Friday, September 29, 2006



I was feeling a bit pressured.  As a Pisces I find decisions difficult except on the rare occasions that I’m swept along by a tide of conviction.  The last year had dented my self confidence and I was no longer sure I wanted to do further training – assuming I got my RSCN.  I had been honest with William and told him I could never love anyone as I loved Jamie and he accepted that.

Of one thing I was certain – I wanted children of my own and instinct told me that William would be a great father.  I would probably never meet anyone like him again.  He was kind, he had the common touch;  equally at home talking to the lord of the manor or a dustman and people took to him.  He had a first class brain, was honest, trustworthy and honourable.  He appeared to be deeply in love and I knew he would take care of me – like that lovely song ‘Someone to watch over me.’ Would it be enough for both of us?  Could I trust his judgement?  After all I first met Jamie aged fifteen but was nineteen before I realised I loved him.  The same thing could happen with William.

On the other hand he had very strong convictions and didn’t hesitate to air them, regardless of other people, which sometimes caused upset.  I suspected he was stubborn.  In the first flush of love I could usually sweet-talk him round but what about after we were married?  I wished Maddie were around.  In the past I had resented her interference but now I needed her ‘take’ on the situation.

Then there was his stammer.  I was proud that he hardly stammered at all with me. With someone so full of ideas and with his mind racing ahead- I found it very moving when he struggled to get the words out.  But I didn’t want to marry him out of compassion.  I prayed for guidance and the next time we met I took one look at his face and said ‘Yes.’ And was swept along by his joy and enthusiasm.

William said we should phone his mother and he wanted me to speak to her.  I think she was very surprised.  She had had William late in life and in those days a late child was often looked on as companion for old age.  William had been educated at home until he was eleven and his mother adored him.  ‘I hope you know what you are taking on.’ she said but I took this to be her sense of humour.  Conversation was difficult as she was very deaf and usually kept her hearing aid switched off.
Sadly William’s father who had been an officer in WW1 was now virtually bed-ridden with heart problems so would be unable to attend the wedding. We planned to have it in late July – it was now January.

We arranged to go home on my next day off so that he could formally ask for my hand.  One night William came to meet me on his motor bike and he was wearing an old rubber mackintosh.  He had lost the belt and tied some old rope around the waist.  No way was he going to show up at home looking like that so we had some serious talk about his sartorial appearance. I determined to take as much trouble with his appearance on the big day as with my own.

On my day off we met in Manchester and instead of going to the bus station went to a stop on the edge of town.  It was not a very salubrious part of Manchester and my heart sank when the bus came and the conductor said it was full.
‘Oh please let us on.  I’m a nurse – it’s my day off and I’m going home.’  His face softened and he extended his arm to help me up.
‘And I hope your rabbits die!’ came William’s voice from behind.
‘Right!  Off!’ The conductor’s face hardened and he almost shoved me off the platform.
I turned to look at William – totally unaware of what he had done.


AndrewM said...

And I hope your rabbits die!

Brilliant. Must remember to use that down the pub.

PI said...

andrewm: careful - there could be consequences!

apprentice said...

Well he's a bit of a lad isn't he!

zed said...

i love these stories, i really do :)

PI said...

apprentice: yeah! You could say that.

zed: if you're happy - I'm happy:)

kenju said...

I don't understand. Why would he ever say anything like that? What did he mean?

Larraine said...

Sigh... I'm learning great patience! Does she marry him? Doesn't she? Does he turn out to be a complete sociopath? is he a good father? Tune in for the next episode!
Pat, for someone who I don't know from Adam (no offence to any Adams reading this), you have certainly got me dangling on a thread. All credit to your mastery of storytelling and suspense (especially the suspense bit).

PI said...

Judy: you may well ask; I've never heard it before or since and I can't think of an American equivalent. It was an angry retort when he thought the conductor wouldn't let us on the bus - akin to saying 'A pox on you and your house!' in olden times. The irony is that William - in his wroth missed the fact that the conductor was relenting. Another irony is that William's stammer never held him back when he was saying sometning which would have been better left unsaid. I expained this to William and he

PI said...

Larraine: yes! No! Yes! that's all I'm sying.
I hope the dangling isn't too uncomfortable. It's the nature of the blog I suppose, as opposed to that of a book. Maybe one day!

Dr Maroon said...

Are you going to the party?
Are you going to the Boston Tea Party?

Redcoats in the village
There's fighting in the streets
The Indians and the
mountain men, well
They are talking when they meet
The king has said he's gonna put a tax on tea
And that's the reason you all Americans drink coffee

Are you going to the party?
Are you going to the Boston Tea Party?

I'll have to come back and read this later, but do come and have kir with us. Bring all these fine people too why dontcha.

Dr Maroon said...

Pat this is totally awful. I have run down the page and find there is a whole week's worth of posts to cogitate. When I left, it was the whirlwind William and Vanessa, now I've had a quick scan and find you're talking about children and so on. I feel like Rip Van Winkle, that things have moved on without my say so or input.
I am also still sober enough just, (11:56 Sun) to know that I must not rush in but do this justice. Kim Ayres and I were talking about you recently and I feel I should talk further on the matter.
I love it when people gather momentum and suddenly we're all running to keep up.
Keeps us on our toes.
Wrap up warm and cosy for your storm. There's nothing better when you're on the right side of the double glazing. Oh and thank you SO much for putting us on to kirs.
I suppose you're proud of yourself.


Don't often say yes or no. Usually dunno. Save the rabbits! Is there a salubrious part of Manchester? I never found it anyroad.

PI said...

Doc Maroon: Thank you for having me. It was a lovely party and I'm sorry I had to leave before it finished.
Don't worry about the wean. Much water goes beneath the brig afore they're nigh.
I would get on the right side of the double glazing if we had any. Lots of glass and fresh air. No hermetically sealed boxes for us.
We have to thank the French connection for the kir!

PI said...

4d: don't worry I saved the rabbits. Don't think I would recognise Manchester now. Then: around the library was OK and St Anne's Square, but around Mosely St Bus Station would make your hair curl. Manchester really knew how to do Sleaze in those days.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

For sheer bafflement and whimsy "I hope your rabbits die" is cracking!

These days in Manchester a bus driver would be lucky to get something as imaginative and expletive-free as that.

PI said...

Sam: on the other hand William's observations used nowadays, could get him into serious trouble.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hahaha, now I know what *William Brown* would've been like when he grew up :-D

PI said...

GG: there was a certain likeness. I hope I'm not Violet Elizabeth!