Love in Old Age

Hunter Davies finds new love at the age of 83 

It’s not often you have a chance to meet an author whose work you enjoy. Last year, I interviewed Hunter Davies for a feature in the September 2021 edition of Tomorrow magazine. Wehave kept in touch since and a few weeks ago we met for lunch at a beachside restaurant in Porto de Mós, Lagos. 

Before meeting Hunter, I read his most recent book – Love in Old Age. It tells of how, three years after the death of Margaret Forster, his wife of 55 years, Hunter found a new love at 83 years of age. As with all of Hunter’s autobiographies, it’s witty, self-effacing, and a terrific read. 

‘One of the joys about finding love in old age’, writes Hunter, ‘is that you find yourself not just with a new partner but the new partner’s family, friends, pets, history, house, and interests.’

The book tells of how Hunter and his girlfriend Claire purchased a picturesque cottage (‘love nest’) on the Isle of Wight (‘it was not too dear’) and the excitement and frustrations involved. Many of these were similar to the issues people face when emigrating to Portugal, for example, finding reliable tradespeople and settling in a new location, away from family and friends. Hunter also tells of the all too familiar domestic squabbles over décor, IKEA furniture, and how children can react when a parent meets someone new. It’s an interesting read and highlights all manner of issues and opportunities that arise when meeting someone new in our later years. 

As it transpired, we spent little time talking about the book (or any book) and rather our shared love of football and music dominated the conversation. One unexpected aspect of our meeting stays in my mind but I think is typical of Hunter. On the table next to us, there was a party of twenty rather excitable Portuguese guys who, due to the noise they were creating, were receiving a few less-than-welcoming glances from the other diners (boo hoo). Hunter would have none of that, however. Instead, he set about finding out what they had in common –

 it turned out to be a pre-wedding / stag dinner. 

Before too long we were chatting with the guys and once they discovered who Hunter was, they erupted into a spiriting rendition of ‘Yellow Submarine’. What fun it was. 

During lunch, Hunter told me that his relationship with Claire has ended and consequently, at 86 years of age, he is once again on the lookout for love. I have no doubts that with his love of life, energy (he swims three times a week) and good humour, Hunter will not be single for too long. It was lovely to meet Hunter, an author whose work I enjoy. And more than that, to meet a person I like very much. 

Love in Old Age is available to buy at 

With over a hundred books to his name, Hunter Davies famously wrote the only authorised biography of The Beatles for which, at the height of Beatlemania, he had full access to John, Paul, George and Ringo. Hunter has owned two properties in the Algarve, purchasing the first in 1970. 


Share this edition