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Ageing, ageism, photography, stories

12th April 2019

Norma Howard, 92

Norma is the oldest female wing-walker in the UK. The former physio took to the skies last year to raise money for charity.

“My parents divorced when I was about eight or nine, but they remained friends. My father married again but my mother didn’t want to. There was no jealousy between them and as a result it didn’t affect me at all. I don’t see why there has to be such agro around divorce. I have lots of pleasant memories from my childhood and I look back on it all fondly.

I was 18 or 19 when I met my husband. We were engaged for three and a half years because we couldn’t afford to get married, but that was fine by me. I wasn’t anxious to get married because I didn’t want to be tied down. I’m an Aquarian, we like to be free, plus I was an only child, so I liked my independence. I even moved to Belfast for a year while we were engaged; I thought he was probably better off without me hanging around while he was at medical school. You don’t have to be in each other’s pockets all the time.

My husband died 11 years ago, aged 82. I wouldn’t rule out dating now but I would be difficult to live with. Anyhow, living on my own I can do what I like, when I like and I’m not answerable to anybody. I enjoy it. I don’t get lonely because I am still able to get out and about. I volunteer for a charity that takes people who can’t drive to appointments and brings them home again. I’m often a lot older than the people I ferry around, though I don’t know if they realize that.

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