Ever indulged in a box of Weekend Chocolates?
For World Chocolate Day here’s an extract from The New Arrival when Nurses Hill, Maddox, Lynch and Wade are enjoying a rare evening of gossip, Monty Python and chocolate.
“‘Wade, you’re blocking the telly,’ Maddox shouted at Wade who was springing about as usual in the front the big black and white television.
‘I knew it, I knew it. I’ve put on so much weight since I started midwifery; all those boxes of chocs from grateful parents – here don’t give me anymore,’ she shouted, chucking a huge box of Weekend at me, the chocolates and candies scattering into my lap and onto the chintzy sofa in the nurses sitting room.
Lynch scooped up a big handful, ‘She’s not saying you’re fat, she’s saying you’re blocking our view of the telly.’ She popped a toffee in her mouth. ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus will be starting in a minute and we don’t want to miss it. If I wanted to see a musical hall act I’d have gone to the Palladium.’
‘More of your hippy anarchist rubbish I suppose. I want to watch Randall and Hopkirk on ITV. I don’t know what the BBC’s thinking giving these posh lefty lads a slot on the telly. They’re traitors to their own class.’
‘Where did you hear that load of old twaddle?’ chimed in Maddox, probably sticking her oar in because of Wade’s hippy bashing.
‘I read it in the Radio Times as it happens,’ said Wade primly and unconvincingly.
‘Oh, then it must be true,’ snorted Maddox.
‘Don’t you laugh at me, girl. I’m old enough to be your mother; my son’s your age. You students should speak to us professional nurses with a bit more respect.’
‘You may be as old as my mother, but you act like my thirteen-year-old sister at the best of times,’ crowed Lynch.
‘How dare you?!’ screamed Wade.
‘Now steady on you two,’ I interjected my eyes flitting from Wade to Lynch, neither looking like they were going to back down. ‘You’re quarrelling over nothing. Wade sit down, come on.’
‘I’ll not stay where I’m not wanted,’ spat Wade.
But Lynch couldn’t resist, saying calmly, ‘It’s never stopped you before.’ Wade stormed out of the room shouting, ‘You’re nothing but a bunch of silly little girls.’
‘What’s got into her?’ said Maddox as she got up to change the channel on the television set.
‘Who cares,’ said Lynch. ‘She’s nothing if not a drama queen. A woman her age should have a bit more self-respect.’
‘I like her,’ I said quietly.
‘Hill, you’re as soft as butter, you like everyone,’ Lynch chortled.
‘That’s not true.’
‘Oh, no. So how do you feel about Dr Freddy MacDonald then?’ Teased Lynch taking a long stylised drag on her Consulate cigarette and blowing the smoke out over my head.
‘Oh, yes. You went on a date with that Hooray Henry last night,’ said Maddox joining us on the sofa. I had Lynch on one side, Maddox on the other – there was no escape.
I shoved a chocolate in my mouth. ‘He took me to see Forty Years On,’ I told them, munching hard.
‘Did you see John Gielgud?’
‘No, it was somebody else. It was very good.’
‘And how was Freddy?’ said Lynch tucking her feet up underneath her on the sofa and leaning in for every detail.
‘Nice. Bit of a show off. Tried to make out how expensive the tickets were but I was worth it and all that tosh.’
‘But hospital staff get them for free!’ Lynch told me.
‘I know,’ I said.
‘What did he do when you told him he was a liar?’ asked Maddox.
‘I didn’t,’ I replied.
‘Why not?’ She said, disappointed I’d failed to unmask him.
‘Because I won’t get anywhere by showing him up. But, now I know.’
‘What do you know?’ said Maddox reaching into my lap and taking a handful of Wade’s chocolates.
‘That he’s not entirely on the level.’
‘Hill, where does that get you?’
‘It gets me rid of a pest, eventually. A pest who happens to be a favourite of Sister Skinflint and could make life difficult for me on Infants Ward before I’ve even begun my Practical Training. If I just wait, he’ll show himself up, his sort always do, and then he’ll be the one avoiding me, just you wait and see.’
‘Sounds like a funny strategy to me. Why don’t you just tell him to get lost?’
‘Just not my style,’ I told them. ‘Now, Monty Python’s starting so stop with the interrogation, would you?’”
The New Arrival Part 1 (Chapters 1-9) is FREE on ebook. See where you can get your hands of the rest of Sarah Beeson’s heartwarming memoir as an ebook or paperback on her website http://sarahbeeson.wordpress.com/latest-deals/
Thank you #WorldChocolateDay #BookadayUK for celebrating chocolate in books!