Attempting to make it as a writer

Posts tagged ‘call the midwife’

Christmas Cheer

Weeks of preparation to reach this point, nothing left to chance to make this the best ever Christmas for my boys.  The work is done, the presents all bought and wrapped and  now we can enjoy the festivities.   A battle of giants has been fighting it out to claim the Christmas number one ratings with writers, producers and directors working hard for months to outdo each other with their showcase Christmas production.

We settle down for the final ever episode of Merlin; comfortable in the knowledge that Merlin will finally overcome the dark magic of  the once dear sweet innocent Morgana and Arthur will eventually discover Merlin’s secret then allow magic to return to the kingdom of Camelot.  Too much hatred, violence and evil had happened over the years to allow even a flicker of hope that Morgana will turn back to the good side.  However her brooding flashes of  evil, her sensual good looks and body-hugging dresses had coaxed many a dad to sit and enjoy the show with his children on a Saturday evening.

In the words of middle Son, who left the room angry and unimpressed with the BBC “What is the point?”  Words I might even utter myself;  allowing Arthur to die in the last scenes was not on the schedule of Christmas indulgences.  As a devotee of the program aimed at children  I felt the ending too brutal. We have seen the young Merlin arrive in Camelot unaware of his hidden powers, he has grown in magic and loyalty to the Pendragon’s despite their fear and intolerance of magic, to his final acceptance of the accolade of greatest sorcerer to ever live.  Here in the final episode could we not have a happy ever after.  Could Merlin with all his powers save his king one final time.   Could Arthur return to Camelot and allow magic to once again  be practised.  There were unanswered questions left hanging which can not now be remedied.   Arthur never knew, and I am not sure we ever heard the full story of the bargain with magic Uther entered; resulting in the loss of his wife in exchange for Arthur’s birth.  A back story which may have helped Arthur understand his father’s attitude and changed his attitude.

They could have kept the ending with the old Merlin still traveling modern  roads but left Gwen and Arthur together in earlier times.    The legend may state that Mordred kills Arthur but it also says that Morgana despite her enmity towards Guienevere was the one to take him to Avalon to heal him.     The program had veered far enough away from the legend that to leave them in our imaginations living happily ever after together would have brought a closure of peace and goodwill over this Christmas season, for my children at least.

Maybe the Christmas day Dr Who would placate my saddened children and replace my tear filled eyes with a sparkle.  Again great fans of the time traveller and still saddened by the end of the last series, we were optimistic for a new companion to  join the Dr.  Cast back again in time the Dr appeared in sombre mood as he refuses to help this planet of ours.   Scared of commitment following the sad loss of Amy and Rory at the end of the last series, he hides himself away on a cloud just above the curious goings on in the dated dismal streets below.  Goings on that include a green lizard lady and a soltarian warrior taking to the everyday town to  investigate strange events.

Predictably there is a girl who follows the doctor and convinces him to save the world, also predictably she tugs at both his hearts’ strings and is given the key to the tardis.   Back on course for a miraculous saving of the world followed by them travelling away to live happy every after or at least save other lesser known planets.


The final scenes are at the grave side of the poor unfortunate girl who had ensnared the Dr back to his usual altruistic self.   I realise from the trailer and the Dr’s upbeat mood at the graveside that this is part of a deeper story which will see Clara reappear in future episodes as his sidekick.   In the reworked words of Christopher Ecclestone’s Dr “for once why can’t everybody live”

As we settle down for the evening with plates of snacks and nibbles, the children enjoying their hot chocolates and yet more sweets.  Dabbing the dampened tracks of my tears the evening calls for a bit of seasonal cheer as we tune into Call the Midwife, hoping for a more upbeat cheery ending.   We are not to be disappointed there is a happy ending; the girl gets to keep her baby, the old woman is remarkably cleaned and treated having come to terms with her tragic past.  Now able to help sew the wonderfully detailed costumes for the scouts and brownies as they put on their seasonal production of the nativity; everyone is happy.  My eyes still appear somewhat dampened but the sparkle is working its way through.

