Category: Knight after Knight

Sunday serialisation – Knight after Knight, 3.2

Knight after Knight250

In Knight & Deigh, Hannice Knight suffered a back injury that left him without the use of his legs. Sophie Deigh, physiotherapist and recent widow, devoted herself to supporting him.

As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and soon they found themselves in a relationship they had neither anticipated nor intended, and for which neither was fully prepared.

A bump in the Knight followed Hannice as he juggled business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.

Knight after Knight is the third and final part of the Hannice Knight story. Starting after the marriage of Hannice and Sophie’s only son, David to Jess, the only child of Jason and Noelani Reeves of Hawaii, it traces the Knight family’s progression through the generations.


Knight after Knight. Chapter three, part two.

Sophie and I heard the doorbell ring during our dinner the following evening, but as we also heard footsteps walking towards the door, we decided to let it be. From the muffled conversation we managed to discern two female voices, which we assumed to be Jen with Janine. They went through into the kitchen.

Jen had learnt to listen for the sounds of cutlery being placed back on plates, and we saw her head poke around the dining room door.

“Excuse me, Sir, Mrs Knight, Janine has arrived. The Dietitian. Did you want to see her?”

“Yes please, Jen,” I said, “show her through. And come through yourself.”

“Shall we leave?” Eddie asked.

“No need. This concerns you two as well.”

Moments later Jen came through with an older woman, probably in her late thirties or early forties. Dressed in a businesslike two-piece her accent gave her away as West Indian.

“Hello, Mr and Mrs Knight. My name is Janine Richards. I am the dietitian working with Dr Willis.” Turning to face Eddie and Martha, she said, “And you must be Mr and Mrs Beard. Dr Willis has briefed me on your circumstances and needs, and as much of your history as we have on record.”

“Which, in my case, is nearly all of it,” I said.

“Except for some large gaps when you were resident in Africa.”

“Quite.”

“You have quite a cook here,” she said, “she has talked me through her menu plans and I have to say I’m impressed. Apart from a few tweaks here and there in terms of ingredients and portion sizes, I can find nothing to be unhappy about.”

“These tweaks,” Sophie said, “what differences will we see?”

“In terms of your appreciation of the meals, or in terms of the effects on your health?”

“Both.”

“You will hardly notice either.”

“Then what’s the point?”

“From the flavour point of view, I am merely suggesting replacement of unhealthy ingredients with similarly-tasting but healthy alternatives. On the health side, we’re looking more at reducing or eliminating risk factors. You may achieve the weight loss that Doctor is looking for if you increase exercise at the same time, and that may make you feel better.”

“Then what’s the point, if there’s no noticeable advantage?” I asked.

“Look at it this way, Mr Knight. If you get on a plane at Heathrow and set out for New York, what will be the effect of steering point one-five of a degree further north?”

“Not much.”

“You’d land in Boston, Massachusetts.”

“I see what you’re saying. But to change from New York to Boston from only one hundred miles out would need a massive change.”

“Precisely. I’m looking for small course corrections at first. Later on, depending on how you all feel about it, we can talk about other, more fundamental changes.”

“Like the amount of meat we eat?” Martha asked.

“Amongst other things, yes.”

“See?” she said to Eddie then, looking back at Janine she said, “I’ve been telling him for years he eats too much red meat. Took me nearly twenty years to get him to eat anything green.”

“Didn’t do my folks any harm,” Eddie said with a pout.

“If you call dying of heart failure in their sixties no harm.”

I decided to steer the conversation back on track. “So, Janine, you’re looking for evolution, rather than revolution?”

“I am. There’s nothing really bad in your diet, but we can do better. And once I start teaching this young lady the finer points of nutrition and dietetics, you’ll start to notice a difference. And it will not be an unpleasant experience, I can assure you.”

“That sounds splendid,” I said, “now, about Jen’s training…”

“I’ve been giving that some thought. My current group is mostly British with a couple of Europeans, but I also have one young chef and two nurses from sub-Saharan Africa, and two Caribbean students – one chef and one nurse – and although they’re fitting in well and keeping up, I am aware that their cultural start-point differs vastly from the rest of the group. How would you feel if I were to add Jen to that group and teach them together, separately from the rest?”

“What effect will that have on the content and pace of their course?”

“None. Being Caribbean myself, as you may have guessed, I can relate to them well. In fact, my father is from Barbados, but my mother is Kenyan, so I cover both traditions. As part of my beginners’ course in dietetics I include a number of practical cooking sessions with guest lecturers from catering colleges and commercial chefs. We generally only look at British, French and Italian cooking, but there’s no reason I shouldn’t include Caribbean and African traditions.”

“And Indian?” Eddie asked, having developed a liking for some of the recipes we brought back from Kerala.

“Why not? So, Mr Knight, what do you think?”

