When I was a young district nurse/midwife, I took a job in the country covering four villages. I lived in the largest village, in a house tied with the job. The house was on a small housing estate. There was no electricity in the whole of the village, and on entering the house there was a strong country smell of kerosene lamp and lavender polish. The house had a warm welcoming atmosphere and I loved it right away.
There were fields behind the house which were lovely, but a year of so after I had moved in, a few bungalows were built on it to house elderly people.
The residents eventually moved in, and by this time the village had electricity. I remember that there was one particularly lonely lady who would ring me up constantly for me to go round for some problem or other. Frequently, when I arrived home or on my weekly day off, the phone would ring and a voice would say, ‘I saw your light on nurse, can you come round.’
One day I visited her and she told me that it was a great comfort to see our landing light on at night (I used to leave the light on for my young children). Then she took me into her bedroom to show me what she had done.
‘Look nurse, I’ve turned my bed round so I can see your light when I am in bed’. At that time, I had no curtains on the landing windows. I went home and told my husband, who in those days was very sylph like as he pranced across the landing, that he had better buy some pyjamas!
Retired QN, Wales