As lockdown draws to a slow end the vicar has started a bit of local art in the shape of a multicoloured covid snake .The village children and indeed everyone have been asked to add to the snake by decorating a pebble and laying it towards the Church.
I laid mine a few minutes ago ...
Well why not?
I've ticked six boxes from my list today. Fitted in a beach bike ride, Mary's trip to the groomers, the clearing of the drive of weeds, a collection of a load of plants from Meirion Jones's prize winning garden and just managed to join in with the last few songs of Zoom choir before settling down to a much looked forward to Alan Bennett on BBC 1
Beneath the chintz , and the cardigans and the perms and the brown furniture, Alan Bennett's Talking Heads , ventured into the darker side of the life of the 1980s Northern middle aged, with studies tinged with the effects of mental illness, loneliness, sexual abuse and exploitation, grief and alcohol abuse.
His humour shines through quite wonderfully though and cushions the monologues and the protagonists lack of awareness of their own motivations.
A Lady Of Letters is perhaps one of his most uplifting pieces. Originally performed by the powerhouse Patricia Routledge , this is an up to date study of a lonely and mentally ill woman who communicates with a world through an obsession with writing letters and has the wonderful Imelda Staunton in the lead role. Staunton excels in this initially tragic tale and unlike Routledge she plays her character more unsympathetically.....so when, Irene ,eventually finds some unexpected happiness she breaks your heart in it's telling .
This was a harder piece to sit through, given the subject matter, but Lancashire gives Gwen a tragic depth as her character decends into mental illness
Perhaps that fact dates Bennett somewhat......which is a shame.