You’ve just been telling me about your memory of bringing your grandkids to the park…
Yeah. Well, they live in Nottingham but when they come to visit, they always ask to come here. And their favourite is the play area, of course, especially climbing up and down and, you know, balancing and going on the pitch and putt, and running around, of course. Then I have to take them down to the café because they have a big piece of cake. And they’ve also been here with the other children, in particular one of my friend’s sons – and his friend. Sometimes I have time to bring them when their parents don’t, you know. So they like to come on the – what do you call it?
On the BMX trail, and they love it. And I love it because we come walking around here and there’s always something different, you know, birds and just walking around. And there’s a lot of things going on that I didn’t know about, that I didn’t realise. Yeah, yeah, it’s lovely.
Did you say your grandkids come over from Nottingham to use this park?
Yeah. Yeah. When they visit me, we come here. But I was talking to somebody one time when we were here and they said they come from Birmingham to Markeaton Park.
I was amazed because I thought, you know, to me it’s like a local one, but obviously it’s not just local. They will come here, yeah.
My friends and I walk sometimes through the woods. It’s lovely, you know. Yeah, it’s really nice.
Can you remember the first time you went to any park?
To any park? Well, I grew up in Malta. So, in Malta you don’t really have parks because, you know, it’s not green in the winter. But we just went walking, you know, not to parks. I remember when I was a kid we just all – it’s frightening when I think about it, when I had my children – we used to go walking on these rocks over the cliffs, and we were only little. We’d just go, a group of us. And as I grew up, I thought, oh my god. I’ve had nightmares of my children walking where I used to walk.
(Laughs) You look back and think—
It’s like that feeling of freedom and running and playing outside.
Yeah, yeah, that’s it.
It wasn’t an enclosed park, you know, so we were just walking. We’d go from one village to the next, walking through the country for hours on end.
Yeah. A nice way to spend time.
It was lovely. There wasn’t a lot of traffic either, so, you know, life was a lot simpler and easier.