Angels, Lovers and Songbirds – Chapter 27 – Angel in Residence
The next morning the door went at nine o’clock and a nurse, by the name of George Dallas was standing the other side of it when he opened it, and he had come to check on the patient.
He was a tall thin man, with pale skin and strawberry blonde hair, in his early thirties.
Jack was expecting him as there was a rota on the kitchen wall, of who was doing what and when.
So he had been up since 7 am, and he took a cup of tea in to Katie at seven thirty and she too had been awake for a while.
By the time the nurse arrived he’d already helped her to the bathroom for her morning pee and made her breakfast and she was sitting comfortably in his arm chair watching TV.
So he left them to it and went and made drinks, then George, the nurse, having checked Katie was ok and given Katie her medication, George left and he had been there for the best part of an hour.
Despite the early visit it was a much quieter day than the previous one so after skyping the boys at the club, Jack pottered about for the morning, he did a bit of laundry, emptied the bins, that kind of thing.
He told Katie to just shout if she wanted anything, but he had to tell her off at one point when he caught her on the way to the kitchen.
“Where are you going?” he said crossly “I told you to shout if you wanted anything”
“I didn’t want to bother you” she said
“It isn’t a bother” he reassured her “now take my arm”
She did as she was told and he walked her to the kitchen
“Oh you have a lovely outlook” she said looking out of the kitchen window.
The lounge was at the front of the house so she hadn’t seen out the back before.
She sat down at the kitchen table and he made them a drink.
They had been sitting there for about ten minutes when…
“Jack?” she said “I was wondering if...”
“If what?” he asked
“Say no if you think it’s a bit cheeky” she replied “but would it be alright if I have a bath”
“For goodness sake Katie you don’t need to ask my permission” he said “this is your home now”
“Are you sure?” she asked
“Of course” he reassured her “I’ll go and run the bath, while you finish your drink”
So he went upstairs to his bedroom which had an en suite and ran the bath and put out fresh towels before returning downstairs to the kitchen.
“It’s all ready for you madam” he said pompously and held out his hand, which she took.
He let her lead the way slowly up the stairs and he followed closely behind in case she slipped but half way up he stopped her and scooped her up in his arms and carried her the rest of the way.
She was able to undress herself ok but needed help to get in and out of the tub.
So Katie called him in to the bathroom and she was standing with her back to him wrapped in a bath sheet.
Jack held her loosely at the waist and let her step in, once both feet were safely in the water he un-wrapped the towel from her and held it out like a windbreak.
Katie was then able to lower herself gently into the water.
“Oh wow” she exclaimed “this is fab”
Jack smiled to himself and then lowered the towel as her modesty was by then covered by the bubbles.
“Is that to madam’s satisfaction” he said grandly
“Oh yes my good man” she replied in her best Lady Muck voice “this will do very nicely, you may go”
“I’ll leave you to it then ma’am” he said tugging his forelock “and don’t even think about trying to get out on your own”
“Ok” she replied meekly
But just as he was leaving the bathroom she exclaimed
“Reverend Watson!” he said with affront
“Sorry” she said with a giggle “I forgot my clothes”
“I’ll bring them up, anything in particular?” I said
“They’re in a pile at the end of the bed” she told him
“Ok” he replied “I’ll bring them up”
“And no ogling my undies” she added and he smiled as he thought “That’s the Katie Watson we all know and love”
“I can’t promise that” he called as he went down stairs and picked up her clothes which he put on the bottom stair and went back to the kitchen and put the kettle on.
He made another drink and he was just about to go up and check on Katie when the front door opened and Carole Anderson walked in with her medical bag.
“Hello” she called
“In the kitchen” he called back
When she walked in he noticed instantly she was dressed in her more familiar professional garb.
“Nice to see you properly dressed today doctor” he said
“Less of your lip” she retorted “Where’s the patient?”
“Why what have you done?” she asked suspiciously
“I haven’t done anything” he replied indignantly “she’s having a bath”
“Well that’s ok then” she said with a smile “I’ll go up and see her”
“She’s in the en suite in my room” he said “can you take Katie’s clothes up with you”
He continued with his chores while the Doc was upstairs with Katie, he had a plateful of broken biscuits that he had emptied from the cookie tin so he took them up the garden to put on the bird table.
He loved the garden it was such a tranquil place, from the house he could look out across the expanse of lawn to a stand of ancient woodland that separates the garden from the bridal way, there was no fence to separate garden and wood the two just merged.
He had just brushed the last of the crumbs off the plate and had turned to go back to the house when his attention was drawn to a sound in the trees at the end of the garden.
It sounded like a horse snorting and that meant only one thing, so he walked towards the trees and his suspicions were correct, walking among the trees was a familiar beast and its rider, Trojan and Lily Soames.
