Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The other Grandad with friends - possibly RAOB'S

The other grand- parents marked with a cross
Uncle Bill front row second from L. Dad backrow R next to trainer. Youngest brother peeping through window

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I have been tagged by Randall Sherman of Musings from the Hinterland hence:

Seven things to do before I die:

1. Visit the Himalayas.
2. Experience an African safari.
3. Have a shindig with my girl friends from each decade.
4. Do something to make my grandchildren proud.
5. Step outside my comfort zone and do something that really frightens me.
6. Read a few manuals.
7. Finish the Coleridge Way. (3.8 miles already done. Too late to finish the Pennine Way and the Dales Way.)

Seven things I cannot do:

1. Organise a blog roll.
2. Switch this blasted bold print off.
3. Dive.
4. Create intricate flower arrangements. Make that any flower arrangement.

5.Eat witchetty grubs.
6. Make a feather light sponge.
7. Go to bed with make-up on.

Seven things that attract me to my Other Half:

1.His strength.
2.His brain.
3.His generosity.
4.His familiarity - like a soft comfortable old pair of gloves.
5.His ablity to make it better.
6.The feel and smell of him.
7. The daft look he gives me when I catch him doing something awful like putting tea leaves down the outside loo.

Seven things I say:

1.Just do it.
2.Kissy kissy.
3.I'm sorry.
4.Bloody 'ell!
5.Have we had coffee?
6. Is the heating on?
7. Can you help? I'm stuck. (DT crossword)

Seven films I love:

1.Gone with the Wind.
2. The Wages of Fear.
3. Now Voyager.
4. The English patient.
5. Leon.
6. Death in Venice.
7. One flew over the Cuckoo's nest.

Seven books I love.

1. 'Tender is the Night' by Scott Fitzgerald.
2.'Paris is a Moveable Feast' by Ernest Heminway
3. 'Little Women' by Louisa M Alcott.
4. The Albatross of living verse.
5.'Portrait of a Marriage' by Nigel Nicholson
6.'Stalky and Co' by Rudyard Kipling.
7. 'Making an Exhibition of myself' by Peter Hall.

Seven people to tag:

1. Universal Soldier.
2. Growing Up.
3. Guyuana Gyal.
4. Granny P.
5. fjl at Streams of conciousness.
4. Caroline at Caros lines

5. Kenju at justaskjudy
6. Kath at In Training
7. Cathy at Here I go again

I do apologise if you have all been tagged up to the eyeballs but my circle of blog friends is quite small.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Bridesmaids P for 3rd time

Maddie's wedding

GI Bride Aunty Janet

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Story contd.

Matron had given me permission, before she left, to take my holiday to coincide with the wedding. It wasn’t possible for Annie to get the same time off and most of my old school friends were working, but Sarah – an old family friend whose mother was at Grammar school with mine – was free and keen to join me for a walking holiday after the wedding.

You had to get used to change at the Convalescent Home; the children came for three weeks and then were replaced by another batch, this would be our second Matron, we were on our third Staff Nurse and our fourth Assistant Nurse. The new Matron was Scottish and would say ‘Nairse’ for ‘Nurse’

‘Nairse Green get the children in the play-room just now.’
Nurse Green would rise and make for the door…
‘No Nairse not now – just now.’
Weird! But I suppose we’d get used to it.

I said goodbye to everyone and told Annie that once we had started at the Hospital we would be able to have time off together. All was hectic at home – a melange of dresses, flowers, cakes, taxis and sleeping arrangements. And everybody was nervous about the Visitors.

There was a great North /South Divide and Paul, his family, best man and two of Maddie’s fellow art students were all B….y Southerners. I suspect we all had a slight chip on our shoulders – it’s not as if we were very ‘broad’.

‘Eeeh lass sit thissen down – tha looks clemmed and thy’rt wichart. Utch up to’t fire and I’ll get thee a brew.’
We would only say that amongst ourselves. The Visitors would be treated to,
‘Do sit down. You look cold and your feet are wet. Come close to the fire and I will make you a cup of tea.’

But there wasn’t much we could do about the accent. A’s were flat and that was that! But as Mum said ’if we all just be ourselves and make them welcome it’ll be alright.’