“I think you could do a lot worse than host the cookery demonstrations here.”

“I was hoping you’d say that. I was admiring your kitchen when talking to Jen.”

“Could Janine use the library as her classroom?” Sophie asked, “That way the class would be in familiar surroundings all the time.”

“The meeting room might make more sense – it has direct access from the kitchen. What do you think, Janine?”

“I think we’ve just set up my new course. I can do Tuesday evenings if that suits.”

“We have a deal,” I said.

“What will happen about Pepu’s idea for an estate management course?” Jen asked.

“He can still go ahead with that, but he can take it any evening.”

“Thank you, Sir. I’ll tell him.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday serialisation – Knight after Knight, 3.1

Knight after Knight250

In Knight & Deigh, Hannice Knight suffered a back injury that left him without the use of his legs. Sophie Deigh, physiotherapist and recent widow, devoted herself to supporting him.

As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and soon they found themselves in a relationship they had neither anticipated nor intended, and for which neither was fully prepared.

A bump in the Knight followed Hannice as he juggled business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.

Knight after Knight is the third and final part of the Hannice Knight story. Starting after the marriage of Hannice and Sophie’s only son, David to Jess, the only child of Jason and Noelani Reeves of Hawaii, it traces the Knight family’s progression through the generations.


Knight after Knight. Chapter three, part one.

Pepu had obviously seen us walking up the driveway and opened the door for us as soon as we arrived.

“Where’s Jen?” I asked.

“In the kitchen, Sir, making dinner.”

“Don’t stop her,” Sophie said, “we’ll go in and talk with her.”

“Is there a problem, Mrs Knight?”

“No, far from it, Pepu. You remember she said she wants to train as a dietitian?”

“Yes.”

“Well, our doctor said his woman wants to go through our diet with Jen, to make sure we’re getting everything we need—”

“And to make sure we don’t put on too much weight,” I interrupted.

“That, too,” Sophie agreed, “but she also teaches dietetics at the local college.”

Pepu seemed delighted for his wife and accompanied us to the kitchen, where Jen was busily chopping carrots.

“You want to see what I’m making for you, Sir?” she asked.

“Happy to,” I said, “but that’s not why we’re here. Our doctor – you met him for your medicals – wants his dietitian to have a chat with you.”

“What for, Sir?”

“To give you some advice about our diets. Apparently, we are now so old that we have to worry about these things.”

“Am I not looking after you well, Sir?”

“Yes, of course you are. This is more about making sure we don’t overeat or eat things that aren’t best for us. Anyway, she’ll come here for a chat, and – here’s the thing – she is not only a registered dietitian, she also teaches dietetics at the local college and may be willing to enrol you in her present class, or in her new one next term.”

“That’s very kind, Sir, but how would I get to the college?”

“I’ve heard that your husband is quite a good driver, Jen,” I said.

“Would you allow him the time to drive me there and back, Sir?”

“I’ll do more than that – I’ll even let him use the 4×4, although I may give him something to do while you are having your lessons.”

“Sir,” Pepu said, “what if I could find an estate management course that runs at the same time as Jen’s course?”

“I’d encourage you do take it.”

“But, Sir…”

“Yes, and I’ll pay for it.”

“Thank you, Sir. I will look.”

“Jen, the doctor’s dietitian will come here to see you sometime in the next couple of days. I don’t know, but I think she’s going to be asking you to keep sugar and salt to a minimum and avoid saturated fats. Now, I know nothing about cooking, but I don’t think we do too badly for those things, do we?”

“I have been trying for flavour and variety, Sir. It may be that I use too much of the things you mention. If so, I am truly sorry.”

“No need for that now. Let’s wait and see what she says, shall we? But when she comes, please do be completely honest with her. She isn’t coming to judge you, she’s coming mainly to help us. And even if she says that she isn’t happy with anything, it won’t mean your job here isn’t safe. You’re here to stay, young lady. So; how do you feel about training as a dietitian?”

“Very excited, Sir. I do my best now, but if I can be better, to repay you and Mrs Knight for all your kindness to us, well – I’ll do anything.”

“Thank you, Jen. We’ll leave you to carry on with your work. Smells delicious, by the way.”

And it was. Delicious, that is.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday serialisation – Knight after Knight, 2.4

Knight after Knight250

In Knight & Deigh, Hannice Knight suffered a back injury that left him without the use of his legs. Sophie Deigh, physiotherapist and recent widow, devoted herself to supporting him.

As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and soon they found themselves in a relationship they had neither anticipated nor intended, and for which neither was fully prepared.

A bump in the Knight followed Hannice as he juggled business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.

Knight after Knight is the third and final part of the Hannice Knight story. Starting after the marriage of Hannice and Sophie’s only son, David to Jess, the only child of Jason and Noelani Reeves of Hawaii, it traces the Knight family’s progression through the generations.