“What are you doing here?” he said
“I’m just exercising the old boy” she replied “Which you should be doing, but I know you’re busy”
“Do you want to come in for a coffee?” he asked “I’ve got the Vicar in residence and the Doctor’s here at the moment but you’re still welcome”
“No I’d better not” she replied “I’m a mess, but the next time I’m passing I will”
“Ok” he said but he couldn’t discuss it any longer as he was frozen, he had only intended being outside for a couple of minutes, Lily on the other hand was dressed for the weather.
“I’ve got to go in,” he said “but I’ll see you soon”
Jack went back to the house at a jog and back in the house he closed the door and shivered as he switched the kettle on and five minutes later Carole came down the stairs with Katie following her less gingerly that he might have expected, obviously the bath had had some benefit.
“How was it then?” he asked
“Very nice” Katie replied, “That bath is fab”
Carole had to return to her rounds so Katie and Jack had lunch together and then they watched “It happened one night” with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert before Katie settled down for a nap.
By the time she had woken from her nap Gemma had arrived, in uniform, to dispense the evening medication.
This was followed by an hour of visitors and one of the donated dinners from the freezer, a shepherd’s pie, for tea.
Then they watched TV together until she fell asleep.
Wednesday and Thursday followed in similar vein apart from the fact that Kayleigh was also there for long periods of the time.
While Katie had her afternoon nap Jack occupied his time tidying the garage.
It had always been a bit of a mess ever since he moved in, but since he made the decision to invite Katie to stay it had become very cluttered indeed.
He made a start amidst the chaos on Tuesday afternoon and had completed his labours on Thursday.
On Thursday evening Katie had expressed a desire for bolognaise for tea, with garlic bread.
They had bolognaise in the freezer and he had plenty of pasta but he knew he was out of garlic bread so after the first visitor arrived he popped out to Stephenson’s.
As he emerged from his front door he rushed headlong down the drive and almost bowled over a pedestrian and after apologies were exchanged he saw that his victim was George Dallas, George was one of Gemma Frost’s posse of drop in nurses, who she had co-opted onto Katie’s care rota from Plaxton.
“Hello Mr. Morehouse” George said “I was just coming to see the Katie”
“Call me Jack” he said “So it’s your turn again already?”
“Yes I will be doing a lot of the visits as I live in Turnoak so I can see her before or after my shifts”
“Well the door is on the latch so let yourself in, I’m just off to the shop”
So George went up to the cottage and Jack walked down the road to Stephenson’s.
Anita Compson was at the counter as he walked in talking, to her husband Len
“Hi Jack” they chorused and he walked towards them and they chatted for a few minutes before he went to the freezer cabinet and picked up a couple of garlic breads.
Outside the shop he started back up the road and was lost in his thoughts but he was snapped back to reality by the sound of a car horn and when he looked up it was Lily Soames, who pulled her car to the curb side just ahead of him.
“Where are you off to?” he asked
“I’m going to see Katie” she answered
George was just coming down the stairs as they were crossing the hall and the former collided with Lily and she ended up on her backside on the floor.
“Oh my goodness” he exclaimed “I’m so sorry”
“That’s ok, no harm done” she said as he pulled her to her feet
“Ah I see you’ve met George” Jack said having turned to look what had happened in his wake
“Indeed” she said
“George this is…” Jack began
“The girl with the horse” George said “I often see you around the village on a chestnut mare”
“Yes I’m Lily and the mare is Hazel”
“Do you ride?” Jack asked
“I do” he replied “but not very often”
“Oh?” she queried and Jack detected that Lily’s interest in the good nurse was beyond that of a horsewoman and a horseman
“George is a nurse up at Plaxton Park” Jack informed her “I imagine the shifts are unhelpful”
“Indeed, and the fact I don’t have my own horse anymore”
“Jack stables his horse at Pine Hill” Lily said
“You have your own horse?” he asked
“Yes it was my uncles” Jack replied
“And he needs to be ridden” Lily added and gave Jack a look which confirmed his suspicion
“I have an idea” he said “As I have a horse and don’t ride and you do but don’t have a mount you could ride Trojan”
“Really?” he said
“Absolutely, you’d be doing me a favour George, work out the details with Lily” Jack said and returned to the kitchen with the garlic bread and finished cooking dinner in time to rescue Katie from a particularly long-winded visitor.
Kayleigh arrived just in time to eat and they persuaded Lily to stay for dinner as well as she had after all intended to see Katie anyway, however much to Lily’s obvious displeasure George was unable to join them as he had to get up to the hospital.
After dinner Lily had to get back to the farm and Katie was suddenly overwhelmed by fatigue so Kayleigh settled her down while he washed up and then they indulged themselves with a glass of wine and a Romantic comedy.