Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Apr. 29/12)

The Long Goodbye

Paul’s relationship with Eileen and Lesley. A story interspersed with the arrival of Robert Vaughn as Milton, the drama of Carla and Peter sneaking around, Frank’s trial Paul kisses Eileen goodbye in the morningand the fallout of Tracy’s trickery. But it was there, in bits and pieces, growing all the time. Just like Alzheimer’s does.

Paul has put Lesley in a nursing home for two weeks’ respite care. He is free to stay with Eileen, and she has decided to not worry about his marital status for now. Through the week it developed with Eileen’s family and community putting their oar in. Jason accepted his mother’s friendship with Paul and apologized to them both. But it was a different story when he realized Paul had spent the night with her. Eileen decided to go public and that didn’t sit well with Norris or Julie. Eileen had crossed the line, Julie said.

The story they are telling is so very important, one Paul has explained well. With Lesley in a nursing home, he feels guilt about leaving her to others, relief at not having to worry about her every second of every day, and guilt at feeling relief.

Eileen has said the right things: that he needs a break and he’s not abandoning Lesley. It’s easier for her to say that, especially without Jason accepts that Eileen wants to help Paulthe reality of Lesley’s presence, than it is for him to accept it. What will it be like when Lesley returns home from the nursing home and Eileen’s pretend world goes back to Paul’s ‘normal’?

Perspective of caregivers

When this story started a few months, I was impressed that Corrie would tackle the issue. It was one, I thought, that needed telling. People in the real world, caring for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, need to know that they are not invisible, that someone sees how hard what they’re doing is on them.

We saw Alzheimer’s with Mike Baldwin, but that was told more from his point of view. Well-done and powerful it was, about a character we had known for many years. This one is different: Paul and Lesley are new with this storyline being their entry to the show. We haven’t shared their backstory as we had with Mike. The emphasis here is on the caregiver more than the disease. That’s what I like about it, showing the ravages of Alzheimer’s for the person who has it but also showing how it can ravage his or her loved ones.

Norris indicates disapproval of Eileen and PaulAt the beginning, Eileen pushed Paul away. Alzheimer’s or no, she’s your wife, begone and shame on you. The honourable response, yes. But one that doesn’t take him into account. She came to see that, that he is more than Lesley’s caregiver and that he needs something in his life outside that role. And that having another life doesn’t detract from his love of Lesley.

Watching while living with Alzheimer’s

But there is another aspect of it. At the time it aired in the UK, there was a call to stop or change the story. A petition was started by a daughter of a woman just starting on the road of Alzheimer’s. Seeing what was happening on screen greatly upset the woman with Alzheimer’s – the fear that it might happen to her too, that those she loved might find other lives and loves while she was still alive.

Hayley, Julie and Dennis in Rovers discuss Paul and EileenTurning the tv to a different show isn’t an option, the petitioner explained. Routine and familiarity is extremely important for people with Alzheimer’s. If the routine includes Coronation Street, well, what are you going to do when the story hits too close to home? A difficult situation for Coronation Street: an important topic with two very painful sides to it.

See my Look at Bingy for some things I learned about dealing with Alzheimer’s.

Ponta Delgada

I’m not a city person, but one city stays in my mind. Ponta Delgada, capital of Saõ Ponta Delgada city centreMiguel in the Azores: a tiny perfect city.

Having flown in to another island, I didn’t see Ponta Delgada until it was time for my flight home. I fell in love with a beautiful old southern European city – in miniature. It was April, the weather was perfect. I had been doing research and thought I might find some “talking heads” to give analytic background. So I asked around. Yes, there was a university in the city and a Portuguese national radio studio. Yes, there were people on staff of both who knew about my subject, the Portuguese cod fishery, and would be happy to meet with me.

