Friday, August 18, 2006



Story contd:-

I asked Matron if I could be off duty in the evening so I could go home with Jamie.  Fortunately she agreed.  It was always a given at my own hospital – that you would have the evening off before your day’s leave.  Later on we started shifts and could finish at lunch time, have the next day off and return at lunch time the following day – two nights at home which were much appreciated.

  I phoned the Millers and told them I couldn’t see them this week and they said the next time Jamie came I should take him round.  Apparently young David was still endlessly playing his new record –‘Sparkey’s Magic Piano.’  I certainly couldn’t get the tune out of my head.  The piano sings ‘I’ll play anything you want me to play…from now on.’ with a jangley, twangy voice that sounded like Cher with croup.

Jamie picked me up and we went home on the bus.  Only Gran was in so we made supper and she went to bed.  Then Evan came in and we had a coffee and he went to bed.  Finally Mum and Dad came in we chatted and they went to bed.  Jamie and I were allowed to stay up to do the washing up and sometimes we did.

Our time together was precious and brief.  We kept on the go so as not to fret about the inevitable separations.  Down we waltzed to the Aunts and had coffee with Maddie and Paul.  Maddie’s friend from Art School was staying – the vamp as I called her.  She was the one who leant over all the men at Maddie’s pre- wedding party (hen nights were unheard of)  with a tray of goodies asking ‘Can I tempt you?’

Back home Gran had left lunch for us and then we took the bus over the moors towards Burnley.  Between Toll Bar and Townley Park there was a farm up on the hill which served delicious teas.  It was long way from the road but there was a white painted sign on the roof announcing ‘     TEAS’.  There was time for a walk first and the tea lived up to its reputation.

Walking back we came upon the Townley Arms and spent an hour or two playing cricket and drinking cider.  There was no sign of a bus so we started the long walk home.  When we came to the wide corner where there is s sort of balcony overlooking the wildest, dourest part of the moors – no Lakeland beauty here – Jamie put his hands on my shoulders and asked me to marry him and I said ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’

It was a surprise – he was starting his final year, had quite a few debts, his parents were not rich and had three sons to educate so he had no visible means of support until he started earning.  I still had eighteen months to do but was earning - if only a pittance.  Jamie said we should keep it a secret for the time being.  I wanted to shout it from the house tops but agreed to be discreet.

We started the long trek home – sometimes running with me falling over and Jamie picking me up – and finally made it.  Everybody was there – including Beryl who wondered if all the hairy ties the men were wearing denoted some sort of club.  (They were the ones I had brought as gifts from the Lakes.  Mum stared at me – she could tell I was very excited but I gave nothing away by mouth.  When everyone had gone and we were metaphorically doing the washing up – Jamie kissed me and I fainted.

When I came to Jamie was worried and wanted to get Mum but there was a simple explanation.  My face was quite a bit smaller than Jamie’s and he had managed to totally block my airways.  So I wasn’t behaving like a Victorian miss and it wasn’t the kiss of death.  We said goodbye in Manchester the next day.  It had been a wonderful couple of days.  The future looked bright but it was a mirage.


Life of a Banana said...

Was it a french kiss? Or he just had bad breath?

Did you require smelling salt?

Peter said...

My God! I remember listening endlessly to my cousin's copy of Sparky and the Magic Piano when I was about 11 (I'm 60+ now).
Is it still a real record or is it on CD now? I would have thought that it would have been of no interest to anyone these days.
The old 'uns are the good 'uns

PI said...

LoaB: what's a French kiss? And no and I came round naturally as soon as my airways were clear.

Hi Peter and welcome. I'm glad you remember Sparkey. You can get LP's from here
You must be rhe same age as my little boy who I nursed. I sent my love to him via his mother asking her to pass it on to 'my little boy' and she reminded me that the 'little boy'was now a pensioner.

amy said...

that's a very sneaky way to trick young love-birds into doing the washing up!
and here i was naively believing that chaperoning powers were much like fairy-tale-witchery -- not to be exploited for personal gain, lest one's head explode or something. but clearly this was not so!

and it's all going so well!
how can it possibly go awry???

i know, i know... it's coming.
but the suspense!

