Sample Life Story

Betty Fisher

 

Betty is family orientated, keeping everyone organised.

She is a friendly, confident person and is proud of the fact that she has raised over £11,000 for charity.

Betty was born and bred in Hull. She arrived to proud parents Enid and Frank White on 12th July 1933, being their first child. Both parents had some disability – her father had a deformed hand and her mother a deformed arm. Betty is full of admiration for her mother and the way they were brought up, bearing in mind that she only had use of one arm. Prior to being married, her mother worked as a manager of a toy shop down Hessle Road, her father was a money collector for most of his life. They lived at Lomond Road before moving to Colville Avenue, Anlaby Common. Presently along came brother Albert, born four years later on 28th August, 1937.

Betty’s childhood was dominated by the Second World War which very much shaped everyone’s lives. She has memories of sleeping in the air raid shelter in the back garden every night with her mother and Albert. Betty remembers that her mum had made the shelter as comfortable as possible. Her father spent most nights fire watching in the town, down Charles Street, near where he worked. One night the whole of Hull was ablaze from the bombing and worries went towards Frank. Luckily, he was okay but it was very frightening.

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Betty also remembers the anti-aircraft guns being fired at Costello and the barrage balloon there too. She used to go down Anlaby Park Road with her friends. There was a prisoner of war camp there and they would pass magazines through the fence to Italians ensconced there. Grandad Garton who worked as a joiner on the railway, had had to have his leg amputated due to medical reasons. This meant that he was unable to use an air raid shelter in the garden. Instead he was supplied with a Morrison shelter which was a metal cage, which the occupants would lie in until the air-raid subsided. When visiting her grandad, Betty remembers this shelter taking up the whole room. It doubled as a table. They ate off it during the day and at night they all slept underneath.

Sweets for children were in short supply during the war due to rationing. Betty and Albert used to get their weekly coupons and rush to the sweet shop on a Saturday. Betty’s were eaten in a flash, but Albert used to save his eating one a day. Despite much scrounging from Betty, she never managed to prise any sweets out of Albert!

Other childhood memories include Grandma Garton living with the family for a while. She suffered with ‘attacks’ and Betty was always sent off running to fetch the doctor down Anlaby High Road in an emergency. The rest of the family were signed up with a doctor on the corner of St George’s Road and Betty remembers how the doctor used to get on his bike to do his rounds.

Betty attended Anlaby School and was one of its first pupils. She particularly enjoyed doing maths but hated art! She would rather do a whole set of sums than have to do an art lesson. Leaving school at 4pm, Betty would catch the bus with some of her friends from down her street, and they would go to Albert Avenue Swimming Baths. She taught herself to swim there and still swims there to this day!

Always active, there are memories of playing with the ball against the house wall down the ten foot with friends, doing handstands there too and stretching out a washing line across the Colville Avenue to do skipping. Betty enjoyed cycling too and told of the time when about a dozen of them got lost together. They had been cycling for ages, went the wrong way and without realising ended up in West Yorkshire, which is quite a distance! It was 9pm and there were no telephones in those days in their houses so that they could call home and explain. June Heap, one of the girls had parents with a grocery shop. They managed to call the shop and her parents got messages to the others at home wondering where on earth everyone had got to. Somehow, they all managed to make it home in the dark. Other cycling adventures included regularly biking to Scarborough as a group and playing football on the beach.

Auntie Flo is remembered fondly by Betty. She had a big influence on Betty who admired the way she was always cheerful and on the go. Every 6 weeks school holidays, Betty and Albert would travel to Stockton with their mum to stay with Flo. Enid would pack a big suitcase and send it on ahead, not being able to cope with it due to her arm. Betty remembers that one time it never arrived, and all their clothes were lost! Much fun was had with Auntie Flo. All the family, including cousins, would get the bus to Redcar and spend the day on the beach, with a lovely picnic packed by her auntie.

Also fondly remembered are Auntie Elsie and especially Auntie Mary. Neither had any children of their own and so Betty would go and spend the day with them before she became school age. These were happy times as she was always spoilt. Auntie Mary was a good dress maker and sewed outfits for Betty. She was a jolly, cheerful person, remaining like this all her life despite some difficult times.

Christmas Day was always a double celebration as it was also Grandma Green’s birthday. It was tradition that all the family squeezed into her tiny house. Betty doesn’t quite know how everyone fitted in, there was about 15 of them. Uncle Ed used to dress up as Father Christmas. The spell was broken one year when Philip said, ‘He’s got my dad’s watch on! It’s my dad!
Money was tight in Betty’s earlier days and her mum had to turn the carpet over in the living room. It had become threadbare and not being able to afford a new one, she painted a pattern on the back.

