RESIDENT BLOG: How a birthday celebration helped me rekindle old hobbies


More than 30 years ago, I left Malaysia and came to London to train as a nurse, and have been living in London ever since. I previously came from an accounting background, so the change in career was immense, let alone moving to another country.

At the beginning of last year, I started a new role that is not as intense as being a nurse but still working in the nursing field. I now monitor admissions along with improving the hospital targets, patient risk, and safety. With no more shift work or weekends working, I now have more time on my hands to work on my other interests – writing and reading.

Over the summer, I shared my birthday with a couple of other residents at the Oldfield Estate. While we were all celebrating (safely in the garden!), we realised we all shared a love of music - I used to play the piano before training as a nurse. The next thing I knew, the resident's stage piano was brought to me and I was ‘tickling the old ivories.’ I’m still busy brushing up my piano skills and I can play ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Amazing Grace.’

Another hobby I rekindled was singing. When I was younger, I used to sing in the children’s choir and when I moved to Oldfield Estate, I heard there was a choir, so I signed up straight away.

Activities are great for mental health and wellbeing and for myself, it keeps me grounded. I have always been active and fit and used to attend 4-5 spinning classes a week. However, almost 10 years ago, when I had breast cancer and recovered, I could not get the momentum back.

I now go for slow runs up Primrose Hill when the weather is good. However, when the weather is dreadful, it's indoors and doing online activities like Thai-Chi via Zoom, which helped me during the lockdown. I never used to use technology like Zoom or Skype before, and I highly recommend residents should participate in the activities online too.

A lot has changed over the last 30 years and so has 2020 with COVID 19, lockdowns and so much more and with all the difficulties that I faced, the most helpful thing is the C&C activities for the residents. This has kept us connected, rekindled my previous hobbies, and I have even started doing other activities along with meeting other residents.

My hobby of writing has come back strong, for example. When I was younger, I used to write many articles for my school’s newspaper. Now, I am planning to publish some nursing articles, as I want to document my journey since becoming a nurse in London 30 years ago. I wish to write about my breast cancer diagnosis and how I had recovered. Finally, I am studying for my Ph.D. in nursing and aim to graduate within the next two years.

Pee Bee Goh, resident, Oldfield Estate

All C&C residents can access a range of events and activities that we put on every month – visit our activity calendar to see what’s coming up.

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