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Juicy Crones

free for the strangest adventures Inspirational stories of women embracing later life

Juicy Crones women’s travel and well-being narrative – a collection of stories celebrating the lives and adventures of post-menopausal women, a mix of adventure, feminist, auto-biographical and self-help writing filled with an inspiring zest for life from a past winner of The Telegraph’s ‘Just Back’ travel writing competition.

About this book

‘The average woman will live 30 years after menopause. You can have lots of fun in that time. This is our third act, the time that many women learn to ROAR! I’m now marinating in all the things I love most and writing about them.’
After retiring from a distinguished career in education and health, Jay Courtney found life rather beige. ‘I realised that I didn’t know how to do this part of my life’ she says. ‘There was no route map to follow, only a looming ‘Exit’ sign, so I went on a quest to find a colour that suited me.’ For Jay, her métier turned out to be a mix of travel and inspirational writing, combined with a talent for finding others whose experiences resonate. In Juicy Crones she celebrates the lives of women who have embraced their ‘third act’ with gusto.
Juicy Crones is a joyous celebration of post-menopausal women life travellers. ‘Crones were revered as wise-women, warriors, speakers of uncomfortable truths, carrying with them the wisdom of life’ says Courtney. ‘As for the ‘juicy’ part, this is me thumbing my nose at the language often used of older women as ‘dried-up’, wrinkled, barren. Many older women I have met have been the very opposite: beautiful, vibrant, outrageously funny, full of self-knowledge, free-spirited. There is no better group to be part of. What we lack in collagen we often make up for with wisdom!’
And the subtitle? ‘Free for the Strangest Adventure’ is a quotation from Virginia Woolf in To the Lighthouse. ‘For me it represents the state of mind that enables a Crone to be juicy!’ says Courtney. ‘This is when the magic happens.’

About the Author

Since retirement from a distinguished career in education and health, Jay Courtney has embraced post-menopausal life. An infectious enthusiasm combined with the benefit of experience has helped her to achieve a new-found happiness and freedom, making the most of life’s ‘third act’. A proud ‘Crone’ – women once revered for their wisdom, as warriors, and as speakers of uncomfortable truth – her ability to find perspective and to offer practical support with riotous good humour have become embedded as guiding principles. ‘What we lack in collagen we often make up for with wisdom!’, she says. Until retiring, her writing had focussed solely on children’s health and well-being, but after completing an MA in Travel and Nature Writing at Bath Spa University and winning the Telegraph’s ‘Just Back’ travel writing competition for her account of a solo trip to the Faroe Islands, she has made it her mission to seek out other ‘Juicy Crones’. In this, her first book, she celebrates wonderful women, who have often overcome personal crisis and, in the words of Virginia Woolf in To the Lighthouse, given themselves permission to be ‘Free for the Strangest Adventure’.

Additional Information

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Atrophy, Entropy: Let’s Call the Whole thing Off
Post-Menopausal Life, end of career, facing a void
Chapter 2 An Empty Car Park
Giving Birth To Self- where to start on a blank sheet of paper
Chapter 3 How to Be a Juicy Crone
Practising Self- Misstery
Chapter 4 Alex’s Story: Poo(h) Sticks at 60
Taking up ultra-marathon running, after a stage 3 bowel cancer diagnosis
Chapter 5 Andie’s Story: Lower the Nose
Learning to Fly
Chapter 6 Belle’s Story: Build It with YouTube
Juicy Crone building her own house solo in the Australian Outback
Chapter 7 Caroline’s Story: Take Four
Opening an Art Gallery after the children left home.
Chapter 8 Deborah’s Story: Carving Out a New future
After her husband needed full time care with early-onset dementia
Chapter 9 Debs’ Story: Tea in Hungary
Setting Up a Well-Being Tea house in a National Parc in Hungary
Chapter 10 Jane’s Story: Mrs K eats her way around Italy
Becoming a specialist in Italian Renaissance Art in your third act
Chapter 11 Lesley’s Story: Heart-Led Celebrant
Becoming a Celebrant especially at funerals
Chapter 12 Pat’s Story: Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share
Living off-grid, permaculture values in a Dorset pony paddock
Chapter 13 Supriya’s Story: Manasamitra
Diversity, Wellbeing and Spirituality through embodied Carnatic music
Chapter 14 Janette’s Story: When the Day is Not yet Made’
Horse Listener: Embracing gifts once seen as ‘faults’ synaesthesia and Tourette’s. Rhode Island
Chapter 15 Tamsin’s Story: Walking it Off
(Very) Long Distance walker
Chapter 16 Epilogue: Free for the Strangest Adventure