Other childhood activities included going to Brownies, then Girl Guides and finally Sea Rangers at St Martin’s Church on the corner of North Road. Many skills were acquired with badges to show for it.

In teenage years, Betty attended Anlaby Youth Club at Anlaby School with good friends Freda Hird and Valerie Smith. They used to have drama sessions and entered drama festivals locally. Dancing was always an option too – though there was a record player, the youth club only had two records which were played over and over to dance to. Betty has always enjoyed dancing.

Betty did very well at school, and despite the fact that all thought she would pass, she failed her 11+ exams. After attending Eastfield School, she went on to study at the College of Commerce down Beverley Road. In those days work options were mainly limited to office, shop or factory. Though not unhappy with her work choice she wished in a way that she had had the opportunities that are offered now. She would have been interested in learning more, given the chance.

She attained qualifications in typing and took a job at Smith and Nephews working in the office. She played for their hockey and netball teams whilst working there. Further office jobs were taken at Appleton’s Wines and Spirits and Marsden’s Timber Merchants. It was at Marsden’s that Betty met lifelong friend Sue Marshall. It was whilst working in her next job as receptionist and admin assistant for Mr Sunman, an optician, that she met Hilary Brown, another very good friend. Hilary worked in the insurance office next door. They shared a cloakroom, often bumping into each other.

Following the birth of Betty’s first daughter, she gave up work to become a full-time mum. Later she became a merchandiser for Wall’s ice cream, bringing home lots of free samples for the family to enjoy. Her final job, before retiring, was working at the Bupa hospital down Lowfield Road doing accounts and admin work.

Betty met Brian at Newington Dance Hall aged 19 or 20. They began courting going to other dances too such as at City Hall. It was all big band music and dances included the foxtrot, quick step and modern waltz (though Brian never really got the hang of the modern waltz according to Betty!). They also used to frequent the ‘pictures’ going to Priory and Carlton cinemas. They went to the Isle of Man on holiday by train and nipped over to Dublin on the ferry whilst they were there too. The coupe plan to visit the Isle of Man again this year, to rekindle some memories and see how much the place has changed.

Brian proposed and they became man and wife on 25th October 1957. They married at St Mark’s Church, Anlaby Common. It was a lovely day weather wise despite it being October. Brian’s brother Jack was best man and Auntie Mary’s daughter, Catherine, was bridesmaid. (Shortly after the wedding it is sad to note that Catherine aged 19, died from a chest infection. Mary never had any other children).

The wedding reception consisted of cake and wine at Anlaby Common Snooker Club. At this time, rationing was still in place. The honeymoon didn’t quite go to plan. Spanish flu had spread through the family and Brian became ill with it whilst they were away, travelling down to Cheddar Gorge and exploring the surrounding area. The following year the couple travelled down to Devon and Cornwall on a scooter with a suitcase on the back. Betty doesn’t know how they managed to go all that way!

Along came children, Julie born 4th May 1963 and then sister Valerie, born 6th October 1965 – Betty’s greatest achievements. It was whilst in hospital, giving birth to Julie, that Betty met another lifelong friend, Edna Hampton. She also met Ann, Joan and Brenda. They used to meet as a group once a month, taking in turns to host at home providing a buffet supper.

Betty has many happy memories with the children growing up. The family spent a lot of time caravanning. This wasn’t the intention at first. A tent had been purchased and on its first use the weather was not too kind. It rained incessantly. A couple on the site, feeling sorry for the family, invited them to look at their caravan. The tent didn’t last long! The family packed up early and it was sold on returning home. Instead a caravan was borrowed from Brian, Betty’s cousin. Everyone loved it so much that their own caravan was purchased. Frank, Betty’s father, had won some money on the ‘Pools’ giving both Betty and Albert the money to buy caravans for their families.

Particular caravan memories include Julie and Valerie playing on the beach, whilst Betty and Brian relaxed in the caravan on the cliff above. They played a game whereby they took it in turns to bury an object in the sand and then they had to find it. Julie buried one of Valerie’s new shoes. Despite much digging and searching the shoe had completely disappeared. ‘Mum, you’ll never guess what we have done!’. Brian and Betty joined in the search (game!) with Betty telling everyone that nobody was leaving the beach until that shoe was found. Eventually it was retrieved after much digging, much to the relief of the girls!

