Tag Archives: Mary Taylor

Corrie Street 15 Jan. 2017

Christmas Vigil

Amid the turkey dinners, Christmas crackers, laughter and caroling, an outdoor vigil on Tuesday brought a belated Christmas tear to my eye.Christmas vigil by Roy, Brian and NorrisNorris, Roy and Brian camp out in Dev’s back yard. Norris wants to see Mary, and Roy and Brian join him in solidarity. Mary is furious at Norris. She refused to join them for Christmas dinner at the café. So if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad – Norris will go to Mary. And he has no intention of leaving, he tells her through the closed door.

Roy tells Norris he will bring him provisions. He does that, and he also brings himself and a probably unwilling Brian. Christmas dinner was on the table at the café. Brian was happily digging in, filling his plate. He probably had time to get a few mouthfuls in before Roy dragged him away. But even Brian knows when something is more Norris talks about what Mary means to himimportant than food and he joins the vigil for Mary without grumbling.

To fill the time, and explain to Roy and Brian why they’re sitting outside in the cold, Norris tells them what Mary means to him.

“I know I have a caustic manner. People say I sit in judgement. Yeah, I often do. It’s safer, isn’t it. To watch from the touch line rather than get involved in the field of play.

Ah, but not Mary. She lives. She gets knocked down, sometimes trampled on. But she always gets back up. She never pulls on a protective shell. She goes out into the world. As innocent as a newborn baby. I think she’s one of the bravest people I know.”shot of backyard with roy brian and norris

Mary hears what he says and her heart melts. So does mine, so does everyone’s I should think.

Christmas dinner is back on at Roy’s Rolls, with all four friends partaking. Then there’s an even happier ending. Gemma’s online plea for Mary starts to smileMary’s son found its mark. Jude saw it and comes to the café door. He meets his mother.

However, the bad thing to come out of all this is that he is going to take her away with him: to South Africa! But no, please, she can’t go. Like the twins said to her later, we’re your family, Mary.

Corrie Street 25 Dec. 2016

Mary’s son Jude

St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes. And of hope. Mary has a son named Jude. “A nurse called Maureen Nuttall found him on the steps his wife was back homeof St. Jude’s.” The nurse named the foundling after the hospital.

When Mary was 14, she was raped by a family friend, a member of the clergy. She babysat his and his wife’s children, and when driving her home one night he forced himself on her. During her pregnancy Mother hid her in the house, telling people that Mary was visiting an auntie. Mother, presumably, then left the newborn on the hospital steps.

I started getting biggerSitting amid the boxes and tissue paper behind the counter at Preston’s Petals, Mary tells Norris this part of her life. She has told no one before. But finding a lump in her breast made her think of her own mortality. It made her think of her family, especially the son she had seen only one time.

Mary has been trying to find the nurse Maureen Nuttall. Hers is the only full name, and the only link, she has to the child.

Norris asks about her motherThe baby Jude was born 32 years ago, so 1984. At that time, there was no longer such a stigma attached to teenage motherhood and having a baby outside marriage. Hiding pregnant girls, sending them to relatives far away or to Homes for Unwed Mothers had pretty much stopped.

Mary’s story would have been the norm a few decades earlier. But then Mary herself seems from a different era. It is not surprising, then, that her mother too would be.

The story of Jude feels almost Victorian in its cast of characters and she told people I had gone to stay with my auntits evil. A clergyman, trusted member of society and family friend. A mother who feels only the shame that her daughter has brought to their home. So much so that she does not even ask how her teenage daughter feels about being raped, being pregnant, or having her baby disappear. And the child, wrapped in warm blankets and left outside a hospital. Someone will find him quickly there, and care for him. The choice made for relatively compassionate and guilt-free abandonment.

Jude such a lovely nameEven the name of the hospital, St. Jude’s. The saint to whom you pray when you’re hoping for the impossible. When you need a miracle.

