Strike Up The Band – Episode 13

The family had certainly had a lively conversation that morning. Brian had been furious with Bethany for leaving Len. Bethany tried to explain that Len had insisted she carried on, but her father would not listen. Diane tried to calm him, but knew, deep down, he was thinking of baby John.

All Mizzy could think about was the loss of her bedroom. Bethany dreaded sharing with her. Her sister had no idea of tidiness. But they’d all agreed to pull together and thought it was best for Len.

Bethany began to persuade her grandfather.

“We can keep an eye on you,” she coaxed.

“We’ll see,” he told her, changing the subject. “The grub’s not bad in here. All healthy stuff, of course.”

There would be no more pies and cakes for a while; no more fish and chips. He knew he’d let things slip since Lilian died. She’d taken care of healthy eating. And he’d been told he must get more exercise and plenty of walks. That reminded him . . .

“How come you didn’t go to the Beer Walk today?”

There was always a walking celebration throughout the Saddleworth villages on the Saturday after all the band competitions.

“Ken wondered if we dare show our faces after yesterday. It was after midnight when we arrived home, anyway some of us the worse for wear. Besides, I wouldn’t have gone. I wanted to see you.”

“Well, I’m fine. I’ve some tests on Monday.”

He told her about the planned angiogram to explore a suspected blockage in one of his arteries.

“They might pop a stent in it. It’s amazing technology they send a bit of mesh just a bit thicker than a matchstick through your arteries and if they find a blockage they blow up this tiny balloon in the middle of the mesh so it expands and keeps your arteries open. The Duke of Edinburgh was off to church a couple of days after his! I’ll be fine.”

“I hope so, Grandad,” Bethany replied, tears brimming in her eyes. “I was so relieved when Des phoned to say you were sitting up and asking for a cup of tea.”

“Will you phone him and tell him how I am?” Len asked with a twinkle in his eye.

Bethany promised she would, and bent over to kiss him as the bell for the end of visiting rang.

As soon as she arrived home she phoned Des and thanked him warmly.

“I’m glad to be of help,” he said kindly. “Er . . . I wonder if you like to go for a drink with me some time?”

“I’d love to,” she said. “And it’s my treat to thank you for looking after Grandad.”

He protested, but she insisted and they arranged to speak about it when he brought his mother to the clinic the following week.

Bethany looked thoughtfully at her phone when the call had finished. She wondered if it was wise to socialise with the son of one of her patients, especially the formidable Mrs Latimer-Davies. She wondered, too, if he was her type.

A picture of Ellis bobbed involuntarily into her mind, but she hastily dismissed it. Ellis was just a good friend, and that was all. Anyway, she liked Des and wanted to thank him for the care he had shown her grandfather.


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