I was staying in the city centre. A nice and inexpensive hotel, just what I’d asked my University of the Azores Ponta Delgadaairport taxi driver to take me to. The university was on the outskirts of town, but it didn’t look that far on my map. I walked out of the downtown and through residential areas to a beautifully laid out campus. A very pleasant walk of less than an hour. There, and later at the radio studio downtown, I met with two informed and informative men who told me about Portugal and the Azores vis a vis the EU, Canada and Newfoundland.

Between working forays, I explored the city and nearby countryside. Having realized it Public beach near Ponta Delgada wikicommonswas possible to walk to the university in interview dress, I put on running shoes and roamed further afield. One spectacular day was spent at the beach near the city. I was the only person swimming, still too cold for Azoreans, but to me magnificent.

Cantino dos Anjos on the harbour

glass from Cantinho dos Anjos, Ponta DelgadaThat evening I walked the short distance from my hotel to the harbourfront. Near the yacht marina I went in the Cantino dos Anjos, a bar flying signal flags outside and in. Busy and comfortable, with several languages discernible in the overheard chatter. The bartender came over and asked my name and where I was from. I handed him a business card. Shortly after, he returned with a glass in his hand. We make these for new visitors, he said handing me a tumbler with the bar’s name and mine etched on it. Yes, that’s it in the photo. I’ve taken good care of it all these years.

Four young French sailors, one of whom spoke some Sailboats at Ponta Delgada marinaEnglish, began talking to me. Nice guys. They invited me to their sailboat the next day. We sailed just outside the harbour at sunset, then docked and the cook whipped up a fabulous seafood meal. They were leaving the next day, as was I, so they walked me back to my hotel. In smatterings of English, French and Portuguese we said what a lovely time we’d had. No, I don’t recommend girls or women going off alone with unknown sailors. But this time it worked out safely and just fine. And it gave me a memory of ocean water on a warm Atlantic evening and lights twinkling on the silhouette of an ideal Lilliputian skyline.

City Hall at night, Ponta DelgadaSophisticated clothing and design shops, well-stocked bookstores, good discount stores selling everything. Museums and galleries, lovely cafés and restaurants with outdoor patios. Very few vacant storefronts. A bustling downtown with beautiful old architecture well maintained, no skyscrapers, easy to navigate, Ponta Delgada is welcoming to tourists but not slathering for their custom. I hope it hasn’t changed, it felt like an easy place to call home.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Apr. 22/12)

Sweet Revenge

Becky's revenge - Deirdre rushes to Tracy crying in street I’m sure everyone who has ever lost a love to a lying, two-faced schemer stood up and cheered when Becky got back at Tracy. I sure did. What a wonderful moment when Tracy’s treachery was revealed. It was made sublime by Becky leaving it until the reception, after Steve had pledged Tracy his troth in their very beautiful wedding.

Becky watches as Steve and Tracy pronounced wedShe decided to keep quiet until after the marriage when Steve told her that he truly believed her capable of causing Tracy’s miscarriage. When Steve’s delusions are shattered, he’s trapped, legally “chained to that cow” as Becky put it.

She still almost backed out, though, not wanting to hurt him Tracy enters bathroom with Becky and Kyliethat much. Tracy’s smirking suggestion of ‘X’ as her new middle name made Becky see clearly again. After dropping her bombshell, she walked away and, like a weeping Bet Lynch, Becky in her leopard skin jacket left in a taxi. Steve chased her to the airport to beg her forgiveness, then watched her leave with her new man and son.

Classic Corrie

Steve watches Becky board planeThe whole week was great. Three storylines struck me as having classic Corrie, and soap, elements. First, the Tracy/Becky dénouement had evil deeds being eventually repaid, something that soaps do well because of their long story arc.

It also had a particularly Corrie aspect. Despite having earlier involved the police in order to expose Tracy, Becky did not take the Becky writes down what Gail tells her about clinic computerincriminating medical record to them. She relied on her neighbours. That fits perfectly with Corrie’s tradition of people helping themselves instead of going to the authorities. Don’t trust the rozzers, as Kylie says.

