Through the eyes of others, Linda looks at why many middle-aged Australians choose to live in lifestyle villages. 

Their backgrounds are different but all have expectations of the kind of life they hope to lead in a village situation. 

It is a revealing look at a current specific lifestyle increasingly sought in today’s Australia.

In Store Price: $19.95 
Online Price:   $18.95

ISBN: 978-1-921731-59-4    
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 83
Genre: Non Fiction


Author: Linda Garrett
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2011
Language: English



So you think you want to live in an over 50’s village?  

Choices and experiences of living in a community situation


About the Author 

Linda Garrett was born in Tavistock, Devonshire, England on 4th December 1947. Before her first birthday her parents moved to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). She spent the first seven years of her life in the close company of her parents, and roamed the Zambian bush of their tobacco farm bare footed with her minder Bebe, her mother’s Alsation bitch. In Linda’s world there were only the natives from either of the two villages on the farm, and a few other whites who visited from the surrounds of the small town of Fort Jameson (Chipata). She enjoyed the privilege of parental love, surrounded by nature and a sense of freedom that would affect her for life. 

She commenced boarding school at the age of seven. By the time she was fourteen years of age the family now seven, migrated to Australia and her formal education was over. In order to help support the family in their new lives in Western Australia, she worked in a local café in Albany. 

Here she met her future husband. The family of eight now, drove across the Nullarbor Plain to Whyalla, South Australia to find employment with the mighty BHP. 

Their mother deserted the family, leaving Linda and her father to care for the other children. Her mother went to seek her fortune on the opal fields of Andamooka. 

Linda continued to oversee the welfare of her family long after she married and migrated to New Zealand, where she had four children of her own. 

After returning to Queensland, where she divorced her alcoholic husband, she became a Commonwealth Government employee. 

She and her partner, Wilks, went to live near her mother and her mining mate in the opal town of Coober Pedy in her mother’s last months. 

Linda and Wilks live on Tamborine Mountain, on the Gold Coast hinterland of Queensland. 



 I finally retired at the age of 58, satisfied that the time and my superannuation were right. Looking out of our bedroom window at the rainforest and birds hopping from branch to branch, I remembered starting part-time work in my dad’s butchery in Harare, Zimbabwe at the age of twelve, and hadn’t had time to scratch myself since. My autobiography ‘Mysteries, Miseries and Miracles’ published by Zeus, can be obtained from the Tamborine Mountain or Wynnum libraries, if you would like to read why. For five years I’ve not had another single word to say! 

Here I am again embarking on another project. I’ve decided that I am a project person. Life always provides a project for you, if that is what you want. Wilks is quite happy with his choir, our vegetables in the community garden and his 650cc motor-scooter. I usually went with him on the back of the Suzuki till he dropped the bike near home and forgot that he didn’t have me on the back when he arrived home! Accompanying friends are my witnesses. 

I love our courtyard with salad greens, herbs and roses. I’ve completed Certificate 2 and 3 in Community and Aged Care – because I was laid up with Occipital Neuralgia at the time and had suffered from the chronic disease for seven years, also I knew nothing about the aged, and found it fascinating, especially when I got to meet and work with the clients. I am more convinced than ever that it is very important to exercise regularly, eat a variety of non processed foods and never become overweight.

At a training session with Community Care via Queensland Health that I attended, the instructor said: 

“I am sure a lot of you can relate to the fact that when you reached the age of forty you heard such well-intentioned remarks as “remember you’re only as old as you feel; or you’re not getting older, you’re getting better; or age doesn’t mean a thing.” And hey, guess what? They are all wrong. Ageing is a normal phase of life, we cannot avoid it, but it is difficult to age gracefully as the saying goes, because it brings many problems with it, and I guess once again we can all relate to that.

I don’t know about you but when my kids were young I used to long for the good life in old age with thoughts like:  

·           The kids will have left home

·           I can now have that wonderful garden

·           I can travel around

·           I will have less financial worries

·           I can read all those books and watch all those movies. 

Well, guess what? 

·           I miss the kids (empty nest syndrome) and I can only cope with so much of the grand-kids

·           My sciatica and arthritis prevent me from doing long stretches in the garden and after all I am still working so time is a factor. 

And guess what? 

·           Travelling will depend on the price of petrol, how expensive things will be on a pension and travel safety at the time. Will super cover my retirement, not at the moment, how mobile and well will I be?

·           My eyes and hearing are not so good so will I be reading all those books and watching all those movies? 

So there you have it. But there are some positive things about ageing: 

·           Better developed coping strategies and attitudes

·           Most citizens remain busy, independent, positive and healthy members of their community, and report high levels of satisfaction with most of their lives a lot of the time

·           Older Australians offer financial assistance to their families

·           Older people are often better workers in employment

·           Many older people get the majority of assistance from their partners, until much later in life

·           There is not as much mental decline in older age as we think –  what happens is most older people get depressed, anxious, nutritionally unsound, decline in their physical health, experience some level of memory loss and dementia that contribute to the decline. 

And the most misleading quote of all, “Life begins at forty” – missed out two words:  Life begins (for some) TO END at forty!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve worked very hard for my wrinkles and grey hair!


Linda Garrett

Chapter 1 -  



When we first looked at this complex, we had no obvious preconceptions, because we had never really entertained the idea, and indeed I don’t recollect its sustainability being touted as a selling point. Yet our Capo Di Monte village is to some extent, self-sustaining, determined partially by its location on Tamborine Mountain which boasts no reticulated water supply or sewerage system. Rainwater is collected from the 47 roof areas via underground pipes into two 200,000L concrete tanks from where it is treated and returned to the various households. In the same building where the rainwater is purified, a wastewater treatment plant collects, via a second set of underground pipes, all grey water and effluent from toilets. These are combined, and after treatment, returned to households for use in garden hoses and toilet flushing. Both systems are computerized and closely monitored by the resident caretaker and a couple of the residents. Any excess treated wastewater is sprinkled onto the grounds. An added benefit of the process is less usage of fresh rainwater. A bore subsidizes the collection tanks if the water levels fall below a certain point. The whole system works well, though it did have its teething problems, and is currently being evaluated by the CSIRO who have installed various measuring devices, and who are comparing its energy and cost efficiencies with other systems around South East Queensland.  

Two of the unit owners have installed solar panels which feed electricity into the grid system, thus ensuring no electricity bills, as well as a small return in the form of credit. My hope is that as panels become less expensive, more Lot owners will take advantage of the opportunity to increase the self sustaining capability of the village. The cost of sustainability, in respect of the water treatment plant, is reflected in the body corporate fees which are probably reasonable, considering that we also have access to a community building which includes kitchen and dining facilities, TV lounge, gym, heated swimming pool, spa and sauna. With cooperation and goodwill, of which there is plenty, I see no reason why the residents of Capo Di Monte shouldn’t maintain their current lifestyle and appreciate the benefits and possibilities of sustainability.

Each villa is freehold, has its own courtyard which is common property but each Lot holder enjoys exclusive rights to the area. 

Wilks Turner

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