Lionel

From: London, UK
Age: 75

Age: 70’s
From: London, UK

Background

“So I grew up in a traditional Welsh background. Came to London at an early age and worked here. I’ve lived away from there ever since, really”.

On his marriage

“I met my wife in London, her name is Pam, or Pamela, we met in 1963… we met in May and we got married in the August, so we only knew each other 3 months, so when you look at it its taking a big chance but there we are, we did”. 

“…There was a lot more…. well I suppose racism, in those days and certainly a lot of hostility, but we just took the view that, well if there’s a problem it’s other people’s problem, not ours and we just got on with our life and here we are today.”

What inspires you?

“Well, poetry inspires me, nature and its beauty and its mystery inspires me, um, and the inspiration of family too, you know and encouragement of family and support of family. All these things inspire me. Just walking around in the park, you know, and seeing thing, inspires me to do all sorts of things”.

Connection with others

“I think a lot of people, particularly in cities like London, because of the way of life, they walk around, they go around, they think of their jobs and housing…. and they miss out. I mean, you can understand it, I guess I was the same, I suppose, you worry about paying your mortgage and you worry about your job. 

I guess because I’m retired now and I’m so much more relaxed, I see that, oh, you know, I go up and I talk to people in the street and I have time of them and they for me and its all around this love. Sometimes I wish I could say to people; ‘Stop!’ You know, ‘slow down, forget your job,’ but of course you can’t. 

That’s really what I mean by love is all around. There’s a lot of really nice people out there too you know…

…When I’m out in Worsteshire park, and I’ll say ‘Good morning’ and it’s amazing the number of people who won’t even make eye contact, and it’s so sad really. But um, lots of people do respond and sometimes they’re quite amazed that someone has taken the trouble to say hello or say nice things…”

On travel

Without travel…

“Ooh, I’d probably be more insular, I would think and maybe, well sort of narrow minded perhaps. I read a lot, so that helps as well, but without travel, I wouldn’t have the understanding of other people, even though perhaps, I still feel the same way about people, I don’t have the understanding, or perhaps wouldn’t have the inclination to find out about other people. You know, their cultures or their religions and things… Certainly travel is an education.” 

Lessons

“Ah, yes, Never to judge people until you know the full facts and try to understand people.”