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Real Life

REAL LIFE: Meet the nursing home residents who posed for a nude calendar!

After all, age is just a number.

By Laura Masia
The residents at Lifeview Residential Care, Victoria, sure aren't shy.
We spoke to the models in the 2020 nude calendar about why stripping off was the most fun they've had in years!

Jackie Slater, 90, shares her story

I placed a protective hand on my pregnant belly as I stepped off the boat, breathing in the salty air.
My husband, Kenneth, and I had just spent six weeks and three days sailing from Yorkshire to Australia, ready to start our lives together.
Ken and I had first met at a Saturday night dance. He asked me to dance but when we did, he didn't know a single step!
I tried to teach him as we bumbled around, but it was useless. Despite his ineptitude on the dance floor, we started dating and married ten months later, when I turned 18.
We were so happy but Kenneth worked in the mines, a terribly dangerous job, and I wanted him out of there.
For a new start, we decided to move to Australia.
When we arrived in Victoria, I struggled to understand the local slang.
Me and Kenneth. Image: Take 5
"G'Day love," the blokes often said to me.
At first, I had no idea how to respond. It sounded like gibberish!
All my life I was a housewife and stay-at-home mum of two beautiful kids. I was the last generation of women who did everything for her husband.
Anything Kenneth knew I could do, he didn't!
At times I felt a lot of resentment, but I accepted it.
I was brought up on romantic American movies that said the woman's place was in the home. Sometimes, I'd get stroppy at Kenneth while I was slaving away over dinner.
I'd leave it half cooked, and storm outside to do some gardening.
"If they asked me again tomorrow, I'd strip off in an instant!" Image: The Studio Melbourne
Although it's not the type of life my daughter leads, being a housewife was bred into me and I can't imagine living it differently.
Kenneth passed away eight years ago. He was in a high-care nursing home for six months and knew it was his time. I know he's still by my side today.
As soon as I agreed to be a part of the nude calendar, I knew he wouldn't approve of my cheeky antics, but it sounded like a bit of fun!
I was nervous at first but when another resident took off her bra and flaunted it, I thought 'why not?'
My breasts sagged down to my navel and I joked with the others about how I could just about fling them over my shoulder!
With each photo taken, we all laughed hysterically. I had the best time I'd had in years.
When the calendar came out, I bought 12 copies, although it mortifies my grandkids.
I never would've done this type of thing 20 years ago but if they asked me again tomorrow, I'd strip off in an instant!
L-R: Doreen, Corry and Jackie . Image: The Studio Melbourne

Brian Phipps, 80, shares his story

My heart pounded as I put my foot on the gas, racing to the scene.
I was a paramedic and my partner and I had just received a call that an air ambulance and helicopter had collided mid-flight.
As we pulled up onto the property, I took a deep breath, bracing myself for what I was about to see.
I walked into the backyard where the helicopter had fallen, my eyes widened in shock.
Tragically, no one had survived.
Flaming debris and body parts of the victims covered the ground after their bodies had been torn apart by the impact.
In my time as an ambulance officer. Image: Supplied
As we took it all in, a man walked out of the house, holding his dog tightly.
"Can you pick this all up?" he called, pointing to the body parts, "my dog keeps trying to eat it."
Without a second thought, we got to work.
Despite often having tragic days like this, I loved my job and being able to help people.
I was inspired to become an ambulance officer after my wife, Jan, fell pregnant.
I knew I needed a steady income and my father had been a paramedic for 17 years, so I gave it a go. Turns out, I had a knack for it.
Although we had many tragic calls to attend, there were some funny ones too.
One day we were called to a shooting.
The police were there and thankfully the victim had only lost a finger.
On our way to the hospital, I asked him what happened.
I loved modelling with the lovely ladies. Image: The Studio Melbourne
He explained that he was down the road helping his mistress when the accident happened. He'd been having an affair for 20 odd years!
"I hope police don't talk to my wife!" he said to me sheepishly.
"Serves you right, mate" I chuckled.
When I was in my 50s I had some back trouble and eventually had an operation.
During the surgery, something went wrong and I lost the use of my legs. I had to stop work and although I got compensation, it flipped my life upside down. Due to the strain, my wife and I split up.
But thankfully, I've had plenty of support from my family and old ambulance buddies.
After being a paramedic for so long, nothing surprises me so when I was asked if I wanted to be in a nude calendar with a bunch of lovely ladies, I jumped at the chance!
But on the day of the shoot, I completely forgot about it so when the women removed their dresses and bras, I was a bit stunned!
As the only handsome rooster in the bunch, I loved modelling with the lovely ladies.
L-R Wanda, Brian and Lorraine. Image: The Studio Melbourne