The aunts had retired and sold the shoe shop. They now lived in a pleasant house up on the hill so there was room for some of the guests and the rest would stay at the hotel in the town where the reception was to be held. As usual our house was bulging and Dad had now got an incubator in Evan’s bedroom so we had the excitement every morning of shining a torch to see if there were any fluffy yellow chickens.

The Aunts gave a party the night before and we all met up and mingled. Sean was very handsome and very aware of it. In fact both he and Paul gave the impression that women had been swooning over them for the last two years, and they probably had. Paul’s father, who I already knew, was as usual a fund of interesting stories and he seemed to enjoy having an appreciative audience. His family, who had heard them all before, were less attentive.

Margaret’s girl friends were, to me, the height of sophistication. One of them grabbed a tray of goodies, leant over Sean, flashing her embonpoint, and intoned in a sexy voice,
‘Sean. Can I tempt you?’
Bloody ‘ell!

All the Southerners spoke beautifully and would have beat Wilfred Pickles for a job on the wireless any day of the week. ( Wilfred Pickles was a famous Yorkshire man and for those of you who are not familiar with Lancashire and Yorkshire History I would point out that it isn’t wise to confuse the two and, of course, we won ‘The War of the Roses’ )

On the day the sun shone and it was warm – a rarity in the valley. Maddie looked lovely and Dad was very smart in black jacket and striped trousers – his ’boiled ham suit’ he called it – only used for weddings and funerals. Evan looked very grown up in long trousers and was a brilliant usher. We all trooped up the left aisle, past our pew under the stained glass window of the Good Samaritan and the congregation peeked round to look at us. Paul and Sean looked stunning in their uniforms – thank goodness it wasn’t that scratchy khaki that our uncles and cousins had worn.

It was funny to hear Maddie repeating her vows in a shy, hesitant way whilst her left hand was nervously plucking at her dress. The organist behaved himself. He was old, very deaf and eccentric and liable to let forth a mighty chord if he felt it had all gone on too long. Back we all trooped down the other aisle past the Aunt’s pew and it was all over bar the bells and confetti.

The reception was jolly and Maddie had ‘the distinction of cutting the wedding cake with the sword of her officer bridegroom’ according to the local rag. I thought the Aunts should have been more to the fore but they were content to stay in the background and see the girl they had reared married.

Before the happy couple left for Scotland, Maddie told me they were going to Oxbridge after the honey moon where Paul would take a special degree for ex-service men and she would get a teaching job. She said I must go down for my next holiday and we could meet up again with Liam and MTL.

That night Sean said he wanted to write a play about me but someone ha already done it. ‘The Constant Nymph’. I remember seeing the film with Joan Fontaine. As Shirley Valentine said ‘Aren’t men a load of s..t?’

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mum with Grandad

Grandad third R with brothers

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Prize winners 1947 Pat left 2nd row

