A new start after 60: ‘I became a father again at 61. Imagine the joy that gives me!’

Jim Mason had been married and had two grownup children. Then he fell in love with a younger woman who wanted kids of her own

Jim Mason knows the exact moment, shortly before he retired, when he realised he was falling in love with his assistant. Liz was 33 years his junior. As she climbed into the car one day, she turned to him and said: “Come on – let’s go.” Mason doesn’t recall where they were heading. “It was the way she said it as though we were a complete item.”

They had worked together for the NHS for several years. “There was never anything in it. I went in and she coped with me, and I coped with her.” But his marriage had ended in his mid-50s and he had “imploded in on himself” in the lonely years that followed. He liked watercolours, and Liz liked photography. They began to hang out at weekends, at first as friends; then the relationship developed.

Tell us: has your life taken a new direction after the age of 60?

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