Going Up

GOING UP

 

“I’m not sodding going!” Percy Jeffries spat, getting the pound out of his dressing gown pocket with a shaky hand before Nurse Carole Whenlock shook the ever-ready swear box at him.

 

“Don’t be like that Percy,” Carole pleaded, “look upon it that your family went to a lot of effort and expense to do this little thing for your one hundredth birthday.”

 

“After doing sod-all for months, not even visiting me when I was poorly last September,” Percy muttered, putting another coin in the waiting slot.

 

“Ker-ching!” grinned Assistant Nurse Prisha Patel, “Way to go, man, that’s me Gadgie!” And smiled all the wider as Percy always lost his otherwise normal early morning frown and smiled whenever he heard her speak in broad Geordie, and, well, she liked makin Mr Jeffries smile. She had only worked here six months but he was already her favourite patient, sorry guest, and she happily took his twenty pound note to the bank for another bag of pound coins on a fairly regular basis.

 

“You’re not helping Prish,” Carole lightly scolded her assistant, “Come on Perse, let’s get you washed up, changed onto your outdoor togs and off to Reception, they’ll be read for the off in twenty minutes.” It was actually scheduled for nearer 40 minutes but she knew that getting Percy actually going and ready was going to mean obstructions all the way and, although Prish was such a wee yound thing, she was surprisingly strong and agile, and it was well known that Percy in particular of all the patients of Fern Grange Care Home was putty in Prisha’s hands.

 

‘Oh to be 18 again,’ thought Carole, ‘living with yer Mam, no money worries, no coping with the slipping mortgage payments on minimum wage with yer husband laid off after furlough and three young and hungry mouths to feed with the help of the local Church-run food bank’.

 

“Remember the lockdown, Percy?” Carole reminded Percy, although she knew from the two years he had been resident here that the 99-year-old was as sharp as a tack, “You’ve only been allowed to have visitors come here for the last month and, because of staff shortages and maintaining social distances and compulsory testing all the visitors, you can only have one visitor a week and that’s for only 40 minutes max. They’...

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Tony Spencer
Aug 8 2021

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