There are many women in my life that inspire me, both personally and professionally. Women take on many different roles within their life time. But the one I want to celebrate today is my mother, Anne.
My mother was born in a small village in Cyprus, the youngest of 4 girls, with her parents herding a flock of sheep and goats – a poor family but rich in love and health.
Anne finished college and her first job was as an office clerk at the British RAF Base in Episkopi. With Turkish as her mother tongue, Anne also spoke Greek and English fluently. By 1973, she married my dad and they moved to Houndsworth, Birmingham – living on top of a café that my dad managed. They had planned to return to Cyprus but due to the war and division of the island, decided to remain in England with my mum continuing to help run the café.
We later settled in Carterton, Oxfordshire where my parents borrowed money to buy their own fish and chip shop. Not only did she work full time there, but cooked meals from scratch for her family, cleaned the home and raised us as best she could. She worked hard so we didn’t have to go without.
It was only recently that I learnt that my mum wanted to become a solicitor. My heart sank as to why she didn’t fulfill her dream. It was simple – her parents couldn’t afford to pay for education fees, accommodation and living expenses and she didn’t want them to feel guilty.
Anne is now happily retired. She has always been my strength, my rock, my inspiration.
Amazing women have come into my life who I look in awe at – friends, women that I’ve worked with and my daughters. If I can be a fraction of what Anne has been to me with my daughters, I’ll be a happy woman.