For those of you new to reading this blog, welcome! I like to alternate guest posts with stories of Norman Campbell, with whom I shared many pleasurable hours as he told me his life story. I have him speaking on video and hope to share some of these with you soon too.
Like my last guest blogger TJ Weaver, Norman had thoughts he would like to pass on to the next generation. He was fortunate that he still retained an amazing memory at 103 years and I was blessed that he agreed to share his story with me.
Learning lessons from his younger life he would say,
‘If you have a dream to travel, do it. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Ordinary life just takes over then.’
He would also talk of the poverty his family experienced in the depression in the 20’s and 30’s.
‘People these days, in this country, really don’t know what poverty is. There was one time when my mother knew there was nothing left to eat. I know, she said, we’ll have bread and dripping, and for a week that’s all we ate. That’s poverty.’
‘Another thing about unemployment. It’s easy today. They just go along and sign on. When I was first able to work there was nothing like that. When I came back from Australia in 1931 and I couldn’t find a job I went out and did any odd jobs I could find; some deliveries here, some gardening there; a bit of DIY, in fact anything I could find. My mother wouldn’t let me sit on my backside at home. Oh no! There’s always something you can do.’
His final advice which I’ve shared in a previous post was to the elderly.
‘Don’t moan that nobody visits or calls to see you. Pick up the phone and call someone, an old friend or neighbour. Keep in touch with people in any way you can.’
Norman had photos of his family all over his walls too. You can see them in the picture below.
Nevertheless Norman was still lonely at times since he lived alone in the house his family moved into in 1911. People visited, but that still left long periods of time on his own, but then one of his carers suggested he buy a computer. Yes, at 102 years he learned to use the computer and to email friends and family. He even remembered everyone’s birthday and sent them an e card! I was so chuffed to receive mine, I can tell you.
What advice do you have to pass on? It would be great to share it.