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Lockdown Links and Boredom Busters

Hi everyone,

We have compiled a list of online activities with links to them to help you pass the time while in lockdown. If you know of any other suggestions please let Emma know and we can add them in here for others enjoyment.

Short Sory Winners

In early April the Generus Group, in conjunction with the Retirement Village Association, sponsored a short story competition and there were 10 top stories chosen. The topics were “Trouble in the village,” “An unexpected turn” and “All’s well that ends well.”

You can read the short stories on the RVA’s website here, or on the Retirement Life website, here.

Village Guide https://www.villageguide.co.nz/ have made the following suggestions for you to keep entertained:

‘Visit’ an Art Gallery

The digital platform, Google Arts & Culture, has partnered with more than 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries to make some art collections available online.
Choose from iconic institutions such as MoMA, Tate Britain, the Scottish National Gallery, and many more.

Attend a free online concert at The Met

The Metropolitan Opera is streaming free online concerts most nights of the week. Check their website daily for the latest performances.

Watch some TED Talks

TED Talks are free online talks from experts around the world. There are 3300+ talks on subjects such as education, business, science, tech, and creativity. The 25 most popular TED Talks of all time is a good place to start.

Listen to Audiobooks

Audible has a large library of audiobooks and original audio shows to choose from, which can make for great listening as you potter around the house or garden.

Take a Free Online Course

Several leading universities and companies are offering free online courses through Coursera, including the likes of Stanford, Duke, IBM, and Google. Another website, Masterclass.com, is streaming classes from iconic experts such as Gordan Ramsey, Martin Scorsese, and Natalie Portman.

Africam – Always Live, Always Wild

Watch wild animals in the beautiful African bush LIVE and unscripted. Elephants, Lions, Leopards and many more make appearances every day in the remotest of Africa’s locations.

Click on this link here: https://www.africam.com/wildlife/

Travel the World without leaving your Home

See the Louvres magical tours, visit Monterey Bay’s Aquarium or listen to the Berlin Phiharmonic and more!

Watch the National Theatre “Starting from 7pm on Thursday, 2 April, a new play will be available to watch every week, beginning with “One Man, Two Guvnors”, starring James Corden. The National Theatre at Home programme will also feature bonus content including cast and creative Q&As and post-stream talks. Other plays to look forward to over the coming weeks include “Jane Eyre”, “Treasure Island” and Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, starring Tamsin Greig”.

Click on this link here: https://www.travelzoo.com/uk/blog/amazing-places-you-can-visit-without-leaving-home/

Top 7 Best Virtual Tours of Ireland

Interested in travelling to Ireland? Plan your next trip abroad with these free virtual tours: https://www.bestinireland.com/best-virtual-tours-ireland/

Jigsaw puzzles your thing?

Challenge yourself to these online puzzles of Te Papa’s famous exhibits.

“Take a moment of two to relax with online jigsaw puzzles using taonga (treasures Māori). Choose the puzzle and then the level of difficulty once it opens.


Radio NZ

You can listen live to programmes through their website. Use the “Listen Live” tab in top right corner.


RNZ Concert has live music all day long


Retirement Villages Association (RVA)

RVA has put some ideas to combat cabin fever on their website. The link is here:


They are hosting a short story competition and we have so many talented writers at OCE I am sure we could get our name on the honours board. Details below.

Short story competition for residents

We’re delighted to announce a new diversion for shut-in residents. Generously sponsored by the Generus Group and judged by Joan McKenzie (“Joan’s Picks” guru at Whitcoulls), the Generus Living Short Story competition brings some fabulous prizes both for the lucky winners and their village.

The deal is as follows:

  • Open to all residents in RVA member villages.
  • 2,000 words (approximately four sides of A4) on any one of the following topics:
    • “Trouble in the village”
    • “An unexpected turn”
    • “All’s well that ends well”
  • Entries must be emailed to John at john@retirementvillages.org.nz no later than 5.00 pm Sunday 12 April 2020
  • Judge Joan McKenzie will select 1st, 2nd and 3rd
  • Winning entries will be published on both the RVA’s website and the Retirement Life website
Joan MacKenzie

Joan MacKenzie has worked in the book industry for almost 40 years, in both publishing and bookselling, but she much prefers bookselling as she gets to look across the broad range of books from all publishers and find the ones she loves the most. She has been with Whitcoulls for the last 10 years where she’s both the Head of Books and also become the voice behind Joan’s Picks. She is lucky enough to have a job which allows her to read, and find books to love, and promote them through the Whitcoulls network of stores. In times like this, where we are all in enforced isolation, Joan thinks that writing stories and reading books is a perfect way to spend the time, and she’s looking forward to reading the many and varied works of imagination which our community will produce.


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