(Probably right now actually - well okay, not *right now* right now, being Saturday afternoon and all - only we don’t get to see it ‘til Christmas.)
As much as I think Shelagh and Patrick are pragmatic people at heart, I imagine that they might spoil their children sometimes: Shelagh will probably express empathy for Timothy’s situation, and do everything she can to fill the mothering-role. Both Doctor and Mrs will most likely dote on a baby of their own (like parents usually do).
I haven’t decided on a mental floor-plan for their house yet, but children, like some animals, tend to mark out their territories - consciously or not - soon enough. In the days before stair-gates and those little round things you put on the edges of tables, I envisage a big cupboard/bookcase full of toys and knickknacks standing in the corner of a room, with a rag-rug in front to save either anything that falls down, or growing feet and chubby knees from the cold floor. The top two pictures pretty much only show hand-me-downs and second-hand/flea-market treasures, which could very well be from the 50s. I know little about dating furniture, but I do like the curve on the cupboard.
A newborn needs a little teddy-bear, but it is the blanket that is of most interest here. A lady made lots of white crochet-squares a long, long time ago, but put them aside because she could not think of what to do with them. Eventually they were left to their own devices in a storage room, until they were unearthed not so long ago by the lady’s daughter. The daughter stitched the crochet-squares together, and presented the blanket to her daughter, who has given birth just this month to, yes, a daughter. I’ll have to wrangle this a little for it to fit my CtM headcanon, but I’m a bit weak for a happy heirloom story, so there you go. Perhaps Shelagh travels back to Aberdeen and finds the squares in her old manor? Or will they be the work of her former sisters at Nonnatus?
Finally - the prints! I wish people were as brave today with the crazy prints as they were back then. The orange may feel a little 70s, but this is for a children’s chamber, so I shall claim that poetic licence, and say that it’s legit.
Dr and Nurse Turner wake up in their not-all-too-crazily-patterned-wallpapered home on a Sunday morning to “I’m going next door to the Phillips’ to look at their new dachshund!” shouted up the stairs, followed by running footsteps tripping over a football in their teenage gangliness, and the front door clicking shut.
On such a rare day when neither is on call until the afternoon, Shelagh ventures downstairs to fetch a breakfast tray, while Patrick tunes the wireless in their bedroom, searching for a programme that will finish before Sunday lunch (for one simply did not listen to the radio over Sunday lunch, children).
Shelagh arrives back to the sound of Family Favourites. “Still thinking about staying on the home front during the war then? You were carrying out your duties though… we all were.”
"You more than anyone darling."
This earns Patrick a stern look and a raised eyebrow.
There were three main BBC Radio stations broadcasting in Britain in the 1950s. The most widely listened-to service, the "Light Programme", brought us popular music as well as mainstream light entertainment in the form of variety shows, comedy, and drama. The "Home Service", whilst it also had its share of general entertainment programmes, was the main channel for news, features, and drama of a more demanding kind – and was the home too of regional programming. The "Third Programme" meanwhile was unashamedly highbrow in character: broadcasting in the evenings only, its output consisted of classical music concerts and recitals, talks on matters scientific, philosphical, and cultural, together with poetry readings and classic or experimental plays. In 1957 its weekly hours were cut by 40%.
Also, The General Overseas Service (previously The Empire Service, now the BBC World Service) was an international service which was beamed around the World from London with its news prelude Lilliburlero, famous since 1943. Every news bulletin was preceded by this strict sequence: at 59.32 the announcer would say “This is London”. At 59.35 Lilliburlero was played, followed at 59.55 by the Greenwich Time Signal. The continuity announcer would then give the time - e.g. “Thirteen hours Greenwich Mean Time” and the news studio would be cued and the newsreader would say “BBC World Service. The news, read by….”.
Today’s post brought to you by my own love for radio. Wish the World Service had remained the Empire Service though, hehe.
Gentle reminder of the loveliness of this scene. (And of two very excellent profiles.)
Summer holiday with the Turners. (I don’t think I’ll be having a summer break this year, so a girl can daydream.)
Let’s say… Timothy and Shelagh are in the garden, investigating butterflies.
Let’s say… Timothy, clever lad that he is, remarks that the last time they looked at butterflies, neither the butterfly nor Shelagh were well, and casually adds, by way of conversation, how glad he is that she recovered.
Let say… Shelagh then can’t do anything but spend a good minute smiling fondly at the boy.
Then, the whole gang formerly of Nonnatus house, and various consorts, make their presence known through a chorus of bicycle bells and scooter horns. There are somehow enough paper straws to go around, but a couple of marmalade jars are employed where glasses are lacking.
Shelagh brings out some snacks, and Patrick fetches a new toy he came across at a fair, a Diana camera. It is really just a toy, all plastic, but it does work, he says. My colleague in radiology looked at a negative, and said that it leaked light, but the overall effect is like a dream. (We would discuss it as lomography.)
And now, I think we have impinged on their festivities enough, so let’s let the gang get on with it…
Wonderful photographs by Anna Larsson.
*raises hand* Mind if we return to the topic of Dr and Mrs Turner go to Torquay for their honeymoon? I know there’s a distinct lack of palm-trees on these pictures, the observation of which I recall as a wish of Sister Bernadette’s, but let’s pretend they - the trees - are hiding around the corner.
Yes, the styling, hair at least, is veering a little towards the 1940s, but it’s so beautiful that I cannot be arsed to care about a slight historical inaccuracy for speculation/inspiration purposes. The (sometimes not-applicable) muted colours, the high-waists, the textures, and the accessories. Ugh.
Outrageously blissful photographs by Martina Ankarfyr.