I do however wonder about the sense of putting on such graphic viewing at such prime time. I don’t remember this level of explicitness in the series normally.  Wonderful as it is for a baby to come into this world healthy and alive, to show it at such a prime time when children may still be watching is a little audacious.  No 1 Son’s comment “who would ever have a baby this is absolutely disgusting!”

By the end of the program and finally our happy ending all three boys had surreptitiously vacated the room and gone to find entertainment of their own in other rooms.   Even Sexy Sporty Dad had retreated to the kitchen for tea and further nibbles.

So I am left to indulge in my favourite Downton Abbey.  Settling in to a comfy seat and warmed by the flames of the fire I cast my mind back to the closing scenes last Christmas where Mary and Matthew finally after two series actually get together as the snow settles in front of the magnificent lit Abbey; a warm glow creeps over me in anticipation.

Having lost Sybil earlier in the series, it is worrying as Mary has twinges throughout the program. Surely they could not repeat the emotive loss.  Have the family and their loyal watchers not been through enough, are we not entitled to a little bit of joyous emotion on this festive night.  My heart lifts as I watch the antics of the upstairs and downstairs relationships now merging together, losing the class distinction that was once so sharp.  As the final minutes of the program climax we are rewarded with the safe delivery of  Matthew’s long anticipated son and heir.  A second joyous moment in the evening’s  television viewing. The relief is palpable, at last my happy Christmas cheer, the Downton family are rejoicing, their staff relieved and Mary’s smile is contagious as my eyes water and my smile widens.


It is not to be. Moments later we leave Downton with the image of Matthew lying dead under his overturned car;  news not yet divulged to the cast.  Another beloved character killed off this Christmas season.  Trying to convince my disbelieving children that the red eyes and sniffs are only part of this never ending cold, I finally leave the my warm cosy chair to find a good book.

Is the news of floods and car accidents, war torn Afghanistan and Syria not sad enough.  Please can we have some happy programs.  What happened to the myth – go out on a high note,  yes we know with period dramas all the characters will be old and wrinkled if not dead by now.  We also know that they are only characters and if you watch them on I-player they will be alive again but so much anticipation and expectation are channelled into the Christmas scheduling of treasured favourites that negativity is not really required.

I note that another old favourite is revisiting our screens for one final time this coming weekend.  Dare I tell the children that Wild at Heart is back.   I have a forlorn feeling low down that the outcome may not be a happy one.  The memory of Danny returning to Leopards Den at the end of the last series was a great ending and one that should have lived in our hearts forever.

I hope your Christmas was filled with good cheer and happy emotions, surrounded by the ones you love and cherish.  Hopefully the only sadness tugging at your heartstrings this season was like mine lived out through the television.


Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy


Home Shopping

Don’t you just hate chasing your tail?  At the moment I am running round like the proverbial demented cat wishing for a few extra hours in the day to just appear.   Instead of which we are about to lose an hour as we convert to British Summer Time. What is worse I don’t actually seem to be achieving anything; which of course is probably not true but it just feels like it. Added to all the other normal things  I do, family, work, writing and organising, this week I also had to find various presents so had to go shopping; internet shopping.

I was a bit spoilt over last weekend for Mothering Sunday.  I didn’t get breakfast in bed or anything quite like.  I get up with the lark before the family are awake so the struggle for me to stay in bed waiting, only to drop crumbs and tea all over is just too much.  Also I had to be out of the house and on car parking duty at the rugby club for 9.30.

I came home many hours later from the aforementioned rugby club to find Sexy Sporty Dad surrounded by pots and dishes, peelings and vegetables and a succulent smell pervading the whole of our downstairs.  Not a child in sight helping him.  He was doing alright though and produced a wonderful meal and superb bottle of wine.   As we all sat down, some more reluctant than others to enjoy the meal en famille, Mini Son struggled in; arms stretched around a huge bunch of flowers and a plant.    The flowers now sit proudly in the dinning conservatory and the kitchen, while the plant; an Anthurium now resides proudly on my bedroom window sill which has been ceremoniously cleared to house it.  These same gifts had sat in my utility room since Friday night when I had been instructed to not notice each time I went in and out.

