Call the Midwife s08e09 Episode Script

Christmas Special 2019

1 BABIES CRY MATURE JENNY: Some Christmases will always be more memorable than others.
More joyful, serene, with blessings, with love.
"That," we will say, "was the best Christmas ever.
" BABY CRIES We unbox our traditions, year by year.
Each celebration must compete with all of those that went before.
We set high standards Ho, ho, ho! THEY LAUGH .
write long lists.
We cannot be ill, we cannot afford to falter.
SHE SIGHS Christmas becomes a challenge we must rise to.
It is our duty to burnish it and to make it shine.
We must do well.
We must BE well.
SHE COUGHS We must do the best we can.
Father Christmas!Come on.
In we go.
CHILDREN LAUGH Merry Christmas.
Wave to Mummy.
HE LAUGHS Here you go, Merry Christmas! Come along, then, children.
Oh, hello, you! HE CHUCKLES Now, let me see if I've got this right.
Er, you're Teddy, you're May and you're Angela.
Oh, silly Santa.
You're Angela and you're May.
THEY GIGGLE And what do you want for Christmas? Hmm? SHE WHISPERS You want Mummy and Daddy to get out of bed and put some clothes on? PHONE RINGS Good afternoon.
Dr Turner's surgery.
Miss Higgins.
I wondered how everything was.
I am only prepared to say Dr Mukherjee is provingreceptive to direction.
COUGHING IN BACKGROUND Can I ask a favour? Shelagh needs help with some antlers.
Call me a stickler for the Scriptures, I don't recall any reindeer in Bethlehem.
You can't be certain.
St Eustace himself had a vision of Christ between the antlers of a stag, white as snow.
And there were mystics who believed that our Lord himself appeared to men in such a form.
Shake it all about for me, there's a pet.
BELLS RING Hello, love.
I'm on my way to give succour to invalids.
I require 3lb of oranges.
I imagine a modest discount would be smiled upon from the Celestial Realm.
SHE CHUCKLES It's on me, love.
Thank you.
This really is exceptionally thoughtful of you, Mother Mildred.
I think this is the first thing I've been able to smell or taste for a week.
I did catch a whiff of Nurse Crane's sugar and onion mixture.
I actually think I can smell it now.
Well, it's given my tubes a good seeing-to.
And is probably why I'm back in my slacks and gearing up to inspect my Rolodex! So, Sister Hilda.
It appears that Nonnatus House has been running on oiled wheels during the recent crisis.
Reinforcements from the Mother House seemed to fill the gaps quite nicely.
Once we showed them what to do - and where everything was.
- Hmm.
It seems to me that with all the posts so amply covered, the best thing we can do is to take almost all of you away to convalesce.
You need a change of scene, good food, sea air.
And I know precisely where all three can be obtained.
I fear you evoke the spectre of the Mother House.
Our esteemed Sister is incorrect.
I think that, on balance, that I speak to Sister Julienne alone.
We could go into my office.
I had just lit the paraffin stove - so I could see to some paperwork.
- Sister.
It's best if we remain within convenient distance of the altar rail.
By the time I inform you of my plans, we might both feel the need to pray.
I believe God is calling me to open another branch house.
- Where? - As ever, where good nursing and skilled midwives are desperately needed.
Where there is often no doctor for many miles, where the climate is our enemy and water and electricity both fickle friends at best.
Are you thinking of expanding our operations in Africa? No.
We're going to the Outer Hebrides.
The Outer Hebrides?! I thought you'd approve, being Scottish.
I'm not that sort of Scottish! I grew up in a busy market town.
- The Hebrides are very remote.
- Precisely.
Some of the islands have no access to a doctor, and hospital help can be two hours' drive away, or travel by boat is required.
And you think the Order can help? I'm convinced we can ALL help.
In the area in question, the district nurse, who is also the midwife, has not only married, but married the doctor, and they've both retreated to the mainland.
Support is required, in the short term at least.
Ten days should suffice.
CHILDREN PLAY IN BACKGROUND Far too often, the islands lose their nurses because the ladies marry.
Religious sisters never let their patients down in that regard.
For now, I merely propose an advance excursion.
A fact-finding mission.
Call it what you will.
You and your good wife can convalesce in the fresh air, whilst helping the Order to explore a call from God.
But we can't leave the children.
Nanny can't be here all the time.
A remonstrance I foresaw - and can surmount.
Why have I got to mind the Turner children? I'd be much more use in the Outer Hebrides.
I used to be a Queen's Guide.
You must not question Mother Mildred's decision, Sister, any more than I.
When we are called, we must listen.
Where we are called, we must go.
Unless we are called to go somewhere and our Superior objects.
You really wanted to go, didn't you, Sister Monica Joan? At prayer, I received a vision of our Lord himself in altered form.
Do you mean a stag? Like the legend of St Eustace? Please do not use the term "legend".
It evokes a fantasy, a tale, a fable conjured out of air.
When I speak of a vision, I speak of something real.
A truth as tangible asas flesh.
This is a lot of trouble for ten days.
Argh, this isn't going to work.
I've got room for my rollers or my lacquer, but not both.
You can't go without any lacquer.
You'll have to take something else out.
I've already jettisoned three pairs of shoes and my Lurex two-piece.
I'm limiting myself to one all-purpose cocktail frock, in case of emergencies.