Story contd

I knew as soon as I saw Annie we were going to be friends. We came from very different backgrounds. Her father was a mill owner and had a farm in Scotland. There was no side to her . She was big and buxom and her natural expression was a chuckley grin. It was hilarious when she put on her posh accent and reminded us she had been educated at a school for 'the daughters of gentlemen'. We were to share a room and thence started one of the happiest periods I remember.
It was a hot summer and after our evening meal we hauled our mattresses out on to the fire escape and read aloud from 'The Albatross of Living Verse' which Maddie had given me for my birthday. Falling asleep in the moonlight to the rise and fall of the tide with a chocolate in our mouths was an early taste of bliss. Underneath Annie's jolly exterior she was insecure. At her coming of age her father had given her an XK 120 Jaguar and an ocelot coat. She convinced herself that any boyfriends were only interested in her money and in driving her car.
I went home with her one day and met her parents. Her father was like Annie - no side and down to earth. He said he was very glad Annie and I were friends and would be training together at the main hospital. Her mother was friendly but quite grand and her older sister was both posh and glamorous. When Annie came home to visit she fitted in at once and everybody liked her. Gran was on one of her visits to the States so it was less crowded than usual.
Mum and Maddie and the aunts were busy arranging the wedding and I thought Maddie was crazy for leaving art school before graduating now that Paul was home. It must have been strange being engaged when they had only met for a week, previously, with me - like the poor - always with them. His time in India and Japan had changed him from a young soldier to a mature man of the world. His family lived in London but his father worked a few miles from the Convalescent Home and invited me out for the day. He was short, bald and looked like an Oriental sage. He seemed to know everything and I hung on his every utterance - fascinated - and decided I liked older men even though he made me feel a little gauche Well I was a little gauche.
We were all sad when Matron told us she was about to retire. She called me into her office and said, 'Nurse Buxton I am sending you to the main Hospital next month.'
'But Matron I thought I was to start in October.' I didn't want to leave before my time when life was such fun.
'You will cerainly start your training in October Nurse, but I want you to attend the Prize giving ceremony. After a rocky start you have steadily improved and I am proposing you for the annual prize of 'Best Practical Nurse.'
As soon as I came off duty I rushed to the Post Office to phone Mum at work. I don't know what demon got in me whilst I was waiting for them to find her but I said,
'I've been thrown out Mum.'
A word of advice - if you ever decide to play a prank on someone don't do it on the phone. It was ages before I could convince Mum all was well. What an idiot I was!
One of Paul's army friends was going to be best man and an old school boyfriend of Maddies - also in the army, would be an usher. Her best friend and I were bridesmaids and we managed to agree on a midnight blue crepe dress with a keyhole neckline as one of us wanted a high neck - probably prissy me - and one a low one. It was the days of 'powder blue with burgundy accessories.' Ladies didn't venture out without hat and gloves and handbag - ideally of the same hue. Maddie seemed to lose a lot of weight during the preparations but she seemed happy and excited. Only two more years and I would be 19. Would I follow in Mum and Maddie's footsteps?



Maddie with aunts

Mum, Dad, Evan and Pat at Blackpool

Friday, February 17, 2006

Mum as a little girl

Thursday, February 16, 2006

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Story contd

Matron heard that Winston Churchill was going to be driving from A to B on the coast which meant he would have to drive past us. We all lined up, staff and children, on the pavement and cheered when we saw his black limousine. The sight of the children and our uniforms had the desired effect and the car slowed down whilst Winnie beamed at us and gave his special V-sign. He looked like an ancient baby with a seraphic grin and pale pink skin.

I felt sorry for him. He was very harsh towards the workers during the General Strike but he had been at the helm during ‘England’s Finest Hour’ in WW2. That was a time when people were kind and caring to complete strangers. We were united with our allies, the Yanks and the Ruskies fighting for good against evil. Then at the end of the war the men returning from the Forces and the working classes wanted social justice for all and got rid of Churchill the Tory.

Not only the children thrived on the clean, fresh air and nutritious food. Mrs Mack was a good plain cook and we hungry teen-agers devoured everything she put in front of us. (I still find myself sniffing if the grand-children leave food on their plates - but restrain myself.) Our big treat on pay-day was to take the tram, after lunch, up the coast to Handey’s Café and have chicken and chips followed by sherry trifle then back in time for tea. What little pigs we were.

The best part of the job was the children- some only a few years younger than us. One boy – Joseph - a scruffy, shaven- headed lad, used to sing a mournful dirge.

Mother I love you,
I will work for you,
Don’t let those tears roll down your cheeks,
I’ll bring my wage home to you every week,
Mother I love you,
What more can a loving son do?
You’ve worked for me a long, long time,
And now I will wo-ork for you.

He got sadder and sadder until the last line when he would change from minor to major, and bellow the line triumphantly with a cheeky grin.

We all got a shock when we were roused in the middle of the night and told to get dressed, put our cloaks on and gather in the hall. White- faced Matron told us that little Tommy Roberts was missing. When the Night Nurse had gone to do the 2am round she had found his bed empty. All of the building had been searched and now we were to go out and scour the surrounding area. These were more innocent times but we were on the edge of the sea and we were worried sick. The Nuns in the Convent next door were enlisted to help us and we all fanned out and searched up and down the sand hills. It was very dark and our lanterns and torches weren’t much help. Then we heard the chilling tone of the Convent Bell and slowly returned to base.

Matron, incredibly, was smiling. Little Tommy had got up in the night to go to the bathroom, got lost on the way back and ended up in a clean empty bed in the girl’s ward, confusing all. We had been in such a panic that no-one thought to count the children but the relief was so great there were no post-mortems.

Sadly Lottie decided she wanted to get a job near her brother and wouldn’t be going to the main Hospital. As a result we were to have two new Nurses, one of whom became a friend for life.

