When I was over in Germany visiting my youngest son during the month of March, I discovered the BBC period drama "Call the Midwife." How did I ever miss this made-for-me TV show when it first came out? Each day when my boy was at work, I was either doing laundry, cooking, shopping, doing the kind of deep cleaning that a 23-year-old bachelor would never dream of doing...or binge-watching "Call the Midwife." I raced through the first three seasons (which were the only free ones available on Netflix over there). I couldn't get enough of it.
Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth; the story follows twenty-two year old Jenny, who in 1957 leaves her comfortable home to become a midwife in London's East End. She is surprised to find that she will be living in a convent: Nonnatus House. Working alongside fellow nurses and the medically-trained nuns, Jenny has her eyes opened to the harsh living conditions of the slums, but she also discovers the warm hearts and the bravery of the mothers. Even after Jenny leaves Nonnatus, she continues to chronicle the lives of the midwives who have become her family.
I love everything about "Call the Midwife": the old-timey feel of the show, with its vintage cars, fashions, and morals; the heart-warming friendships that form between the midwives who live together at Nonnatus house--all very different types of young women, but each endearing in her own way; the love and charity that the faith-filled nuns who run the convent shower upon the underprivileged families to whom they minister; the compelling stories about marriages and families and heroic struggles for survival. Oh, and the BABIES! It's simply a gem of a show.
Now let's talk about those vintage fashions. I think I was born in the wrong decade sometimes, because I just adore the way these gals from a bygone era dress, with their twinsets and Peter Pan collars. I even like the starched white caps and aprons that they wear when they're nursing.
I also love the way the midwives ride their bicycles all around East London to make house calls and deliver babies. So when I saw a retro "Call the Midwife"-style bike at Sam's Wholesale Club about a month ago, I fell in love with it and proceeded to give my husband numerous not-so-subtle hints that it would make an excellent gift.
He was listening to his dear wife, as he always does; so yesterday, he took me out to Sam's and bought me the bike of my dreams. It is the best Mother's Day gift I could have ever hinted about/asked for! It's totally "old school," like me. Even has a drink holder and a basket!
When we went to Sam's to pick up this mint-colored beauty, I was already wearing my trusty black trench coat, which is practically a uniform for me (and which a cashier at the grocery story recently complimented, saying, "It looks very British"); so when we got home, I added my vintage black felt hat, which I've worn for my boys' weddings, and enlisted my husband to use his iPhone camera skills to do a little "Call the Midwife" photo shoot in our driveway.
This was not at all corny. It wasn't.
If I had a light blue nursing uniform with a white Peter Pan collar on under my trench, and my hat was maroon instead of black, I could practically show up at Nonnatus House and fit right in, don't you agree?
However: if you think you might be in labor, please don't call me. I might look the part of a midwife...but that's not the same thing as being one, now is it?