Careers advice was reasonably limited when I was a sixth former in 1967. I knew that I wanted to go to university… in other words …get away from home. It seemed that it was teacher training college or university. I was doing Maths and Sciences at A level but in the end chose to do Maths and Economics as a degree. I had no idea what I wanted to do after doing such a degree. My parents were stock farmers in Wales so my mother didn’t go out to work but helped out on the farm.
Love and relationships
Marriage was always something I thought I might involve myself in but never saw myself walking up the aisle! Whether it is important or not is up to the individual – some sort of public commitment to one another is probably a good idea if one is to have children.
I suppose as a little girl I saw men as farmers who did hard, outdoor work – I can’t remember whether I thought of myself as marrying a farmer.
I do not have a partner at present and have only managed relatively short term relationships (one to three years) with a number of men with whom I have avoided any long term commitment.
I look more and more like my mother with time but I would think that we are quite unalike. She was always difficult and very disapproving of me from the time I went to grammar school. I had moved out of her known territory and had views of my own which she didn’t like. She was never very much fun but to be fair on her she had been brought up in a strict Presbyterian home with a father who had been sent to fight in France in 1916 at the age of 38. My mother was the middle one of nine and was born in 1925. Her generation had to cope with their teenage children growing up in the 60s, quite a radical change in attitudes! So I would consider myself more open minded, wider read, more widely travelled but there is still quite a strong work ethic which I have been unable to shake off!
I have no children of my own but I see a lot of my nephew’s children who live nearby. My great nieces are 11 and 9 years respectively and will I hope be encouraged to make the most of the opportunities made available to them.
I would hope the nephews will be brought up in the same way but they are likely/expected to grow up and take over the farm.
Having no children meant that I worked non-stop for 32 years as a teacher! I could not have managed the workload I had and bring up children. It has also enabled me to keep in touch with more friends and do more travelling.
Expectations and Dreams
I tend not to differentiate between heroes and heroines..
I have a great deal of respect for those people who work in scientific and technical fields often, unknown to us, being responsible for developments which have significant effects upon out lives and our understanding of the world we live in.
I have done very few brave things. I have challenged myself physically on occasions and have spoken up when I have felt someone has been unfairly treated. Leaving home when I was eighteen and going to university was scary particularly given that I had been brought up on a sheep farm in Wales.
I am now 66 and retired; I spend a lot of time helping to care for young and old members of my extended family. I suppose I am driven by the need to be of some use to them and to the local community. I continue to need to have an understanding of what is happening in the wider economic and political community. Improving my Scrabble skills is important.
My values; the need for fairness, respect for others, the importance of being responsible for oneself and one’s own well being as far as possible, the importance of not wasting limited resources whether domestically or globally.
I am 66 years of age.
No favourite age; each age has its advantages and disadvantages.
It is considered that my generation has had the best deal compared to that of the generations either side of it. In general that is probably the case. This country was much more of a meritocracy in the middle of the 20th century than it is now. For the young now opportunities for social and economic mobility are much more restricted. My generation benefited from fully funded university education and a housing market which was accessible for many. However, we didn’t benefit from the information and communication revolution until our working lives were almost over. Improvements in health care are significant when comparing life chances of the young today with those of mother’s generation.
Farming was not something which women of my generation did because they did not have the physical strength needed, so my brother was always going to do the farming and inherit the farm – that’s the tradition. Nothing much has changed in terms of this. Being a young woman today with the pressures of social media does not appeal to me.
Challenges in my life? No huge challenges such as disability or illness or coping with a disabled child or great poverty or homelessness. I suppose I have failed in terms of the challenge of finding someone to be my life partner- too often it seemed more interesting to “travel hopefully”, I am probably far too intolerant. In my working life I always felt under a huge time pressure. In my retirement I find having a 91 year old mother a challenge!
Living in the country and having a dog influences what I wear on a daily basis which is usually practical and comfortable. I usually wear lots of layers in order to keep warm. When I dress up I try not to look to dowdy!
Life’s motto? Life is far too complicated to be distilled into one motto ….