NORMA (80) and TADGE (81)

From England


Norma’s Story: Tadge served in the Royal Air Force, so he had to live in various parts of the World: Hong Kong, Oman, Borneo, Germany, and Indonesia. I traveled with him, and later the whole family traveled with to wherever Tadge worked. He aided in the aftermath of the bombing on Christmas islands and was treated for post-traumatic stress syndrome for a long time. Tadge says I am the secret of our successful marriage - because I am forgiving and understanding. We are very pleased with our life. It seems we have been blessed. We were fifteen and sixteen when we met, and we have been together for sixty-five years.


We are from Liverpool, so we are not shy. We grew up with The Beatles. Tadge’s mother worked as a nurse with Paul McCartney's mother. Paul and Tadge played together in childhood. John Lennon studied in my sister's class. At that time we lived on Penny Lane, about The Beatles sang.

We are open and friendly and have nothing to hide. It's easy to live like this. That's why we know a lot of people on this campsite. After all, you have to communicate with your neighbors, no matter where you live. This is typical for adults from Liverpool, a city-port. You can't wait for six weeks to get to know people because the ship will only stay in the port for six days. So, when you meet someone you ask, “Where are you from? From Abyssinia? OK, how do you live there? What's the weather there?”, and then you invite them for a cup of tea or lunch. The people of Liverpool do this all the time.

In our home town, we learned to accept people as they are. All people are alike - no matter whether they’re from Australia, Lithuania or Spain - in an hour’s time everyone is talking about children, homes or animals. If you see humanity as one family, the world becomes a friendly place to live. It seems to me that people do not suffer from depression. They suffer from loneliness. These people do not need drugs, they need friends.


In England we must travel dozens of miles to meet friends and restaurants are expensive, so the elderly rarely visit them. But our home in England is always crowdy. Last year, we spent four days during Christmas at our house with all our children and grandchildren under one roof. Our big family likes to be together and loves each other very much. Three children, nine grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and families’ friends.

When we return home, they all need to be taken care of - food needs preparing. I always hear, “Mom, can you look after the kids? We’re going out”. We love all of them very much, but we want to live our life too. We go to Spain in our camper and hide from them. We do this for at least five or seven months of the year.