The things we do to promote the health of the deserving.
Beige or navy? I rooted out some convent-issue thermals, left over from the Big Freeze.
I refer you to my earlier remark.
SHE CHUCKLES I'll have the beige please, Phyllis.
It'll match my new vests.
Everything I ever heard about Scotland tells me they're going to be essential.
GROANS Vi, I think I melted the collar on this shirt.
Well, that would be because it's nylon.
And I'm not lifting a finger to help you, so don't ask.
It's just a week, Vi.
The only building they might be able to have as a convent is some sort of abandoned church they're now using as a youth hostel.
Mother Mildred just wants to make sure it's viable.
I'll tell you what's not viable.
You just waltzing off to the back of beyond, just as Reggie comes home for Christmas.
Well, I'll be back before Christmas.
It's three weeks away.
What are you doing?! I'm hiding Reggie's Christmas presents because I haven't got time to wrap them! And did you get him the sticky strips to make the paper chains? Because he looks forward to doing that every Christmas.
I bought them down Chrisp Street, they're in my coat pocket.
I promise you, Vi, Mother Mildred said I do not wish to hear that woman's name again! MUSIC: JINGLE BELLS INTRO Just hear those sleigh bells jingling Ring-ting tingle-ing too Ring-a-ling-a ding-dong-ding Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you THEY SNIGGER Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling yoo-hoo Ring-a-ling-a ding-dong-ding Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS Ring-a-ling-a ding-dong-ding Ring-a-ling-a ding-dong-ding Ring-a-ling-a ding-dong-ding Our cheeks are nice and rosy And comfy and cosy are we Ring-a-ling-a ding-dong-ding We're snuggled up together like two birds of a feather would be Ring-a-ling-a ding-dong-ding Let's take that road before us And sing a chorus or two Ring-a-ling-a ding-dong-ding Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you Ring-a-ling-a ding-dong-ding Ring-a-ling-a ding-dong-ding Ring-a-ling-a ding-dong-ding! Chips are lovely and hot! If we're half a mile past that phone box, we must've come to our left turn by now.
Have we missed the turning, perhaps? I always read my maps upside down.
It's an absolutely infallible way of working out left and right.
THUMP Oh! If you're going to slow to a dead stop every time a specimen of the local wildlife hoves into view, we won't attain our objective this side of Christmas.
I've got three packets of Gypsy Creams in my holdall.
Do you think it's time to break them open? Oh, I hate cattle.
- That's it.
Hand this vehicle over.
- What? I have additional keys and I am prepared to use them.
VAN DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS SHEEP BAA So this is home for the next ten days.
Come, Sister Julienne.
Let us approach on foot, as pilgrims.
We have obtained our objective.
May the Lord guard our comings and our goings, and may he help us do the jobs we do so well at home.
I detect an animal odour underfoot.
We would be wise to wipe our shoes.
Come and get your trees! Right.
Cup of tea and a gingerbread Santa, because I know you've never been one for a mince pie.
So it's true, then? What's true? Fred's not here.
Oh, I wouldn't lie to you, Reggie.
And no, he's not here.
He's where he almost always is - helping other people.
Except this time he's in Scotland, which is why I need you to be the man of the house 'til he gets back.
Can I sit in his chair? Course you can.
Ahh Can I have some of his beer? THEY LAUGH You can have a shandy on Christmas Day when Fred's back home.
Coats on the beds.
I haven't slept under coats since I was a kid.
I wish I'd thought of that when I first came to England.
I just used to lie in the nurse's home and shiver.
Aww! There must be 700 years of mist, damp and misery seeping out of these walls.
I persuaded Phyllis to lend me her Fiery Jack.
Have you got lumbago? No, I thought if we rubbed some on ourselves, it might warm us up.
We'd need a gallon of it, not a titchy little tin.
I'm dabbing it on my pulse points.
Or, as Madame Coco once said of Chanel Number 5, "It should be applied everywhere a woman expects to be kissed.
" Ah! Well, I won't bother, then.
CONGREGATION SINGING MINA: Effie, will you come back here?! SHEEP BAA Greetings, good sir.
We seek to make the acquaintance of a Mrs Morag Norrie.
Third door on the right.
We don't generally labour on the Lord's Day here.
We observe the Sabbath according to the commandments.
Now .
the cleanliness of this hall falls to me.
So I hope there'll be no additional dirt.
The only time the last nurse used this hall was for her wedding.
Four weeks later, I'm still sweeping up confetti.
Well, that might bring us some luck.
- You're Scots? - Yes, I am.
A bheil Gaidhlig agad? I asked if you spoke Gaelic.
There's no need to answer.
The nurse that just left, she didn't speak it either.
There's some here that speak nothing else on the island, but we manage.
Are these your practice records? As you requested.
Anything else you want from the old surgery is in the store and will have to be fetched.
These are on their way to Stornoway.
That's where the nearest doctor is now.
But it took us two hours to get here from Stornoway.
FLICKS SWITCH The electric seems to be playing the game.
If it goes off, there's oil lamps in the store.
BELL RINGS Hello, ladies.
I'm a midwife and a nurse, and we are running a clinic at the village hall.
That is the second time you've walked out of singing practice in three weeks.
We're going to have the minister round here again.
What do we say to him this time? The psalms make my head ache.
