Hey guys!! I’m back today with another instalment of my ‘AG and Family’ series. Click here to read the first part of this series where I interviewed my 100 year old great nan. If you read my Center Parcs post you may already know that my dad turned 50 a couple of weeks ago and we celebrated on the weekend after his birthday at Center Parcs with some close family. I received the absolute pleasure of interviewing my Dad and we talked about his 50 years of life so far, including his childhood and his best memories. My Dad is seriously one of my favourite people ever and I really admire the fact that he works so hard in his job of nursing which is a profession more sterotypially reserved for women. He’s so funny and he grants you with really good advice on whatever you need it on. I’m very lucky to have him in my life and that we have such a close relationship. It was really interesting to interview him so thank you Dad for allowing me too! So in today’s post, I’m going to share my interview with my Dad with all of you.
AMELIA: How do you feel knowing that you’ve lived through 50 years now?
DAD (MIKE): Very grateful. I’ve enjoyed good health and I’ve had happy memories. I’ve got a lovely wife and two lovely daughters so I feel very blessed.
AMELIA: Awww that’s nice. Could you talk about what your childhood was like?
DAD: Oohhh my childhood! Well I guess my earliest memories were from the turn of the 1970s. My earliest memories are being able to play out a lot, we lived in a house where we had a ten foot at the back of the house and that was really safe so we used to play in there. Later on, as I grew up, we used to go to the park nearby and other playing fields which are all built on now. We used to play cricket and football and we’d just play out all the time really. I can’t really remember being inside very much.
AMELIA: How would you say that your childhood compared to the way that kids grow up nowadays?
DAD: It’s very different. We had a lot more freedom I would say. I don’t necessarily think that it was safer then, we still had traffic, although not as much, cars maybe didn’t move as fast and people were a bit more considerate. But I think there were still the dangers that exist now and we obviously didn’t have the internet. However, I think there certainly wasn’t the technology, we didn’t have anything like that at all. There was no phones, there were no computers. The only computers were massive ones and we certainly didn’t have one in our house. We had one television which was black and white. There was no computers games so it was very different really growing up to now. Plus, in some ways, it was less stressful without the demands upon young people that there are today. You could just play.
AMELIA: And social media has a big impact on people nowadays and it forces kids to grow up a lot quicker than they should.
DAD: We certainly didn’t have anything like that at all. There was no emails and the only phone we had in the house was a house phone and that was attached to a long wire! When I wanted to play out with any friends, I had to ring them up to see if they wanted to come out. I couldn’t text him to ask him. It was different but I think it was good. Now I think we’re too easily contactable and I think that it’s hard.
AMELIA: What have been some of the most important moments in your life so far?
DAD: Well I suppose there’s been lots of important moments! Getting married, meeting Clare (his wife and my mum) that was a turning point really. Training to be a nurse and actually qualifying as a nurse. I would say that you and your sister being born was an important moment as well especially when you were born because it changed everything for us. Moving here to this area, to our house that was an important moment. Lots of important moments along the way really. I think what it teaches you is there’s a connection between events. Because you do one thing, something else has an impact. If we’d not moved here, we wouldn’t necessarily have moved churches but then we’ve moved churches again now and I wouldn’t have moved from my job. So there’s lots of things that have a knock on effect.
AMELIA: So like everything happens for a reason?
DAD: Yeah I’d agree. I think things change and I’ve learnt from life to never expect things to stay the same forever. Nothing is forever.
AMELIA: What are some of your favourite memories? I guess it’s a similar question to the last one.
DAD: A lot of my favourite memories apart from the ones I just mentioned in the previous question are from my childhood. Probably from when the weather was nice in the summer and being able to have the summer holidays off. Being at school as well I’ve got lots of good memories from being at school in particular secondary school as I really enjoyed it. Lots of different things really like going to college, going to university so I’ve got lots of good memories from that.
AMELIA: Speaking of your childhood, how did you find it growing up with four siblings?
