Downshire Diary – (59) Heatherlands – Doctor in Clover (Part 01)
Downshire is a relatively small English county but like a pocket battleship it packs a lot in, a short but beautiful coastline, a channel port, the Ancient forests of Dancingdean and Pepperstock, the craggy ridges and manmade lakes of the Pepperstock Hills National Park, the rolling hills of the Downshire Downs, the beautiful Finchbottom Vale and farm land as far as the eye can see from the Trotwood’s and the Grace’s in the south to the home of the Downshire Light infantry, Nettlefield, and their affluent neighbour’s, Roespring and Tipton in the north but our story begins slightly further south equidistant between Nettlefield and the Oxley’s, in the beautiful village of Heathervale.
When Chris Palmer moved to Nettlefield from Purplemere following a very acrimonious divorce he had sworn off women for good.
But he was a relatively good looking man who was fast approaching his 40th birthday, with a good physique and short sandy hair, greying at the temples and was possessed of piercing blue eyes, so he didn’t go unnoticed.
His reason for moving to Nettlefield in particular, over all the other places he might have chosen either in Downshire or beyond, was the Heatherlands District Health Centre.
It was a large practise that serviced a large area, covering Nettlefield itself, Oxley Green, Heathervale, Oxley Ridge and Tipton and Chris had been fortunate enough to land the job as practice manager and he also found himself a nice little flat in Nettlefield.
The senior partner, and Chris’s boss, at the Health Centre was Dr Clarisse Lowe, a tall statuesque woman who dressed in tweed, with Chestnut hair, a voluptuous figure, lovely long legs and a generous frontage, who was in her mid-forties and was just the kind of woman Chris would have fallen for in his previous life.
Clarisse had been married to Edward Lowe, who had been an eminent surgeon in Downshire, he had also been twenty years older when he married her and he had two children from his first marriage, Josie being the oldest.
The marriage was a happy one but only lasted five years because Edward died suddenly on the Tipton Twelve Trees Golf course after suffering a heart attack.
She had been a widow for 10 years when Chris arrived in her life, her widowhood had left her lonely but also afraid of risking her heart on someone who might end that loneliness
But apart from the fact that she had vowed not to risk her broken heart again she also had instigated a policy at the practise forbidding fraternisation between members of staff, so even if she were so inclined toward Chris she wouldn’t be disposed to go against her own edict.
But the heart wants what the heart wants which was why two people who despite their reluctance to expose themselves to love again and who were very definitely not looking for a relationship, let alone love, found it anyway.
And as a by-product of the loving relationship she scrapped the “No Fraternizing policy” which meant that the surgical gloves were off in regard to workplace relationships.