- You're supposed to be uplifted by them.
- And improved? You don't need to be improved, Effie, you just need to be kept steady.
We all do.
We've a new baby coming in the spring.
I know you do.
COW MOOS Hurry up.
Your wee calf needs his bed making.
Tell him to be patient.
I want Effie to see him.
Ah, just the person.
You can help me sign the Christmas cards.
I promised Sister Julienne I'd do them while everyone was away.
We must submit to the labours assigned us.
Yes, we must.
I even submitted to Sister Julienne's request for frugality and bought a bargain box of 50 on Chrisp Street market.
I'm afraid one or two of them are on the saucy side.
- Sister Hilda.
- Mm? Do you consider my mental faculties to be diminished? No, no, that wasn't why I didn't show you the card.
You can see it if you like.
Oh, I I would not be able to deduce why something is vulgar, or amusing.
My faculties always failed me in that department.
Now others think my faculties are mislaid altogether.
Oh, Sister, what can I tell you, other than to say that that is not so? That we cherish you.
And if age has .
cost you things, it has replaced them with gifts to us all.
It is not a gift to me to be deemed too frail to journey to a place where we are needed.
It is not a gift to me to, to be fettered by an ever-diminishing roster of trivial tasks.
I I'm sure you're more than capable of extending your daily routine, if you feel up to it.
What if expenditure is required? Senior sisters are licensed to draw down from the petty cash, but I have not been allowed to do so for some time.
I am overturning that.
Do you hear me? Sister .
do you consider me to be of sound mind? Yes.
I feel that the sacrifice of the Gypsy Creams was warranted.
It's a very hospitable gesture, certainly.
But I'm afraid there are going to be more midwives and nurses on the welcoming committee, than we will have people to welcome.
If I have heard the Almighty aright, and he intends that we establish a branch house here, then the sisters in residence will be few, and their challenges immense.
There is no disgrace in savouring our numbers whilst we may.
MAN:I told you, it's the right place.
Do come in out of the cold.
Good morning.
Tea for the gentleman and the lady, Nurse Dyer.
We have some rather appealing biscuits to accompany your beverage.
Mrs Turner will take your details.
We wouldn't say no to a cup of anything hot.
We've just rowed across from the lighthouse.
Sister Julienne, can you examine this lady as soon as I've taken her details? - Hello there.
- Thank you.
Right this way.
- Are we too late? - The bus always goes the long way round.
I think you'll find you're absolutely punctual.
Please take a seat.
The word was you were from London.
We're all from London .
including me.
Do come through.
I think perhaps just one Gypsy Cream apiece, Nurse Dyer.
Who can foretell the hordes that may be upon us? Is everything as it should be? Everything is exactly as I like to see it in a lady of eight months.
I keep thinking something will go wrong.
Why should you think that? I don't know.
I left the island for three years.
I went to Inverness to work in a pharmacy.
My granny said it made me morbid.
- Your granny didn't approve of that? - No! She doesn't approve of much.
Her name is Mrs Norrie - have you met her yet? - Yes.
We are acquainted.
- Ah.
Inverness is a very different environment to this.
That's why I liked it .
until I came home one summer for a holiday and met my Angus.
He came to work at the lighthouse from the city as a complete stranger.
When I saw my home through his eyes, that's when I realised I loved it more than I ever had.
It's a very great gift in life, to know where you belong.
Many spend a lifetime hoping to find out.
SHE WINCES Is that tender? Mm.
It's just the wee one kicking my bladder.
Help! We need help! Help! It's all right! It's all right! It's my wife.
I'll fetch my bag.
Where was Baby born? Here, in the truck.
I pulled over by the roadside about half an hour ago.
Go into the hall while we put things to rights.
Baby's still attached to Mother by the cord.
We have brisk blood loss.
Have you felt any pain since the baby arrived? Anything to suggest that the afterbirth is on its way? No.
We need to get her inside and give her Syntometrine.
BABY GRIZZLES BABY CRIES Is it Is it coming yet? Is it? Yes, Maggie, it is.
Placenta on its way.
Here it comes.
SHE GROANS Thank you.
Thank you.
SHE CRIES My dear, every fragment of endeavour has been yours.
We all commend you for your fortitude.
Mother Mildred, could you fetch Doctor, please? There's a problem with the placenta.
We have a placenta, but it's incomplete.
Mother needs an ambulance and a blood transfusion, in that order.
You need to ring the hospital in Stornoway.
I was going to order some polio vaccine.
There's a round of immunisations due.
We're also deficient in analgesia for childbirth.
I shall ask for Trilene, if we can't get gas and air.
If I stop massaging the uterus, it relaxes.
We have to stabilise her now.
The ambulance is going to take too long to get here.
It is nevertheless already on its way.
Mother will be transfused as soon as she's delivered to the hospital.
In about four hours' time.
I think it's been expelled.
Her uterus is contracting.
Placenta complete.
BABY CRIES And a strong and healthy baby.
I'm sorry, but this is a completely dreadful way to convalesce.
We're all dressed up as if we've burgled a jumble sale THEY LAUGH .
and now we're peeling our own potatoes.
With absolutely no way of turning them into chips.
May the Lord forgive me, but right now I'd kill for threepenny worth of chips and a saveloy.
Hey, have we turned you into a Cockney on the quiet? I like to think so.
