Wednesday, 14 January 2009


Instead of more therapy introspection I'm answering the interview questions set by the lovely Karen at Border Town Notes.

1.Which person no longer living would you like to meet, and why?

The person I would like to have met is, Florence Nightingale. I started my professional working life as a nurse. And she was my absolute hero for what she achieved in the Crimea. She took a profession that simply wasn't around, the nurses pre-her were far more like working girls than professional nurses. Plus she introduced the ideas of hygiene, that I was still trained in my day(Unfortunately no longer used judging how bad MRSA is in British Hospitals nowadays) Plus she was so determined to to buck the trend of how a Victorian woman should be, so was really a fore runner of today's modern women.

2.What is the nicest thing anybody has ever done for you?

The nicest thing that anyone has done for me happened last year at one Sunday lunch. My ex husband, my son's father has arsed around for years not paying the maintenance properly. He owes me well in excess of £50,000. And on this particular lunch time I asked my boys what they thought my next step should be.
Alex, my youngest, told me as far as he was concerned he only had one parent. And that they had watched me over the years struggle to bring them up on my own, whether making decisions, or going without financially. And that I was the only person he really respected in life.
His brother Kit, said that he couldn't have had a better life than the one they had, had with me . And that he knew that whatever was going on for him in life he always knew that he was safe when he was with me, and that everything would be alright.

3.What's your favourite inspirational saying?

There is a poem not written by, but used by Nelson Mandela as part of his Inaugural speech in 1994 And the last two sentences lines sum up my attitude to life;
.... And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

4.Would you like to share a profound, or life-changing event that has happened to you?

There actually have been lots of these, all related to finding out I had a gift for communication and helping people make a difference to their lives. They happened when I was a general nurse, and would involve talking to people at a depth that nurses weren't allowed to in those days, back in the early 70s. One of the memories that sticks is, when I was a Ward Sister. There was a woman who came onto the ward with a fractured leg. She was young and had two small children she was also away from her family in Scotland. It was discovered that she had cancer of her bones, and the only way to save her life was to have her leg and hip amputated. I made the decision that I would be the one to tell her. So with the Consultant we made the disclosure with the curtains drawn round her bed and her husband present. The rest of the day I spent entirely behind this curtain holding this woman in my arms as I helped her try and come to terms with this shocking news with the Consultant and her husband popping in and out. I had no psychiatric training at this stage. But what I had, was a fearless approach to facing what was going on in any one's life. And I think I made a difference to Marie, so that she was more able to make informed choices whether physical or emotional by helping her face the whole truth. This ability has allowed me over the years to face whatever has needed facing whether personal to me, or related to anyone else that is or comes into my life.

5.Tell me about where you were born, and where else you've lived in your life till now?

I was born in a place called Walsall in the Midland region of the UK. I lived there till I was 21, when I left home with my first nursing qualification to see more of the world. First stop was Cambridge, I worked there for three years. I worked as a Staff Nurse and a barmaid. I got promoted to a Ward Sister and went to Leicester to work on a female Orthopaedic ward (see above question). I needed to change my direction, so retrained as a Psychiatric Nurse. I moved to London and worked as Staff Nurse again, in an Adolescent unit for disturbed young people. I met my first husband and went to sea with him for three months, two weeks after we'd got married. On return, I got a job and two cats so I didn't have to do that again, in a small town outside Oxford. And started to work as a Counsellor and eventually a Psychotherapist in the NHS
From there five years later, I moved to close by where I live now in the Peak Park. My husband left 13 years ago, and the boys and I eventually sold up and moved into a nearby town, where I have been ever since. Except, of course, for those times that I've been in America. Which for the last ten years has been at least twice a year, and I view it as a second home. And my latest plan is, that credit crunch depending, that I sell up here and move to Devon to be near the sea later this year.

I have really enjoyed answering these questions, even if they some of the answers did make me emotional, it's not often that I actually acknowledge what has gone on in my life. And actually how I wouldn't change one minute of it,even the terrible times. Cause otherwise I wouldn't be as content within myself as I am nowadays.

Potential interviewees?
If anybody else wants to have a go: here are your instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions and let me know when you have posted it, so I can link it.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview
someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask
them five questions.


hele said...

I am so excited about getting to interview you : D

Please send me a mail at hwagener (at) gmail (dot) com and I will reply with a list of interview questions.


Sorrow said...

This was awesome, and even though some of the answers I had heard about before, I was still teary eyed reading about the precious boys, that gigantic heart of yours! and the heroes you have.
Needed this today, thanks hon!

Rach said...

If I am ever in the position of needing someone by my side holding my hand I couldn't think of anyone better...xx

Angela said...

That was a beautiful look inside your heart and life! Thank you for being so honest and sharing. I also love the poem by Nelson Mandela, I have it wholly, do you? - shall I send it to you? It deserves to be posted completely. It speaks for you that you chose this one!

standing still })|({ said...

i was greatly honored to be reading your loving, open answers to this interview,such a window to a persons soul is not but rarel;y looked into in life.

i would be honored if you would interview me.


Picsie Chick said...

What a wonderful glimpse into the life and heart of a friend. Thank you!

I would be honoured to be interviewed by you.

Hugs and butterflies,

Val said...

beautiful and inspiring. thank you for sharing your brave stories with us x

karen said...

oh,thank you Fire Byrd, for your amazing and beautiful answers... so excellent to learn a little more about what makes you who you are... Those boys, the Mandela quote, all your nursing experiences, bit of background on your movements in life - and so wonderfully written. Thanks for being a willing participant, I'm really enjoying the interviews so much! xx

Lori ann said...

Wonderful getting to know you better Byrd, and thank you for sharing with us, I love what your sons said to you, those kids heh? the best! xxx

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

This was such a wonderful post to read, FireByrd. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. What a wonderful insight into your life and you.

Tessa said...

Eloquent, deeply moving, heartwarming and absolutely inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your courageous journey with us.

Mel said...


Anonymous said...

amei ler o seu blog eu ficaria honrado em ser entrevistado por you.maybe sequer dar-lhe o tal beijo xx

Fire Byrd said...

hele, I'm excited as well getting to do two interviews appeals to my immodest side no end.

Sorrow, you should know that where I am now is so much to do with you.Huge hugs to you

rach, what an absolutely lovely thing to say,I'm blushing now, thank you.

angela, I do have a copy thank you. But would love to email you anyway if I only knew your address.

coral and teresa, I will get my brain motivated to ask you just the right questions!
xx xx

val thank you for those lovely words.

karen, I really enjoyed doing it, thank you for supplying the questions.

lori, our kids just knock our socks off don't they when they say things we don't expect.

av, thank you for your kind words, you are very gracious.

tessa, welcome lovely to meet you and thank you for your delicious words.... another blush coming on.

mel,you are such a sweetie

anonymous, well I understand the words; blog, you and maybe.... is it a foreign language offer of a snog??

another case of hugs all round I think.

Ronjazz said...

To you, FB, I'm an open book. Ask away...:)

Fire Byrd said...

Ah yes ron but the questions would have to be censored here, let alone the awnswers babe!!!

Walker said...

Those were great answers and great questions.
You have worked your way through life on your own terms.

Trixie said...

Ahhhhh...absolutey beautiful. I'd ask you to interview me..but I'm still far behind in other posts! Plus I think you know just about everything about me, lol!