Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A LATE CHRISTMAS

A LATE CHRISTMAS

Whilst in training I never had Christmas at home so the photo below (which was meant to be above) would have been my first day off after Christmas.  It was still a time of austerity, so no decorations, but at least we mustered paper hats.
In hospital, Christmas Day was for the children and there was no off-duty.  Christmas Eve we turned our cloaks inside out, with the scarlet lining uppermost and with lanterns walked round the wards singing carols with the children gazing, wide-eyed.  All the local charity organizations made sure that the children had splendid trees, toys and decorations.  At the end of the carol singing, few of us had dry eyes and it is one of my most moving memories.

Christmas Day was hectic and one of the consultants on each ward carved the turkey.  Boxing Day was for the nurses.  Our parents were invited and we could show them all over the hospital and they could begin to understand what our lives were about.  Mum regarded it as a great treat.  After the parents left we, the nurses, donned fancy dress and were served dinner by the sisters.  One year I was dressed as a geisha girl (you can see the likeness) with knitting needles in my chignon and a beautiful kimono, Maddie’s husband had brought from Japan.  Sadly, a sister who I didn’t particularly like spilt gravy down it.

Although Christmas in hospital was exhausting nothing ever came close to the feeling of fulfilment experienced then.

In the Photograph below, only Maddie and I are still here.

4 comments:

AndrewM said...

Is a chignon a bun then?

PI said...

andrewm: got it in one.

R. Sherman said...

Pat, did the sister who spilled the gravy do it on purpose? Perhaps she felt your ill-will.

BTW, I may steal a page from your book and post a few old photos I found yesterday. My did the kids have fun looking at the non-gray haired me.

Cheers.

PI said...

Randall: the 'not particularly liking her' came after the spillage. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt but it was difficult.
I look forward to your photos.