Tag Archives: Christmas

Corrie Street 24 Dec. 2017


Roy Cropper was a complete flop as the community centre Santa – or Roy as PelznickelPelznickel as he chose to costume himself. The scenes of him in the café, for me, were also a complete flop. Indeed, I found it excruciating to watch. Poor David Neilson, having to take part in that travesty of “quirky Roy”.

“Have Roy do something odd with the idea of Santa Claus” you could almost hear someone say. Then somehow the job was given to someone who has never actually seen Roy in action before. And this is what they came up with.line-up-for-santa

So far over the top that it was embarrassing. Yes, Roy might go for a more folkloric representation of St. Nicholas. But taking it that far, and persisting in handing out fruit to children instead of candy and presents? No, he understands kids very well. Also he is a successful businessman and thus he knows the customer must be satisfied. Even Yasmeen has enough sense to know this is wrong.

yasmeen-hands-orange-to-liamWhether Roy has questions about the origins and purposes of the red-suited ho-ho-ho happy Santa or not, he would find a happy medium. He’d give kids a bit of history perhaps. Then he would give them the gifts or candy they expected, along with some fruit.

Maria and Liam perhaps reacted realistically, certainly as they needed to react in order to have the “humour” of the situation maria complains about pelznickelpointed out. Maria’s snotty behaviour (“I want my money back!”) did nothing to endear her to me. Nor Liam’s, but he has the excuse of being a kid. By the time the unknown mother and her brat were yelling about horrible Santa, I was wishing Pelznickel would haul out that bunch of sticks and use them!

Roy as Pelznickel wasn’t the only horrifying moment in Monday’s grandfathers-4-justiceepisodes. Norris in a Batman suit with a placard on the roof of the factory. Oh good Lord! Same person must have said “Have Norris do something funny”. The person who has also never watched Norris before came up with this. Somehow, these scenes made it through the writing chain and actually got filmed. If anyone said “hey, this stuff isn’t in character,” evidently nobody listened.norris-on-factory-roof

I always look forward to the Christmas episodes of Coronation Street. They always push the boat out a bit with décor, a bit of nostalgia, and a lot of drama. This year, I’m dreading it. Watching over the past couple months – since soon after the sixth episode started – has felt like work. And this week was just too awful for words.

Good moments? Tracy’s ‘get well from testicular surgery’ cactus to Robert. Well done, too, get-well-cactusthat Michelle didn’t find it funny at all. Also Jude and Mary’s talks about the whys of Jude’s origins, especially the one on Wednesday. Jude’s blow-up at Mary on Monday was good too, but was overshadowed by being interspliced with the Pelznickel and Batman nightmares.

Corrie Street Jan. 10/16

Christmas Again

Corrie Christmas with people-coming-out-on-streetIt was like having another Christmas this week, the perfect one you dream of. Sleighbells ring, snow is glistening. It was way better than visiting Santa’s village in Lapland. It was seeing the magic at home in your community, brought to you by your friends and family. And that, Tyrone, is the true value of Christmas.

There was sadness – the reason for the street extravaganza – Hope’s tyrone-asks-ches-and-kirk-about-motorillness. There was impatience, thwarted plans and ingratitude. Mechanical problems meant lights and the snow maker didn’t work on Christmas Eve. Tyrone snapped at the elves. But they recognized that he had a bigger sadness, the likelihood that Hope would not be able to come home, that she wouldn’t see any of it anyway.

fiz-and-hope home Christmas EveThen the beautiful moment: Hope walked around the corner with Fiz and saw the display. Her face lit up. The lights weren’t on, the decorations weren’t all in place, there was no snow. But it didn’t matter to her. It was her Lapland. And so it was Tyrone’s too.

santa-arrivesAll the people of Weatherfield got a beautiful present on Christmas morning, snow. The elves continued to work. Carollers and a brass band. Trees all lit up. Hot chocolate and mince tarts. And Santa and his reindeer.

mary-rita-and-emily-open-giftsIn the houses, gifts were opened and turkey dinners ate. There were squabbles too, overt ones and hidden tensions. At night, residents gathered at the Rovers. And there was a fight. What would Christmas Day be without somebody obliging us with a good fight?

