Tag Archives: Maddie Heath

Corrie Street Oct. 12/14

When I’m Cleaning Widows

maddie-with-flyersI am liking the story of Tim’s problem with reading. It is fitting, and nice, that it is Maddie who has recognized his difficulties. It was Tim who, early on, recognized good qualities in her and shielded her as best he could from the wrath of Sally. Now she is doing the same for him. And, as she did, he is resisting her efforts.

I read an objection to this storyline (sorry, can’t find it now).  Tim made contact with Faye through Facebook. If he can’t read, how dirty-widows pamphlet for cleaning windowscould that happen? Fair point. But he can read a bit. He got the word “ref” when Sally pointed to a newspaper headline. Before he lived with Sally, he lived alone. There is no reason he would not be able to make some use of Facebook. He would have had the time to decipher words, even compose messages, with nobody around to question why it was taking him so long. Also online posting is hardly the bastion of correct grammar or spelling.

plenty-of-thingsHe told Maddie that the letters look all “jumbled”. I wonder if the issue is dyslexia rather than not having learned to read. Whatever the problem is, he has developed coping strategies. It is someone like Maddie, attuned to survival without the correct tools, who recognizes his techniques.

Coping strategies

For example, in Dev’s shop, when he hands Sally’s shopping list to Sophie saying “you know where everything is,” Sophie thinks he’s just being lazy or chauvinistic. Sophie has seen and heard all you-learn-new-waysthe same interactions with Tim and Sally that Maddie has, but she doesn’t pick up the cues of what they might mean. Sophie did not have problems in school and, for all her concern for social issues, she really doesn’t know much about society outside her own little street. Maddie does, and she saw right away that something more might be going on with Tim and his reluctance for paperwork.

what-did-you-sayIt was Tim’s advertising flyer that put the cat amongst the pigeons. Of course, “dirty widows” was a mistake that the printer ought to have caught. But mistakes happen. My husband remembers hearing about an error made in a town’s commemorative pin.

maddie-and-tim-watch-sally-on-phoneFlags – he’s not sure of the number, maybe seven – and the town’s motto, “Under 7 flags”, were on the pins.  But the printer omitted the ‘l’ in ‘flags’. No one noticed until after the pins had been handed out. Oops.

Here is George Formby’s 1936 song When I’m Cleaning Windows.

Corrie Street May 18/14

Foster Care

Friday Maddie showed maybe there is more to her than meets the eye. I have been Maddie gives Ben one sixty changealternately bored and irritated by her and Sophie – please get off my screen! – pretty much since her arrival in Weatherfield. The Dickensian tough but vulnerable urchin that the character seems to be modelled after is done best by Dickens. Seeing this week that her story was about to ramp up again, I considered fast-forwarding through those scenes. But then she and her brother repaid me for not doing so.

a-better-homeSitting in Mary’s RV, which Maddie had broken into, trying to plan a future after a series of rash actions, Maddie’s heartache tapped even my sympathies. I could feel her hurt and loneliness, and the desperation of her love for her little brother. And now he’s going to move with his foster parents to Devon. That might as well be in the Antipodes for all Maddie knows about geography or could find the means to travel to, even if she knew where it was.

your-mad-maddie-daysIt crossed my mind that if Mary came in right then, after she got over the shock of a break-in, she’d understand what was happening because it was so palpable. Even Sophie, for once not being shrill and know-it-all, added to the complexity of emotions swirling in that small space.

Two senses of care

Sophie presented the other, rational point of view about ‘care’ in both the official and loving senses. Also about legalities in the form of social services and police. That opened do-you-want-to-go-to-devonthe door for Maddie to ask her brother what he wanted. And he told her: he loved Maddie but he wanted to be with his foster parents. Although I expected and would have liked to see Mary arrive and be the peacemaker, it worked out very well without her or any ‘adult’. The principals in this story – Maddie, Sophie and Ben – sorted out this complex and sorry situation by themselves. That was very nice to see.

cuffing-maddieOf course, we couldn’t have anything as simple as Maddie and Ben presenting themselves to the authorities and explaining. There had to be a confrontation and arrests of both Maddie and Sophie. Sophie’s arrest seemed to be mainly for shrieking, and maybe that ought to be sufficient legal cause.

That laid the groundwork, however, for another quite moving scene back at Sally’s when Sophie’s screaming subsided into pleading and enough what-i-was-going-to-saytears to bring some to my own eyes. And, praise the Lord, when Maddie returned, she seemed sufficiently scared by what had happened that she managed to “keep her gob shut” as Tim has often suggested she do.

I was sorry to see Tim pack his small bag and leave at the end of that eventful day. But I could see his reasons for doing so. I hope he returns. If Maddie is going to continue being sofa-surfingpart of the Webster family, I want Tim to be there to inject some common sense into their drama. He makes Sophie more tolerable and is a fabulous foil for Sally. Also, he would be most helpful for Maddie in what might be her ‘one step forward two steps back’ growing up process.