Fish Story

Second, the Owen/Faye/Anna/fish story giving an exposition of all sides of the issues. Continuing serials can do this better than other television forms. Especially explaining without giving a pat answer, which Corrie does very well. Owen presented a good case Owen discusses Faye with daughters and Royagainst Faye:  that her revenge on him was calculated cruelty and violence directed elsewhere, to living creatures. Where might this stop, with her wielding an AK-47 in the street? Anna presented the other side. What Faye did was unconscionable. But it wasn’t Owen’s place to discipline her, especially with corporal punishment and especially doing so in anger. I agree with her but I also thought – what about “it takes a village to raise a child”? Surely, that doesn’t just mean comforting and cuddling, it also means everyone has the duty to correct wrongdoing.

And Owen asking his daughters’ opinion of him as a father and of childrearing methods in general – wonderful. The Katie giving her childrearing beliefsdiscussion was thoughtful and presented all sides, from personal experience and general philosophy. I particularly loved Katie, teenage mom of infant, saying “I’ll never…” and Owen saying “I’ll remind you of that when…”

Poor Leslie

Lesley cowering on floor and Eileen trying to comfort herThird, Eileen/Paul/Leslie exploring the trauma of Alzheimer’s and the strain put on caregivers. This is an important story, fraught with pitfalls just in the telling. Obviously taking Leslie to Eileen’s was a mistake. Leslie should have stayed in the familiar surroundings of her home.

I can see a production reason for what Corrie did: saves building a set of Paul and Leslie’s living room. But, in the nice way that art (and its production) and life can reflect each other, it is also very easy in real life to make mistakes like this. In caring for those with Alzheimer’s, you learn by trial and error.

Becky enjoying flight first classFabulous writing, acting and storyline development all week. And if Becky never returns to the Street, I’ll always picture her in Barbados, having a wonderful life and watching her new son grow up. Sweet revenge indeed. And for now, I’m consoled by having Kylie as Becky Mach 2.Steve outside festooned Rovers watching plane leave

A Local CBC Solution

Stick with what you do well and others can’t do – that’s my suggestion for CBC Radio. CBC Museum in Toronto broadcast centreAn example, from this past week’s Sunday Edition, the story of The Investigator, a 1954 CBC Radio play about the McCarthy Communist “witchhunts”. Two important points: one, the power of drama as social and political commentary and, two, the power of a broadcast being heard across an entire nation at exactly the same time. CBC Radio can do that, your hometown radio station cannot.

So if programming must be scaled back due to less money, cut what others do and keep what fulfills CBC’s mandate as a national broadcaster. If I had to do a quick and drastic cut, it would be local programming: the morning, noon and ‘drive-home’ time slots. I’d keep national and international news, documentaries and drama.

Local information is valuable if you live in the locality. In southern Ontario, “local” programming comes from Toronto. It doesn’t matter even a tiny bit to me what traffic in Toronto is like. And while it can CBC sold mock newspaper headlinebe entertaining hearing what Toronto City Council is doing, I can live without it. If it’s deemed necessary to keep regional programming, cut each time slot to one hour and have production staff and hosts work part-time or split shifts.

A Facebook friend’s comment on CBC Radio was that he’d listen more if it had local news relevant to him, in London Ont. Doing just that was the reason for the much ballyhooed local news break on the half hour inserted by CBC into its programming a few years ago. All that has done for me too often is interrupt the thread of interviews and documentaries for a weather “update” six or ten hours old. Being in touch with regional communities is a good idea, but that way of doing it hasn’t worked. I don’t know how much that 90 second break costs, but it’s not worth it.

Local is good if you are local to CBC station

When I lived in St. John’s, I enjoyed the CBC St. John’s local shows. They were informative and entertaining about my community. Keyword: my community. If I lived Mar 2012 full page ad from Friends of Canadian Broadcastingin Gander, it wasn’t relevant.  I remember when CBC Newfoundland planned to shut down regional stations and programmes across the island. There was outrage. Gander, Grand Falls, Corner Brook all wanted to keep their own CBC local programming. Traffic reports weren’t going to make that much difference to the day’s decisions, but people wanted their broadcaster to reflect their lives. Valid point.

