The English Patient

The English Patient

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Tuesday the doctor came

On Tuesday the Dr came.........................

Our hamlet was too small to have it's own Doctor. But there were many farmers and families who lived around Belton who needed to be seen. In those days we lived hand to mouth. Always searching for new ways to make money. My Nanny had the biggest house in the hamlet. So a scheme was cooked up where a phone was to be installed at Rose Villa. Technology arrived in Belton!!!!
Every Tuesday Doctor Deane came in his rolls Royce Silver Cloud. Mrs Deane always came with him. She sat in the front seat of the car and never came into the house. Her face was almost plastered with makeup Her mouth was like a bright red gash and sometimes she had red lipstick on her teeth.She had a white poodle on her knee.I used to take Mrs. Deane a cup of tea in a porcalain cup and saucer with a silver spoon. We gave her an apostle spoon I loved those spoons.She always took out a flask and added "a little drop of something extra" years later I found out Dr. Deane always took his wife along with him because she drank alcohol when she was left alone.Back in the day she was a dancer and was beautiful.It was also my job to put out chairs for the patients in the hallway. Nanny  made everyone mugs of steaming hot fragrant tea. The patients would not have thanked her for a delicate teacup and saucer with an eyeful of tea in it!!!!! This was where the gossip started. Nanny was first to know who was having a baby and who needed help in the house. She often made a big stew and dumplings and cycled off with it to a house where Mum was "off her feet". Feeding the family when dad was ill and out of work.
Dr Deane had 4 children. they all became Doctors. I girl and 3 boys. The youngest was the adopted illigitamate son of his cook/secretary/nurse. he looked just like the other boys....but we loved the family and lips remained sealed.His oldest Tony was a glamerous playboy who rode with the local Hounds. Women fell at his feet. He was called Young Dr. Deane. His middle son William took over his practice when Old Deane no longer practiced. Young Deane prematurely bald had the worst wig ever made and he always had it on back to front.It looked like a ferret on his head. The daughter set up a Posh Swiss Rest home.
Nanny fell for a change of life baby. But she only carried it for 5 months. I was 4-5 then. I remember when she was in pain I called Dr Deane. He told me to put a pillow under her head and a blanket over her. Then boil water in the copper and get out all the towels. By the time Old Doctor Deane arrived she lost the baby. I held her hand and talked to her as she went through her pain. She told me stories of her life in service.  When I was 16 she told me really wanted that baby to replace Rudy. But it was not to be. 
At the end of the day the house went back to normal. Nanny earned a good wage by letting out her house. She also gained good will. Farmers often bought her meat and vegetables and fruit and logs for the fires by way of thanks.It helped a lot in those difficult days. We were poor but there was so much love.

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