Great excitement at home! Maddie’s fiancée was coming home, and Maddie was to be married in the summer. I’d be a bridesmaid for the third time. Three times a bridesmaid – never a bride. We’ll see.
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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Three midwifery nurses - Gran on right

Mum as a mill girl.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Story contd

All seemed to be well on my first night on duty. Gradually the staff drifted off to their bed-rooms, the children seemed settled and I marvelled at the deathly stillness replacing the sound of children enjoying themselves. The lights were dimmed and as I crossed the hall to climb the stairs I tried not to notice the shadows lurking everywhere.

In the boy’s ward I found that Tommy – a dear little lad with apple green eyes and a stammer (which always made me want to give him a big hug) had been sick. After comforting him I put him in one of the empty beds and started to change his own, whereupon he was sick in the empty bed. By the time I had changed both beds and settled Tommy down with a story and a hug I had a lot of bed-linen to sluice. Then it was time to change the babies and toddlers. Sundries were what we called the nappies or diapers of today. They were made of towelling, were not disposable and it was the job of the junior nurse to sluice them before they went to the laundry.

When all was finished I went down to the tiny Nurses sitting room to have the meal which had been left out for me. Somehow smoked haddock salad and tapioca pudding had lost its charm and then I remembered my other duty – the boiler – which should have been tended some time ago. Bracing myself I crept down into the bowels of the cellar. There was a stifling smell. The wretched monster was completely out. I tried raking it with one of the iron implements and was nearly choked with noxious fumes. Coughing and spluttering I escaped up the steps. I’d really done it now. The Home would have no heating and no hot water and Matron would surely kill me.

There in the hall was my Guardian Angel - Lottie.
‘You’ve let the boiler out haven’t you?’
‘Oh Lottie what shall I do?’
She told me to find as much newspaper as I could and bring it down to her in the cellar. When I joined her, laden with all the news print I could find, Lottie, her face covered with a surgical mask was raking enormous pieces of coral-like clinker. Then she showed me how to make very tight parcels out of the paper leaving a little tab in one corner. She packed these parcels into the cavernous mouth and then plastered them with great dollops of floor polish. Just one match to the tabs and WHOOSH – we had lift- off.
Dear Lottie – Matron was right - she was ‘not one of us’ – she was one in a million
One of the reasons I didn’t mind night duty, was because it gave me a break from my room-mate, Nurse Mather whose personal hygiene was questionable, who told the most outrageous Porkies and was getting odder by the day. We all had access to each others rooms – including the maids - and none of us thought to lock anything away, so it was very upsetting for all when I discovered my new savings book had vanished from the drawer.

Matron started an investigation and the assistant in the Post Office identified Mather as the person who had cashed the stamps – all £3 - 10 shillings – my total savings and over half a month’s salary. The General Office at the Hospital had to be informed and they said that because both the assistant and Mather were under age, no action would be taken. All I wanted was my hard earned savings returned. Matron was very sympathetic and said she would move Mather out of my room but that meant somebody else would suffer so I said to leave thing as they were. By now Matron seemed to have forgotten my earlier laxity and treated me as a valued member of staff.

When my seventeenth birthday was approaching Mather told Lottie she couldn’t think what to give me and Lottie suggested she gave me back the £3 – 10 shillings. She never did but left quite soon after that. It seemed, or so she said, she was secretly engaged to a doctor and they were going to be married. Sighs of relief all round. A new Nurse would be arriving, she would be junior to me and with any luck she would be a kindred spirit. Hooray!

This is a test to see if I can publish pictures on my blog.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Story contd

Outside Matron’s office I tried to breathe deeply to calm myself but my heart was thudding and my breathing shallow. I rubbed my shoes in turn, against my black-stocking-ed calves and they gleamed against the parquet floor. My hair was well off my collar – apron, collar and cuffs a pristine white – like my face – no ladders in my stockings – I’d be fine - but I found myself gulping every time I remembered why I was standing there.

