Blondell

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To me Birmingham is good. I?m an honorary Brummie. I enjoy living here. Even if I go away I want to come back because to me, after 46 years, this is my home.

I?m from St Kitts. In 1955 the late Princess Margaret came to the Island. She came to our school The Girls High School, and she wanted to know if any of us were interested in nursing because the hospitals were scarce of nurses. I thought, ?that?s what I really want to do?. So I took up Princess Margaret?s invitation and I came over in 1963.

When I came to England it was September time and it was cold and I thought, ?I?m going back home?. To me it was obviously going to be different because it was a cold country but nothing that I really expected. I thought, ?I can?t cope with this sleeping in so much clothing and having to have heating in the rooms?. I wasn?t really accustomed to it. And in St Kitts we have little bungalows and they are all separated by vast amounts of land. I just wanted to go back. Then I started to meet friends and feelings passed.

I went to a little hospital outside Mansfield and I specialised in chest diseases for two years. After that I went to Nottingham City and did general nursing. I used to go and visit friends in Birmingham, where I met my husband. We got married so I came over to Birmingham and I did my midwifery just up the road. Then I went to what is now the Birmingham City University and did my health visiting theoretical training, I did my practical in Burntwood.

I continued to work as a health visitor at day and as a midwife at night so I really got to know the women who had the babies who I was going to visit as a health visitor. I am now retired. My health has not been as I would have liked it to be. So I am just now enjoying every day as it comes.

I have been a tenant of Solihull Community Housing 4 years in May. I?m enjoying all the meetings at Solihull that they want me to take part in. I have joined the anti-social behaviour and environment group, the disability focus group, I am a member of the black ethnic minority group and the customer care involvement team. I am very busy. I go to tai chi in the morning and then I go to the lunch club. On Wednesdays I go to sewing group. Thursdays I go to a walking group and then an over 50 group. Friday I go for 2 hours to fitness group. And that?s my week.

I used to go back to St Kitts every 3 years and take the children so they would know their grandparents and know where I was born. Sadly they have all gone. It was quite traumatic going back to nobody. Some friends have gone back there to live but I do have a lot of friends here still. Friends from working and other friends I have made. I don?t dwell on the fact that they think Solihull is more upmarket. I?m an honorary Brummie. Living here I?ve got lots of friends in Balsall Heath, I?ve got two friends off St Luke?s Road, I?ve got friends in Northfield and Frankley, Edgbaston, even as far as Erdington, Moseley and Chelmsley Wood.

So to me Birmingham is good. I enjoy living here, even if I go away I want to come back because to me after 46 years this is my home.

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