Mum’s recipes a hit, Dad right about cars

Tony and Margaret Baker. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Tony and Margaret Baker. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Epidemiologist Dr Michael Baker talks about parental advice he received, and sometimes listened to. 

What is your dad or mum’s name? What did they do?

My mother was Margaret Baker. She was an office manager, who became a home manager for many years as she raised her four children.

My father was Tony Baker. He was a company representative for a large paper company and later became a newspaper and printing company manager.

What is the best/worst advice your dad (or mum) gave you?

In my experience, most advice is both good and bad.

Advice from my mother:

Michael Baker
Michael Baker
When her three sons left home, she gave each of us a handwritten set of 10 recipes for one-pot meals based on sausages. These worked well for my early flatting years in Auckland and were a big hit with my flatmates.

But they did not prepare me for moving into a large vegetarian house (with 20 residents) and I had to switch to lentils.

I stopped eating meat and have never eaten it again, though I still like the smell of sausages cooking on the barbecue.

Advice from my father:

Never buy an old car and always buy Japanese.

I did the opposite and bought a series of old cars including a 1957 Nash Metropolitan convertible, an early 1960s Citroen Safari, a 1965 Ford Falcon Futura, and later a 1990 Saab 900.

My father was right. All these cars were expensive disasters, but I loved driving them during the rare moments that they were running smoothly.

Now I ride a bicycle and life is better, though I could not part with my old Nash Metropolitan which I have kept in storage.