THEY LAUGH Lucille, I heard what that woman said to you in the clinic today.
Happens all the time at home.
I'm almost used to it.
But people like them aren't used to people like me.
And I can't hate them for it, because I come from an island too.
Not an island like this, though.
All islands are like this.
All islands have a boundary, and you live your life within it, and you love it, or you break out, and make a life elsewhere.
And on every island in the world, no matter how magnificent, there are those who cannot leave, and those who cannot stay.
And I was one of those who could not stay.
PHONE RINGS Good evening.
Mrs Buckle's shop.
This is Reginald speaking.
Reggie? Is that you? Violet's out.
Council meeting.
Oh, hang on.
There you go.
COINS DROP INTO SLO - Did you get the tree up? - Yep.
What is it? A spruce or a Nordmann? - It's green.
- Oh! We need to make the paper chain, Fred.
Wait, wait, wait Oh, I've run out of money! Tell Violet I called.
DIAL TONE SOUNDS HE SIGHS The Earth is the Lord's And all that therein is The compass of the world And they that dwell therein For he hath founded it upon the seas And prepared it upon the floods COW MOOS The calf was on my lap, and then it did its muck all over me.
Isla! You'll have to get changed straight into your nightdress.
I've no other clothes dry for you, unless there's been some sort of miracle out on the line.
Can I go back to the calf? No! you stay in here now.
You smell high enough already, Isla.
Effie, can you get some more water? We'll have to soak her things in a bucket.
I'll soak you in a bucket.
EFFIE LAUGHS ON RADIO: Stormy conditions in the Western Isles, with heavy gales and rainfall.
STATION CHANGES ON RADIO: With the hippy hippy shakes Yeah, it's in the bag Ooh! The hippy hippy shakes ISLA LAUGHS Well now, you shake it to the left You shake it to the right You do the hippy shake shake With all your might Oh, baby Yeah, come on and shake Oh, it's in the bag The hippy hippy shake Ohh DISTANT SCREAM SHE GASPS/SCREAMING CONTINUES Isla! MUSIC CONTINUES/SHE SCREAMS ISLA CRIES BICYCLE BELL RINGS Angela, May, watch out for Teddy on those steps.
Sister Frances, might I have a word? We've just come to bathe Baby Jesus and glue his arm back on so he's ready for the crib at Christmas.
I have been following the offices with my breviary.
It's not the following of offices that concerns me.
ANGELA: Teddy, you're not allowed in there.
"Since, according to your own admission, "I am deemed to be of sound mind" When did you say you thought she was of sound mind? When she implored me to! I replied in the affirmative because it seemed the kindest thing.
I have made the decision "to travel to the Hebrides independently.
" Independently's underlined.
I know it's underlined! "Please do not trouble your conscience, "or the constabulary.
" I will trouble the constabulary, I'm going to give them this as evidence.
She won't get very far without any money.
She's taken a pound note and some loose change out of the petty cash .
with my permission.
Oh, you must feel terrible.
I wanted her to have some dignity.
She's always got dignity.
What she really wanted was to see a stag.
But why would she go to the Hebrides? There are stags in Richmond Park.
She wanted to see a white one.
She believes she might encounter Jesus Christ that way.
Oh! Oh, don't tell the police that.
They'll think she's going mad.
Or that you are.
I don't care.
I'm calling them now, and insisting that they alert their counterparts in Scotland.
Tickets, please.
It is you and your colleagues who deserve to be subject to scrutiny.
It is some considerable time since any one of you has asked to view my travel documents.
This ran out in Preston.
Only if you consider travel from a strictly temporal perspective.
Mine is not merely a terrestrial journey, it is a spiritual quest .
and God himself propels this chariot of fire.
HE SIGHS ISLA CRIES Please, she's in here! We can't stop her crying! SHE WAILS Have you put anything on these yourself? Only butter.
It's what you do - butter for burns.
It's flannelette, Nurse Crane.
One spark from the fire and it would have gone up like a torch.
It's a peat fire.
Peat doesn't spark.
We'll need to check for fragments of charred fabric clinging to the skin.
I can see one or two pieces from here.
Come on.
I need you to be a brave little lass for me.
CRYING INTENSIFIES We're going to wash your poor legs with soapy water to get the butter off, and then bathe them with lovely fresh antiseptic.
SHE WAILS We'll need to calm her down.
Why didn't you put your wellies on? Because we are heading to town to collect a significant quantity of drugs, vaccines and other medical supplies, and I'm of the view that office wear is more appropriate.
This is like nowhere else I've ever been on Earth.
Do you wish the children could see it? I wish the children could live it.
What? You mean move here? The island needs a doctor.
The vacancy is already advertised, and Mother Mildred says I don't want to know what Mother Mildred says.
What I do want to know is how she manages to wrap half the men in Poplar round her little finger.
It isn't just the men! Mother Mildred wrapped YOU round her little finger, and we ended up with our fourth child.
May changed our lives for the better.
CHANGE changes our lives for the better.
We're a family that thrives on it.
We don't stay still, Shelagh.
No, we don't.
And that's why we're needed in Poplar.
With every year that passes, we're faced with some new crisis and some new way of putting things to rights.
The system is improving all the time.
There's a good system here.
They just don't have anyone to run it for them.
I'm not even going to discuss it with you.