Betty and Brian continued caravanning for over 40 years with favourite sites at Harwood Dale, Lincoln and Scunthorpe. They have also enjoyed many trips abroad. Betty has particularly enjoyed cruising and the place that sticks out in her mind is St Petersburg, for its splendour and golden buildings.

Julie married David and gave birth to two daughters and Betty became ‘Nan’. Rachel was born on 16th February 1993 and Daisy on 8th August 1995. Betty has been a big part in the girls’ lives as they were growing up. Julie lived in London when the girls were born. Betty went to look after Rachel when Daisy was due. She took Rachel on the bus to nursery. Rachel talked to everyone on the bus and one particular lady took a shine to her. She asked where they were getting off the bus and said she should be getting off a stop before but stayed with them as she was enjoying their company so much.

Once when Betty was riding in the back of the car between the girls, Daisy who was very young at the time, was worried that Nan did not have a seat belt to wear. She told her nan not to worry though, that she would look after her and keep her safe. She hung onto a button on her coat all the way to their destination! This touched Betty. When Daisy was 7 years old, she wrote her nan a card. It was at the time after the family moved back to Hull and Betty and Brian used to pick the girls up from school. Daisy’s card thanked Nan for always being there when they were needed and for always looking after them.

Betty supported the girls through their majorettes and dancing and would always be there to watch. She still does lots with the girls who are now in their early 20’s and looks forward to seeing them. Her hope is that one day she may get some great-grandchildren!

Two family pets are particularly remembered by Betty. Before she was married, she had a little terrier called Jackie. Whist she was working at Appleton’s, one of the shop assistants needed to give the dog away. Betty put him in the basket on the front of her bike and cycled home with him. She arrived home to Colville Avenue with no prior warning to her parents of the new family member! Whilst most dogs prefer to fetch balls, Jackie used to like retrieving stones that were thrown for him.

Whilst Julie and Valerie were still young, Smudge, a cross between a Jack Russell and a Cairn terrier, was acquired as a puppy. He was a right character. He used to hide under Valerie’s bed and Betty would have to get the broom to roust him out. She would threaten him with dogs’ home and he just used to cock his head at her. He was also very good at doing disappearing acts or ‘great escapes’. When the family were caravanning in Berwick, he slipped the washing line he was tied up with and totally disappeared. The family were distraught, searching for many hours. They jumped in the car and started looking further afield, It was getting dark and they were losing hope of finding him when they drove past a car park and spotted a small brown object sat in the middle. Betty spotted him – it was Smudge. He had travelled quite a few miles and was sat in the very same spot that they had parked in earlier that day. Betty just opened the car door as they drove up to him and shouted, ‘Get in!’. He didn’t learn his lesson though because the next day he was after escaping again. Smudge loved to go caravanning and as soon as the caravan was being packed, he would jump in the car and wouldn’t budge, just in case they left him behind!

One of Betty’s other great achievements was when she set up her slimming and exercise club. This has now been going for over 40 years. After having had two children, Betty was conscious of having put weight on. She attended a group in Hessle with friend Edna and Brenda. They met Mary and Sue there. Most used to travel on the bus to get there until the bus was cancelled. As this would mean most not being able to attend anymore, Edna and Brenda started their own group in Anlaby with Betty. Notes were put through doors and word of mouth quickly spread. Their first night they had over 20 people turn up. For many years Wednesday nights became slimming club nights with weigh ins and exercises done to music (made up by Betty). Brenda, Jean and Barbara also became a big part of the slimming club. The key was to have a good laugh. At 85 Betty still has overall responsibility for the group which now consists mainly of widows who still want to keep active and have some company. Betty feels that she is keeping everyone going and giving them a reason to get out and about with Shape Up. She believes that it is really important not to give up as you get older and to keep getting yourself over the doorstep. When their eldest member Margaret, died at 99 she left the group with £500 to help them cover costs. Over the years, monies taken were all donated to various local charities after costs. In all Betty and her friends raised over £11 000 – Betty is very proud of this.

Betty has always put her family first which has included lots of cooking and baking. One of her most treasured possessions is a rolling pin that she has used through the years. Her Grandad Garton made it for her mum, Enid, when she got married. Roast dinners are Betty’s favourite shared with the family. Cooking skills have been passed down through the generations with Grandma Garton having been employed as a cook in a big house.

