My Grandma Margaret is not very well. She’s been stuck in a hospital bed for weeks and I visited her over Christmas. She’s in a private room with a small window which looks out onto a brick wall. Not the nicest place to spend the festive season.
We chatted about Grandma’s recovery, what I’d been up to down in London and what my sister’s kids got for Christmas. In particular the drum kit that Santa so kindly delivered to my nephew Joshua, to the delight of the neighbours. Grandma appreciated the company, and we talked for a while but sometimes you just run out of stories to tell and things to talk about. So I chirped up:
“David’s finally thrown Kylie out.”
Grandma already knew. Perched high on a wall in the corner of my Grandma’s hospital room is a small TV and her only real window to the outside world. That window is firmly fixed on Weatherfield. Coronation Street has been a firm fixture in so many people’s living rooms for generations. A constant look at other people’s imaginary lives which provides a talking point, an escape from real life for half an hour – or an hour sometimes if we’re lucky. My first memory of Coronation Street must have been in the late 1980’s when I was a toddler. My Aunty Jean would always announce “Mother, the Street’s on!” and her tiny, white haired old mum would shuffle in and take her seat. Since then, for some reason, Coronation Street has been a constant in my life. It seemed like EVERYBODY watched it.
Grandma has also been a constant in our lives. My sister and I used to get so excited on a Wednesday afternoon as school finished, as it was the day we went to Grandma and Grandad’s for tea. I remember watching Blue Peter, Newsround and, of course, Corrie. I’m, ahem, 30 years old now, and me and my Grandma still have this shared interest. And my safety net for when I run out of things to talk about.
And look what I discovered right outside the door of her hospital room…
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