HE SIGHS SHE WINCES I'll check your blood pressure and urine when I'm done.
That'll save you coming into the clinic while you've Isla to take care of.
It's my fault that she's burned.
I shouldn't have turned my back.
Does she need to go to hospital? With daily dressing changes, she's better off at home with her parents and her big sister.
Effie's her cousin.
My sister died.
I'm sorry.
My condolences.
She went to work as a chambermaid in a hotel in Stornoway.
When she came back with Effie in her arms, the story was that she had been widowed.
I take it this was soon after the war? The father was a submariner from Norway, just passing through.
Long enough to leave her with a child, not long enough to leave her with a wedding ring.
There were a lot of widows of that type in those days.
Not here.
My sister died of TB.
I said I'd take Effie.
She was 12 when she came to me.
I already had Isla under my feet, I thought it would be easy.
But she was a child then, and now she's a woman, and I cannot keep her reined.
Reined? As in reined in? Effie is the same as my sister.
She couldn't be penned, she couldn't be pinned down.
Young people always chafe, Mrs MacLeod.
They chafe more now the world's spinning faster.
I want what's best for my niece, and that means that she cannot go running free.
Gathering winter fu-u-El.
Fred, are you sure you can chop a tree down just like that? No-one ever stopped me in Epping Forest.
Anyway, it's to cheer the kiddies up, and to take the edge off their nerves when they come for their vaccinations.
They don't seem to really go to town with their decorations round here.
Maybe they leave it all to the last minute.
Have we got anything to put on it? Don't worry, it's all in hand.
I've got an idea .
about some paper chains.
DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES Oh, Reggie! That was supposed to be a surprise for Christmas.
Fred was looking forward to reading bits out loud with you.
But Fred isn't here, is he? INDISTINCT CHATTER/BABIES CRY And what is that pagan monstrosity doing in this hall?! I'm sure there was no intention whatever of causing offence.
I have heard tell of such things on the mainland, and from my nephews in America, but it is not the custom in these islands! It never was, and it never shall be! Mr Buckle wanted to do something for the children.
And did the children ask for it? Have the children here ever needed such a thing? It is to be removed and disposed of before any more harm is done! THEY SIGH - Take care now, sister.
- Bye! - Thanks, Jim.
- I was headed down that road anyway.
Oh Oh! It appears I am to travel with precious cargo.
We've a great deal to thank your colleagues for.
Would you oblige me by moving along? I require an unimpeded view.
Angus! Angus! SHE MOANS Angus! I think it's started.
Come on.
I'm going to get you in the boat.
You can't leave the lighthouse empty.
You'll be dismissed.
I don't care.
Please, please, let me get you in the boat.
I can't! It's Oh, it's coming too fast! SHE GROANS This is Fuar Glas Lighthouse, Fuar Glas Lighthouse, calling the coastguard, over.
OVER RADIO: This is the coastguard, over.
I need medical assistance for my wife.
It looks as if the baby's on the way.
THEY CHEER Oh, she's here! You may note that I have refrained from contributing to this ovation.
Because I have broken the Rule of Obedience.
Because you have caused alarm to your sisters, purloined convent funds from the petty cash, defrauded British Railways, and been thrown upon the mercy of the police.
I'm sure no further discussion, or chastisement, will take place before you have recovered from your journey.
I will decide what measures are required.
First, I must be fortified with scones.
Somebody else can answer that.
I've no desire for any further contact with the authorities.
St Faelan's House.
How may I assist you? It's the coastguard.
"Bobby Bushtail was a squirrel, "and a naughty rascal too.
"Sometimes he was so" When the nurses arrive, you make them a cup of tea and tell them I've had to go to work.
And for pity's sake, you put those magazines away, they're months old.
If your uncle wasn't away thatching, I'd leave him with Isla and take you to waulk the tweed with me.
It's time you learned how.
It's what old women do.
Not old, Effie.
Just women.
DOOR CLOSES All I ask is that you row the midwives and myself across to the lighthouse.
It is the Lord's day.
I cannot undertake labour.
There's a lady on that island with no choice as to whether she undertakes labour.
She's having a baby.
She can't get over here, so we have to get to her.
Would it make it better if we paid you double? It would make it worse! What if we paid you nothing and you did it just to oblige? I obey the rules that oblige the Lord, and no other.
I imagine we both have equal respect for the Almighty, sir.
Just lend us the boat.
Lend it to us, and we'll row ourselves.
Or just turn your back and let us steal it.
Just don't report us to the police till we're halfway there.
I feel like one of us should have a megaphone to keep you both in time.
THEY LAUGH Well, it's no worse than going round Vicky Park boating lake a couple of times, is it, Doc? It's a shame we couldn't have hired a pedalo and got us all an ice cream.
THEY LAUGH The lease of this building is not going to be made available to us.
The local council would prefer it to be used for secular purposes, or not at all.
There will also be problems with the village hall, apparently.
Is this because of Fred and his Christmas tree? The council take the view that the denominational divide between ourselves and the Presbyterians is too great.
Sister, in Poplar we serve Catholics, Methodists, Jews and Muslims.
We serve atheists and Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus.
It does not matter who or how they worship.
We treat them all alike, and our faith is our own affair.
But there, strangers come into OUR world, and here, we have come into theirs.
I fear I have not heard the Lord aright.