Betty enjoys relaxing by doing jigsaws, cross stitch and going swimming. In earlier years she used to make the girls’ clothes and is good at sewing and knitting. She enjoys music from the musicals and going to the theatre to watch them. Oklahoma, Les Misérables, Copacabana, Sound of Music and Steamboat are some of her favourites. She also enjoys watching TV – keeping up with Emmerdale and Coronation Street for years. Period dramas such as Downton Abbey go down well as do programmes such as Countdown, Doctor Foster and Mrs Browns’ Boys.

A difficult time in Betty’s life was when she got ME which made her poorly for a long time. This illness kept returning and energy levels were very low. Problems with hips too in later life were very painful whilst waiting on the list for the operation. Betty’s at her happiest going out, spending time with the family and is grateful that she met Brian.
Her advice to others is to keep pushing yourself – get on with it because if you don’t, you’ll go down. Stay positive!

10th May 2019

Please note names have been changed to protect the identity of people in the story

Michelle Jane Robinson

It was during the job as a courier in France that Michelle met Richard. In 1982 he was doing the same job. That summer they fell in love whilst drinking wine on the sand and talking late into the night about everything. Even then Michelle knew that she would end up marrying him

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Michelle was very nearly called Scarlett, when she was safely delivered by nuns at home to her happy parents, Helen Margaret and Peter John Greene, on the 11th April 1962. Her mum’s favourite film, and one that would become hers, was Gone with The Wind. She’s very grateful that they chose the character Michelle instead. The family home was 27 Warrington Street, Maida Vale, London W9 and the local hospital was run by nuns. She joined her older brother George and would later become a big sister to Steven. He was also delivered by the nuns, whilst Michelle played with her tea-set in the room next door!
Her parents were both very glamourous people, both previously being photographic models. This was how her parents had met. Peter was trained as a fabric specialist and draughtsman in his native Yorkshire, but gave it up to seek the bright lights of London. He worked as a chef and a photographic model until setting up his own business, Stage 3, building film sets and sets for fashion shows and exhibitions. As a young girl Michelle loved to go to work with him to see the sets and to be fussed over by the models. Her dad went on to become a kitchen designer and continued with this until he retired. Her mum continued to be a model throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s. She then went on to work part-time at Marks and Spencer’s, but still had a few modelling roles. Michelle also enjoyed trips on the tube and going to see the film “Planet of the Apes” with George as a treat.
The family flat was in the basement and shared a communal garden with other residents. Michelle loved to play in what she called “the big garden” with her friends, especially with her childhood best friend, Felicity Machin. It was a lovely safe environment for all the local children to play and use their imagination in a carefree manner. She would spend hours playing with her favourite toy, a doll that she called Penelope. She won her in a “guess the name competition” at her primary school. She later also had a dolls house which had been left to her by the previous owners of their cottage. It was an exact replica of Tangley Cottage, so was very special.
Paddington Green Primary School, London W9, was the first school that she attended. A very early memory of her school days was when she was chosen to present a bunch of flowers to Ivor Cutler, a visiting poet, who came to give a talk at the school. After the family moved house to Tangley Cottage, Boundary Road, Taplow, Berkshire, Michelle went to St Nicholas Primary School in Taplow and then onto Slough High School for girls and then Slough Technical College. She described herself as just above average at school, always getting slightly lower marks than those of best friend Felicity. Perhaps this was the start of her competitive nature coming through!

