76-year-old Chichester grandfather offers young Valentines advice from his 45 years of marriage

A Chichester grandfather has offered romantic advice to young couples celebrating Valentine’s Day this week.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 4:30 pm

Des Hodnett, 76, who was married to his wife Viv for 45 years, said the secret to their marriage was being able to fully understand each other’s ambitions in life and show each other love, devotion and appreciation.

Des, who has lived at Augusta Court care home, in Winterbourne Road, since Viv passed away in 2013, said: “Our most romantic day was our wedding day at Eastergate Parish Church in 1965 and every day together since then was special.

“You’ll have a successful relationship if you work together to achieve mutual harmony and understand each other totally.

Des Hodnett showing Augusta Court care assistant Hayley Bridle his wedding photos
Des Hodnett showing Augusta Court care assistant Hayley Bridle his wedding photos

“If you have children – always treat them the same. Don’t have a favourite as that will cause upset. That was how we brought up our two sons and daughter.

“My advice to young Valentines would be to listen to each other and always discuss issues and learn from them. Nobody is perfect so you need to learn to compromise.

“And embrace and seek views from parents and friends as they have probably been through it all before so they can offer wise advice.

“Above all, be totally honest with each other and with all those you meet in life.

“Valentine’s Day is a chance to show you care for someone you love.”

Des will be joining his friends at Augusta Court for day of Valentine’s themed activities on Friday (February 14), including a visit from a local theatre group and decorating heart-shaped cookies.

The home is also hosting a special Valentine’s lunch for residents and their spouses.

Augusta Court manager Sam Henderson said the Valentine’s celebration is part of a packed programme of activities at the care home.

He said: “This is such an exciting event. There will be lots of fun, colour and wonderful food all made from fresh seasonal ingredients.

“Older people have a life time of experience when it comes to love so it’s great Des can offer younger couples advice.

“The party is part of Augusta Court ongoing programme of interesting activities which aim to stimulate the residents physically and mentally.

“Such events are also a great occasion for residents to socialise with friends and their families.”