Corrie Street 11 Dec. 2016

Tombola

mother was locked in the church hallI had to look it up. A tombola is “a lottery in which tickets are drawn from a revolving drum.” In the case of Mary’s mother at the Scout Jamboree, it was food items in the drum rather than raffle tickets. Lucky for her. Tinned pilchards kept her alive when she was trapped overnight under the tombola.

what does that have to do with pilchardsNorris is wrong to cut Mary off in her storytelling. That was one of her best ones ever. Mother blindly reaching up into the drum, rooting around for a tin, then opening it with her teeth. It’s an image that will stay with me for a long time.

she would reach up into the tombolaA lovely scene, indeed a laugh out loud one. Brian, Norris, Rita and Mary all sat in the Rovers, talking about essentially nothing. What they can do with nothing!

Then they were joined by Ken. A good way to reintroduce him to the community of the street. Old friends. And, for him, a good way to get peter tells ken rovers is better than being homeaway from his lunatic family. It was nice, later, to see what Peter had done and to see Ken acknowledge it. Peter had used Ken’s absence to sort out his siblings about their incessant bickering and find alternate housing for the two new ones. So Adam and Daniel will be roomies in Dev’s flat over the shop. That gets the house back to normal, with only Ken, Tracy and Peter there and makes room for Amy again.

The Front Room

We got an explanation this week of how so many people can get norris leaves table for barsquashed into small houses. The front room. I’d forgotten about it. Ground floor, front of house – sometimes also called the parlour. We saw it in the Barlow house. It was Blanche’s room. When Kevin and Sally lived at No. 13, we occasionally saw the front room when someone wanted more privacy than the kitchen gave.

I can’t think of ever having seen the front room at Eileen’s house. But according to Norris, that is where Sean slept. I’m sure I remember mary, ken and rita listen to norris at barseeing Sean coming up or down the stairs to or from his room. Maybe some of them swapped rooms at some point, I don’t know. But it makes me feel much better, knowing that there is another room that can help accommodate the many people who happen by to spend the night under Eileen’s roof.

norris suggests new housing plan for sean and brianMaybe now we’ll see Emily’s front room and piano. With Sean and Brian in a bidding war, Norris has decided that they can have the two bedrooms. The extra money means he will be perfectly comfortable budged up by the piano.

Corrie Street Apr. 3/16

Friday, Sarah in the flower shop with Todd then a follow-up scene with Sarah, Todd, Tracy, David and Mary. Sarah might have an early baby, five weeks early.

todd-brings-sarah-teaTodd sees Sarah struggling to pick up dropped bags at the bus stop when she returns from a shopping trip to town. Seeing she looks exhausted, he takes her to the florist shop for a cup of tea. There he says that people seem to have forgotten that Bethany wasn’t the last child born in the Platt family. There was their Billy as well, the baby who died soon after birth. But he doesn’t forget, he tells Sarah. He’d be 11 now, nearly 12, Todd says.

todd-talks-as sarah-shows-painTodd breaks off his speculation about what Billy would be doing, if he were alive, when he notices Sarah’s discomfort. No, it’s not what he’s saying, Sarah says, it’s the baby – he’s coming. Too early, like Billy.

Skip through a few scenes back to the florists. Tracy is there and is horrified that a moaning pregnant woman is in the middle of her retail space, putting customers off. In comes a customer, Mary, looking for a small conversation piece for an occasional table.

tracy-upsells-flowers-to-mary“How much are you thinking of spending – 20, 30, I could do something amazing for 40” Tracy says over the wailing of Sarah. But Mary’s attention is on the medical emergency in front of her. She’s not a nurse but “I’ve seen a lot of telly,” she assures Sarah. She calls for towels and hot water and begins rolling up her sleeves. She wants to locate the baby’s head, she informs Sarah. The want-you-to-breathe-deeplyambulance siren can be heard, just in the nick of time.

It’s nice for the characters and viewers to take a moment to remember baby Billy. Also nice is a very funny moment of an unsympathetic Tracy totally unflapped about Sarah possibly going into labour right then and there. She then shifts to her best sycophantic ‘are you being served?’ routine. That her customer was Mary – what could be better? “You owe me 40 quid,” Tracy tells the moaning Sarah when she early baby - david-holds up hand and says-she-was-gonnarealizes she’s lost a sale. Of course she claims the top end of the amounts she suggested. Mary had totally forgot about her floral conversation piece and was much more concerned about the living, breathing one about to have a baby.