I fear I acted in haste and failed in humility by presuming all the power to give and to change and to illuminate was ours .
or mine.
What if you had failed in faith? Sister Permit her to continue.
She's going to anyway.
I say only this - what if He has not yet shown you all that He intends? Almost there.
Hurry! Hurry! - Thank you.
- She's getting worse.
Don't you worry, sir, we'll be by your wife's side before you know it.
This way.
MOANING How often have the pains been coming? Mm, on and off for a couple of days now.
A couple of days? Mm-hmm.
Kept thinking it was all getting going, then it would just fade.
But once this started, this morning, I knew there was no going back.
And it's more across my stomach, as opposed to up to one side.
How do you mean, to one side? Almost up by my ribs.
SHE CALLS OUT IN PAIN There? The mother's definitely pyrexic.
Her pulse is also very rapid.
How's her blood pressure? That seems normal.
A routine urine test at the clinic showed no sign of infection, but Valerie's going to get a sample, so we can check again.
when she tried to brush his tail.
"And if she combed a little" I'm going to Cousin Lorna's.
She's got new magazines come in the post.
Tell your mam I might stay the night if the storm gets worse.
You're not meant to leave me on my own! The nurses will be here in a minute.
Mam'll be vexed with you.
She's always vexed with me.
What if the calf gets scared in the storm? The calf is perfectly happy.
SHE MOANS Are you feeling you want to push, chick? I don't know.
I've never had a baby before.
I don't know what pushing feels like.
I don't know how to do it.
I don't I don't know anything.
We do, Janet.
And we're here to help.
This is YOUR first baby, but we do this all the time.
- THEY LAUGH - Promise me.
JANET MOANS IN PAIN You can come right in.
The height won't bite you.
It's not the height that bothers me.
It's the distance.
I'm not used to seeing such a long way ahead.
You're a city dweller, then? London.
I'm from Motherwell.
I never knew what distance was, what space was.
Space like there was room around you where you could stretch out and breathe.
There was nine of us living in two rooms.
That sounds familiar.
Then I took to looking at the sky.
I saw something that had no limits, but did not change.
And I wanted it.
The heavens belong to no man, but this is mine.
This is my star.
But it would all mean nothing without my Janet.
SHE MOANS Good girl.
You tell me if you want some Trilene for the pain.
No, the pain's all gone now.
It's more like power.
Like a force.
- SHE MOANS - Here it comes.
Little pushes.
Little pushes.
That's it.
That's it.
There we go.
The head's out? Give me your hand.
You feel that? That's what that power you spoke about can do.
Baby's turning.
SHE LAUGHS/BABY CRIES You have a son, Janet.
He's the most beautiful little boy you ever did see.
I wouldn't care if he wasn't.
He's ours.
And he belongs where he was born.
SCISSORS SNIP CRYING CONTINUES BABY SETTLES Shh Can we open a window? So he can hear the sea? It's blowing a force ten gale out there.
Do you want him to get sucked right out into the storm? How about we all just listen? HEAVY WINDS BLOW Do you hear that? Do you? This is your home.
DOOR OPENS Nurses! Hello, Isla.
I don't want you! Are you all on your own? SHE CRIES Isla, the more you fuss, the longer this will take.
And I don't like to say this, sweetheart, but the more it will hurt.
It hurts anyway! CRYING CONTINUES We can't sedate her again.
It's not warranted.
When will he start smiling? Bless you, Mr MacAskill.
You'll have to wait a few more weeks for that.
Can I take him up and show him the light? We need to get him bathed, properly dressed, and try putting him to the breast.
After that, we might discuss it.
Afterbirth's all present and correct.
Are you happy for me to burn it in the stove? Janet, precious.
Are you feeling unwell? I think I'm going to be sick.
Would you go and ask Doctor to step this way, please? JANET VOMITS All right.
ISLA CRIES Do you know, Isla, I've often had to put up with some absolutely horrid things.
I've sometimes tried to wish them away, and sometimes I've actually fought them, but every single time, the thing that's got me through is the promise of a treat, or a reward, after the pain is done.
The idea that there are better things to come, if I'm brave enough.
What sort of better things? Well, it might be something like a special cake or a new nail varnish.
Manicures are almost my favourite thing.
My favourite thing's the calf.
No, please, no! I'm sorry, Janet.
Am I going to have another baby? No, you aren't.
You've got acute appendicitis.
DOOR OPENS CALF MOOS I'm sorry, but I have no choice but to dislodge you from your cosy little bed.
I will bring you back when our mission is accomplished.
Oh! You and I, young man, are perilously close to falling out.
Coastguard, can you arrange for a medical evacuation? Over.
Advice - to remain in situ until storm abates.
This is the GP who diagnosed the patient.
Her labour masked the symptoms, and there is a risk that the appendix may now be at the point of bursting.
Are you able to remain with the patient? Over.
I can't leave her, but she needs urgent surgery.
Remain in situ.
Repeat - remain in situ until the storm abates.
Over and out.
There, there.
CLICKS TONGUE There, there.
There, there.
SHE GROANS The pain stopped hurting whilst I was having him.
Precious, that's because the act of giving birth eclipses everything.
Hormones flood through the body, sweeping everything else away.
Why can't they sweep this away? Because you're not having a baby now.
You're sick, and we'll take care of you.
