Dr Nikil Chopra and his wife Lucy moved into our neighbourhood in December 2013, just one week before Christmas. Prior to the move, they were both doctors, commuting into London from Ruislip.
Their move was motivated by the desire to own their own home, slightly away from the city rat race. As most do, they started looking at places like Beaconsfield, close to their new jobs as GPs in Buckinghamshire. As I interviewed Nik, I knew what was coming next in terms of “shock and awe” at the property prices in this gorgeous market town. My husband Bruce and I had sold my rental flat and our house in Dollis Hill before coming out this way. On first impressions, Beaconsfield shouldn’t be expensive but the combination of good schools and a fast train into Marylebone send it out of the reach of most ordinary folk like us.
Consequently prospective buyers such as Bruce and I, Nik and Lucy tend to “slide” down the hill to the village of Wooburn Green where we all now live. In this idyllic corner of the South East, we have all found amazing neighbours (I could not have imagined the support and help I would receive when I was housebound for months on end, following ankle surgery) friendly locals, great pubs close by, as well as an embarrassment of excellent eateries, including a fish and chip shop and an award-winning Italian trattoria.
One of Nik’s hobbies is photography, which he really developed on a trip to a friend’s wedding in South Africa. “The thought of going on a wildlife safari and not coming away with great photos was not an option,” so he set about learning from the internet.
When Amber, our sprocker spaniel had her second litter of puppies in 2015, Nik asked if he could come and photograph them. “It was so much fun shooting them. They had such character and the portrait style photography, mixed with some action worked really well with my 50mm f2.8 lens on his basic Canon 650D camera body”. One of Nik’s photos won a “dog in a box” competition run by my dog food provider.
My favourite pic of that session is a naughty “d’you think anyone can see us biting each other?” pose:
Nik and Lucy became parents last year, to a baby daughter. Learning each new step was tough, according to New Dad, but when their little girl turned 5 months, they noticed a huge difference in how much they enjoyed her company. She is so interactive now, making each moment more enjoyable than the one before.
I was curious to know if our doctor had any tips for gaining or re-gaining health and vitality as we get older. He recommends never to stop learning. “Try something new. Make sure you think about developing your interests and hobbies before you retire”, rather than being faced with a lot of leisure time and not a clue what to do.
I’ve been trying out cooking from scratch with Hellofresh – I never knew courgettes were so tasty and could be so versatile!