Corrie Christmas Carollers

Corrie Christmas everyone on street-at-nightOn the street, people sauntered along and joined in with the carollers. Another lovely moment, part of the storyline for Hope and for us in tv-land, passersby looking up to the top floor window of Tyrone and Fiz’s house.

fiz-hope-and-tyrone-at-windowThey were upstairs in the girls’ bedroom, looking out at the winter wonderland. Fiz was appreciating what Tyrone had done for their daughters, and Tyrone was appreciating what their neighbours had done for all of them.

ches-and-sinead-waveDown below, those neighbours smiled and waved Merry Christmas up to her. And the camera angle put us in Hope’s place. Merry Christmas, Coronation Street, I said to the television.

For a lovely discussion of the Corrie Christmas episodes, see Emma Hynes’ post on Bluenose Corrie Blogger.

Corrie Street Jan. 12/14

Snow for Christmas

It was Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won’t see another one
And then he sang a song, the Rare Auld Mountain Dew
I turned my face away, and dreamed about you…

the-pogues-festively-singChristmas in the Rovers, Mary sang this but her voice trailed off after the second line.  The look on Hayley’s face brought her back to the reality that Hayley indeed would not see another one.  Mary thought of the Pogues’ song when she asked Liz about Tina’s whereabouts.  Was she in the drunk tank?

cop-holds-kylieA fight had started in the Rovers and moved out to the Christmas card beautiful street. Everyone watched it, including the coppers who were there to see Sally about her snatched purse.  They arrived just in time to pull Kylie and Tina apart.  Kylie was hauled off to the drunk tank, her sparring partner Tina was not.  Tracey was there too, and quite willing to punch someone’s lights out – anyone’s – but didn’t get the chance.

hayley-roy-bus-stopLater by the bus stop, Hayley threw a handful of snow at Roy as he looked at the schedule, confirming the times of the Wayfarer.  He was distracting her with small talk, in an OCD kind of way.  While coming home from the Rovers, she had needed to stop due to an attack of pain.

Neighbours returning from or going wherever saw her lobbing snowballs at Roy and joined in and a full-scale snowball fight developed.  A laughing Hayley watched from her seat on the bench. roy-hayley-look-back-at-streetWhen she was recovered, Roy extricated himself from the snowball pelting (feeling relieved for himself and Hayley) and they walked home.  Hayley said it was the best Christmas ever.  The others went on playing.

There was enough snow to build snowmen.  Sinead ran to the pub and asked for clothes, and Rita snowman-from-windowdonated Norris’ old coat.  Ches said he could find the other coat they needed.

Tucked up on the couch at home, Hayley watched her new dvd about Amsterdam.  Roy made tea and prowled the flat.  He looked out the window, and grinned.  He beckoned Hayley over to look.

Across the road beside the bus stop, were two snow people.  One snow cropperswore a red jacket and wooly scarf.  The other wore a beige jacket and had a carrying case slung over its shoulder.  Hayley and Roy Cropper immortalized in snow.

Mom, Christmas Postie

In the early ’60s, my mother worked at London’s postal sorting station during the Christmas rush.  It was for a few weeks when the Christmas Postie mom Xmas 1962volume of mail overwhelmed the sorting capacity of the regular staff.   It was the only time my mother worked at a job where she had to clock in for regular hours.  Very tiring, just standing all day.  The other women told her to bring egg cartons.  She’d flatten several cartons or get the 2 1/2 dozen flats and take them to stand on.

It was odd coming home from school and Mom not being there.  It was kind of fun but I don’t think I’d have liked it all the time.  I think that’s how she felt about the work too – fun to go somewhere and do something different and nice to have the bit of extra money but not something she wanted to do day in and day out.

