Call the Midwife cycled back onto our TV screens on Sunday. And the hit BBC1 period drama didn’t waste any time throwing us back into the turmoils and tragedies of the East End, with a sad storyline about child neglect, which had a gutting, heart-wrenching conclusion.
Chummy headed off to the country to look after the mother and baby home from the festive episode, and with Cynthia at the Mother House, new nurse Barbara Gilbert arrived at Nonnatus, with a first day that didn’t quite go to plan. We had late-night drinking, first-day worries and even dogs running around with bras in their mouths…
And, though there was no denying we were all soggy, weeping messes by the end of the hour, there was plenty of happy news to be had, as Trixie and her handsome curate Tom got engaged.
But on we must go. It’s almost time for episode two. No shilly-shallying. It’s time to make some spurious suggestions…
The residents of Nonnatus House are nigh on unflappable – I challenge you to find them flustered in the face of pretty much any social hardship, tragedy, shock or scandal – yet when it comes to the advances of the opposite sex they are a little, well, backwards. All those years clad in wimples hardly prepares you for the love-struck gaze of an elderly gentleman in a fancy silk dressing gown. But averting one’s gaze is pretty much just playing hard to get, Sister Julienne…
Rumour has it Nonnatus is in need of some extra funds. All that rosehip syrup and milk of Magnesia doesn’t buy itself, you know. Ever resourceful – and eager to flash her shiny new engagement ring – Trixie has organised for the midwives (including new addition Phyllis Crane) to pose for a professional calendar. I mean, it’s not quite Pirelli, but all those grateful new mums are bound to snap it up. Everyone wants a year-long reminder of their labour, right?
Nurse Barbara Gilbert is really getting into the swing of things in Poplar. Your twenties is all about burning the candle at both ends – she’s left her religious parents behind and she’s on her own in the capital. Not only that, she’s embraced Trixie’s raucous induction. And some. She might have a head foggy with eggnog, a boy’s phone number biro-ed on her arm and half a chicken shish in her delivery bag but Barb is determined to start her shift on time.
This lovely couple are doing rather well for themselves. They’re mere days away from welcoming a new member of their family – and apparently they’ve just bought a washing machine. It’s all part of the nesting instinct, people tell me. Like a magpie collects jewels, tinsel and pieces of tin foil, this expectant mum spends her days foraging for fern, searching for sage, looking for lime and purchasing pea. Even the milk is a strange shade of green.
Call the Midwife continues on Sunday at 8:00pm on BBC1