Maya Lord’s philosophy is to keep moving forward and never dwell on the past.

Maya has crammed in an awful lot during her 84 years but is still eager to learn and experience more - which she does with the support of her highly valued call companion, Rachel. 

After studying modern languages at Nottingham University in the 1950s Maya moved into a career path through archaeology, art, teaching, psychology and even training as an Anglican nun. She also became a friend of internationally-acclaimed author and professor of neurology, Dr Oliver Sacks, who wanted to write a book about her. 

“I have had a fulfilling life, but I don’t want to keep thinking about what happened in the past,” said Maya, who lost her sight in 2000. “I’m interested in what’s going on now and what’s going to happen. That’s important.” 

Maya talks modestly about studying the origins of languages, getting a doctorate in psychology, having academic books published, teaching young children in Ghana and studying at the world-famous Sorbonne University in Paris, which dates back to the 13th century.

She married her husband, Anthony in 1966 after they met in Lincolnshire. Sadly, he died in 2020, and they had no children.

Maya explained: “I have always been interested in the origins of languages and how different dialects are formed and one of my areas of study was Gallo-Roman, which came in useful once in the 1960s.

“I was helping on an archaeological dig in south west France and happened to be the only one who could decipher the Roman inscriptions on the artefacts we found.

“Life seems to be that you move from one thing to the next and so I got a diploma in education, took an art course at Liverpool College, taught French at a private school in Dorset and at one point decided to train as a nun. But that didn’t last so I began teaching again and spent a short time at a school in Accra, Ghana.

“My life has taken a twisted route and there have been many diversions. I met Oliver Sacks through the Scientific and Medical Network and we remained friends until he died in 2015. He said he wanted to write a book about my life but I told him if that was going to happen I would be the one writing it.

“I don’t get out of the house much now and so the calls from my call companion Rachel are hugely important to me. There was nothing for me until she came along.

“Now we have marvellous conversations. She is also interested in psychology and she’s a very vibrant person. She has a wonderful imagination and reads me stories and poems she has written, which is always a highlight for me. I look forward to that so much.

“But she also talks about her family and the normal things in life which keeps me in touch with what’s going on.”

Maya became involved with Re-engage a few years ago when a volunteer asked if she would like to join one of our monthly tea parties. She recalled: “Until that moment I had never considered myself as old. I went along and enjoyed them tremendously. But now I can’t get out so I rely on Rachel’s calls and the daily visit from my carer, which is a joy because we can have a chat as well.”

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