Friday, 21 September 2007

Ladies that lunch (but in Spain)

Hello all. You may be wondering why I am off to Spain without the husband. Well 42 years ago on the 6th September 1965 I started my nurse training with 30 other 18 year olds. Picture this fairly shy,dumpy girl fresh out of Convent school leaving home to live in "THE NURSES HOME" with regulation black stockings and black lace up shoes in tow. If tights existed then they would have been too expensive for me to buy. The stockings had seams up the back and always had to be straight.

So I arrive to be met by the lady who ran the training school and my fellow colleagues. I was the ugly duckling. There was a tall very glamerous blonde Pauline, and a much travelled daughter of a British diplomat Val, who had travelled the world, and all seemed so much more glam and wordly wide that I did.

It was like being in boarding school with lots of studying and hard graft on the wards thrown in.You had to be in by 10pm and could have one late pass to 10.30pm one evening a week.I spent most of my time off, we worked a 44 hour week when I first started, either in the bath soaking my poor aching feet or asleep.!!! The first year was the hardest when I was always in trouble and hated it. I spent hours crying, but couldn't go home and say can't do this as my mother did not want me do do it and would have had no sympathy. With the help and support of all my friends I eventually settled down and became a state registered nurse in November 1968.

Nursing became a way of life and eventually a long career. This is me taken circa 1971 when I was first a sister on an intensive care unit.

Over the years I came to realise that it was a honour to be able to care for so many people at a time when they were vulnerable, in pain and frightened. I hope I did a good job. My friends have been with me , if not in person,then in spirit all this time. We are all 60 this year and so we are off to Spain to celebrate in style!!They too have all nursed over this period in time and 2 still are. Val married a Canadian and moved to Canada in 1972. I have seen her twice since then. But on Sunday along with Pauline, Pip, Carolyn, Hilary,Kay and Viv she and I will be raising a glass or two. We have to remember two members of our group who are no longer with us and all the others who are out of touch or cannot come.

So to all have a happy and healthy week and I will catch up when I return.

22 comments:

thehomelyyear said...

Hope you have a lovely time in Spain, Mary...you certainly deserve a good break with all that paper stripping!
Margaret and Noreen at THY

Jorja's Nanna said...

Hi Mary,
Have a great time in Spain. Give my best wishes to all who might remember me. I knew as soon as I saw the top of your sisters hat which photo that was. It only seems like yesterday that you were wearing that uniform.
Cheers for now,
Jenny

Sandi McBride said...

Good grief, Mary...no wonder we get on so sell...1965 I entered Hamlet School of Nursing at the age of 17, at my father's urging. I hated it, but stuck it out. I didn't want to be a nurse, and even after sitting boards, only worked a year...I wanted to be in law enforcement, it was what I wanted my whole life...I am so glad that you stuck it out and enjoyed your career after all...

Sandi McBride said...

Oh, yes and try not to drink to much Sangria!!!It'll you a head ache! Have FUN FUN FUN

jules said...

have a great time in spain mary, how lovely to be in touch with old friends. maybe the pixies will come in while you are away and finish the hard work for you.

jules xx

A Saucerful Of Secrets said...

Hi Mary, hope you have a fantastic time on Sunday with all your old student friends, I bet there's a few tales to be told!!Best Wishes from Annie x

Katy said...

I found you via kat in a flap's blog.
What a lovely tale!!! I hope Spain is fantastic and you have a wonderful time. I'll be back to read how it went x

Ragged Roses said...

I hope you have a wonderful time. You certainly deserve it!
Kim x

Kari said...

Oh my gosh! That's a wonderful story! I hope you have a great time getting back together with all your friends from "back in the day". Take tons of pictures! And, before I forget to say it, I admire you so much for the career you chose. What a thing to be able to declare that your life's work was to care for others! Lovely.

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

I really enjoyed reading this-hope you all have a fab time!! It's like a Maeve Binchy book!!

Abbie said...

This is so special. Have a great time.

Sandi McBride said...

Just checking to see if you're home yet, don't forget to post the pictures of your trip...

Papoosue said...

Have a wonderful time Mary!

Rubyred said...

What a wonderful profession you chose Mary,you have to admire nurses.Hope you had a fantastic time with your friends!

Mary said...

Mary,

I really enjoyed your story. You should be proud of your accomplishment during a time when nursing was strict! I have a friend in U.S. who had the same type of training in Baltimore, Maryland.

You deserve to raise a glass or two with those who helped you through...

Have a safe and happy trip!

Merisi said...

Dear Mary,
I am sure you will have the greatest time in Spain, catching up on all your friends and simply enjoying being with the girls again.

julia said...

Have a fantastic time, let us know how fantastis it was when you get back!

Julia x

freds world said...

Hi Mary, have a ball in Spain, I just hope your stocking seams are still stright when you get home! not too much sangria !!!

Sandi McBride said...

Okay, and you're coming home when? I'm dying to know what you thought of your book and if you read Rebecca? Which one did you prefer? And you're coming home when????

kari said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to wish you a safe trip. That's really a great story and awesome that you gals are all still in contact. Have a wonderful time.

sally's chateau said...

Hope you had a lovely time with your friends !

Sandi McBride said...

WHEEEE, so glad you are home! Talk to you soon!