Life of a Banana said...

you know,,,,tongues doing acrobat?

AndrewM said...

Blimey! Nothing like that ever happens to me when I do the washing up.

Keep it up.

PI said...

LoaB: Eeeugooh!

PI said...

andrewm: you just have to keep on trying dear!

PI said...

amy: who did the exploiting 0 I rather think it was us. All too soon it goes awry. Posess yourself with patience:)

Aunty Marianne said...

Sometimes stories like this cheer me up, because it makes me think that this could be possible for me.

And then at other times, when the old love life's been a bit rocky, when stories like this make me sad, because I'm not getting any younger and the last man who asked me to marry him dumped me when he heard I was ill, and I wonder if anyone decent will ever come along.

No wonder Cher sells so many records. I'll just go and pop one on now.


Acrobatic tongues? Nice!

Cher with croup has, for some unfathomable reason, left me in hysterics. I just keep picturing her in one of her nearly not dressed outfits coughing her way through the Shoop Shoop Song. I have a very odd mind....

PI said...

hi aunty: careful there is a banana above you. I should warn you I'm coming to a sad bit and MTL said 'They don't want to hear about that.' but it is part of the story which ultimately proves that it is never too late to find happiness. And there is no perfect man but if love is there it works.

4d: it made me laugh too.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Aunty, you had a lucky escape there. Imagine you had married him and then got ill. A pox upon him and all his kind. There's a gorgeous fella out there just waiting to meet a gel like you. And his dad waiting to meet a gel like me!

I've got my box of kleenex ready for the next episode.

PI said...

daphne: well said that gel!

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I hate that this is going to go wrong somehow.

But I love that you passed out at his kiss. Technicalities aside, I intend to think of it as an Edwardian swoon.

Shyha said...

Life of a Banana: "you know,,,,tongues doing acrobat?", in Poland, french kiss means something very, very different to just "excessive, bilateral use of of a tongue in a tongue-to-tongue situation" :]

PI said...

Hi Sam; I think in the past it was caused by lacing themselves up too tightly. Thank goodness we don't have to. Let it all hang out. We wore 'waspies' in my modelling days which were bad enough - a sort of roll-on for the waist. Gave you bags under the eyes.

PI said...

mornin' Shyha and thank you for leaving that to our imagination. I thought of you yesterday whilst eating my Polish blueberriea

zoe said...

the thought of you fainting is oh so romantic and sweet - i'm not really looking forward to the next bit though, if you get my gist.

PI said...

zoe: neither am I but I've put it off long enough. Better out than in!

Dr Maroon said...

Sparkey's magic piano, the girl leaning over asking if she might tept us and you fainting, but that's what I keep thinking about. He gives you a kiss at the metaphorical kitchen sink and you pass out. He must have got a Hell of a fright.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Oho, so that's why the women fainted in the romantic stories, the men's faces are too big :-)

I just know a sad part is coming, but we will weather it, because we know you are now happy.

Aunty, if you're reading this...if I can find true love anybody can, honest, and look where I live. In the boondocks!

PI said...

Hi Doc - all is forgiven. for a while I wondered if I was going into a decline - like Camille but eventually worked it out.

GG:I wonder if the historians realise this? I like the idea that ...together - we'll weather - the storm.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

"Better out than in."

That's the second time I've read that today. It must be true! At last, a guiding principle in this crazy world! I think I'll form an association or club!

Have I been in California too long, Pat? Be honest!

PI said...

sam: I wouldn't change anything about you. I value you as a blogging colleague and love your writing. I also think having a foot in both camps is very helpful to a writer and I lap up any info you impart.