DAD: It was interesting at times although I think because there was a big age difference between me and my next oldest sister, it was almost like two families. I was never at school with them because by the time me and my younger sister reached the schools they’d already left. They were that much older so when we were going out places later on, they probably didn’t go with us. I have some memories like when we first went to Belgium. I can remember going down and I was probably about 5 at the time. We were all in a van together and it took all night to get there. We arrived the next morning to get on the ferry and we did it again the next year in a car. I’ve got vague memories of going across on a hovercraft and being outside somewhere like Ramsgate, I think it was Broadstairs. I can just remember that we were parked up and all trying to sleep in this car but there were probably only 6 of us (including parents) then. I can’t remember eating meals a lot together latterly because David was away at university some of the time and Bev and Lesley were both working and then all 3 of them got married. It was a bit strange really. But I always enjoyed celebrating Christmas altogether although latterly Christmases were different again. It was also different because we probably didn’t have as much money but I never really thought about it like that. I never even thought about the fact that a lot of my siblings were older than me, it was just how we were and that was it. I would say that I spent the most time with my younger sister Gail and we did lots of things together. We were at primary school together for part of the time and at secondary school as well although not as much. The secondary school was over two sites so by the time Gail had started there, I was in the third year so we only spent one year together on the same site before I moved onto the other site. Having a big family teaches you how to get on with people and makes you realise that you don’t always get on with people.
AMELIA: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
DAD: Well not retired! I think maybe living somewhere different. I’m not sure though that’s a really hard question because I don’t know necessarily that any of us know what’s ahead of us. So what would I like to be doing in 10 years? Well I suppose maybe living somewhere different. Would I want to be working somewhere different from where I work now? I’m not entirely sure because I do enjoy my job and I’m lucky to be able to do it. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a job that I see myself doing in 10 years time. I can see myself doing much of the same really but just me and your mum rattling around on our own.
AMELIA: Well could you tell us about your career?
DAD: My career as a nurse started when I resigned from a full time job working for the post office and I applied to become a nurse and was accepted so I resigned about a week or two before I started at university. So I was sat in university on the first day, and I suddenly realised that this is it now, this is my reality now. But from then on I never regretted it, I never once thought “oohh I wish I’d not done this.” I think I’ve had lots of good opportunities. So I qualified as a nurse in 2000 and the opportunities from there really to work in intensive care which I enjoyed but it wasn’t really what I wanted to do long term. Then I started working in the community and it was difficult at first but then once I got going, I actually really enjoyed it and thrived in that setting. I returned to university to train as a district nurse and ultimately, I went on to support and train a lot of other student district nurses. Then I returned to university again to get the qualifications so I could formerly teach student district nurses. So I started my first district nursing job in Bransholme Health Centre in 2004, not long after you were born. That was an interesting one because I worked with an established team but that team very quickly changed as one nurse retired and another one went on long term sick. That moved me from a very junior member of staff to really having to lead the team. The trust merged so I ended up working for a slightly different employer and that wasn’t always easy. But then I did actually enjoy what I was doing and I went on to qualify as a practice teacher and moved onto a different health centre. My nursing has taken me even further because now I work at York University and enjoy teaching the next generation of nurses (most of the time!).
AMELIA: If you could would you go back and relive your 50 years of life?
DAD: Yeah of course I would. I’d love to go back and relive it. I think that would be to meet people along the way, to go back and talk to my grandparents and my own parents. One of my grandads died when I was around 8 so I didn’t really know him and then my other grandad died when I was a bit older. One of my grandmas died when I was in my twenties so it would be lovely to speak to them and to find out about their lives a bit more. You live your life and you don’t appreciate how good it is at the time and I look back and think that there are things that I maybe would’ve enjoyed more at the time. Of course I’d love to relive it all but equally I know that I’ve lived that life and I enjoyed it. So there’s not really any particular part I’d really want to go back to. Maybe I’d have gone into nursing a bit earlier but I don’t know.
I really enjoyed interviewing and I hope you enjoyed getting to know him.
Thank you for reading this post!! There’ll be another post out soon but until then bye for now!!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull