I’ve never felt dissatisfied about who I am
Daisy 93. Born inTrinidad from Indian-African descent. Widowed mum and grandmother. She lives in South London.
How are you?
I am very well. I am just back from a six week trip to Trinidad. I like to travel. Two years ago I walked the great wall of China.
I have no regrets, I am self satisfied. All that I have gone through is what should have happened, it’s what is written in the stars.
How do you feel about the weather?
I hated the weather when I first moved to England. I thought I’d never be able to live here, it’s so cold. It was a real culture shock.
What do you think about marriage?
I was married for 58 years. Not many men would have put up with me. I always got my own way. I am very independent, I always have been.
How do you see yourself?
I am happy in my skin. You have to love yourself. I’ve always loved myself. I’ve never felt dissatisfied about who I am. Life hasn't always been easy but I took it in my stride. I don't dwell, I just deal with things. I think life is better than it used to be, things are getting better all the time.
I was a life model at Camberwell college for 15 years when I was in my 50s. I suspect there are naked pictures of me scattered around the globe. I’m not an inhibited person and I like that.
I am a listener. I like to observe. I’m not quick to pass judgement.
Who or what inspires you?
My mother, she had a very strong influence on me. I was very protected and loved.
What’s your most memorable experience?
I have many memories. I grew up in a house of plenty. There were nine of us. I was number seven. When I was 10 years old I contracted typhoid fever. I went into a coma and almost died. I had a vision; I saw stairs going up and up and up. Getting wider and wider, then all of a sudden a blackbird appeared and dropped a silver chain on my body and that’s when I woke out of my coma.
Back in the 1950s my husband left Trinidad to come to London to be a boxer. We were apart for five years. That’s just how it was in those days. In 1955 I took one of the last banana boats over from Trinidad to Liverpool so I could at last join him. A three week boat crossing over the Atlantic with two small children was something I wont forget.
On arriving in England we moved into a flat in Kensington High St. The rent was £10 per week. After a while I thought it was ridiculous paying so much rent and although my husbands agent paid it, I insisted we move to the Wolworth Rd near Elephant & Castle. It was much cheaper. I took a job as a machinist. My daughter went to the local school, at the time she was the only black girl there, but funnily enough we never experienced racism like a lot of people do.
What do you think about life?
My view on life is don’t worry about what may happen, when it happens deal with it. It may never happen.
What do you think about death?
When I’m by myself I go in a room and scream. When I hear verse or a hymn it can bring me to tears. In my culture when there is a death, they tell a story by singing it.They sing out their grief.
What’s your views on faith?
I lost my husband eleven years ago and my son twenty years ago to cancer. My mother was a Hindu and it’s tradition when you're born to have your fortune read; no matter what you try to avoid it will happen. Your life is mapped out.
What would you like to leave for the next generation?
It’s very important to see where you come from. Research, find out things and listen. To love each other, spread more joy and be tolerant.