Dr Turner's going to anaesthetise her with Trilene.
We have suture thread and needles, but the clamps and the scalpel will have to be sterilised by boiling.
Oh, the pan's coming up to simmer.
I've brought the gloves we used in the delivery.
We need to boil them, too.
Then we want a pair of clean sheets, to cover the table and the patient.
We'll hot iron them if there's time.
CRY OF PAIN I'm coming right back.
Oh, that bulb's playing silly beggars.
That's all we need.
Dr Turner's gown's on the back of the chair.
Scrub your hands, rinse them off with the Dettol, and then take it to him.
Sergeant Dyer's got it all organised.
She's a right tartar when she wants to be - you can't half tell she's been in the Army.
I was in the Army.
The last time I took an appendix out was in Italy in 1944.
Something to do with Monte Cassino? He was a young artillery gunner from Scunthorpe.
I had to fit him in between two amputations, with the sound of gunfire in the distance and hail on the roof of the hospital tent.
Every single day, the thing that scared me the most was that my hands would get too cold .
that they'd freeze up.
Well, you don't want that when you're working with precision tools.
It feels like old times.
My hands aren't warm.
I'm having to improvise.
And if I get it wrong, a life gets cut short.
Come on.
You don't want to get on the wrong side of Sergeant Dyer.
Shoulders back.
SHE GROANS He knows I'm hurt! I can see it in his eyes.
That's all we can hope for, really, isn't it? Someone who knows when we're in pain.
THUNDER CRASHES Your Mammy's got work to do.
Everybody's busy, So you can help me do my job, eh? DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES Are you not helping with the operation? Not really a spectator sport.
Now, while the baby was in utero, the appendix would have been pushed upwards, which is why the pain was atypically high in the abdomen.
It should now have returned to its usual position .
so I will make the classic incision, over McBurney's point.
Like so.
The electricity's gone off.
Just find the clamp.
BABY CRIES DOOR OPENS The storm's blown the power out - the keeper's gone up the tower.
We've got one oil lamp, and one torch, and that's it.
It'll have to do.
And you'll have to hold them.
Tell me where to stand.
I shall be treating us both to a pre-emptive dose of linctus when we get back indoors.
We've not long seen off the flu, and you're minus one of your stockings.
Are you sure you don't want to cycle back and fetch it? Oh, I'm never crossing the threshold in that barn again.
I don't care if I have to paint my other leg with dark gravy browning.
Oh, good God.
It's Effie! I thought it was an animal.
Whatever's happened to the lass? Gently does it.
Good grief.
- Was that normal? - No.
It's about three times the usual size, it's full of pus, and it would have burst by morning.
I telephoned the Post Office, and they're taking a message to Effie's auntie.
I was suitably parsimonious with the details.
We don't really have any details ourselves, except that it's whisky.
I can smell it seeping through her skin.
Well, we'll leave her on her side.
I dare say we'll be deploying the bucket again at some point.
Oh, lass.
Do you want to stand down? Doesn't actually help that she's wearing my pyjamas.
I don't suppose it does.
I've never quite got used to it, as a nurse .
the way you can suddenly see yourself reflected back at you, in a place, or a face, where you least expect it.
If we allow ourselves to think like that, we'd be seeing ourselves round every corner, and not paying due attention to our patients.
Go on.
You avail yourself of my bed .
and I'll dance attendance on our young delinquent.
Phyllis Effie didn't do this because she's bad - she did it because she's unhappy.
EFFIE WHIMPERS Mum! It's all right, lass.
You're looked after.
Oh! I've come to see my granddaughter.
Donald the Ferry wants his boat back, at your convenience.
The word is you all had quite the night of it.
It would appear you've all been very resourceful.
We had no choice.
Other than to choose to do our best, or panic and do nothing.
Ooh, panickers never last long in these parts.
Neither do people with romantic notions in their minds.
Pound to a penny, if they come here and fall in love with the islands, next thing they fall in love with a man, and run away.
We're not running away, Mrs Norrie.
- We're just going home to London.
- When? At the end of the week, but Nurse Dyer and I won't leave you for a day or two.
I would've died without them.
I know you would.
You must all have been missing your families, with Christmas coming, and it being so important where you live.
Nothing is more important than this, Mrs Norrie.
Kippers? I think they'll upset me.
Not as much as Nurse Franklin's going to upset your auntie when she fills her in on last night's antics.
Aunt Mina doesn't need to know.
Yes, she does.
Because she needs to know you.
Oh, Reggie! Oh, you do look smart, but I don't think you need to wear a tie.
You've got a hat on.
Yes, but I'm not going to be packing Christmas parcels with the youth club.
You're going to be one of them this afternoon.
I'd rather do paper chains.
They'll still be here when you get back.
Go and take the tie off, and make yourself look "groovy".
The only way I'll make Aunt Mina happy is if I stay here.
Live on a croft, sing psalms every Sunday, wearing Wellingtons.
I've no quarrel with a good stout gumboot, not in these climes.
I shall deposit this in an appropriate dustbin.
I don't believe you ever really wanted it.
My father worked on a submarine.
I never saw him, but .
I imagine him sometimes, under the water, in the dark, with everything locked tight shut above his head.
He can't get out .
and neither can I.
Did you knowI was a bastard? I know your mother wasn't married.
