Second Bite of the Cherry! With such a title for a talk
one might be forgiven for being a little confused: whatever
could it mean? Chris Sidgwick, friend and sometime colleague
of Ann Farr, came to tell us of her career as a midwife, first
in her youth and then as a mature and highly experienced advisor.
the north-east of England, this tomboy with a good singing voice
always wanted to be a nurse fascinated by the gory medical
books she read. Her father, however, had different ideas and
she found herself making tea in a solicitors office and
learning shorthand and typing three nights a week. It was a
wonderful accomplishment but it was short-lived for, by the
age of sixteen, she was able to become a nursing cadet and was
on the ladder which resulted in her success by the age of twenty-one.
business of nursing was unable to dampen her sense of fun and
we were treated to reports of a number of hilarious incidents,
particularly the discovery of a fire in a hospital bathroom.
The result was a visit from the fire brigade which was not allowed
to interrupt the doctors rounds of the wards. Doctor in
the House was no exaggeration!
the birth of children and the upheavals of moving house brought
Chris to Leamington in 1974, where she was at last able to train
as a midwife, with Ann as her tutor. By 2003 she had held a
number of senior posts and was about to retire gracefully when
she was persuaded that Scotland needed her to review the midwifery
services and produce a DVD as part of a project advising teenage
mothers. This second bite of the cherry proved intensely
satisfying and her work for the NHS Care Quality Commission
will be not only professional but laced with humour, as WI members
and, yes, those delicious cakes, we heard that, in a ballot,
Pauline Brace has been invited to a Royal Garden Party, so we
shall look forward to receiving her impressions. Also, Tom Shepherd
is to run a painting course for watercolours and acrylics on
Tuesday mornings in the village hall. More details to be published
as soon as they are finalised.