It had been an expensive week and my best friend and I, Amazon have spent many hours together just smooozing over appropriate gifts.  Obviously there was the mother’s day present which I find very hard to decide on.   Being one of six means I need to think hard and find something a bit different.  One of my sisters always sends flowers and not just a small bunch but a large deeply scented bouquet that will always include her favourite freesias.   My brother has a deal with a particular chocolate mini egg company going on so she receives them by the bucket load.  Two of my sisters live nearby so will take her out and treat her to Sunday lunch with trimmings.   It is therefore left to me and my other brother to come up with the different more unusual ideas.

This time Amazon guided me to the DVD of the recent TV series “Call the Midwife”.  I was convinced she would have sat down every Sunday night and watched it but I felt it was nostalgic and she would enjoy it.  She was a midwife in the 50s latterly so and although not out in the community the characters were very much the same type of people she will have helped.   I was right, it was a terrific success.

I was not nearly so clever or accurate with the other presents.  My brother is a difficult person to buy for, he buys most of what he wants and when he does want something it is usually well above my simple birthday budget allowance.   He reads avidly and has a library full of books; I have no idea which ones he already has so Amazon kindly sent him a gift voucher.   It was during his 40th Birthday party that we received the news about the arrival six years ago of yet another little cousin for the boys.   She is the youngest of the cousins and at the grand old age of 6 caused an even bigger headache for me.  I have never had girls myself, my sisters girls are all a bit older and when they were growing up there was a plethora of parents to advise.  Now, those same parents seem to have forgotten what six year old girls are into!   Amazon kindly not only does books but gifts, electrical and some clothing amongst their incredible range.  Another gift voucher was purchased and sent via email for delivery on the day, unlike all the cards which were all posted on the day so will arrive late.

Well what a week but just as I thought it safe to leave the haven of my desk I remembered the twins.  How could I ever forget them, those adorable two tiny babies have grown up into a strapping football playing sailor and a fashion conscious aspiring model of now 16.    I gave up a long time ago trying to fathom out what teenagers want; if they had an idea themselves it would be helpful.  I allowed my pal to guide me through the gift voucher section yet again and sent them through.

I am sure if I lived near a big town and had time to myself I would spend hours traipsing up and down the high street looking in different shops and coming out with fantastic ideas but the reality these days is we all suffer lack of time and the choices are so great that it is difficult to choose.  Gift vouchers and money seem a bit of a cop out to me but so often we receive things that we already have or we don’t like or want and they get thrown away, donated to charity or swapped; giving a voucher gives the recipient the onus to choose what they really want.

There are obviously many internet shops out there we all have our favourites.  I like the frighteningly dangerous fact that they have my details, even the addresses and emails of my family and friends whom I send things to.  One click shopping, I don’t even have to open my purse.

The down side of this and there is always a downside was; the other day checking my card statement and yes I am organised enough to check my statements.  I discovered a payment to Amazon that I knew nothing about.   The recent orders didn’t tally as there was nothing ordered for that amount.   A lot of investigation and it turned out that two of the recent items added together, minus one of the children’s voucher limit, left the odd amount charged to my card.     Time to change passwords I think!

Looking at the calendar I see another sister has yet another birthday this week.  I could meet her for lunch, we could meet up and visit a pamper parlour or I could go to a town and buy her something she might never wear.

Excuse me, I smell the coffee pot bubbling invitingly and feel the draw of a quiet desk and a smooze with my old pal.

Love Tiggy


Ps  Writing  –  it seems to have fallen down the priority list but is far from forgotten –  I checked the local paper for 2 press releases I have sent off this week and one result – nothing .     Will keep sending them though.



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