Sunday, January 06, 2008
Podcast: "A day in the life of Ward 2" (1951)
This is my first podcast so I hope it runs.
It is a based around a parcel I received from my mother. As you know all parcels were opened and searched.
(Warning: it is slow to download )
To view other video clips related to "The Children of Craig-y-nos" go to the internet channel:
Here is a transcript for those who have difficulty downloading audio ( or don't have the patience!).
Mabel, the cleaner, says there is a parcel for me in the office.
“How can I let Sister Morgan know that I have found out,?” I ask Carver.
“Tell her you are expecting a parcel from your mother cause she promised you a new jumper and you are cold and you are waiting for it to arrive.”
I wasn't so sure. My clothes had been a subject of some dispute between Dr Huppert and my mother. A few months ago I had been told to write home and tell mother to bring me in some clothes because I was now going to be allowed up.
So a parcel arrived and for the first time in nearly two years I had proper clothes to wear.
I remember the excitement when Sister Morgan handed me the parcel , already opened, as that was the custom to search everything and the feeling of slight disappointment that mother had sent me grey clothes, a grey skirt, grey twinset and grey socks. I had hoped, indeed expected, a bit of colour.
It was not to be. However, I was delighted to have proper clothes again and put them on feeling very proud.
No doubt I looked a bit peculiar,like some kind of orphan in institutional clothing which in a way is what I was, not that it bothered me though I could see that I was dressed differently from the other girls.
However, it bothered Dr Huppert for on the next visiting my mother was ordered to go and see her.
A rare event. She wondered what had happened.
Later she came back and told me.
“She says I must get you some clothes suitable for a little girl to wear, not grey, you must have some clothes with colour in them.”
Shortly after that a red sweater arrived.
So now I am the proud owner of a red sweater.
After the fracas over my clothes I thought it unlikely Sister Morgan would believe mother had sent me another jumper.
One was enough.
Sometimes though she would send me sweets or even as a special treat a box of chocolates. This is what Mavis had reported seeing in Sister Morgan office.
Now we had long had our suspicions that Sister Morgan kept our parcels for days before handing them over.
She would say she had to search them for improper food though why this search should sometimes take a week was beyond us.
Once Vera the ward boss challenged her on this and demanded to know if a parcel her mother had sent her for her birthday had arrived.
It had and the result of this is that Sister Morgan held on to it for another day.
She suspected some cleaners could be bribed to tell the girls about the parcels. This was not the case with Mavis, who had told me without expecting anything in return.
So I decided that it would be better to keep quiet and wait with growing excitment for the parcel, knowing it was there in Sister Morgan’s office.
Two days later Sister Morgan handed me my parcel. It was indeed a box of chocolates, a magazine on budgies and a new vest.
Everything had been opened, including the
box of chocolates ( only three missing) and the letter from mother.