Tuesday, 20 January 2015


I'm supposed to be on my way to London, but we had an unexpected snow fall at about 8am. This small incident - which has actually happened before in living memory, coupled with London Bridge being closed - resulted in my having to cancel. I was due to be at a restaurant 38 floors up The Shard at 12.30 - now, the only way I 'might' possibly have been able to get there this side of 2pm would be:

- Cab from my house to the station - £10
- Train to St Pancras via Ashford - £34 (not my preferred route and actually longer)
- One day tube travelcard - £12
- Lunch - £30
- Return home and a cab from the station - £10

Total - £96, without any actual guarantee that I'll actually get there on time - or get home at any reasonable time tonight. Any wonder why I'm always in a bad mood.

Anne Kirkbride.

I don't watch TV, and I loathe soap operas - I find them manipulative and faintly hysterical. I also have a paranoid suspicion that the populous are being manipulated by sinister forces through the medium of Eastenders. Being from 'The North' - as a child we were forced to watch Coronation Street as if it were part of our culture and our window on the world. Until Brookside came along, it just rumbled along serenely- small domestic dramas and occasional hysterical outbursts or obscene absurdity. All I really remember of Anne Kirkbride as a kid were the glasses, they were horrible and I assumed they were there to make her a 'character'. I doubt that they expected her to still be there 42 years later - chained to those frames (although they did get better over the years and she sometimes ditched them when she got married, which seemed to be quite often). She was an unlikely siren but as the almost polar opposite of Bet Lynch she gave a lot of women a touchstone in an otherwise absurdist sea of nonsense. I have fond memories of the day a tram fell off the railway bridge and crushed the sadly empty pram of 'Our Tracey'. I heard someone describe her today as 'having a genius for heightened drama' - which I think probably just means keeping a straight face while the writers insult your intelligence with more rubbish. Playing the same character your whole life must have been hard, but she said herself that she was grateful for the life it had given her - and actually - I suppose she had more individual dramatic roles than most 'big' actresses, would it really be so absurd to say she had a career arc that somehow eclipsed Meryl Streep's?

Here is a great picture of her from the early '80s - apart from everything else, she was actually pretty hot!

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