Monday – Out-patients in the morning, hospital, admin and audit activities in the afternoon.
After work I head out to Joe (the vet) and Teeny’s for singing practice where I am now a temporary member of a singing group called ‘The Bug-eyed Tuners’! There has been a little kid (ie goat) running around the house, an abandoned smallest triplet, who loves to chew my flowery skirts and anything else going. Teeny is a musician and teaches music at Prince Andrew’s, the island’s secondary school. Lewis and Lauren, Rob and Josie, all fellow RMS travellers on the way here introduced me to the group which now consists of 11 singers. We are practising for the charity carol concert to be held on the RMS St Helena on December 12th. (I hope expected babies take note of that date in my calendar!).
Tuesday – Theatre day at work, usually accompanying Dr Carlos the surgeon. He comes from Guatemala but has worked in Belfast, where his daughter now lives. I’ve been rediscovering other parts of the human body that are way out of my comfort zone as I assist on hand, neck and foot procedures amongst more familiar intra-abdominal stuff.
In the evening, the Baptist church holds a Bible study which, as in all their meetings it seems, ends with sandwiches, biscuits, cake and drinks. They are a very friendly and welcoming group.
Wednesday – Work day as for Monday.
At 7.00pm the rehearsal for the Christmas Cantata takes place in the tiny hall opposite St John’s church near the hospital. This hall is called ‘The Ladies’ Orchestra Hall’ as it was erected for that purpose. It’s a bit like a tardis, seeming much roomier on the inside than one would expect. The church choir and a group called the Palm Villa Singers amalgamate for this annual event and are joined by a number of individuals to swell the numbers. I’ve become reserve accompanist for the practices, which meant getting to know 50 pages of music very quickly. Thankfully a lot of it is rather repetitive. We are learning a piece called ‘There’ll always be a Christmas’ which has a theme tune that repeats frequently and easily becomes an ear worm, hanging around for a few days after each practice.
Thursday – Antenatal clinic. Minor procedures such as Colposcopy. The afternoon ends with a meeting for all the doctors with the Senior Medical Officer and the Director of Public Health and Social Welfare to discuss cases presented that likely need to go to Cape Town for further medical treatment.
Friday – Work day as for Monday.
Alan spends his days doing a mixture of writing, learning Turkish, reading, sorting out files and photos on his computer, walking, doing the housework (including the washing and ironing), coming into Jamestown for coffee and shopping and generally recharging his batteries.