Corrie Street Sept. 20/15

painting-hopeA tiny perfect scene with Hope and Mary in Thursday’s episode. At the Community Centre, Mary is doing face-painting for kids. She paints Hope’s face like the Lion King. Tyrone and Mary ask her in their best nursie voices if she likes it, and Hope nods.

Then Mary takes Hope’s teddy and puts him in her lap. Will we do Mr. Teddy now? She holds the paintbrush dangerously close to Teddy’s shall-we-do-mr-teddy-nextfluffy face. Hope firmly shakes her head no. Mary tosses Teddy and glares at Hope as if the child had just spoiled all her fun. She cleans the paint off her hands and gives Hope one final filthy look.

Child actors on Corrie are rarely expressive. Most are more like props than participants. Adult actors must convey the emotion for both mr-teddy-tossedthemselves and the child. Whether it’s happiness or fear, the adult actor shows it strongly enough that, it is hoped, we overlook the child’s total lack of response. If need be, the adult says how the child is feeling. ‘Can’t you see X is terrified?’ Or ‘X loves it, don’t you sweetie.” If you watch the child closely, don’t be surprised if you cannot tell. But you likely will stay more focussed on the adult actor, and so will believe that X is scared or happy. It’s sleight of hand: watch what’s happening here and you don’t think about what’s happening, or isn’t, over there.

Lovely as she is, young Hope is no exception in her acting skills. But the overdone and underdone interplay between Mary and Hope was mary-glares-at-hopea LOL moment for me. It worked because Mary uses the nursie voice of encouragement with everyone. And when thwarted, she reacted as she does with anyone. She took it as a personal slight and repaid the child with a withering look.

Hope was the catylst for another lovely scene on Friday. I’ve been dreading the storyline of Hope’s illness, because it’s about a sick child but also because it will provide ample opportunity for Fiz to flip out. And she has been. But in telling Roy the diagnosis, she was as quiet as hope-smileshe. They worked beautifully off each other. The sadness and fear was almost palpable, done with few words and restrained gestures. I enjoyed it, savoured it even, knowing it may be the only understated scene with Fiz that we’ll see in this story.

And, in case anyone is keeping count, another big soap cliché on Wednesday. Robert says to Tracy “tell them” as she, Carla, Michelle and Nick talk about the fire. And none of the three think to say “tell them what?”

Corrie Street May 17/15

“Motorhome!” Mary bellows at Todd when he calls her home a caravan. She has told a crowded Rovers about the council officer who said there had been a complaint and she would have to remove her motorhome.

When Julie comes in, Mary goes on the attack, believing her to be the Judas who betrayed her. Julie has no idea what she is talking about, but she gives as good as she gets. Everyone ducks for cover, except Todd and Sean.

Todd stirs it up as much as he can because, of course, he had made the complaint. Sean believes it’s quite possible that Julie would do something behind someone’s back. She hadn’t waited for permission from him or Billy to alert the newspaper about their incident with the inn-keeper.

Sean is on pins and needles, waiting for Billy to return from meeting with his Bishop about that incident and the subsequent newscoverage. Billy walks in and he and Sean go out back to talk. Poor Billy says the Bishop gave him a choice, keep his relationship with Sean very low-key, in the closet so to speak, or leave the parish. He confesses that he told the Bishop that he and Sean were finished, that Sean had been a mistake. Sean believes he is being dumped. Billy says no, he lied. He doesn’t want to end it with Sean, he doesn’t want to have to hide, he doesn’t want to leave the parish.

Two lovely scenes back-to-back, fittingly perhaps, both at the Rovers. One a showdown between two individuals with many onlookers, the other between only two people, a private meltdown witnessed by no one.

In the same Wednesday episode, we were properly introduced to a delightful new character. The little dog who stowed away in Steve’s cab. Welcome, Cookie, to Coronation Street! You can read about who she really is on Bluenose Corrie.

