Thursday 1 September 2011

Family Fun: Michael Moves On

 Michael, all grown up in July 2011
Today is a very special day. 

Not only is it Spring Day here in the southern hemisphere, yes, it's officially spring down south! - but on this day, way back in 1988 my sister delivered into the world the most gorgeous, the most handsome, the most delightful baby boy, my nephew Michael Benjamin Cockerill! 

Michael's middle name is Benjamin, named after his Da. Many of you know my Dad has recently been very ill. This reinforced for me, once again, how much my family enriches my life. 

Over the next few months I'll be introducing you to the different members of my family through a series of Q and A interviews. 

Here are Michael's answers: 

         1)Tell us about yourself

Michael hard at work during his Mining Engineering course
As of today, I am a 23 yr old male, surprise, surprise, with the name Michael, who has recently finished a BEng Mining Engineering degree at the Camborne School of Mines in the United Kingdom. I'm an avid sports player with Hockey being my predominant sport and have a burning desire to succeed in life. 

2)  Where do you live now?

I am currently between South Africa and United Kingdom with plans to emigrate to Australia in January 2012, where I start my first job at Newlands Colliery, Queensland, about 860km northwest of Brisbane . But before then I'll be spending some time working in England. In September I'll be travelling to Liberia and at the end of October I'll spend a few weeks doing voluntary wildlife rehabilitation work at the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa.

3) What does the future hold for you?

Michael and his Sophie
Good things, hopefully! Being a mining engineer, a large portion of my future will undoubtably involve travel, hopefully this will be accompanied by a companion in whom I will be able to confide. 

4)What do you worry about most?
My biggest worry is that I will not succeed. True story! 
5)  You’re a seasoned traveller. What is your favourite place in the world that you’ve visited? Why?  Please share some photos with us.

Although having travelled through many places in the world, I must say the most incredible experience I have had must be to the Pilansberg Nature Reserve in January 2011, with my girlfriend, Sophie le Butt. The trip was incredible, from the reserve, ivory tree lodge, to the wildlife in the park, so abundant and healthy! See piccys below! All taken with  a Nikon D60, Tamron lens 18-200 on Auto setting. 

Fluffy & curious baby zebra

Sunset in the Pilansberg

Hippo showing off
6) What do you think has changed about yourself in the last five years?

I think in the past 5 years, having had the experience that I have with university away from home after having had a very cushy home life, I think the biggest difference and changes that I have noticed is my maturity, having grown up to be a person with a proper understanding of multicultural views which I believe is of the utmost importance in this ever changing world

There's not only the big five to admire.
Can you see the dung beetle?
These industrious creatures push balls of dung
many times their own weight.

Lunch time for a giraffe

Rhino trying to look mean,
but only succeeding in looking dozy!

Lioness walking with her pride (males below)

Can you see the chompers on the front lion? 
Thankfully social media allows us to keep in touch no matter where in the world Michael is travelling (except, perhaps some of the less inhabited places he visits!) so when he starts his Australian adventure, we'll still be able to keep up with each other's lives.  

There is one thing I want Michael to take with him as he moves on in his life. In his interview, he speaks of his burning desire to succeed in this world. I want to gift him with this poem, which already describes the type of person he is:


by Ralph Waldo Emerson 

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people 
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics 
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better, 
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded. 

We love you, Michael!


Tabouleh said...

I am looking forward to getting to know more of you very interesting family members. Loved reading about Michael, his adventures and his aspirations.

Elisabeth said...

It's wonderful to meet your nephew, Judy. My family would not allow me to introduce them in this way, not that I've ever asked, but I can't imagine that any of them would agree. You're fortunate in this regard.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy .. lovely to meet Michael - he does sound a special nephew, who has taken the bull by the horns and got on with things.

For any young man to have lived, studied and worked in Cornwall in the UK rather than London - must have been fascinating for him. It's great to know that the school at Camborne has such a good reputation abroad. (The Creek serviced 'his mines' way back when!)

Lots of Cornish words and names around South Africa - as the miners opened up your mines .. Loveday Street, Baragwanath hospital ..