My mother wasn't married.
You say it as if you're not ashamed.
I was - so ashamed, once upon a time.
I could smell it on my skin.
Not because I was dirty .
but because we could only afford the cheapest soap.
Mother and I were as clean as we could make ourselves.
Oh, but we were lonely.
I never realised my mother and I were lonely.
She always used to say, "It's more fun, just us.
" We used to take the bus to a gospel hall in another part of town.
My mother was the only fallen woman in the congregation.
I think they quite liked having her .
so they could forgive .
because one day I suddenly realised how proud I was of my mother.
Keeping me took courage .
and I decided I'd make her proud of me.
I've missed my chance there.
Being proud of yourself would be a start.
Now, remember, ladies and gentlemen, if the box you are filling has scarlet tinsel on it, it will be donated to an elderly lady, and we require the inclusion of bath cubes and a miniature liqueur.
If it has gold tinsel embellishment, it is destined for a gentleman, so kindly incorporate a bottle of pale ale and a chocolate tool set.
Well, I shall now hand over to Councillor Buckle.
On your marks, get set, go! MUSIC: Jingle Bell Rock JINGLE BELL ROCK FADES I can still smell the drink on you.
From here.
It will pass.
And if she'd died from the cold, that wouldn't have passed.
If she'd been hit by a car, that wouldn't have passed.
What would your mother say, Effie? She isn't here to say anything.
I'm not her, Aunt Mina Neither am I.
I can't be what she was to you.
You've a child of your own .
and another coming soon.
Do you think that means I wouldn't have room for you? - I don't know.
- Oh! I just didn't want you to make her mistakes.
I am the mistake.
Oh, no.
You're the gift.
What was it I said about seeing yourself reflected? That you don't approve.
That was it.
How nice to see a young person conducting themselves with decorum.
Do you require assistance? Yes.
Glue tastes horrible.
When I was a child, we used to make chains out of scrap paper and flour-and-water paste.
It was remarkably compelling - one never knew quite when to stop, or indeed if one wanted to.
I may get in .
the Guinness World Records book.
Oh, really? What's that? For the longest paper chain in the world.
Sister Monica Joan? Where are you going? Where He leads me.
You are to stay here, and you are to rest.
I undertook to follow our Sister! And I will.
WIND BLOWS Ohh I knew Him at once from the love .
in His glance.
He came .
He looked .
and He departed.
In that case, we will accept His blessing, and go to seek Him in another place.
Oh, good afternoon.
I wonder if you might be able to advise.
I require a telephone number for a publishing body called The Guinness World Records book? Have a happy Christmas.
I bring Yuletide greetings, - by hand.
- Oh! So much more, er, personal.
Yes, and it saves on the cost of a stamp.
Is Reggie at home? I've some rather splendid news for him.
I didn't know what to say, Fred.
She presented it as a fait accompli.
What do you mean, a fait accompli? She had it all planned out.
The youth club are making paper chains, the Townswomen's Guild and Miss Nadine's Dancing School are making paper chains, and then they're all going to be stuck together so that Reggie can apply to be in the Guinness World Records book.
Well, I bet that put him in the Christmas spirit.
He's as bright and as happy as a robin on a postbox.
PIPS SOUND Whoa, whoa.
Hang on! Well, that's what we want, innit? Yes, it is - always.
I don't want him to be let down, or disappointed, or embarrassed.
No, he won't be.
No - I promise.
It's easy for you to say.
You're still over 700 miles away.
Hang on.
COINS DROP Hello? Hello? Damn! Mother Mildred is adamant.
This isn't the place for the Order.
The health authorities are recruiting staff in the usual way.
The doctor will be a very lucky man.
I don't envy him.
I wish I'd been there with you for the operation.
You'd have got a glimpse of me as a younger man.
Oh, really? And what was he like? Scared.
Competent, but scared.
My hands are always warm now.
I know what I'm doing .
and I know where I belong.
Are they not feeding you enough? You look as though you're scavenging for scraps.
I'm scavenging for something .
and I just hope Mrs Norrie don't catch me.
I heard about that.
I think it was the tree that she was at war with, not something that would make a child smile.
Are you trying to make a child smile now? Not a child, but someone very special.
- You're packing up? - Yes.
A new district nurse arrives in the New Year.
Well, the pleasure of your company has been requested.
So, they can take these back home after the party.
BAGPIPES PLAY Thank you, Sister.
Thank you so much.
Thank you.
In the bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan Earth stood hard as iron Water like a stone In the bleak midwinter A stable place sufficed The Lord God almighty Jesus Christ.
TRAIN HORN BLOWS I found Nurse Crane's whistle - she left it on her mantelpiece.
Many thanks.
I have in fact secured the loan of Mrs Buckle's bell.
MATURE JENNY: Some Christmases will always be more memorable than others.
Not because they surpass all the others we've known, but because the light shines from a different source.
We're warmed, but made wiser, welcomed in and given something new.
Christmas is not a competition, but the prize itself.
The gathering and the sharing of the things that matter most.
It is of no consequence whether we are the biggest or the brightest, whether we're the strongest, the bravest or the most inclined to win.
THEY CHEER It is the smallest things that have the highest value.
The glance that sees, the ear that hears, the thought made deed .
and the links in the chain of love that bind us all.
Merry Christmas!
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