I’d like that in St. Thomas too. But I’ve never got it from CBC in Ontario. In St. Thomas, London, Windsor or Owen Sound, you get Toronto. Faced with the choice of Don Valley Parkway traffic reports and who’s singing where in Toronto or in-depth national and international news and socio-cultural analysis, I’ll pick the latter. CBC Radio should put its resources into what other, local radio stations do not do. If I want to hear St. Thomas news, I’ll switch to 94.1 myFM for its hourly news, then go back to CBC.

CBC is where I’ve been able to hear documentaries, political and cultural analyses, literature discussions and radio drama.  cbc funding graph 2011 from Friends of Canadian BroadcastingMake Radio Two a definable station as it used to be (i.e. not a mishmash of music genres you can hear elsewhere). Also keep RCI alive. Make greater use of existing regional facilities and staff for national programming from areas outside the Toronto broadcast centre. Play RCI programmes like The Link if more repeat broadcasting is necessary on Radio One. (Also see my praise for RCI The Link here.)

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Apr. 15/12)


Deirdre's guilty tears at Tracy's hen night in Rovers“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). Words that Tracy, Faye and Deirdre would do well to remember.

Friday saw the start of the unraveling of the lies surrounding two monstrous acts. One by Tracy with Deirdre’s collusion. The other by Faye all on her own.

After her insane jealousy brought about a miscarriage, Tracy had seen the silver lining in that cloud. She could blame it on Becky, thereby ensuring that Steve would turn against “baby killer” Becky and stay with Tracy. And she got her mother to go along with the lie. I’m not sure which one of them I find more repellent for their actions in this. Tracy has a purpose for hers, no matter how twisted it is. Deirdre? Protecting her child? I’m sure serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother thought that there was good in him too.

2 + 2 = Tracy

Becky saying to Deirdre you know somethingBecky started putting two and two together and getting four. Steve paying her off for her half of Streetcars, saying that Deirdre had urged him to give Becky a good settlement.  Deirdre’s visit to Becky in hospital. To both things, she asked herself why. And she gave Deirdre a chance to come clean, ambushing her out behind the Rovers and pleading for the truth. I thought Deirdre would crack, but she’s a better liar than I thought.

Tracy and Deirdre leaving RoversFinally, Becky’s new man completed the adding up for her. As manager of the hotel where Tracy had started to miscarry after running around like a madwoman, he had called the ambulance for her. But he hadn’t connected Tracy with Steve and Becky.

Finally while dropping Becky home, he saw Tracy leaving the Rovers checking appointment calendar for Beckyafter her hen night.  “I’ve seen her before, she…”. And the pieces fell in place for Becky. Oh, I look forward to seeing Deirdre’s face when this comes out!

Faye’s revenge

And the other monster of the week: Faye, willing to kill just because she didn’t get her own way. Someone poisoned the fish by putting creosote in the pond water. Owen Owen sorting Faye's laundryaccused David and Kylie. They, to him and each other, were appalled to think that he would accuse them of killing as part of a prank. Faye’s little smirk, after Anna broke the sad news about the death of the fish, showed she had no such qualms.

I still believe that Owen and Anna should have had the sense to build her a shed instead of or in addition to the fishpond. But killing fish to spite someone else? Sin. I hope only that Anna does not decide to get Faye a kitten.

Owen smells creosote on Faye's sweaterWhile Anna is away overnight and Owen is looking after Faye he washes her clothes and smells creosote on her sweater. Two and two get added correctly again. He is furious, about her wanton killing as well as the destruction of what he had made with Anna’s consent. I wish only that he had not laid a finger on her. Not that she didn’t deserve a good spanking, but because I’m sure Owen spanks Fayeshe’s got Children Services, the police and probably Madame Defarge from beside the French guillotine all on speed-dial. He, I fear, will end up in much more trouble than she will. I do hope that Anna realizes she has a psychopath-in-training in her care and that she takes care herself around little Faye.

