Week One (sometime in October):
- First and foremost is the fact that Malcolm's mum and Jo do. not. get. along.
- Malcolm can't wait to move back to his hometown and share a medical practice with his dad.
- His hometown is pretty far away from her hometown.
- His mother's taste in clothing was as remote from fashion as the moon was from cheese.
- Malcolm drives a Ford Granada and considers The Golden Egg good enough for a dinner date.
- He calls her 'Old Girl'.
To sum up week one: Josephine and Malcolm break up. Josephine doesn't think she likes Mr. van Tacx. In spite of this, Julius starts making friendly advances .
Him: Buck up!
Her: You have no right to stick your nose in.
Him: I'm working on that...you need a holiday - at least 10 days.
He wants to get rid of me, thinks Jo...and that hurts.
Jo takes a holiday at home. Her pride over the broken engagement had suffered more than her heart. We may now dismiss Malcolm entirely.
As the weekend winds down, Julius takes his leave of Mr. and Mrs. Dowling with a handshake and a front row view of him kissing Jo...unhurriedly. Mum knows which way the wind is blowing, even if Jo doesn't.
Back at hospital the other nurses tell Jo that Mr. van Tacx is going on a date with the small, sexy, gold digger, Moira. Julius is much too smart for Moira. He invited Sister Clark (in her fifties) and Mr. Dean, the elderly Senior Pharmacist ...there was no way Moira could compete. Julius tells her it was a case of safety in numbers -
but he always feels safe with her.
Mr. Bull returns. Julius leaves.
Paging Dr. Dowling, paging Dr. Dowling! There's been an accident in your neck of the woods...A milk tanker, a furniture van and a small family car have tangled and need medical attention.
After church Julius asks Jo to go back to Stourhead - this time they tour the church. I should like to be married here. To you, Josephine. Umm...think about it while I'm gone. Yeah, I'm going back to Holland. (at this point you can either channel Arnold "I'll be back" or MacArthur "I shall return)
Jo goes back at the hospital wondering about Julius. This is a very unsettled week for Jo. Where is Julius? When will he be back?
Julius is back! He invites Jo to dinner at his new flat. The flat that he purchased from a friend, because he knew that he and Jo would want their own place in London. His proposal is renewed, vital statistics given (he is possessed of one father, three married sisters and two unmarried brothers). He can arrange for her to leave the hospital at the end of the week, and they can be married in three weeks in the Stourton church. It's to be a full on wedding, cream satin, two bridesmaids and all the family.
Weeks Eight and Nine:
Wedding preparations, shopping for wedding clothes. Missing Julius.
Holland. Magda the Ex-Fiancee. Jo invites Magda to stay for lunch and then Magda implies she and Julius will spend some time together...Julius is out very late. Jo chews him out like a fishwife. Julius quietly tells her she's as blind as a bat and they will have a TALK in the morning. He's not there in the morning, so she ends up going to the village school's Christmas party by herself. In spite of not speaking the language, Jo manages to be the life of the party - to the extent of starting a conga line with all the students and the teachers. Julius takes her home, puts up a do not disturb sign and finally has The Talk. At last - the time and the place, but only you can tell me if I have the loved one...some delightful snogging ensues. The End.
Rating: Julius was delightful...twinkling eyes before a kiss, twitch of a smile before a kiss, advice to the lovelorn, and he's a pretty fast mover. From the time he met her in October(whilst she was engaged) until the final delightful snogging sometime near Christmas the pace never really lets up. He's persistent about wooing her, which I like. A lot. Josephine was pretty plucky too - from breaking off her engagement to Malcolm to getting engaged to Julius it was really only a matter of a few weeks. Sure, her emotions swung about - but all things considered, she did a pretty good job of handling herself. I adored the scene near the end when she had all the kids and teachers doing the conga. Cross-over characters Tane and Euphemia van Diederijk (from An Apple from Eve make an appearance - they now have two children). And now for the tough part. I have no idea what to rate this one. It has lovely moments, delicious bits of prose and likeable characters...but for me it ends up being slightly forgettable. I think I'll go with a Boeuf en Croute (with maybe a side order of Queen of Puddings).
Food: Apple crumble and cream, 'as nice a piece of 'am as I've seen for a long time and real cheese', tea that would drive a train, onion soup, homemade pate and toast, a morsel of trout, fresh caught from the river running through the hotel garden, Tournedos Rossini, homemade ice cream, chocolate orange creams, Vichyssoise, poulet chausseur, weak coffee and sandwiches that had been wrapped by a fiendish hand.