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Plenty on Wikipedia and on IMDd.  Those two websites are great for the date and place of birth, as well as listing the TV, films, stage and radio I've worked on.  What they don't do is describe what it was like working on those productions, alongside the wonderful and sometimes not-so-wonderful personalities involved. They also don't divulge the highs and lows of over 50 years of marriage, bringing up three kids as well as emerging grandchildren. If you're interested, Learning My Lines (my autobiography), Echoes (my first novel) are for sale through my website, as is an archive of my blogs from 2009-2013.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

SILENCE IS GOLDEN?


I’m standing in an enormous queue in the Post Office. There seem to be dozens and dozens of people in front of me. We’re all hemmed by barriers to keep us in order, not unlike the penned sheep in One Man and His Dog.  

There is very old man coughing incessantly behind me. ‘Are you alright?.‘ I say to him.

‘I’m only waiting for my pension. Look at all these people queuing, with closing post offices all over the place, it’s a Government plot hoping us old folk’ll die before we pick up our money.’

I often go shopping early and dotted around at that time in the morning are old granddads or grandmothers wheeling prams with screaming babies on board. They’ve probably got a single parent daughter working. ‘Can you look after Pricilla for me?‘ So, dad or mum walks the little granddaughter round and round, changes nappies, trying to pacify her when she cries and feed her five days a week. They won’t last long at their age with that routine.

In London last week and I noticed another ‘old folk‘ hazard. We all know Pedestrian Crossings: the Red man is showing, wait, then the Green man pops up and off you go. But now things are different, there is a small screen below the Green man. The minute he shows up, the screen displays the number 10 then 9 followed by 8, counting down the seconds for you to cross the road. Shit, imagine an old soul using a Zimmer frame trying to cross Regents Street in 10 seconds! ‘The Quick and the Dead’?

Two possible explanations for the 10 second time scale: (1) Maybe it’s assumed the ‘Old Folk‘ don’t come into central London or (2) The the ‘coughing man‘ in the post office was right. There is a government plot. 

With the terrible weather we’ve been having the media is full of Global Warming. One thing that car manufacturers are contributing to the problem is trying to achieve is a cheaper version of the Electric Car.

Rack forward twenty years. There are Electric Cars everywhere. Global Warming Emissions are now at an acceptable level. All Seasons are in the right place. Enough rain for the farmers. Enough sun for seaside holidays. The Economy is stable. Everyone is happy. In one fell swoop the government has solved all of our problems. Everything is stable. Everyone is happy. And electric cars are cheaper and most people have one.

But grown up Pricilla isn’t happy. As her mother before her, she’s been put up the duff by a man who’s disappeared and she has no one to look after her baby.

Why? Because all the ‘deaf as posts’ old folks are dead. Killed on crossings, worn out by grandchildren, dyeing in queues or mown down by the silent electric cars all for the greater good of Global Warming.

The coughing man was right.....There was a Government Plot 

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