'If you have been affected by the issues raised in this episode of Location Location Location, or if you want to know where Kirstie Allsop bought her wedge espadrilles then please call . . '
Two incidents today could have instigated a fraught call to such a helpline.
1. I was in The Body Shop. I don't usually shop there, I am irritated by the aroma of Dewberry and worthy sanctimony, but Madam Noir dragged me in. I was approached by a 14 year old Saturday girl. She caught me at a vulnerable moment. I was fretting over my, frankly, WH Auden skin.
SG: Can I help you?
Miss Underscore: Which is your most potent eye-cream?
SG: What do you mean 'potent'?
Miss Underscore: Well, I want something lifting, tightening, hydrating. . .
SG: (pointing to shelves). Well this one was designed for women in their 40s and this one is for women in their 50s and above. (smugly) They're all organic and fair trade.
Miss Underscore: Organic? I couldn't give a badger's chuff whether they're organic OR fair trade. I want chemicals. I want SCIENCE.
I left the shop feeling very despondent. Did she really think I was in need of the 50+ eye cream? What could that lanky, doe-eyed flibbertygibbet know of the angst of aging? Wouldn't the very best customer service have been a response of,
'Well, you really don't need ANY eye-cream, you have the creamy and ethereal skin of Aphrodite, after all. However, just as a precaution why don't you try this?'
2. Earlier I found myself admiring Cath Kidson butter dishes and egg cups. 'What the fuck has happened to me?' I wondered. At what precise point did the trajectory of my life shift? When exactly did Saturday afternoon shopping evolve from gleefully buying gin, glittery eyeshadows and shagging knickers to drooling over floral crockery and tea towels?
I picked up some Cath Kidston bandanas.
'Oooh, Madam Noir, what do you think? For the dogs?'
See? Do you see my problem? Dear God. I need an intervention. Help me. Someone help me. Please.
Later, over scones and tea, Madam Noir and I discussed
Parma Violet Tea: The Movie
nothing happens . . . twice
We did have great fun debating casting. Who would play the main parts. (For a Dramatis Personae of the blog click here.)
In moments of piercing sexual longing I would suggest Javier Bardem. He has the requisite brooding swarthiness. Although, whether the Spaniard would be able to adopt a mumbling Geordie accent is debatable. I fear Rochester's ubiquitous 'Aye petal' would sound more like 'Aye pethal'.
In more uncharitable moments, when remembering the rogue's eternal sardonic flakiness, I think Walter Matthau would be a great choice. He has a certain ramshackle charm, brown eyes and eyebrows like overfed stoats.
Then again, Ted Hughes would have been a rather good match. Scowling Rochester does like to stride across barren moorlands in chunky woolen jumpers while chain-smoking roll-ups and drawing obtuse analogies between the bleakness of life and the cawing of rooks. An argument could also be made for Sid James and Tommy Cooper.
I debated the options with Madam Noir.
'We need someone more Geordie,' I lamented 'and someone alive.'
We paused to contemplate the thorny issue. Then it came to us. Of course. Twatting obvious.
There is only one choice, I feel, for the 'best friend' role, that of newly 'lezza' Madam Noir. She simply must be played by Doris Day. Doris Day as she was in Calamity Jane, of course. That surely is the most lesbian film ever produced. Even the songs are lezza; Secret Love and the duet between Katie and Calamity, A Woman's Touch?
'A woman's touch
Can do so much
One smile from her and boom
Little buds begin to bloom'
Anyway, that is as far as our casting discussions have got, thus far. Of course, I need an overweight, shaven-headed Yorkshire twat to play my Headteacher, Pompous Pilate. And who on earth could play Doreen, my cackling, toothless crone of a teaching assistant? Senor Boldon (my ex, and Rochester's odd-bod brother) is another crucial role. I must give this project some serious thought.
The most perplexing question, of course, is who on earth could play Miss Underscore. Suggestions?