Her favourite subjects at primary school were art, music and English. These changed to the languages of French and Spanish at high school. She also enjoyed singing in the choir and being in the school’s dram productions. A particular highlight was when she played the role of “Bonny Dosmond” in the school play. She looked the part, dressed in a white trouser suit, bought especially for the part from a local charity shop. She and her friends mimed to the song “Ballroom Blitz” by the popular group, Sweet. Michelle also was good at sports, especially netball and tennis and became champion at both primary and high schools at high jump.
Best friends Felicity and Dianna played a big role when she was growing up. She met Felicity at the age of 9. Felicity came up to her and introduced herself by saying “I’m Felicity, let’s be friends forever”. This was just after the family had moved and she was the new girl in school. They were thick as thieves throughout school. They even worked together at their Saturday job in the restaurant at the local British Home Stores. However, after work they always found a party to attend. Dianna was fun but concentrated more on her studies. She would often have to encourage Michelle to study more and party less. Michelle found Dianna’s early death from cancer at the young age of 42 devastating. She left behind 2 young daughters and her childhood sweetheart, her husband Robert.
After achieving her “A” levels, Michelle went to the local Slough Technical college as she had not attained the required number of points to get into university. However, in 1985 she completed an HND at Sheffield City Polytechnic which gave her the points to go on to complete a degree in Business and Management (2:1) at Manchester Metropolitan University in her early 40’s. Melanie credits this as one of her greatest achievements.
As a very small child, Michelle and her family would have holidays staying in a farmhouse on a working farm in Dorset. She loved playing with the farm’s Labradors, Bill and Bob, and watching the cows being milked. This was such a difference to their regular lives as city kids. Their dad always managed to get a way to take the family abroad. This often involved a long arduous drive through France to get to Spain. On arrival at their destination, the holidays became fabulous. They would take walks down to the beach through the pine forests, eat weird seafood at little seafront restaurants and she would spend hours in the swimming pool with her brothers. On one holiday, she even made a friend of the praying mantis that she found outside their apartment and who stayed for the whole of their holiday. Her dad, George and her would go to the shops to buy pastries and hot bread for breakfast. If she was lucky, she would manage to persuade her dad to give her a few pesetas to put into the little machine outside the shop so that she could ride the plastic chicken!
A few holidays were spent in France, staying in an apartment in Parame, near St Marlo. Although at that time Michelle wasn’t fluent in French, but she made friends with the local children and played on the beaches and wandered around the town.
Michelle grew up wanting to be an air hostess. However, she realised that it was just a glorified waitress job in the air so went off that idea. She didn’t have any real idea what she wanted to do and had no specific idols that she wanted to emulate. She did varied jobs over the years. These included a job in a café, making scones at the local stately home, Cliveden, barmaid, a petrol pump attendant. and a holiday courier in France and Greece. In 1993 Michelle won the Salesperson of the Year award whilst working for a company selling computers. The reward was an all expenses paid trip to Paris.
It was during the job as courier in France that she met Richard. In 1982 he was doing the same job. That summer they fell in love whilst drinking wine on the sand and talking late into the night about everything. Even then Michelle knew that she would end up marrying him. On returning home, they would spend the next 4 years only seeing each other at weekends. He lived in Stoke on Trent while Michelle was still in Berkshire. Together they loved going to see live bands, going to the pub, eating out with friends and visiting London or Manchester for weekends away.
They set up a consultancy company together called IT Equals. It was very successful and it enabled them to lead a very good quality of life.
They had fantastic times travelling together on holidays. A highlight was their trip in 1993, with friends Chris and Jean, when they visited Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and Penang. They also visited the East Coast of America in 1994. Richard was a great collector and admirer of the author Stephen King. This led to going to Bangor in Maine, to visit the authors house. On that trip they also visited Boston, Salem, Kennebunkport and went whale watching in Bar Harbour.
Music was a big part of these times too. Michelle and Richard loved listening and singing along to The Beatles, especially “Rocky Racoon” their White Album, George Michael’s Faith and the song “Every Breath you Take” by the Police. Later on, Michelle’s choice of music extended to include more classical music, like Carmen Suite No 2 by George Bizet and Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves by Nabucco. More fun songs like “Build me up Buttercup” by The Foundations, “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay and “Never Forget” by Take That became favourites.

 

St Mary’s Church, Hitcham, Buckinghamshire was the venue for Richard and Michelle’s wedding, on the 26th July 1986 at 4pm. Best friends Felicity and Dianna were bridesmaids whilst Steve Jonnson, had the role of Best Man for his best friend. After the ceremony they all had a meal at the Pegasus Wine Bar in Marlow Bottom. This in turn was followed by a fantastic party in the evening when even more guests turned up. The wedding night was spent at The Chequers Hotel, followed by a honeymoon on the Greek Island of Spetses.
Michelle became pregnant in 1995 and gave birth to their only child, Ruth. She was followed by 3 miscarriages. Michelle’s biggest regret in life is not being able to have any more children and so makes Ruth extremely precious. Michelle loved her pregnancy, apart from all of the sickness. She was so excited to meet their daughter. Ruth has grown up to be a beautiful, amazing and wonderful daughter and is her world.
Her brothers also went on to have families of their own. George lives in Australia with his wife Lizzie and their 3 children, Nicholas, Tim and Emma. Younger brother Steven lives in Stowe with his wife Alison and their 3 children, Samuel, Eloise and Joseph. She loves spending time with them but the distances between them make it difficult. They did however make it to Australia to spend Christmas. Michelle loves to travel but still describes herself as being a home loving bird. It’s here that she can fully satisfy what she classes as “her quirky ways”.
Other difficult times that Michelle has experienced include the death of her father in 1998. She supported her mum through this sad time and it made it bearable for them both. In 2019, her mum sadly died too. It was the worst shock of her life and one that she is still coming to terms with. She feels like she lost her best friend as well as her mum. To help herself at her dark moments, she remembers the happier times and laughs at her mum’s funny sayings and ways. She is most thankful for her wonderful parents who provided her and her brothers, the best possible childhood.
Other favourite memories to make her smile include their first house. It was an old Victorian semi -detached house that required a lot of renovation. Her and Richard lovingly put it back to it’s best. They also put in the best loft conversion, that they still miss! She also became a dab hand at wallpapering.

