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As Valentine’s Day speeds towards us in a whirlwind of roses, chocolate and overpriced greetings cards, we bring you the second instalment of our Valentine’s Specials. Last week, we spoke to Mike and Michelle from North Wales about their favourite holiday memories, the secrets of a long lasting relationship and how they’ll be spending this upcoming Valentine’s Day- you can read what they had to say by clicking here.

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Simon & Sue, Manchester 2013

Today, we’ll be speaking to Simon and Sue (AKA, my parents) about everything from honeymoons and romance, to potential wife swapping and how they’ve survived their 30 year relationship. Both Simon and Sue were born and raised in East Yorkshire, where they still live today. They have two wonderful children, and can often be found taking walks on Sewerby Cliffs or scenic drives through the Yorkshire Moors.


Valentine's Day Special

Honeymoon in the Lake District, 1988

Thank you for agreeing to take part in our Valentine’s blog. Let’s start with how long you’ve been together…

Simon: We’ve been together 30 years, married for 25. 26 in June!

Susan: We met in 1984 when I was 27 and he was 23.

Simon: That’s right…you were a bit of a cougar!

Tell us the story of how you met…

Susan: I went to work with Simon on his potato harvester one season- that’s how we got to know each other.

Simon:  And she thought I was well fit!

Susan: No, you thought I was fit! Anyway, it was love at first sight!

Valentine's Day Special

Honeymoon in the Lake District, 1988

Where did you spend your first holiday? 

Susan: Our first proper holiday was in Scotland.

Simon: Yeah, on the West Coast. We stayed in a cottage in Craobh Haven but toured around a lot. We went as far North as Fort William and as far South as the Mull of Kintyre. It was fantastic holiday and one that we’ll never forget.

You spent your honeymoon in the UK- where did you go?

Simon: We went to the Lake District, to Ambleside actually.

Susan: And it was so hot! The locals kept saying it was the hottest week they’d ever had.

Simon: Yeah, we had to buy summer clothes whilst we were there because we’d packed expecting rain- we got pretty badly sunburnt. We both put on a full stone in a week, something we’re quite proud of!

Susan: We had a Full English every morning!


The Scottish Landscape, 1986

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

Susan: We broke down on the motorway on the way to Tenby one year, which was a bit of a disaster.  And there was the white garden chair incident…

Please, go on…

Susan: It just gave way! One of the legs just went! I rolled on to the floor and couldn’t get up for laughing.

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Susan in Scotland, 1986

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

Simon: Well, I don’t know about Sue, but I think Brad & Angelina would be quite nice…

Susan: I knew you’d say that.

Simon: A bit of wife swapping perhaps…

Susan: I’d swap you for Brad Pitt any day.

Do you prefer holidays with or without your children?

Susan: I loved holidays with my kids, but it’s different now.

Simon: They’re two very different experiences. We’d definitely love to go with them again someday.

Susan: Yeah, we’d have a good laugh now that they’re grown up and can have a drink.

Simon: And they’d be able to treat us…

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Simon in Cumbria, 1988

Keep Dreaming! Where in the UK would you really like to visit?

Simon: We’d like to visit Devon and Cornwall. We’ve never been to the South West Coast so that would definitely be somewhere we’d like to visit.

Susan: I think Ireland would also be a really nice place to go. We’ve never been, but have heard how beautiful it is.

What are the secrets of a long lasting relationship?

Simon: Doing what I’m told.

Susan: A bit of give and take. And love too, mustn’t forget love.

What are your partner’s best and worst qualities?

Simon: Well, she’s very stubborn and will never back down even if she knows I’m right. But aside from that, she’s a very loving, warm person, who puts everyone at ease. Your turn…

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Simon and Sue,  2014

Susan: He’s a grumpy, bad tempered git! Tight too! But then, I suppose he is really kind and caring. He’s my best friend.

How did you propose?

Simon: It was nothing elaborate. We were in the car, driving to Bridlington for a walk, and I just asked her. There was no grand romantic gesture!

Susan: Yeah, I didn’t even get a bag of chips! But he did buy me a nice ring, so I’ll let him off.

What’s your idea of a perfect evening together?

Simon: Going out to a nice restaurant for a slap up and a few drinks.

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

Susan: We aren’t really romantic types. He did bring me a bouquet of roses to work once, but only after I’d told him off for never buying me flowers!

How will you be spending this Valentine’s Day?

Simon: Together on the sofa!

Susan: We don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day- we already know how much we love one another.

Thirty years on… Simon and Sue at South Beach, Bridlington

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this addition of our Valentine’s series. The final instalment will be posted on Saturday 15th, so tune in to the Sykes blog then for more romantic revelations!

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