I never thought at the time how she managed to pull Christmas together at the same time.  She made dinner for us, her parents and her sisters and their families.  Dad set up Xmas-1959tables in the basement, using sawhorses and half sheets of plywood.  Plastic Christmas tablecloths covered them.  All the food got carried down from the kitchen.  It was the only time of the year that our unfinished basement was used as a dining room.  It was fun.  In the evening, after everyone had left and Mom had cleaned up, we would drive to my other grandparents’ house and have presents and another huge meal there.

Postal Workers

I don’t know if Canada Post still hires casual Christmas workers.  There is not the deluge of Christmas cards mailed that there used to be.  We got so many that Mom would cover walls with them hung on loops of string.  She sent just as many too.

All this was before automated sorting and postal codes or the strikes that seemed to happen every few months in the 1970s.  It was before canadiandesignresources.ca stamps centenary postal workerscourier services took over much of the mail delivery, because of the strikes.  It was before postal workers began making a very good wage, and before the head of Canada Post earned half a million dollars plus bonus each year.  And of course, it was before faxes and emails, Facebook and Twitter.

People mailed letters and thank you cards, party invitations and birthday cards, sympathy cards and thinking-of-you cards, postcards that got back before you did from your vacation, and airmail letters on onion-skin paper to save on weight.  It was all delivered to your house or, if you lived in a small town, you went to the post office and had a chat with the postmaster or –mistress while you collected your mail.  In the country, it came to a box at the end of the driveway, canadiandesignresources.ca stampsdelivered by someone like my grandparents who had a mail route for many years.

There’s still some of that of course.  Superboxes haven’t replaced all human postal contact, yet.  And they’re fine, as long as they don’t freeze up in winter or jam in summer.  But you still need post offices for stamps and questions that the website can’t answer.

The Christmas Gift

This Christmas, I got lots of nice presents but my favourite is a list of stores written on a gift list of stores searchedscrap of paper. It’s about the gift that didn’t happen, but not for lack of trying.

My brother and I went to Saint John in mid November. In the uptown mall, Brunswick Square, the annual Christmas craft fair was happening.  Beautiful objects beautifully displayed.

I said to my brother, “I want to look for knitting or crocheting tables. I’m looking for a crocheted toilet roll cover.”  “Huh?” he said. “You know, you used to see them years ago – pretty lady dolls with skirts that covered the roll of paper, or poodles etsy 104263446 beautiful handmade crochet dollon top, or a hat.”  “Oh, I’ve seen hundreds of those – the Sally Ann, Value Village, anywhere.” “I’ve never seen one there, and I’ve been looking, so if you find one get it!”

There were acres of tables of knitted and crocheted goods, complete with ladies with needles clacking and hooks hooking. Kitchen towels, scarves, hats, mittens – all lovely but nary a toilet roll cover.

I hadn’t thought of them in years until we moved and I realized that in the upstairs bathroom there was nothing that worked right to keep an extra roll handy. I remembered the dolls, beautiful in hats and huge skirts, and the poodles. We never had one in our house when I was a kid, but some friends’ mothers had them as did elderly people we used to visit. I thought they were just too wonderful for words. The Spray Poo 1 handmadebymother.blogspot 2010 09 01epitome of la-de-da. Even as an adult, I’d never had one or even thought of them until this autumn when I realized it was just the ticket for our bathroom.

Since then, I’ve continued to look in thrift stores and craft stores but with no luck. My brother remembered, and also looked. Before Christmas he made an all out effort, but to no avail.  So I got the list instead. Seventeen stores in three cities – thrift, craft, gift, dollar and hardware.   Indeed, it is the thought that counts. This thought also entailed a lot of driving and going in and out of stores. Thank you.

Tap the poodle cover pic and it will take you to Handmade by Mother, with patterns. The beautiful doll is from Etsy.

Update: My brother told a friend about his unsuccessful search and she crocheted me one! So a gift doubled.