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With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we’re feeling a little bit soppy here at Sykes Cottages; so in celebration of the month of love, we’ve decided to conduct a series of interviews on the Sykes Blog with real-life couples. We want to know about their holidays, how they will be spending Valentine’s Day, the secrets behind a long-lasting relationship, and to generally be just a little bit nosey!

Michelle and Mike

Michelle and Mike, Christmas 2011

The first couple we spoke to were Mike and Michelle from North Wales. Michelle is originally from Central Scotland whilst Mike’s family moved around a lot when he was younger, before eventually settling in Wales. Mike and Michelle now live together on Anglesey and enjoy walking along the Menai Straits with their two dogs, Dennis and George. They have four children and one grandson, who they spoil rotten.


Party in Scotland

Mike and Michelle at a party in Scotland, 2013

Thank you so much for agreeing to take part! Tell us a little bit about yourselves…

Michelle : I’m 46 and he is 56, old man! We have been together…

Mike : 24 years?

Michelle : No, we’ve been married 16 years and were together for seven years before we got married; so yes, 24 years next month. Oh my God, I could have killed you and been out of jail by now!


How did you both meet?

Michelle : In Kent. We were at a birthday party.

Mike : No, in Scotland, at your house!

Michelle : Alright, we met in Scotland at my house! Mike was taking us to a party in Kent and was driving the mini bus.

Wales Coast

Mike’s childhood along the Welsh Coast

What has been your favourite holiday to date?

Michelle : My favourite UK holiday of all time was in Babbacombe in Devon. That’s where I spent all my childhood holidays.

Mike :  When I was a child, I used to love coming to Wales. With Michelle, my favourite holiday was when we went to the Isle of Wight.

Michelle : Oh yes, when we’ve holidayed together, the Isle of Wight was my favourite place!


Do you have any funny holiday memories that you can share with us?

Mike : When I was young, we swapped houses with my Aunt so that we could holiday in Wales. Half way through the journey, we stopped at the traffic lights and there, sitting on the other side of the road, was my Aunt and her children!


Cockington, Devon

Mike and the children in Cockington, Devon

Where in the UK would you really like to visit? Do any places just make you say ‘wow!’?

Michelle : Wales, I love living here. Scotland also makes me think wow, especially when I go right up to the Highlands.

Mike : Bailiffscourt in Climping is absolutely gorgeous.

Michelle : I’ve never been to York but I know with all its history that I would love it there.


If you could go on holiday with any celebrity couple, who would it be?

Michelle : I would like to go with David and Samantha Cameron, so they could see how normal people holiday and how much Britain has to offer.

Mike : I would go with Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas because they seem really funny.


Michelle and the dogs at Llanberis Lake

Michelle and the dogs at Llanberis Lake

Do you prefer holidays with or without your children?

Michelle : With my children! It’s nice having holidays on your own but it’s also lovely holidaying with the children.

Mike : It was great when the children were young but now that they’re older, it’s much nicer just the two of us.


What are your partner’s best and worst qualities?

Michelle : He is so forgetful and it really annoys me but he has a wonderful cheeky smile. To be honest, his best quality is him just being him.

Mike : Her worst quality is her cleaning, she is always cleaning! Then again, her best quality is her cleaning, the house always looks amazing!


Mike and Michelle

Mike and Michelle with grandson, Adam.

Is there anything that your partner does for you that you wouldn’t be able to do yourself?

Michelle :  Loads. I’m in a wheelchair so he helps me get ready, takes me out, makes sure I’m safe when I have a fit, just about everything really.

Mike : She protects me. Michelle just looks after me in her own way.


What’s the most romantic thing they’ve ever done?

Michelle : I’m not really a romantic person. Mike does romantic things all the time.

Mike : (singing) I used to buy you flowers!

Michelle : As a couple, the most romantic thing that we do is still hold hands, which the kids hate! The most romantic thing that Mike does is never leave the house without giving me a kiss.

Mike : Michelle always lets me know that she loves me before I fall asleep.


Mike and Michelle on their wedding day

Mike and Michelle on their wedding day

Who proposed and how did you propose?

Mike : The first or the fifth time? I kept asking if she would marry me and she kept saying no!

Michelle : In the end, I asked him what he would like for his fortieth birthday and he said he wouldn’t mind getting married, so we did! I thought it was about time.


What do you think the secret of a long lasting relationship is?

 Michelle : Him doing what I tell him!

Mike : Her thinking that I do what she tells me.

Michelle : Whatever! The secret of a long lasting relationship is never going to sleep on an argument.

Mike and Michelle in Torquay, 2009

Mike and Michelle in Torquay, 2009


And finally, how will you be spending Valentine’s Day?

Michelle : A nice bit of steak, watching something good on the TV and a nice pudding.


The next instalment in our series of interviews will be appearing on the blog next week. In the meantime, if you don’t have any plans for Valentine’s Day yet, may we suggest booking a last minute getaway in a romantic holiday cottage! You can thank us later!

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