I had the pleasure of chatting with Mr Nick Stanton this month, a warm and chatty Yorkshireman who had me laughing and imagining some time up north. We spoke at my kitchen table over a few cups of nice hot tea while the weather was pitiful outside. Here is what the devoted family man had to say…
AF: Thank you so much for meeting me today, I really appreciate it! Do you mind introducing yourself, please?
NS: Hi my name is Nick Stanton. I’m 50 years old and I live on Fairfield Park.
AF: How long have you been on The Park and where did you move from?
NS: I’ve been here six years and I moved out from Yorkshire, which is an absolutely lovely part of the country.
AF: I should have known from your accent! I’m sad to say I’ve not been to Yorkshire yet, but it’s on my list! What do you like about it up there?
AF: Haha! So why are you here?
NS: To be perfectly honest, I met my wife in a club halfway between here and where I lived – it was in Leicester, and she was already down here so I moved to be with her.
AF: Oh, moving to the other side of the country to be with your wife is so romantic! How long have you two been married?
NS: Four years already.
AF: Do you have any children?
NS: Yes, we have two daughters: Elodie who is four years and Avelyn, who is 12 years.
AF: Four and twelve – that’s quite an age gap. Do they get along well?
NS: Yeah, really good. Obviously the age gap is good because Avelyn can look after Elodie and practice taking on a bit more responsibility with big sister duties.
AF: I suppose she’s getting to an age where you’ll have a live-in babysitter – that’ll be nice! So to go back to Yorkshire for a minute, I want to pick your brain about this because every northerner that I have ever spoken to – literally every single one, and I’ve been here for a few years so it’s a large number of people at this point – all of them love it. There’s this sense of regional pride; they just adore Yorkshire so much and they can never say anything bad about it. And for me as an outsider coming to the UK, that’s really refreshing because most of the English people that I meet are quite critical of life here. The British people are not happy-clappy patriots in the same way so many Americans are, let me put it that way. Do you know what I mean? Can you tell me more specifically what you love about Yorkshire?
NS: Oh, it’s definitely the people. They’re very friendly, very easy going. They’ll all be welcoming… If you went up there you’d find people would so easily embrace you and be so genuinely friendly. And then there are so many beautiful parts of Yorkshire too.
AF: I’m not going to say if, but WHEN I visit Yorkshire, where would you suggest I go? What would give me the best impression of your home county?
NS: I think Leeds would be a nice, cultural experience. It’s a big city with lots of industry and very vibey. If you want to go to “proper Yorkshire” as I call North Yorkshire – Whitby is on the coast. And then there are dry stonewalls, beautiful green fields. And sheep. Lots of sheep.
NS: Another nice place is Harrogate. Lovely for a weekend away.
AF: Fabulous, thank you for all the recommendations! I love exploring the UK – it’s a gorgeous part of the world. So tell me, what kind of work do you do?
NS: I work with Greg Lambert doing property service on Fairfield: painting, decorating and general maintenance. I used to own a taxi and do airport transfers and those sorts of things, but obviously due to Covid that ceased. But we shall see, you never know what the future holds…
AF: I can well imagine that running a taxi service during Covid must have been so tough on your business. Have you weathered the lockdowns and the pandemic alright though?
NS: Yeah, it was definitely difficult with everything shutting down, but the thing that I would say, everyone’s just put all the money they’d spend on holiday into their houses, which luckily makes it really busy for us!
AF: That makes total sense. I heard that hot tubs are all the rage: you just can’t buy a hot tub anymore because so many people want a “staycation” feel to their gardens! I would imagine that within home maintenance and decorating there’s a bunch of different tasks that you could be doing in someone’s home – what type of project do you find the most fun?
NS: Hm… To be honest, I think I most enjoy a full deck – as in fully decorating the whole house. Advising the customers on which colours to choose and then it’s so nice seeing the end product. It feels great to know you’ve done a good job and made a house look so fresh and beautiful.
AF: Like a before/after situation – I’d find that very satisfying too. Well thank you so much for taking the time to do this with me, Nick!
NS: Thank you very much!
Amber Fortier moved to Fairfield Park in 2017 with her husband and three young children. She is originally from New York