Friday, July 20, 2007

it shouldn't happen to a downshifter

‘Thank goodness you came doctor’, I said as I opened the door. Without further ado I led him to the patient. Tilly sat on the bed sobbing and her sister, who had been comforting her, looked up with an expression that suggested she feared we were too late. As we entered her room he conducted a quick intial examination and then climbed into waterproof waders and pulled a full length thick rubber glove onto his strong right arm and his big strong steady authoratative hand. ‘Is that really necessary for Harry here?' I asked the vet. ‘Sorry’ he said, ‘haven't had time to buy new kit, this is from my old job before I downshifted’. ‘Were you a farm vet before you moved to the North?’ I asked. He shook his head. ‘NHS obstetrician’ he explained. ‘It must be a bit of shock working on a Saturday’, I said, glancing out of the window, now slightly concerned at how closely he had parked his jeep to the front door. 'What! Saturday!?' he stammered with a fright. 'Oh, sorry' I said, 'still on french time, they're a bit ahead you know!'. 'Thank goodness for that!' he sighed, noticably flustered. He leant over to examine my hamster more closely. When he began to shake his head I knew the news wasn't good. 'If only you'd called me earlier,' he said, the look on his handsome features preparing me for the worst. 'I couldn't have' I said, 'You were playing golf and had your phone switched off'. 'Well,' he shrugged, 'I did move here for the quality of life you know, work life balance and all that...' I sighed. 'There's nothing you can do?' I pleaded. 'Perhaps you and the girls would like to leave me and Harry alone for a moment', he advised with forboding. 'Come on girls', I beckoned to Milly and Tilly, and led them tearfully out of the door. We waited in silence, except for the children's sobbing. A shot rang out. There were some aspects of country life I would never get used to, I thought, as I looked down at the floor to avoid my daughter's tearful stares and saw all the mud that the vet had walked in from the garden onto my new carpet. The door opened and the vet appeared, accompanied by that dreadfully familar hospital smell, that heady mix of antiseptic floor polish, stale aftershave and spent shotgun cartridges that had such resonances of so many dark moments in my past. It made me think about my mother; her house always smells like that too. 'Any chance of a whisky?' said the vet. A tear welled up in my eye. I hoped he wouldn't notice, I wasn't brought up to show my emotions in public, unless there was a good chance of them appearing on the Tragic Life Stories shelf in WH Smith of course. 'I think I have a small grit in my eye' I said. 'Here..' he smiled, reaching for his forceps, 'let me get that for you...'

18 comments:

The Secretary said...

Better than our 'vet' who will just put things under the back wheel of the car and reverse and then still charge you £200 for the pleasure!

Careful with the emotions there girl, people will start to think you have a heart and are soft.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Another manly encounter, Rilly. You are getting around! ;)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

He sounds lurvely, can we have more of him please?

Anonymous said...

Rilly, let me get this right - you have SHOT Harry Potter ? That is rather extreme, you bad bad girl !

rivergirlie said...

so what's this vet like, then? epithets, please - like the good novelist you are ....

@themill said...

Manly indeed. Has the husband met him?

Mr Farty said...

Aw, I was waiting for the cat scan and the lab report.

The thinker said...

Oh Rilly - how sad - and Harry looked so perky in his photo. Surprisd vet had to use a gun - bit messy - what size calibre bullet?

And to Mr Farty - i didn't realise we could put links into a comment box - am learning something new every day!

patsy said...

Rilly, as most vets graduating these days are women, are you sure this "vet" just hadn't applied enough Immac or had been sniffing one or two too many steroid cocktails?

Anonymous said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/main.jhtml;jsessionid=EPLI0VIT3K0SZQFIQMGCFF4AVCBQUIV0?xml=/travel/2007/07/22/et-daddy-122.xml

Advice for how to support Milly and Tilly while hubby is away...

mind the gap said...

Rilly, do think hard whether you wish to proceed in a dalliance with a man who drags mud over your new carpets.

rilly super said...

secretary, you're right, sob, but I couldn't help it, I did so love that carpet.

M&M, darling, I don't know what you're implying but they come to me dear.

PITK, bienvenue a la retour or whatever are the correct words on such occasions. I'm sure he will be back.

anonymous, we may have lost Harry but by the look of Hermione, who is still with us, he will soon live on in lots of little harrys...

rivergirlie, I think you are confusing fact with fiction my dear. Epithets are more suited to the world of literature than to gritty kitchen sink reality such as this blog is.

@mill, my husband always seems quite relaxed about handsome me visiting the house. I suppose we know each other so well, he and I.

My farty, sometimes I think you just don't take this blog seriously you know, sob

thinker, I think it was what is technically known amongst us country folks as a 12 bore dear. I am assured that is what they always used on 'all creatures great and small'

patsy, hmmm, hard to tell sometimes you know, but I'm sure my natural powers of intuition and empathy would have alerted me to anything that was amiss, as it were

anonymous, ah, fatherless holidays, sob sob. at least the poor children have me, thank goodness

mind the gap dear, you would be quite right, if any dalliance was likely (sigh), but then the carpet seems to be the only thing that gets the chance to be dirty around here...

Lizzie said...

Perhaps a second encounter with a Frenchman would do the trick Rilly? You could always send him a letter and invite him over for lunch.

EmmaK said...

I'm all choked up. Are you sure the hamster was dead before the vet blew his brains out? I had a hamster once that went hard and i threw it in the bin...later someone told me they go cold when they are hibernating. Although I suppose it could not be hibernating in July. Still, I hope that hamster did not die in vain.

rilly super said...

lizzie, thankyou dear, I will certainly consider this idea of sending him a lovely french letter

emma dear, I completely smpathise. If your hamster was still hard after you tried to warm him up in the microwave then I should think you don't need to worry unduly about putting him in the bin

Lord Straf-Bollinger said...

Rilly, this is top stuff but may I introduce you to the concept of the paragraph. They don't get in the way and will give you years of good service.

Anonymous said...

Rilly, would you and your readers be angels and leave some sarky comments on WITN as I've given up dropping in there as it is so hideously middle class and pretentious...

rilly super said...

lord straf-bollinger, your highness, I will certainly try and improve things on the paragraph front, but thankyou for visiting sir

anonymous, yes, must drop by and catch up with dear wifey, but I'm sure nobody who reads this blog even has if in them to be sarky dear...