RCI The Link

There’s a CBC Radio secret that night people in Canada know about.  Radio Canada The Link RCI logo with Marc MontgomeryInternational’s The Link, produced in Montreal, airs from 2 to 3 a.m. Monday to Friday on CBC Radio One. It is available in podcasts, but is not replayed in any other time slot, unlike all other programmes on CBC Radio these days.

I’ve thought that it was unfortunate that the show is not better publicized. Yet, at the same time, I liked having this listening clockradio showing 2:05 ampleasure shared only with what I imagined to be a select few insomniacs, night people and graveyard shift workers. You get to know some of them through their letters, voice messages and emails – from Canada, England, Sweden and elsewhere. Yes, it’s RCI so it broadcasts on short wave and satellite. You could call it the Voice of Canada Around the World.

RCI is gone from air

As of June, that Voice will be silenced. That includes The Link and all other RCI radio programming. CBC’s first act after the 10% RCI building in Tantramar Marsh NB 2009funding cut in Harper’s 2012 budget was to cut RCI. Instead of radio programmes, the skeleton that remains of RCI will create web-based programming. That’s fine for thems in Africa and Asia and elsewhere that have internet access. Not so good for the many who have only a transistor radio with shortwave capacity. Oh well, they’ll still have Radio Netherlands, Radio Australia, Radio Sweden, Deutsche Welle, Voice of America, BBC World Service and every other country’s international broadcasting to listen to. But they won’t hear from Canada.

Showing Canada to Canadians too

You don’t have to be outside Canada to enjoy The Link. But because it is produced with an overseas audience in mind, you learn a lot about parts of our country and society not covered by other Canadian media.

Until June 2011, it was 2 hours nightly. A drop in revenue shortened it. The new format cut one of my favourite features. ESL teachers who presented common linguistic The Link team in their studio from facebookerrors or grammatical anomalies for non-native English speakers. Even being a native speaker, I found them fun and indeed helpful.

The sports report continued, thank heavens. Whether it’s Ian Jones or Terry Haig in the studio, you get 5 very funny minutes packed with information on sports rarely covered by other Canadian broadcasts. Ones like soccer, cricket, rugby and cross-country skiing. You don’t even have to actually like cricket to like their reports on it. They also give interesting takes on hockey and other mainstream Canadian sports and athletes. Besides Stephen Colbert’s ‘spor repor’, The Link’s is the only sports news that I want to hear.

Tam-tam Canada RCI logo with Raymond DesmarteauAnother great segment is the Friday visits by Raymond Desmarteau, host of RCI’s French-language Tam-tam Canada. He shares the music of a French-Canadian artist with the Anglophone audience of The Link. In turn, The Link’s host Marc Montgomery visits Desmarteau’s programme to introduce an English-Canadian musician to Francophone listeners.

RCI logoOnly in Canada, eh? As of June 26th, it won’t be in Canada or anywhere else. Truly a pity.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Apr. 8/12)

Morning has broken

Brides walking toward altar to morning has brokenMorning has broken… That’s what played as guests awaited the brides. By the end, it was Sian’s heart that had broken. I’m sorry about that, but am pleased that the wedding that didn’t happen made up for the tedium of watching Sian and Sophie’s relationship over the past however long it’s been.

Sian saying her vows to SophieIt was a fabulous wedding, with everyone there and the brides very beautiful in matching wedding gowns. But Sophie’s cold feet showed when she hesitated over her vows. Then the fun began.

Kevin seeing her distress and saying “you don’t have to go through with this.”  Sally indignant about Kevin and Sunita knowing Sally chastising forlorn looking Sophiesomething she didn’t: “I’m the mother of the bride.” Rosie seeing her planning go down the drain: “can we just sort this out at the reception… they said nothing about this in the wedding app”. Jason wanting to move things along: “Rosie has a job to do”. Sian wanting her questions answered by anyone, preferably Sophie. Wedding ends with Sian running down the aisle, Sophie chasing her, Sian’s mother in close pursuit, Rosie throwing down her bouquet saying “nice one Dad.” And Amber keeping well back, well clear of the chaos.

