Brave move

How to down­size with ut­most el­e­gance

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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.

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