Lottie came through the hall ushering children into the dining room. She winked and gave me a sympathetic grin. I knocked on the heavy oak door. No answer. I knocked a little harder.
‘Come in Nurse.’
My hand shook as I reached for the handle and I had to grip really hard to turn it. Matron was at her desk in front of the window and the morning sun hit me like a spotlight, dazzling me so I couldn’t see Matron’s expression but her tone was severe.
‘Do you know why you are here Nurse Buxton?’
‘Yes Matron – I was late getting back on duty. I’m very sor…’
‘Not only were you late, you chose to do it whilst I was away. Have you any idea of the concern this caused Staff Nurse and indeed all the staff?’
‘I didn’t think Matron I…’
‘How long have you been here Nurse Buxton?’
‘This is my third week Matron. I started on August 12th.’
‘Yes Nurse and I took you on trust having been given a very good report from your school. I’m now wondering if we made a mistake.’
Oh God, I thought, she’s going to throw me out. How can I face everybody at home?
‘I want you to think very seriously about the consequence of your actions. Do you want to be accepted at the Hospital to embark on three years training or are you just filling in time until something better comes along?’
‘Matron I’m really serious about becoming a Sick Children’s Nurse and taking my R.S.C.N. I’m so sorry to have let you down. I promise…’
‘You see Nurse, not only have you let me down, you have let down the whole staff and the children. You have let your school down, your parents and finally yourself.’
My voice was choked with sobs.
‘I’m so sorry Matron.’ came out in a gasping whisper. I still couldn’t see Matron’s face but her voice was less severe was she said,
‘Now go to your room, wash your face and when you have calmed down go and join the Nurses in the dining room. Staff Nurse and I will be watching you very closely. The rest is up to you.’
‘Thank you Matron.’ I stumbled out of the door.

In my room I had a jolly good cry, washed my face and told myself I was going to concentrate on being the best bloody Nurse in the building. And no-one, not Maddie, not anyone was ever going to get me to do something I felt was wrong.

Things looked brighter after a few days and we were paid – my first salary. I liked the idea that we were paid monthly – a step up from the weekly wage Mum and Dad were paid I got £5 a month – not bad when you consider we had excellent bed and board and our laundry was free. My only expense was the bus fare home. I started a savings account where you bought stamps from the Post Office and stuck them in a book. But first I bought a cigarette lighter and had it engraved ‘To Pop from Pat’.
Whoever said it is more blessed to give than to receive certainly got that right

I had a letter form Liam, MTL’s brother. He knew Maddie was engaged but I think he was quite sweet on her and wrote to me as the next best thing. He told me MTL had won a place at his college and was reading Chemistry (poor devil) and was rowing with Liam – that’s in a boat – not fighting. I was to start night duty next week. This involved being up all night alone – potty-ing and changing the babies and toddlers every four hours, being on call in case of problems and keeping the boiler alight. Easy peasy!

Monday, February 06, 2006


Story contd

In 1946, although the war was over, we led a life of bleak austerity under the Labour Government. The Prime minister was Clement Attlee – dry as dust compared to the more flamboyant Churchill. Food and sweet rationing was to continue for another seven years and the Black market, with its spivs flourished.

Mum and I looked up at the rambling Gothic edifice which was to be my home for the next fourteen months. It was perched on sand hills with their strange tufted grasses, and the only neighbour was a huge convent manned by nuns in their gowns. The door was answered by a daffy looking maid, who greeted us with,
‘Hello, I’m Dotty.’ And showed us to Matron’s office whilst I struggled to stifle hysterical giggles.

Any levity disappeared face to face with Matron. She was elderly but spry with a scrubbed pink face and neat white hair under a lace cap tied with a bow under her chin. The expression on her face was stern but it softened when she spoke to my mother. I was to have one day off a week and if it was convenient I could have the night before off so I could spend a night at home. In all circumstances the well being of the children would come first. She went on to tell my mother that the other five probationers were a nice class of girl – apart from one; ‘She’s not like us.’ She told my mother.

Later I discovered she was talking about Lottie – a young Jewish girl who had escaped from Austria before the war. With her Lancashire accent – only her curious phraseology betrayed her foreign-ness. ‘We better don’t do that Pat.’ She was one of the kindest people I have ever met and I came to realise the evils of anti-Semitism.

The hierarchy was Matron, Staff Nurse (Staffy), Assistant Nurse and six probationers.
Two of us had started the same day but as I was the last to arrive I was the most junior. There were two maids and Mrs Mack the cook. A feminine household apart from Mr Morgan – the boiler man – who came in each day to tend the monster in the cellar. Matron showed us the room I would share with Mather – the other new girl, and then it was time for Mum to leave. I flung my arms round her and felt my eyes begin to prickle but Mum gave me a little shake and said, ‘Now just behave yourself Pat.’

