Talking with strangers in the city is always interesting.  A man I sat next to on a bus told me he had accompanied his very elderly neighbour, when she had been admitted to hospital the day before.  She’s 93 years old, compos mentis, he said  She hadn’t seen the inside of a hospital since she resigned as a senior nurse in the 1940’s. (Probably  had to leave her post upon marriage).  The modern, 2017, hospital environment was, no doubt, a bit of a shock to the lady.

Pointing out a young girl working in the ward wearing a light blue dress the elderly lady observed, with some disdain, that  the hospital management had left the housemaid to look after the ward!  The man explained the ‘housemaid’ was wearing a staff nurse’s uniform.

Staff Nurse 3

Late 1950’s Staff Nurse

Why is she not wearing her [starched] hat?” … And   “Why aren’t doctors wearing their white coats,” and so on.

More explanations were required.

On the other hand, the senior nurse, (equivalent of a ward sister) who arrived at the bedside in her dark blue dress and her I.D. badge pinned to it, no frilly starched hat though, was received without query.

Marian Chaikin 3rd wife

1960’s Nursing Sister


Yesterday I was in a city. For some of the time I was in a shopping mall and for a little time, I was in the main street. I couldn’t wait to get out of both.

I’ve been thinking about my desire to escape from the melée. I usually love being where there are throngs of people; people watching is something I enjoy. But yesterday, it was not for me.

Friday I cancelled my trip due to feeling grotty. All was re-arranged for Saturday (yesterday). I didn’t even have to do any of the driving. Thinking about this unusual state of being, I believe it was a combination of it being a Saturday before Christmas, still feeling under the weather, and the sight of uninviting hordes of bodies contained in the walkways of the mall, with some tributaries of bi-peds swaying into the various shops.

In the main street there was a regional market, where there were vegetables to be bought, crude craft work, the uninspiring chocolates that I bought mail order, (wish I’d seen this stall before I’d ordered). There were some interesting-looking cheeses on sale, there were breads, a stall with oyster burgers, the queue was enormous, a venison burgers stall with another huge queue. There were masses of people milling about gazing at what was offered for sale.

The square with the bratwursts original or spicy, geese to order for Xmas and more vegetables, had few people in it. This space had the best outdoor coffee stall.

A till in one shop where I found some suitable looped socks, scanned a higher price than was was on the packaging tag. There wasn’t much in it, but I like to decide where my extra pennies go. The VAT had not been adjusted down; the assistant said their shop was the only one in the high street that hadn’t taken down prices to allow for the reduction in VAT. I said thanks, but no thanks and found some interesting socks elsewhere.

A quick visit to the mish-mash of two trading estates that aren’t sure what identity they’ve got, that is, whether they are retail parks or industrial; then we called it a day.

For once, I was keen to depart the city.