cress sandwich could be on the menu! 

Have Fun! 

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By Simon Oakley 


The Thornton-Cleveleys area is an ideal place for senior living communities as you can access nature within a short distance, whether it be nature reserves, long walks or just admiring plant and animal life. Here are some locations that showcase the best of nature in the area. 


Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve 

The first location worth exploring is the Marton Mere Nature Reserve in Ormskirk because of the rich diversity it offers and the native plant life. Managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, you can find plants such as the endangered whorled caraway, golden dock, tubular water dropwort, early marsh orchids, the large-flowered hemp nettle and purple ramping fumitory, all native to the nature reserve. 

This offers a paradise for wildlife throughout the year as different species settle in the area. For example, in the spring you can see wildflowers and birds nesting whilst during summers your see insects such as butterflies and dragonflies appear. 

If you have the spare time, then why not get up and personal with the wildlife in the area. You can get involved in activities such as a canoe safari and pond dipping giving people the opportunity to see nature and wildlife up close. 

Click here for more information


Wyre Estuary Country Park 

The Wyre Estuary County Park is another good place to visit as you can experience nature in a relaxed setting. Walks and picnics are a great way to just sit and enjoy your surroundings or you can sign up with local rangers at the park to go on fun tours and gain an insight into what makes the park special.  

The country park is ideal if you enjoy watching birds in a natural environment or if you admire different tree varieties. It’s a great place to visit to just explore your environment outside of your independent living communities. 

Click here for more information


Rossall Beach 

Living at Royles Lodge means you are only minutes from the Lancashire Coast. Rossall Beach situated a mile from the Cleveleys Beach is worth a mention because of the natural landscape that allows nature to thrive. If you walk along the beach, you will experience birds flocking along the sandy beaches and marine life along the coast. There has been rumours that even seals can be seen occasionally.  

In many ways, it is perfect for a late evening walk as you can watch the sun descend along the coast at sunset.  

Click here for more information


All of these places are a great change of scenery for those living in luxury retirement villages, when friends or family come to visit why not take them for a little trip outside of your senior living communities. 

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Burghley retirement living is a brilliant opportunity to take full advantage of your retirement. It gives you countless opportunities to enjoy your well earned retirement the way that it should be.

At Burghley we believe that the time you spend after retiring should be stress free with no worries hanging over your head, so with that being the case, why wait to move into your own independent living?

Burghley Retirement Living provides an environment in which you are able to stay active physically and mentally (there are even tennis courts to enjoy with your new neighbours).  


We understand that your home is a place where memories have been made throughout your life and it will be understandably hard to let go, but Burghley’s retirement apartments are fantastic places to make new memories in during this exciting next chapter of your life.

The chance to downsize and be free of the burdens of house owning makes buying your own luxury apartment a no brainer.

Having more time and money to enjoy trips is just one of the many things you’ll find you have after downsizing. Not having to deal with maintenance of a house or worrying about cutting the lawn every week will mean you’ll find that the time you have really is your time!

If you are a fan of gardening, Burghley will also offer areas that green fingered residents are able to care for, meaning that you won’t miss out on doing the things you love doing, but without the pressure.  


Burghley are offering a new type of retirement living in which you can thrive independently within beautiful surroundings close to our luxury complexes.

We have situated our luxury retirement apartments near to areas of interest because we know the importance of spending time with your loved ones and taking the grandchildren on day trips.

The freedom of using your leisure time to do activities of your choice, whilst fulfilling and rewarding may be a new concept to you, meaning the idea of being a retiree will be far from how you see yourself.

However, surrounding yourself with others who are also enjoying life after work will help you thrive in an environment where Burghley takes care of any mundane issues and worries that you may have had before life at Burghley retirement living.  


Buying a retirement living apartment can sound daunting at first, maybe even lonely to some.

However, at Burghley Retirement Living we make sure that you are given much more than a luxury retirement apartment, by creating a community with others with similar interests and attitudes to life in retirement.

Having your own private independent apartment allows you to host dinner parties for your new neighbours in your fully equipped kitchen and entertain friends and family in your luxury living areas.

Having fully accessible living designs means that your guests will be able to visit your apartment comfortably, and of course allows you to move around without any difficulty in your own home.  


So the question stands: why wait to move into your retirement living apartment?

The answer is simple, don’t wait, you deserve to experience retirement in the way you’ve always pictured. After years of working it’s time to take time for yourself and be proud of what you have achieved.

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By Maggie Wilkinson 


That mood, when the day is blustery and bleak, and you’re feeling cold and cheated, wondering what on earth happened to Summer!

The weather can bring about a restlessness, a boredom, antipathy… but you want to make the most of your time in your luxury retirement village, so why not challenge the elements and get out in the fresh air. This can really clear the mind and bring fresh thoughts and lift your mood. 

Pick up your camera and go outside. Fresh air really helps – breathe deep! Somehow, the simple act of carrying the camera with the thought to find some natural beauty to delight your eyes is refreshing therapy in itself, a bit of a reboot. 

Sometimes we get mired in by a crowded mind and we forget to look around, forget to drink in the gorgeousness of our world. The heft of the camera reminds us to see through its lens, it focusses our vision and teaches us to be selective, notice the details of things. You will discover that visual joy is the one that speaks loudest…visual joy is straight into the vein. 

Colours can make the heart soar, and the wind, sun or rain enhance everything with their unique and layering gloss and light. So, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone, leave your senior living community, put on your coat and brave the weather, you may well be rewarded with some simple exhilaration gleaned from the outdoors. 


Here are some snaps to inspire you… 


Rhubarb and Custard Tulip 



This tulip is full of shimmy and movement, caught in a brief lull between the wind and the rain – isn’t she just delicious, clothed in rippling pink-and-cream silk? What an uprush of joy she gives, and the memory of snuggling the papery bulb into the cold brown earth last November…what a reward! 


Colour has very strong appeal, but don’t forget to look for  interesting patterns and textures. 





This noble old spade carries a lifetime of memories in its rough, ashen grain, the patina of years, use and weather, give it a character all its own, and you can imagine who used it, the hands that held it, rough hands, smooth wood. 


Apple Blossom 



The last image is a tender froth of apple blossom. Spring colours are so new, so promising, and in this little tree, this image, lies the future delightful anticipation of a hot apple crumble, spiked with a drift of cinnamon! 


What will you do with your photographs? 


Photography is such a fantastic record of good times shared, occasions, and it can be brilliant for the day-to-day journaling of what you see and what you love, you can show your loved ones the beautiful nature you’ve seen during your time in your senior living community – you don’t have to even print them unless you want to…  

If you want to have a go, start by using the camera on your mobile, they produce really good images these days and you can even crop and edit there. And it’s so easy to share your images with friends, family and loved ones, through social media and email. 

If you get the bug and want to take it further, you might like to consider buying a camera, such as this one: – 

Canon EOS 200D – Cameras – Canon UK 

It’s really easy to use and you can automatically send the photos to your phone which makes sharing really straightforward. 

Whatever you do, enjoy the adventure! 

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