For Michael to visit Liberia too, participate in wildlife rehabilitation work .. then a mere jump across the Ocean to start work in Northern Australia.

Fantastic - so many experiences to learn from .. that is the success of life - to appreciate all aspects, enjoy being with so many different peoples and their cultures ...

Judy how lovely to hear about Michael .. and I'm sure your Da (his grandpa) will be so proud of him ...

Michael all the very best for your life ahead ...

The pictures of the Pilanesburg are just great - makes me homesick .. for Africa and Cornwall! Cheers for now .. Hilary

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

LANA: I’m truly blessed with my family as you are with yours – it was lovely ‘meeting’ your interesting family and that inspired me to introduce my family! :)

ELISABETH: I caught Michael at a good moment…am going to have to try and catch the rest of ‘em at a quiet moment in their lives, an almost impossible task I’ve set myself! :)

HILARY: Gosh, I never realised Baragwanath was a Cornish name. *Blush* And I live here! Michael and his Da have always had a very special relationship, Michael is so like him in so many ways! And weren’t those photos of the Pilansberg stunning – it was so hard to choose from his album, because he saw leopards, buffalo, all the great sightings in 3 short days. It’s like Africa put on her best show for his girlfriend Sophie. :) Everytime I look at them, I want to escape to the bush…

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy .. no need to blush about Baragwanath .. nor did I .... until can you believe it I was in the hospital in London, got in the lift with Cornish people going to the same ward .. and that's where the connection came in. I then did a search and found out quite a lot of interesting things - a blog post when I find those papers again! There was another Cornish lady in the ward too during the time we were there .. really small world.

Enough for now .. but I'd love to be back in Africa .. and in Cornwall .. one day ..

Lovely hearing about Michael .. thanks so much for sharing these .. Hilary

Bish Denham said...

Sweet. What a handsome young man. May he have much success in Australia.

Anonymous said...

Its always good to get to know fellow bloggers and their families better. Nicely written post today.

Claire Robyns said...

Lovely to meet your nephew, Judy, and thank you Michael for sharing some of yourself with us. My kids would kill me a hundred kinds of horrible ways if I so much as put a photo of them on my blog, let alone an interview :)

Yvonne Osborne said...

What a handsome young man with a bright future. No wonder you wanted to interview him for your blog! Our future rests on shoulders such as his.

I just so happened to post a picture of my daughter today on my blog without her knowledge. But I don't think she'll mind.

You're right about success. There are many different ways to measure it. But he'll figure that out on his own.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

HILARY: whew! That makes me feel a bit better about my ignorance! :)

BISH: He is (sweet AND handsome!) We think he’ll love Australia (his girlfriend Sophie is there doing a year in her zoology course)

STEPHEN: Thanks – and your post on futurist vs visionary writers on your blog today was excellent reading.

CLAIRE: Poor you – you’re outnumbered and I think twin boys would devise truly gruesome ways of revenge…!

YVONNE: What a lovely way of putting it – and those particular shoulders will do a great job (along with his two sisters, who I hope you’ll be able to “meet” in the future! The photo of your daughter with her message in the sand is gorgeous!

Damaria Senne said...

Thanks for introducing us to Michael. he's an interesting young man and sounds very mature for only 23.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

DAMARIA: Sometimes I forget he's still so young...much more mature then I was at that age!

Anonymous said...

He has those charming good looks. Judging from his answers, his looks have not spoiled his personality.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

GLYNIS: You put it well, he hasn't let his advantages in life spoil him, he's always the one that his friends come to for help, or he's the one that takes the lost & lonely under his wings...he's a lovely person inside & out.

LynNerdKelley said...

What a cool idea, to interview your different family members. I hope your dad is doing better, Judy. I enjoyed reading Michael's interview, and it sounds to me like he's already a success. I love that poem, too. Perfect gift for him. Looking forward to reading more interviews of your other family members.

I tried to leave a comment last night, but wasn't able to. I'm glad it went through today!

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

LYN: Thanks for trying *twice* to leave a comment. Dad is much improved thanks Lyn - amazing what a difference being at home makes! Even the neurologist couldn't get over his vast improvement. Hope Baby Punkin is doing well and not getting too spoilt by Granny!