Breakfast was laid out in the dining room, and I would take mine first, then go to bed for a few hours. I raided the larder. A pot of tea, boiled eggs, toast, home-made gooseberry jam, cornflakes, home-made yoghurt, and scones. Heaven! Nuns always have a lot of home-made food, I had discovered. The preserves came from the many church bazaars and sales that seemed to go one throughout the year. The delicious cakes and biscuits, and crunchy bread were made either by the nuns or by the many local women who came in to work at Nonnatus House. Any staff who had missed a meal through being called out had a free run of the larder. I was deeply grateful for this liberality, which was so unlike hospitals, where you had to plead for a bit of food if you had missed a meal for any reason.
It was a royal feast. I left a note asking to be called at about 11:30 a.m., and persuaded my tired legs to carry me up to my bedroom. I slept like a baby, and when someone roused me with a cup of tea, I couldn't remember where I was. The tea reminded me. Only the kind sisters would send a cup of tea up to a nurse who had been working all night. In hospital it would be a bang on the door, and that would be that."
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