On a warm weekend on the outskirts of London, a small home with a well tendered garden was bathed in sunlight. Small boys ran through the house with balloons, as Mrs Davidson positioned decorations onto the walls.
“When’s Dad due back” asked Jennifer, Mrs Davidsons daughter, about seventeen, who had the golden blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes of her Mother.
“Ohh”, Mrs Davidson puffed and thought she was too old for all this stretching, “Ohhh” she looked for a clock and then realising she’d hidden it behind some balloons, waved her hand and said “I think they’ll be back in about twenty minutes, what is it, about four?”
“Check your watch Mum” Smiled Jennifer.
Mrs Davidson rolled her eyes and squinted at her watch, “Yep, twenty minutes it is, Thank heavens my internal clock still functions… Now help me down from this step.”
Mrs Davidson waved an arm at the decorations, “Well, does that look like a Birthday my dear?” She put an arm around her Daughter and pulled her close, “I can’t believe Dad is seventy and you’re almost all grown up, time flies sweetheart, altogether too swiftly for my liking” She bought her daughter close and kissed her gently on the forehead.
As the boys played out in the garden with Robert the Dalmation, Mrs Davidson and her Daughter decorated a chocolate cake with bright coloured smarties, piped “seventy” in long-hand and popped a single candle on top. Despite Dr. Farrow being exceedingly health concious, he was also a dedicated lover of chocolate, and didn’t seem to mind people letting themselves go a bit on special occasions.
Dr. James Farrow had been the local GP and had worked just up the street from here for about fifty years, but had since retired. Everyone in the area loved him, he was there at the birth of their children, treated everything from broken bones to warts, and managed to keep some of them alive by the smallest of margins… His mind had drifted as they drove home, each house was a reminder of another story, mostly good stories, but not always.
Someone waved at the car which woke the good Doctor from his dreams, and he waved back… “Sally Williams” He said and turned to Mr Davidson… “Whooping Cough, Nineteen Seventy Three, Pertussis… She almost died, Marcus”. Mr Davidson smiled but kept his eyes on the road, “Yes, you told me, you saved her”. “Not just I, Marcus” corrected Dr. Farrow, “It was a group effort, My collegues and I, David and Bryce, and those dedicated Nurses, Martha, Pat and Gina, He paused… “Three whole months it took, that poor child, Why people don’t vaccinate I’ll never understand. He fell back in his chair and a tear came to his eye. Mr Davidson was well aware of the waver in his Father in laws voice and reached out a hand and patted the doctor on his shoulder “She lived” he said solemly. “Yes” replied the Doctor, “She did, but many others did not, many who did not need to go… I hate getting old Marcus, There’s so much more work to do, and just as medicine is about to branch out into exciting new times, what happens to me, I kick the bucket and miss out on all the fun” He frowned, and then laughed at himself, Marcus laughed with him.
The car rolled up the drive and Jennifer yelled out “They’re here!”
When Dr Farrow walked in, He saw the decorations and smiled broadly.
“Happy Birthday Dad” Said Mrs Davidson, half crying.
“Did you two do all this for me? Is there cake?” Asked the Doctor.
“Yes there’s cake, I should’ve known that’d be your second question… and no, you can’t have any, yet.”
Dr Farrow spotted the two boys in the yard “Is Carmel here?” He called out to his Daughter who was back in the kitchen. Carmel was one of Doctor Farrows patients, Her pregnancy hadn’t quite gone as planned, and she had been lucky to have two healthy lads who were now romping with the dog in the garden like two healthy boys should.
“No Dad, I’m just looking after them, Carmel had to pick up Stuart, their car had broken down again… but she’ll be over later, she’d like to wish you a Happy Birthday…Cup of tea?”
“Yes Please Heather…” He poked his head around the door and asked “can I have some cake with it by any chance?”
“No, you old devil, you can’t” She scolded.
“Oh I see, just because I get old, I don’t get any cake” he looked forlornly at Marcus… I told you not to marry this girl, once you’re my age you’ll truely suffer.
The boys were playing with miniature trucks in the garden beds where it was all muddy, instead of the nice clean sandpit right next to them, Brian had mud right up to his elbow as he’d dug a tunnel for his trucks and his T-Rex to live in… that and the tiny blue box with the funny light on the top.
Latka Bella Fyfe was excited, She had only just met The Doctor on her home planet and was very keen, as any scientist would be, to not just see another world, but to walk upon it, There was just one problem, She was blue… Everyone from her planet was blue, Now being a blue person really shouldn’t be of anyones concern in this day and age, but she was a bit blue, really blue, just like everyone on her planet, except for the kentarkians who were more green than blue… but that’s beside the point.
The Doctor had suggested that she keep a low profile, so Bella, as The Doctor called her, had been searching the TARDISs database for suitable clothes, She was delighted when she found the Burqa and asked The Doctor if she could wear this?
“No” He said, scratching his chin.
“Why not? I think it’s lovely, don’t you?” she asked.
“Because… Earth Women don’t have long tails like a lizard” He replied, and prodded a few buttons on his console which despensed an item which he caught in his left hand.
“Wear this instead” it was a fine gold chain with a beautiful gem on the end, “That stone is a sort of holographic projector, you can pick them up cheap in braxton, er, that’s a planet I went to once, they’re rather too fond of ear wax… anyway… what it does whatever people expect to see is what is overlayed, so people see what they want to see, once I announce that you’re there, people will become aware of you and… and if they say something about your red dress, just smile and say thanks, don’t discuss it because someone else will see you in blue clothes and that’s going to get very confusing pretty quickly.”
The Doctor covered his face with his hand… “Erahhhh…. Woman, tall, brunette, jeans, sneakers” He opened his eyes and closed them again suddenly “Oh God, I’m sorry… BraShirtJacket…..Haaat!” And there she was, not as in fashion as you might expect a woman in her early 30s, but certainly good enough as far as The Doctor was concerned.