It would also be wonderful if the council officer stayed around too. She is a treat. Like Mary (and Julie), she wears pastels like armour. Although by the end of the week, the motorhome was towed away, I live in hope we’ll see all three together.

Corrie Street Mar. 1/15

Too bad Dev couldn’t have listened to my mother’s advice: you can’t have more than one julie-hopes-they-are-both-hungrywoman running a kitchen. I’m sure she’d extend that to a shop as well.

Dev went to India, leaving Mary in charge of the children and house and Sophie in charge of the shop. He left Julie in charge of a vague everything. So, wanting to do a good and thorough job, she tried to take over everything. It’s soon open warfare between the three women.

The children pointed out the animosity evident between Julie and the others. To her i-was-really-hurtcredit, she listened to them and realized that, whether she liked it or not, things were not going well for her with Sophie and Mary. It was time to make amends.

A lovely meal prepared for them (although with no advance warning and in the middle of Sophie’s work shift), a bottle of wine, and a talking stick. The air would be cleared. And it was.

feel-underminedSophie is sceptical about the stick, mentioning Sally’s not so successful attempt at negotiations using one (a wonderful scene from October 2012). But with a firm grasp on the stick, she articulates her complaints about everyone and everything, including Julie’s interference. It is magic, she decides. Mary listens and talks honestly without needing the stick. She and Julie sort out the insecurities that underlie their jealousies about the children.

am-attracted-to-clever-menJulie broaches the subject of Mary’s possible feelings for Dev. Mary says of course she cares for Dev – then realizes Julie means romantic feelings. This gives Mary a great laugh, which then leads to an explanation that gives all of us (except Julie) a great laugh. “I’m attracted to clever men!” she tells Julie. Poor Julie feels relief, but wonders how it is that she’s yet again been insulted by Mary.

Corrie Street Sept. 28/14

Neil-shows-photoWe’ve likely all known a Neil, or been him. The guy you pray you don’t get stuck beside at a dinner, that you avoid at parties because he stands too close or keeps eye contact just that bit too long. Should you be so foolish as to befriend a guy like Neil or, heaven help you, become involved with him, you know somewhere inside yourself that you will never ever get rid of him. No matter how ‘busy’ you become, no matter how Steph-brings-champagnemany excuses you make or even however rude you are to him, he will not take the hint. He will not go away.

Neil has said that he loves Andrea and he is not giving her up without a fight. His fight is clearly a passive-aggressive one. He has not taken that step over the boundary into stalking territory, something actionable that could be reported and result in a Happy-anniversaryrestraining order. He simply turns up in the same public space that Andrea and Lloyd are in, and makes sure he is close to them – too close. And he stares, and makes chitchat, and smiles.

He is driving them crazy. He is unfailingly polite. Their angry responses just roll off him. He is simply dropping into a pub for a pint, or having a meal, or standing Lloyd-tells-off-Neilin a public street. It is not his fault if they happen to be there as well. His very presence becomes a kind of Chinese water torture – driving you mad simply by being there, never-ending.

My husband and I like Neil a lot, but certainly wouldn’t want to know him. Watching his stealth campaign to get Andrea back is very funny, when it’s happening to fictional people. Whether it’s Andrea telling him she hasn’t loved him in years or Lloyd threatening him, he is unflappable and unrelenting in his presence in their lives.

Lloyd-questions-NickThe anniversary dinner threesome at the bistro was hilarious. Without causing a huge scene, what could Lloyd and Andrea do about someone sitting at the table next to them? Neil was doing nothing wrong. He was simply making conversation with people he knew.

Andrea-twirls-hairThe week’s commentary on relationships was topped off with Mary’s astute summation of the course of love. As Andrea twirled her hair, Mary said “I bet you think that’s cute.” Lloyd said yes, he did. “Two years down the line, you may find yourself fighting the urge to want to break her fingers.” Andrea’s twirling and giggling came to an abrupt halt.

Mary-talks-love-and-hateAt some point past, Andrea probably thought Neil watching her, his eyes filled with devotion, was thrilling. Now she does not.  Mary could have told her that.