Dreariest romance ever?

Sian running out of church with Sophie chasingI truly hope this is the end of what has to be the dreariest romance in Coronation Street’s 51 years. Is it because writers are treading carefully due to it being a gay relationship? Is it due to their age? For me, it’s partly due to their extreme youth and getting married at their age and in their circumstances is absolutely absurd. But Ches and Katie are just as young, and their having a baby is equally absurd. But Ches and Katie don’t bore me stiff. Sian and Sophie have since after the early dramatically promising beginnings of their story.

Bridesmaid Amber looking askance at SophieAmber livened their story up, even if she was annoying. And, to her credit, she called Sophie’s bluff on her stated desire to commit. She didn’t do it in a nice or empathetic way. But she showed Sophie that forever and ever was indeed a long time, maybe too long. I did truly enjoy the expression on her face as poor Sian, in love and serious about what they were about to Sophie looking terrified before the wedding as Sian talks about foreverdo, talked and talked about being together forever and ever and ever.

I am hoping now that Sophie and Sian both leave Weatherfield to go find themselves or whatever. And I feel bad about that. I’ve liked Sophie since she was a child but I’m so tired of the whiny, self-absorbed and even devious creature she has become. Realistic, I guess, in that she’s a teenager. But oh how I wish Rosie leaving the church as Amber still stands at altarshe would just stop!

Overall, this week among the Webster family, Rosie is the one who has shown the most sense. And that’s a very sad state of affairs for the Websters.

Corrie Stars in London Ont

I’m glad I didn’t bother putting mousse in my hair last Friday. I hate the feel of it, but use it when it’s important to me that my hair looks good. Fortunately it looked ok on Tales from the Street VIP ticketits own for me to meet the Corrie stars at Althouse Auditorium at UWO. No one noticed my hair.

I’ve never been at a meet and greet so didn’t know what to expect. I’d read a description of the Winnipeg show so knew that an autograph line was part of it. The ‘VIP’ meet & greet tickets were $96 and included the $10 brochure. General admission tickets were $50.

Meet and Greet autograph session

fan greeting Charles Lawson March 30 2012You came first to Charles Lawson, then Nicholas Cochrane (McDonalds), then across the stage to Julia Haworth and Stephen Arnold (Peacocks). I was nervous, as everyone seemed, and Charles Lawson appeared as gruff as Big Jim can be. People said hello, poked their programmes under his nose and went on.

By the time we got to the Peacocks, everyone had loosened up and spent more time at their table. There was less reluctance to ask for a photo with the stars, more chatting.

Part of that was a function of realizing, by the number of people in line and the passage of time, that this was the entirety of the meet and greet. There wouldn’t be another chance to talk to them.

Part too, I think, was a function of the different personalities of Steve Arnold and Julia Haworth with fans March 30 2012 Londonactors and characters. We only know their characters, and neither Claire nor Ashley Peacock are intimidating. So we are less likely to be nervous around Julia Howarth and Stephen Arnold. And both of them were gracious, smiled and laughed – genuinely – a lot.

Jim McDonald is kind of intimidating and Charles Lawson, the first you came to, was business-like about what he was doing. Where’s your programme, what’s your name, there you go. Nicholas Cochrane is not intimidating, either the actor or character. But he’s probably less known to many in the audience, having been off the show for the longest. What do you say to him – “cómo se va”?

Rearrange Corrie stars line-up

autographed programme photo Julia HaworthI would have placed them with Julia first because she immediately puts you at ease. She had a little wifely thing going with Stephen. She signed my programme, then flipped to Stephen’s page, pushed it across to him and said, “this is to Dorothy.” I heard others chuckling about her keeping him organized.

Another reason for putting Charles Lawson further along the line is that he was the big draw for many. People near me in line were so excited about meeting Big Jim.