No time to feel homesick – there were up to thirty children ranging from babes in arms to fourteen year olds. Mostly they came from the city slums and it was heart warming to see the difference three weeks TLC could make. They arrived pasty-faced, often flea-ridden and with lice – listless little creatures and left rosy-cheeked, clean, well fed and boisterous. God knows what they went back to but at least the bombing was over. At last I felt I was doing something.

Maddie was about to go back up to Oxbridge and decide to pay me a visit first. I looked forward to it and arranged to have a 2pm to 5pm off duty. Matron had gone on holiday soon after my arrival and there was relaxed, easy going atmosphere which I took to be the norm. At the last minute Maddie changed the plan so she could kill two birds with one stone. She had a friend a few miles up the coast and I was to take a tram there and we would all meet up for tea. The tram took forever and by the time we all met up in the café it was almost time for me to leave but Maddie was having none of it and I choked down tea and toasted tea-cakes for another ghastly fifteen minutes. By the time I got the tram I was a nervous wreck, Maddie’s laughter echoing in my ears. When the tram stopped outside the home all the staff were hanging out of the windows, staring accusingly at me. I should have been in uniform, on duty ten minutes ago.

After a brief telling off Staffy seemed to be fine about it but next day when Matron returned I was told to be in Matron’s office first thing in the morning and I didn’t sleep a wink all night. I realised that Maddie and I now lived in different worlds with different strictures and it was always going to be so.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Story contd

The boy’s visit had unsettled me and I started to plan the future. Deciding on nursing for a career, Gran and I did some research and discovered that there was a famous Sick Children’s Hospital in a nearby city, which had an excellent training school. One of her ‘babies ‘had trained there.

I planned to take School Certificate and leave school at sixteen. I wanted to get out and engage with the real world as soon as possible. The snag was you had to be at least seventeen and a half. Most students were eighteen and you couldn’t take State Finals until you were twenty –one.

After correspondence with the hospital Mum and I were invited for an interview. I was physically examined by a young doctor in front of Mum and Home Sister – he was as embarrassed as I was – and than we went in the lion’s den to meet Matron. After a barrage of questions she said provided I got School Cert. – and the school had told her this was virtually a certainty – I would be accepted and could choose to go to the Convalescent Home, belonging to the Hospital, as soon as I left school. It was situated at the sea-side forty miles from home. We were shown round the hospital and I revelled at the room I, eventually, would have all to myself.

Whoopee! Mum and I celebrated with coffee and Fuller’s Iced Walnut Cake in a café and then saw Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard in ‘Brief Encounter’ How we wept!

‘You see Mum after I’ve got my RSCN at twenty-one – that knocks a year off my SRN training and then I can do Midwifery.’ The Government had a Five Year Plan – why not me?
First things first – I didn’t share the school’s confidence in my academic ability and I quailed at the thought of being examined on four years study of eight subjects. Chemistry was all Greek to me. My parents never nagged me to work. Rather Mum would say.
‘Come on Pat- you’ve done enough!’ And I would groan inwardly – God if only she knew!
For the next few months my head was buried in a book – often ‘Gone with the Wind’ but also school tomes.

By now Evan had completed the hat-trick and joined me at school but of course he was a mere Lower Third-er. There was a bit of a Hoo –Ha when Dad received a letter from Paul Gray asking for Maddie’s hand in marriage. He was being repatriated from India and sent out to Japan. Maddie would only be eighteen but as Mum was the same age when she married Dad they couldn’t take the moral high ground and in any case if Maddie made up her mind to do something…I relished the thought of being a bridesmaid – for the third time.

Finally the exams were over and the aunts took Maddie and me to Dunoon where we sailed the lochs by day and danced our socks off by night Now I was about to embark on my own career - which Maddie knew nothing about- she treated me with more respect. The results were good – I even matriculated – and there was great relief all round. Dad bought me a second –hand tin trunk which he painted and Mum made me linen bags out of calico on which she embroidered my name and the Hospital initials in a scarlet chain stitch.
I would never live at home again.