Get the book of Juicy Crones
Free for the Strangest Adventures. Inspirational Stories of Women Embracing Later Life by Jay Courtney
Jay has gathered inspiring stories from women from around the world into a book which was published on 5th January 2023 by Bradt Guides and is available to buy online.
"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."
Courtney's métier transpired to blend travel and inspirational writing, combined with a talent for finding others whose experiences resonate. In Juicy Crones she fêtes the lives of women embracing their 'third act' with gusto. Written by a Telegraph travel-writing competition winner and former Women's Hour guest, 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 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 make up for in wisdom!"
Courtney's debut is a unique title with an infectious enthusiasm for living life to the full, that blends adventure with feminism, women's health with well-being, and autobiography with self-help. This is a book for the UK's 12 million 'crones' and anyone who shares their life, for women adventurers and for fans of Raynor Winn's The Salt Path, Caitlin Moran's More than a Woman and Helen Lewis' Difficult Women.
And the first subtitle? "Free for the Strangest Adventures" 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."
Meet the Juicy Crones
Alex is a trail runner who continued running ultra marathons while undergoing bowel cancer treatment.
In 2022, to celebrate turning 65 and to mark 5 years since the initial cancer diagnosis, she completed two ultra marathons, two weeks apart - a total of 67 miles.
Andie's adventure has been fulfilling a lifelong ambition to learn to fly.
In her words: "The death of my mum in 2012, the same year I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer aged 55, was transformational. I started to chase my ambitions, studying for a degree and a masters, and taking flying lessons. My next aim is to get my pilot's licence. Now I tell everyone: ‘Don’t put obstacles in your own way’. If you want it, do it."
When Ginny's wife of 20 years died, she was left feeling bereft and lost. Her sister-in-law invited her to take part in the Mongol Rally. They drove for six weeks to Ulaanbaatar across Poland, the Baltic States and Russia.
Ginny realised the power of friendship and women supporting women and wanted to do the same. She and her sister took over WalkingWomen in 2021 to provide a safe space for women to explore and adventure together.
Jane began to want 'more' from life around the perimenopause. She juggled work, home and children to complete an OU degree in History of Art and Italian language lessons. She won a competition to study in Florence and then became a travel writer. She writes for Italia magazine and the Daily Mail among others.
"I travel, write, give Shiatsu, drift, make art and walk."
Tamsin has taken long-distance walks and made secular pilgrimages in Orkney, Austria, Scotland, Portugal and Spain. She is the author of Working with Death and Loss in Shiatsu Practice as well as articles and essays published in various magazines.
Visit Tamsin's website Walking Without a Donkey
Jay worked as an advocate for children's health and well-being. She started writing for pleasure after she retired and completed an MA in Travel and Nature Writing at Bath Spa University. She was the overall winner of The Telegraph 'Just Back' Competition for 2018.
Juicy Crones is her first book, published with Bradt Travel at the age of 65. She now champions women in their prime who are realising their dreams.
In 2020 Debs and Mark saw an advert for a guesthouse and campsite in rural Hungary. It took one visit for them to take a leap of faith and start their next life adventure.
More than just a campsite, Koppany Pines offer you a space to unwind and reconnect in nature, but also to learn a little along the way.
Caroline is a Fine Artist who has worked professionally as a painter, illustrator and children’s author.
She was inspired to create Take 4 Gallery in Ledbury, an artistic hub showcasing the work of locally and nationally renowned contemporary artists.
Deborah is a Travel and Food Writer. When her husband developed early-onset dementia she became his carer.
After he died, she found ways to rediscover her voice. "I learned to dive, I took a comedy writing course and I even had my long, dyed hair cut short, with the grey visible. Who knows what I will discover about myself next?"
Lesley is an independent heart-led celebrant conducting weddings, vow renewals, naming ceremonies, funerals and memorials.
A few years ago Lesley made her home in Cornwall and now loves to be outdoors walking the spectacular coastline. She also enjoys travelling the country in her campervan, Bess.
Supriya was born into a privileged Hindu class in Mumbai, which came with expectations for how her life should be. She had a successful career in banking and a happy arranged marriage, but after her family settled in Britain she realised she wanted to do things differently.
She loved Carnatic music, the ancient classical music of southern India, and created a business offering workshops before collaborating on events with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, composing with the Icelandic Symphonic Orchestra and performing at the Royal Albert Hall.
"You have to dream big, because the journey towards the goal is so exciting. And my next ambition? To perform with Bjork."