A woman from Northern Ireland was so nervous that she forgot to get a picture with him and she’d promised her brother in Belfast that she would. So she and her husband returned to the stage so that she could get the photo. More Other Worlds page autographed by Corrie starsnerve than I had!

I really wanted a photograph, but I was in the lineup by myself and the opportunity didn’t occur to ask someone else to use my camera. Having a stagehand there to help people like me would have been nice and not that hard to organize.

I thought that there would be some non-autograph time. Maybe they’d sit and chat with the assembled smaller group that paid $46 extra to meet them. Maybe after the autograph line had ended for each actor, they’d circulate among the audience sitting dutifully in their seats. But as the line ended, each actor departed behind the curtain.

“Awesome” show

The actual show was “awesome” (Julia’s favourite new word from Canada, so she said). Great stories told by Corrie stars on stagethem all in the first half, and audience questions answered thoughtfully and intelligently in the second half. But my husband was surprised when I said that if I went to something like this again, I wouldn’t pay the extra for the meet and greet. Autographs alone aren’t worth that much to me.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Apr. 1/12)



vicar at Webster houseThe minister comes to see Sophie and Sian about their blessing and goes to the Barlow house by mistake. He talks to Tracy, she finds salvation and publicly confesses all her wrongdoings.


April Fool!  Unfortunately.

I’ve been amazed for a long time at what Deirdre will tolerate from Tracy. I’ve been amazed at what she will do to protect her. It has often seemed misguided and not really doing Tracy any favours.

Apple and Tree

But Thursday’s episode when Deirdre continued to keep her Deirdre keeping quiet while Becky begs for truth - apple and treemouth firmly clamped shut about the truth of Tracy’s miscarriage absolutely appalled me. I don’t think the writers are changing Deirdre’s character in this storyline; it’s just taking what she has done before to a new level of scary motherhood.

Becky at the Barlow house, with only Tracy and Deirdre there and all three of them knowing most of the truth, and Deirdre allowed Tracy to continue blaming Becky for the miscarriage. Becky, heart in her eyes, pleading for Tracy to tell the truth, saying Tracy ok you’ve won, you’ve got Steve. Deirdre very upset about not speaking up, but not speaking up. Not saying Tracy enough is enough, you can’t do this. Oh, she said it Tracy telling Deirdre to say quietafterward to Tracy when they were alone, but not really very forcefully. And one manipulative little peep from Tracy about “I’ll have nothing to live for” was enough to shut her up.

I don’t believe it’s fair to automatically blame the mother, or father, when a child goes horribly bad. But if Deirdre can help Tracy conceal the truth about this, well, I think we’re seeing where Tracy learned her conniving and lying skills – from her mother. Deirdre’s silence makes her as culpable as Tracy.

Deirdre glaring at Tracy after confrontation at school playIf anyone knows the depths of Tracy’s inner psychotic self, it is Deirdre. And that’s not just because Deirdre is her mother, but because she is the only other person that knows that Tracy killed in cold blood. Tracy told her mother, with a smirk if I remember correctly, that Charlie Stubbs had not been attacking her when she killed him, that she just killed him. It was pretty hard for me to accept as reasonable that Deirdre would keep that information to herself.

But Charlie was dead and sending Tracy to prison for life wouldn’t bring him back. You still might want to think about whether you are doing the right thing in “protecting” a murderer even if she is your daughter. You might be next in her sights. So ok, Deirdre has a misguided notion of a Steve tells Becky 'best performance' while Tracy acts fearfulmother’s protective role.

But totally scuppering Becky’s life and reputation? I do not see that doing that, or allowing that to happen, is justifiable in any way. And this incident with Becky and even the murder of Charlie Stubbs, are not the only horrible things that Tracy has done to destroy other people’s lives and that Deirdre knows about. Deirdre is harbouring a sociopath and by doing so she’s made me think that, this time, it is fair to blame the mother. The tree is likely to be near where the apple lands.