Objavljeno: Ned, sij. 14th, 2018

Henry Seymour Mildenhall and Helen Lindsey Mildenhall – from London to Makarska via Jordan, India, The Philippines, Ethiopia and Uganda

“The first time that we came to Makarska we said “Yes!  We could be happy here, and we still feel like this 10 years later”

  • Text and photo JL

Henry and Helen Mildenhall married in Great Britain 39 years ago and have decided to spend their retirement in Makarska.   After working in highway construction for 50 years, the last 20 years of which were spent outside of Great Britain in Jordan, India, The Philippines, Ethiopia and Uganda, construction engineer (road infrastructure) Henry (80) and his wife Helen (69) – once a secretary at a publishing company in London, and then a housewife; decided to focus their life together here in Croatia.   After finishing Henry’s greatest professional achievement – 520 km. of highway in Uganda, they set off for Croatia with two one-way air tickets and one suitcase between them.   It has been more than10 years since they first arrived on the Adriatic Coast and for the past 5 years this charming English couple have been living in Veliko Brdo where they built a house.   For the first 6 months of their time in Croatia, they were based in Trogir, from where they explored the Adriatic Coast and inland, searching for their place in the sun.   After 5 years in Bast, they moved to their newly built house in Veliko Brdo above Makarska.   This was it.   “This is what we have been looking for” – they said when they bought the land for their new home.
When his contract in Uganda came to an end, Henry retired and he and Helen started thinking about where they would live.   After living in hot climates for 20 years they decided that they couldn’t face English winters.   While in Uganda, they had seen a TV commercial produced by the Croatian Tourist Board entitled “The Mediterranean as it once was”, and this attracted them as they both aspired to a Mediterranean lifestyle.   Their first impression of Croatia was true to the motto of the commercial with the exception of Split, which has an impressive old town but a far less impressive new part, just like Trogir.

The first time that we came to Makarska, we felt that we could be happy here and that is still so 10 years later.   We are very happy here
say Henry and Helen, stressing the beauty of the mountains, the pine forests, the sea, and the friendliness of the people, while, with the exception of the Public Notaire and the Police, they have little that is positive to say about our administration and public services.

Helen and Henry don’t have any children, but they are happy and their lives are fulfilled by numerous common interests like their love of nature, sports, music – especially classical music and jazz; fine arts and other art, with a special interest in landscape design and gardening, like true Englishmen. Their house has an area of approximately 400m2 and is built on a land plot of 1500m2.   Instead of a swimming pool, a feature of the garden is a pond which contains 5,000 ltrs. of water, aquatic plants, and 10 goldfish in what will be “an English style, wildlife-friendly, Mediterranean garden”. Henry and Helen designed the layout of the garden and have completed the basic landscaping.   They are now concentrating on improving the soil and are engaged on removing stones and adding necessary additional soil and humus.

The bura, which can be extremely strong here, and the strong sun, present us with our biggest problems and we must take this into account when choosing trees and other plants
say Henry and Helen.   They have also installed an underground gustina which contains 40,000 ltrs. of rain water which is collected from the roof of the house and an irrigation system that enables them to pump the water to all parts of the garden.

Their house which fits perfectly into the Veliko Brdo landscape with a discrete English touch, was designed by Henry as was the majority of the wooden furniture that was custom-made by local craftsmen.   The house, the interior of which is especially English, is designed so that Helen and Henry do all of their day-to-day living on the ground floor, whilst the first floor has another three bedrooms and two bathrooms which are intended for use by visiting family and friends from London, where Helen and Henry have an apartment, and elsewhere.
Helen and Henry currently have temporary residential status here in Croatia.   This year they should meet the requirements for permanent residency and sincerely hope that the concerned authorities will consider their application positively.   They are truly satisfied and happy here in Makarska and would like to permanently exchange the rain and grey skies of London for the Mediterranean sun and blue Adriatic sea.

Helen and Henry appreciate our gastronomy and since they came to the Makarska Riviera they have become regular guests of the Kalalarga Konoba. Fish and seafood are their first choice and when Helen is not creating her own culinary masterpieces, they are more than happy to enjoy the ambience, hospitality and good food offered by Mario Tomaš and his team at the Kalalarga Konoba.