A BREAK IN THE CLOUDS APPEARS AND DISAPPEARS

1985 

We had felt that there had been less tension from the time Harry entered Devine Villa.   Words were unprintable that Harry had to say about the staff in Pink Villa.   Ella and I could never be sure that future arrangements could be met, due to Harry’s unpredictable behaviour.   That did not appear to be the case any more, for although he still had his moments of madness, they were less frequent and less severe.

On Monday, 10th June, 1985, Andrew and family took Harry to the submarine museum at Gosport, where the dummy talking sub-mariner from the first submarine, which took part in the American war, brought much laughter when speaking electronically.   Their day out included a tour of the Alliance submarine, on dry land, where they had a glimpse of the cramped conditions that the crew had to operate under.   It was no wonder that Harry asked for Stellazine pills afterwards, to overcome his feeling of faintness.

On this trip out, he told Linda that he was shortly moving into Radnor House and sharing a room with another patient, Angela.    She was divorced and had two children in Holland, and had come back here after 19 years away.  Here parents lived in Leigh Park.

Two weeks later, we spoke to staff nurse Allen of Devine Villa, who confirmed that Harry and Angela may share a room in Radnor House, but for the present they were monitoring the situation.    She also confirmed that there was a continuing improvement in his condition and he only received medication when he thought he needed it.  

I called to see him on one of my hospital car scheduled visits to St James, where I learned that all the patients in Devine Villa had visited Radnor House by mini-bus and had chosen their colour schemes for the room they had been allocated.    Harry told me that Angela had chosen blue for them, but she had packed him in since this visit to Radnor.   He did not disclose the reason for the finish of their relationship.   Frankly, I would be surprised if he did have some kind of long term close acquaintance, for up to the present, he had only had Joan.   Maybe it would happen here.  

About a week later, when I called in to see him on another hospital car visit, he was wearing Angela’s pullover and looked clean and smart.  He was on a week’s rehabilitation course, which included cooking and washing his clothes.  This was all in aid of preparing for the move into Radnor House, during September.

He had been free of turns and had renewed his acquaintance with Angela!  Devine Villa patients had been taken on a trip to Kew Gardens, which he remembered from the time when we took him as a boy from Teddington.

On Sunday, 20th October, the day before we were due to fly out to Gran Canaria, Harry had a turn and fell down the stairs, cutting his eyebrow, which required stitching.  I spoke to the ward nurse, who thought this had been caused by the delay in moving into Radnor House.    She believed this was a one-off which put our minds at rest, before going off on this short break of ten days.     We were scheduled to be picked up by a taxi on the morrow at 3.30 am, to catch the 7.30 am plane to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, and I still had some packing to do!

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Alan Rayment 1998
Last revised: January 15, 2001