Walking Forward, Looking Back: A District Nurse's Life Journey by Dinah Latham
The book tells the story of a retired district nurse and midwife reflecting on her life whilst walking with her close companion Harriet, the dog. It is a touchingly honest work written straight from the heart. The reader will both laugh and cry as the author recounts many moving stories of patients cared for in 1960s London. The writings so patently contrast care in the community then and now that it becomes impossible not to regret the passing of a time when nursing was seen as a vocation, when nurses were proud to serve. Divorce and single parenthood accompany her career journey, while living alone escorts her into retirement. It is then that fortune takes a hand, or rather a paw, and brings Harriet the dog into her life. This may just have been the coming together of chance and good timing but, destiny or happy accident, it was certainly a blessing. It was her need to be taken on daily walks that finds our author evoking memories, randomly flicking through a lifetime of unwritten diaries. Together they share their walks taking the reader through the changing seasons of the Chiltern countryside, while also travelling a new pathway, one with an unfamiliar landscape ... a one way journey into growing old. This is a voyage of discovery, one that promises many unexpected new experiences ... not the least of which is their most recent pastime ... sheepherding!