Thursday, 8 February 2018

Spotlight on Brief Encounter 5

What Did We Do Before We Had Boxes to Stare At?

Laura Jesson’s reverie about her fleeting romance with Alec takes place in her sitting room at home. This gives us a little look at the kind of thing that middle class people got up to after their evening meal, before the ubiquity of television.  What was a married couple to do to avoid too much contact with one another?

·        Well, there’s always the radio. A bit of Rachmaninov, nice and loud, can drown out any boring conversation.
·        The Times crossword is the perfect way to temporarily forget the futility of life – and if you fill in some of the squares you boost your self-esteem to boot. If your spouse is feeling a tad dejected, then boost their self-esteem by asking them to complete one of the clues that falls within their field of knowledge. They might not look so bloody miserable then.
·        Wives might like to do something with their hands. This is useful tool in resisting the inevitable temptation to throttle their husband as they drone on about what thingummy said to doo-dah when the latest sales figures came in.  Knitting or sewing are the usual activities although sharp pointy things in jabby fingers may not always be a wise choice.

·        There is always your library book, which you can hold at an angle that will prevent you having to look at your spouse. Borrow this from Boots of course, a nice middle class place with a pleasant smell. Not the corporation library which is for grubby poor people. 

"It's alright,darling, I know you didn't really mean to shove that crochet hook up my nostril..."

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