Knight after Knight. Chapter two, part four.

I had it done. All of it. Blood tests, urine tests, physical examinations even those of the most intimate kind. It wasn’t too bad. Like so many things, the anticipation was immeasurably worse than the fact.

During our walk back from the clinic, Sophie asked me whether I thought it would be a good idea to put Pepu and Jen through a full medical check-up.

“What for?” I asked, “They both seem okay to me.”

“Exactly. They both seem okay, but are they? Can you tell, just by looking at them?”

“Point taken. I’ll set it up.”

“No, you won’t. I know you, something else will get in the way and it’ll be forgotten. I’ll set it up.”

“As you wish. Doesn’t matter which of us sets it up…”

“As long as it is done. Anyway, I’m down there often enough, I can take them and perhaps alleviate some of their natural apprehensions.”

They had it done. They were fine.

A week or so later, Sophie came back from her shift at the clinic and told me that Dr Willis would like to see us both.

“Any idea what for?” I asked.

“He didn’t say, but he wants to see us together. Apparently, it’s something to do with our tests. When can you do it?”

“Did he sound urgent?”

“You know what he’s like. He always sounds the same. Reading between the lines, though, I think it should be soon.”

“Okay. Can you set it up for tomorrow afternoon?”

Sophie called through and arranged to meet with the doctor the following afternoon.
Neither of us slept very well that night.

“I need to talk to you about some of these results,” Dr Willis said after we’d entered his office and seated ourselves across the desk from him.

“Trouble?” I asked.

“Depends what you call trouble,” he said, “Hannice, you need to shed some weight. Your blood sugar and cholesterol are both borderline. I want to see you at least once a month initially to get it under control. You know that your blood pressure was at the top end of acceptable when we measured it before. Let’s have a look at it now.” I removed my jacket and rolled my shirtsleeve up to the shoulder. He placed the cuff on me and inflated it. “Hmm. Borderline raised,” he said, “we need to keep an eye on that, too.” He pressed the intercom button on his desk and instructed his receptionist to book an appointment for me in one month. “Now, Sophie. I’m afraid your colo-rectal screen showed traces of blood in your stool. Now, that could be nothing, but I think we should have you in for a colonoscopy to be on the safe side. Have you had any problems with your digestion lately?”

“A bit of indigestion now and again, but that’s all. I put that down to eating the wrong stuff.”

“Let’s see what the colonoscopy throws up, shall we? I can do it for you next Wednesday if that suits.”

“Yes, Doctor. Whenever. Let’s just get it cleared up.”

“Great. In the meantime, I’d like our dietitian to have a chat with your new cook; give her some pointers to keep you two, and your parents, Sophie, as fit and healthy as I know you’d like to be.”

“Jen would love that, Doctor,” Sophie said, “she said she’s always wanted to train as a dietitian and the chance to learn a little from a real one would really please her.”

“Good. I’ll set that up. I’ll have her come to you, if you’d prefer.”

“Will your dietitian be able to recommend a course Jen could take?” I asked, “We’ve already told her we’d cover any costs involved.”

“Janine, that’s our dietitian’s name, teaches part-time at the local college. I’m sure she’d be happy to enrol your girl. I take it her English is up to it…”

“Better than mine, sometimes,” Sophie said.

“Leave it with me. I’ll let Janine know when she sees your girl that she’s a potential student, as well as being your cook. And I’ll see you next Wednesday, Sophie. Have a light meal the evening before and I’ll prescribe a self-administered enema for you to use when you get up. If you can be in here by ten, I’ll be able to see you straight away. And, Hannice – one month. Okay?”

“Thank you, Doctor,” I said. I stood and shook his hand before we both left his office.
On the way home, I could sense that Sophie was worried about what Dr Willis had told her.

“I know it’s early,” she said, “but what if they find something terrible?”

“If they do, then we’ll talk about it. So far, all they’ve found is a small trace of blood in your poo. It might be nothing. It often is. You’ll find out on Wednesday if there’s anything to worry about.”

“Thanks, Hannice. Okay if I worry about your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol?”

“No. I’m not going to worry about it. It might be a blip. He’ll keep an eye on me anyway and do whatever he thinks needs to be done to keep it under control.”

“The thing I worry about most is diabetes.”

“He didn’t mention that, so I’m assuming it’s not a risk. Not an immediate one, anyway. Seriously though. Can you see me sticking a needle into myself every day?”

“No, I can’t,” she said with a grin, “I’m hoping that Janine, the dietitian, will help Jen to keep us fit.”

“And that what she has Jen cooking for us isn’t too awful—”

“Or too bland.”

“Or too little!”

We held hands and continued back to Knight Towers like a couple of young lovers. I could sense, though, that Sophie was a long way from reassured.