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Interview with Mary, protagonist from 'Not Dead Yet'

Tell me about yourself.

My name is Mary Gibson. I am seventy-one years old. I have two wonderful children, two adorable grandchildren, and a sweet little cat called Bonnie. In cat years, Bonnie is as old as me. I am a retired English teacher, and I was recently widowed.

Oh, I’m sorry, that must be terribly difficult. How are you doing?

Thanks for asking. I am doing OK. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride, to be honest.

I hear you recently decided to have a sea change.

Yes, with Bob gone and my lifelong friend, Barb, now living in a Nursing Home in Queensland, I decided to sell the family home in Sydney and move into a Retirement Village on The Gold Coast to be close to her.

How did the move go?

Well, it’s been interesting to say the least. A certain pain in my arse followed me to The Retirement Village, poor Barb isn’t doing so well, and I discovered my late husband’s dirty little secret.

It certainly sounds like it’s been eventful. Have you made friends at the village?

I have made one friend. A lovely lady I met at the bus stop. Her husband is in the same nursing home as Barb. As for the women in the village. What a bunch of nasty bitches. Queen Bee, Noreen, is something else. Someone needs to bring her down a peg or two. The staff at the village are lovely though, so that’s nice. The caretaker is a great guy. He always greets everyone with a smile and a friendly wave.

Have you enjoyed the available activities at the village?

Not really. Book club turned out to be a high school cat fight. I thought I might have to duck in order to avoid being hit in the head by a hardcover being hurled in my direction. I thought we all left high school a long time ago. Aqua aerobics wasn’t much better. Lucky I can defend myself with one of those brightly coloured pool noodles. I love Christmas and have volunteered to help with organising the annual party. Surely, everyone is that bit nicer at Christmas. How hard can it be? Right?

Do you miss your family back in Sydney?

I do. I am looking forward to seeing my daughter and her kids soon. They are coming up to spend Christmas with me. I can’t wait.

Do you have any regrets in life?

I don’t believe in having regrets, but I do often wonder about the one that got away all those years ago. Bob wasn’t the man I thought he was. I quite often think of Neil and what he is doing these days. I don’t know if he is still alive.

Mary, thanks for chatting with us and I hope it all works out for you. Send our love to Barb, won’t you?

Thanks. I will be sure to pass on your well wishes. I am still adjusting to my new life, but I am sure it will all work out for the best. Most things usually do.

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