Sunday, October 10, 2010

Doctor plumbers

I am heading off to bed shortly.
Getting earlier and earlier, soon I'll be going to sleep with the birds.
Dad has had a trough of a day - as in we will have peaks and troughs, ups and downs, good days and bad.
It wasn't really so much of a trough as he tired easily, although we did have him in the old armchair on the back decking enjoying the Spring air and sunshine for almost 2 hours.
The big chooks came up to natter to him, the dog refused to leave his side and he loved it; opened his eyes and complimented me on the backyard looking so wonderful but it was really just Mother Nature both doing all the hard work and showing off her efforts.
Self-seeded purple cones of Echiums all over the place humming with bees as is the Blue Pacific tree, with a cerise purple of the Tree Hollyhock flowers and the white pear tree blossom making striking effects everywhere we looked.
But Dad enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine most of all, feet up on the footrest and lounging back against his pillows we found it a bit of a battle to get him to eat as readily as he did yesterday - although he did manage to eat a little more.
He needed to go to bed by 7pm, he was breathless again and just uncomfortable, tired and plain old worn out from so much excitement of sitting in the sunshine.
When he started his plumbing apprenticeship in the early 1940s his boss was addressed as "Doctor Armstrong" (as plumbers were once titled "Doctor") and the 'company work vehicle' was a big old dray cart pulled by a big old Clydesdale horse.
Dad said the horse's hoofs were the size of dinner plates and he'd ever-so-gently place his foot on Dad's and only partially rest his weight on Dad's foot if he knew it was close to or after knock-off time of 5pm as a gentle nudge to get home to the stable for his nose-bag.
His apprenticeship was interrupted by the war and then his going walkabout but his boss held the promised place for him to finish his training, even years later.
Cos he was Doctor Armstrong, Master of Plumbing; his word was his bond and his wife was his beard.
The past is another country.


  1. Lovely gentle memories and a lovely keepsake of a gentle day. You are going to treasure this blog. First time I've found the "follow" button here so have clicked it.

  2. I am so glad your Dad is back home again Jayne. It is wonderful to read your beautifully written stories about your father. He was tough indeed!
    Of course, the story of the clydesdale just gladdened my heart.

  3. I'm loving these stories of your dad.

  4. oh I love echiums, they're so lovely. I'm glad your Dad got to enjoy some of the lovely weather.