The smell of carbolic was strong at St John’s. It always seemed to clash with the image I had of the nurses. Each morning I would watch them leave the hall of residence, wrapped in royal blue cloaks with just a hint of red silk. Nurse Shackleton always looked smart with her starched white cap at a slight angle. Today I was worried for she had not left for work with the other nurses, instead she appeared in mufti with a suitcase. At the Christmas party she had kissed me, unfortunately matron had chosen that moment to visit the ward.