Corry Ogden, 64, shares her real life story

I put my hands on my hips and raised my eyebrows.
"if you're going to be under our roof, you need to pull your weight!" I said sternly.
"Yes, Corry," James, a boy from down the road, nodded.
He'd had trouble with his parents and they'd kicked him out. He didn't know where to go so he came to my place.
My husband, Neil, and I welcomed him with open arms. Over the years, our home had become like a half-way house for local kids.
Although I'd had two biological kids of my own, I knew these children needed guidance.
I fell pregnant when I was 17.
I'd just gotten married to my first husband, Stuart. He was a lovely man six years older than me.
Sadly, we lost the child just before full term.
We tried to move on and a year later, we had baby girl but tragically, we lost her to SIDS.
We had two more children together but after experiencing the pain of losing two children, Stuart and I grew apart and got a divorce.
Thankfully, we stayed good friends.
Me and Neil with his mullet! Image: Supplied
I began studying business management and although I was always busy with work, I'd often attend my friends parties.
Each time, I noticed a man named Neil. He had a mullet and a moustache and loved rock music.
When we finally spoke, I realised he was a big softy. I was smitten.
Neil and I eventually married, got jobs with the Defence Force and moved to the army barracks in the Northern Territory.
Years later, we moved back to Melbourne, and I got another management role.
Then, I fell down a large flight of stairs and needed major spinal surgery.
Tragically, four days later, Neil was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The gravity of his illness didn't hit us until I was out of ICU.
We sobbed as we held each but soon realised that we needed to be positive.
With my spine and Neil's cancer, we knew we had to make every moment we had together precious.
So we went on a five-week trip travelling through country Victoria. It was perfect.
I felt so confident. Image: The Studio Melbourne
Not long after, Neil passed away.
It was incredibly hard to lose the love of my life but I tried to keep occupied.
I moved into Lifeview and joined the social committee.
I help new residents settle in and also run the bingo three times a week.
But the most exciting event has been our nude calendar!
We first got the idea for it after watching the film Calendar Girls.
Although I used to go skinny dipping back in my youth, I felt modest at first.
But I soon came out of my shell and I'm glad.
The photo shoot made me feel so confident and sexy! I realise that no matter your age, you can do anything you want to.
L-R: Lorraine, Corry and Brian. Image: The Studio Melbourne

Lorraine Gladwin, 75, shares her story

As I punched prices into the register at the shop I worked at, I couldn't help but cast a sly glance at the boy stacking shelves.
His name was Bill and he was a skinny little fella with a big head.
Although he was dating the girl who worked in the store next door, I had a crush on him.
Each shift I tried to talk to him and eventually, he broke up with his girlfriend and we got together.
But she always gave me dirty looks after that!
I was only 14 but knew he was the one for me.
A few years later, Bill and I married.
He was very supportive of me and encouraged me to do night school to learn shorthand and typing.
Me, Bill and our twin sons. Image: Supplied
With my education, I became a secretary to the manager of a business and loved being a woman in the work force.
When I fell pregnant with my first child, Craig, I quit my job. Two years later, I had twins, Dean and Bradley.
Being a stay-at-home mum brought me lots of joy. But tragically, when Craig was 14, he was diagnosed with leukaemia.
It was devastating news and with three young kids, it was hard to support the whole family while taking Craig back and forth from the hospital for treatment.
Craig was a fighter and battled the disease until he passed two years later, while Bill and I were by his bedside.
Although we knew it was coming, the pain of his death has never gone away but we had to be strong for the twins.
Bill was a doting father and loving husband.
One day, after feeling a bit ill, he went to the doctors for some tests.
The shoot was so much fun. Image: The Studio Melbourne
"I'm sorry," the doc told him later, "you have bowel cancer."
My heart shattered.
After going through it all with Craig, I knew we were in for a tough battle.
My Bill was strong and he fought the cancer as best as he could but soon, it became too much for him and he passed away.
Losing him was awful but with the help of family and friends, I got on with life.
Now I'm always looking for things to brighten my day.
When I was asked whether I wanted to be involved with the nude calendar, I jumped at the chance!
I've always been a little bit naughty and over the years, I've become more comfortable in my own skin.
When they gave me a fur coat to drape over my shoulders, I felt like a model!
If anyone out there is thinking about posing nude, I'd say go for it, live your life to the fullest, because you never know when it might end!

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