Now, perhaps for the first time, you have time on your hands. The retirement home is the ideal place to sit and reminisce, to think back on your long life and write down some of your experiences so that your grandchildren, great-grandchildren and maybe generations after them will get a taste of the times you lived in. Don’t you sometimes wonder what your grandfather’s life was like? Wouldn’t you like to have something written by him describing his times?  

Unless you are an accomplished writer you will not manage get it all down on paper, but you can choose a few incidents in your life that will make interesting reading for your descendants. I have tried it on more than one occasion and I found it extremely difficult; even writing down the opening word was a problem. Then I had an idea. I wrote a letter to one of my grandsons and in a matter of minutes the whole project fell into place.  

In the letter I described an incident that occurred on one of my holidays. I wrote the ‘bones’ of the little story. When that was done I fleshed it out by adding details of the meals we had, the names of some of my friends who were with me, described the clothes we wore and told little stories about what we did, trying to give the reader an idea of the world I lived in – what it was like back in 1940 when I was a youngster and a great war was raging in Europe. In the next chapter I wrote about my school, the teachers, my friends and described what we got up to after school hours. The exercise became easier as I wrote about my parents and siblings, our house and our lifestyle.  

Is anyone ever going to read it? I have no idea, but I did it!