 

 

Above everything else, time spent with family is never wasted time. Ruth and Michelle are very close and have spent many, many happy times together. The list is endless and with lots more to come hopefully. They have had great times as a family with Richard, but also just the 2 of them. They have been on holidays every year since she was a baby. They have been all over Europe, the Canaries, Florida and Australia to visit family. Visits to more local attractions like Chester Zoo, going to see live bands such as Steps and Take That. Every birthday has been a true celebration. All her parties are well remembered for their magicians, bouncy castles, sleepovers and also pamper parties. They have done them all and enjoyed everyone.
Outside of spending time with family, friends are also very important. From school friends like Felicity and Dianna, to more recent friendships. Michelle met Lynne in the late 90’s when Michelle went to get her hair done in Lynne’s hairdressing salon. They hit it off straight away and have been best friends ever since. Great times with her include a holiday to Ibiza, nights out at glamourous charity balls and many other activities together. Lynne was there when Ruth was born and she was there to support Michelle when her mum died. She helped Michelle to arrange the funeral, was very supportive and always provided a shoulder to cry on. Lynne’s niece, Ellie, became Ruth’s best friend when they met at age 3. They are still inseparable, even now.
Michelle likes to keep items to remember these special times as she finds it hard to get rid of material things. Amongst her favourite possessions are only photographs of lost loved ones. She also loves animals and has had some special ones over the years. There was Ming, a Persian cat, Abbie the Collie Cross and her constant companion now, Sox, the Border Collie. He goes everywhere with her and is like her shadow.
Simple pleasures like baking cakes whilst listening to a good drama on the radio, or sitting with a cold glass of wine somewhere hot with a beautiful view of the countryside or the sea, are ways Michelle likes to spend her favourite times. Reading is another interest, especially anything by her favourite author, John Gresham. She also makes a mean Coq au Vin and Stroganoff which the whole family enjoy.
Major world events have also left their marks on Michelle’s memories. Her and her brothers were sat in front of their black and white television together to watch the Apollo Space Mission. She remembers how she and Dianna had a party whilst watching LiveAid in 1984. Other events that evoke memories are the falling of the Berlin Wall, the death of Princess Diana the 9/11 attack in 2001. Michelle was working in Manchester and everyone sat in the conference room, watching the horror unfold on the television. The whole office staff of 50 were totally shocked into silence. A very surreal moment.

Although these events have left memories, the main influences on Michelle’s life have been her wonderful parents, her husband, and of course, Ruth. Richard has written and had published, 3 books of poetry, that have left Michelle with a love and appreciation of poetry. She, in turn, has introduced him to an appreciation of the countryside. He now appreciates that the tree bark in London, which is grey in colour, does not truly reflect the range of colours that you get in the countryside.
She has few regrets in life. The main one, other than their miscarriages, is the breakdown of her marriage. Although they were apart for a while, her and Richard have overcome their differences and are now again committed to each other. She is impatient and hot-tempered which often leads to her getting stressed. Her other qualities of optimism, kindness, her sociable and outgoing personality, are more often seen though.
Religion has never played a part in her life. She doesn’t understand it and believes that it is the root of all evils and responsible for war. She likes to think that there is an afterlife and that she will again meet her lost relatives, but she has yet to be convinced. Spirituality is becoming more of an interest however, and she thinks that learning more about it would help bring her comfort and peace.
Her advice for others is to always be kind and considerate to others. Concentrating on your own goals and knowing that they can be achieved. Michelle’s hopes for the future are that Ruth and James, her partner, live a long and happy life together. Also, that they are blessed with the 3 children that Ruth so passionately wants, and who Michelle is looking forward to spending time with.

September 2020

Please note names have been changed to protect the identity of people in the story

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