Serina and Eugene Chambers don’t believe in retiring, but rather in ‘recalculating’.
Their newly-built house in Onrusrivier on the Overberg Whale Coast is anything but a retirement home – and they don’t plan to take it easy anytime soon. “Nowhere in the Bible does it say you should retire,” says Serina over a cup of scented tea, tastefully served in a vintage bone china cup.
We got to know Serina as the woman behind the Nerf-Af stores, and her furniture and enamelware have often been featured in Home. When Eugene ‘retired’ last year after 40 years of service at a financial institution, the Chambers were ready for a change. “No one can survive on just a pension these days and it has always been our plan to acquire property that will work for us in our old age,” says Serina. “Our house was designed so that the two bedrooms on the ground floor can be rented out as self-catering accommodation, as can a large cottage on the property.”
But Onrusrivier hasn’t always been part of their retirement plans. The family has camped at Stilbaai in the Southern Cape for the past 30 years; they used to own two plots there, which they’ve since sold.
“We decided that a vacation spot isn’t necessarily the ideal place to retire,” says Serina. “Stilbaai is just too quiet in the off-season and also too far from Cape Town, where our children and grandchildren live.” >>
Serina and Eugene laid out the garden themselves after taking walks in their area to find out which plants thrive locally. They describe it as an indigenous mountain-andgrass garden. The pathway was created with non-slip travertine tiles and they’ve had the plant pots for years. Plants mostly from Cape Garden; tiles from WOMAG