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Skype calls keep couple together - despite 10,000 miles separation

Ken Cole and his wife Jeni may be living 10,000 miles apart but modern communications technology is helping to keep their love alive. For Mr Cole, 80, a resident of Highcliffe nursing home, in Highcliffe, the highlight of his Christmas Day was not the Queen’s Christmas message or the festivities laid on by staff, it was a Skype call made by Jeni from her home in Mackay, Queensland. The couple, who have been married for more than 20 years, moved from their Zimbabwe homeland to Australia a decade ago to live close to Jeni’s sons from her first marriage. However, deteriorating health eventually led to Mr Cole moving to Dorset to be close to his son Grant, who is the dog warden for Christchurch and East Dorset councils. The former Royal Rhodesia Regiment officer, who went on to have a career as the manager of a gold mine, has lived in Highcliffe Nursing Home since November 2011 and maintains regular Skype contact with his wife. His son, who lives in Christchurch, said: “It’s wonderful how modern technology is enabling them to keep in touch.” Tracey Millar, manager of the Kingsley Healthcare run home, said: “Jeni always Skypes us and we take the call on an iPad. “She always sings You are my Sunshine to him and he joins in.”      

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