The moment you walk onto the corner of Smith’s Street andWhittle
Road, your eyes immediately rest on the dilapidated, worn down
building bearing the faded sign,
‘Sunny Days Old Folks Home, where your
elderly are respected.’
The once bright orange and yellows of the
billboard was the only suggestion of colour on the front façade. The
wooden weatherboards of the old building had started to rot and fall
apart, held together only by ancient, rusted nails, that didn’t appear
to be able to hold much in place.
Bert Partridge noticed these unappealing aspects when his eyes
lay on the building that his family had forced him to move into.
‘You’re unsafe to the family.’
His daughter’s voice fills his head. When he
walked over the threshold of the old building with his carer, the
scent of musk and Glen 20 air freshener wafted up Bert’s nose,
clogging up his senses. A pat on the arm snapped Bert from his air-
freshener induced thoughts, and brought his attention to a plump
middle-aged woman staring at him with pity in her eyes.
‘You must be Mr. Partridge.’ The lady spoke with a southern
drawl, her words kind but her tone clipped. ‘My name is Mrs. Doyle.’
She drew out the syllables of her name, as if Bert was a child of a
‘Yes that’s right, Mrs… Mrs… Ms…? I beg your pardon, what did
you say your name was?’ Bert searched his memory, or lack of one,
for a name of the woman standing right in front of him.
‘Mrs. Doyle.’ She spoke, again drawing out the sounds of her
name. ‘Welcome to Sunny Days. I hope you’re looking forward to
your stay as much as we are.’ Mrs. Doyle announced the welcoming
with the attitude of a hotel concierge, the faux happiness not so well
disguised. It was then that Bert finally looked around the room he
was standing in. He took in the moth-eaten couch, the type that was
decorated in floral patterns but always looked dirty. He glanced
down at the mottled grey carpet that covered the entire sitting room.
His eyes finally travelled to an elderly man in the corner of the room,
asleep, his soft snores filling in the void of silence that had
accumulated in the room. It was then that Bert realised that this was
not a place he wanted to be.
‘I’m just going to go outside for some air.’ He wheezed as he
registered how constricting and stuffy the room was. Before he was
given an answer, Bert unglued himself from his carer and took slow,
thumping steps outside. Once outside, Bert’s feet didn’t stop where