How to downsize with utmost elegance
WHEN HER HUSBAND, Tony, died suddenly of a heart attack, aged 69, after 46 years of very happy marriage, Jan Robinson was stricken with grief. Three weeks before his death she had accepted an invitation to a lunch party, given by a 70-year-old widow, who was remarrying. When the day of the party arrived, Robinson could not have felt le ss like meeting anyone, but she plucked up the courage, went along, and discreetly asked a fellow guest, who had lost her husband five years before, for advice on surviving widowhood.
‘Don’t move house for a year, unless it’s financially essential,’ was the reply, and this became the first of many tips that Robinson rounded up from 29 women, which eventually became her book Tips from Widows.
She took that stranger’s advice and waited three years after her husband’s death before she moved from their London house, which had a 65ft-long former artist’s studio on the top floor, to a two-bedroom flat in a purpose-built development beside the River Thames.