Aunt Murdock gives us quite a shock

What a week and a half this has been!

Last Monday I was all set for what promised to be a very good week. Not least of the reasons for this was my impending lunch date with Hope Greenwood on Tuesday. After a busy morning in the office, I took it upon myself to take a short stroll up to Regent Street and treat myself to a haircut and new jacket. Now, those who know me well will probably be wondering why I would choose to do either unprompted. Indeed, I asked myself the very same thing on my way home. All I can say in my defence is that it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. One cannot always give a logical or reasonable explanation for one’s actions, no matter how out of character they may seem.

Everything was going well until the early hours of Tuesday morning when I received an unexpected telephone call from my Uncle George to say that Aunt Murdock had been taken ill during the night and taken into hospital. Poor George sounded so upset and not at a little incoherent so I decided to make my way to the hospital straight away.

By the time I arrived Uncle George had calmed down a little but was still very upset. According to the doctor, Aunt Murdock was rather poorly but not critical so there was no need worry undulyBut you have to admit, it is very easy for these people to say but not so easy to do. When someone one loves is so obviously unwell one can’t help but be worried and concerned. We have all been aware for some time that Aunt Murdock has been slowing down, but I think we had all thought it was simply down to her age. Old Mad Duck may be as tough as old boots, but even she is not invincible. It was quite a shock to see her lying there in the hospital bed with tubes all over the place.

The rest of that morning is something of a blur, what with George fussing and flapping about and me trying to keep him calm and under some kind of control. In the end, I suggested that he would be better off at home as the last thing my aunt needed was to see him cracking up. He refused at first but eventually acquiesced and headed home for a rest. I stayed until mid-afternoon, but which time Aunt Murdock had stabilised and a couple of the tubes had been removed. George returned around 3 o’clock so I made my way home. It had been a rather tiring day because I fell asleep in my chair before I was even halfway through my first glass of single malt.

It was not until much later in the evening as I was relating the story to Dorothy and Angela that I suddenly remembered my date with Hope. I made several attempts to contact her but couldn’t get through. O felt quite wretched – I had been so looking forward to our lunch and should not have forgotten it like I had. In the end, I had Arthur deliver a note from me explaining what had happened and asking her to please contact me so we can meet another day. So far I haven’t heard anything, which I find rather surprising but I suppose there is a kind of inevitability to it. She is a very busy lady who has no reason to keep in touch with the likes of me.

Aunt Murdock was much better by the time I saw her on Wednesday, but she didn’t go home until Friday afternoon, and that was only because she was making such a fuss that some of the nursing staff were refusing to go into her room, a sure sign that she was getting her strength back. Old Mad Duck has no time for what she calls malingerers and has never been very good with sickness. Even when Uncle George broke his leg in a skiing accident she wouldn’t let him rest for more than a couple of days before she sent him back to work. And when I went down with a severe case of gastric flue two years ago she came round to the house and forced me out of bed to attend a meeting with our accountant.

To tell the truth, I have not felt myself this past week. I have hardly been to the Club and have not felt in the mood for writing anything as I was quite worried about the old dear. But I visited Aunt Murdock earlier today and she was looking much better. It is such a relief to see her almost back to her old self again, although she has warned me that I am going to have to take on even more responsibility at the office. I am not sure how I am going to manage that. I already do three mornings a week and I can’t see how she can expect me to do much more.

But obviously, I will do everything I can to make her life a little easier, even if that means working another couple of mornings, at least in the short term. Tomorrow I am going to try to contact Hope again and see if I can’t arrange another date.

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