I think I’ve mentioned before that it is freezing inside our house. Our little bungalow was built in the late forties and originally came with a pair of radiators that would have made this place nice and toasty. Sadly, these relics were removed by our landlord when he bought the property, probably because he didn’t trust them not to burst into flames and destroy the entire house. Whatever the reason, though, our house is, as a former renter once complained, “inhabitably cold.” (I know “inhabitably” isn’t a word. I’m quoting second-hand information here.)
Anyway, so we’re freezing.
We’ve spent a crazy amount of time this winter break snuggled on the couch under a beige electric blanket my husband’s mother got us for Christmas, just as I’m sure Oliver Twist might have done in January, if he’d had a couch and an electric blanket. We’ve taken advantage of our forced hiberation and watched tons of TV shows and movies.
I’ve also tried to make my way through these:
I picked up Call The Midwife on a whim last week when I went to Costco with my parents for the first time in six years and my mom offered to buy me anything I wanted. (It was so like me to select an $8 nonfiction book about midwives when I could have gotten a gallon drum of coffee creamer or a jar of pickles the size of my head.) It wasn’t until I’d read the cover that I realized this book was the inspiration for a BBC television series, which I have since borrowed from my mother-in-law and watched from the cozy safety of my electric blanket.
The book is really great. It reads like a novel, which I suppose is the purpose of memoirs. I’ve almost finished it and am already looking forward to the second and third books (which don’t come out until the end of January and the middle of March, respectively). Call The Midwife recounts the adventures of Nurse Jennifer Lee, as she works as a midwife in the tenements of the East End of London in the late 1950s. If you like history and babies and listening to other people talk about their lives, you will enjoy this. (Ed. note: If you don’t like babies or listening to other people talk about their lives, you have stumbled across the wrong blog.)
In addition, the author, Jennifer Worth, writing fifty plus years after her experiences, recorded some of her younger self’s supremely judgmental opinions about some of the people she nursed in the slums and how they lived and as terrible as this sounds, I actually appreciated reading a memoir written by someone who didn’t try to sanitize her image. She was a middle-class woman who often shrank away in horror at the conditions of her patients and she tells her story from that perspective. As a reader, you even hate her a little sometimes and I think that was a brave and honest thing for her to do to herself in her own story.
That being said, I will only write glowing and wonderful things about myself on the internet. You know, for jobs.