Sunday, 19 July 2015

These are a few of my favourite Deirdre things

Deirdre Hunt Langton Barlow Rachid Barlow was a joyous character to behold indeed. So much has already been said about her much loved persona already but a few comments lately in this blog have had me digging through my photo archives to find some representatives of my own personal favourite aspects and memories of Deirdre.

Anne Kirkbride brought Deirdre to life and what a life Deirdre had. It had its ups and it had a lot of downs but Deirdre still had a joy in her and a strength you couldn't deny.

Men were usually her downfall or the cause of a lot of her angst and if they weren't, her daughter Tracy was. "Oh, Tracy....." or "Oh, Ken" or the desperation-tinged "Ken! DO something!", knowing he probably wouldn't, echo around my memories.

Deirdre sings and the dogs down the ginnel howl.

Deirdre could be silly. She often mused upon things that made no sense to the rest of us but you could see that they were perfectly logical to her.

As I said, men were her downfall. One of my favourite stories was the smooth, slick Lewis Archer, who flattered Deirdre and used her to get his hands on the cash in the bookies. It ended up on the CCTV, which was then shown to half the neighbourhood, exposing his treachery and landing Deirdre with most of Gail's Manchester Tart all over her face. Ken wasn't able to "do something" that time, either.

I loved it when Deirdre was able to be smug and get the upper hand over people like Gail.

But probably one of my all time favourite Deirdre things was when she and Ken took up pottery. Ken was terrible at it. Deirdre wasn't much better but the (male) pottery teacher flattered her and she thought her creations were art at its best. I had visions of her and the teacher getting all Ghost on us. Sadly, or maybe luckily, that didn't happen. It might have if the instructor had looked like Patrick Swayze, though.

The best thing was that this little hobby didn't just disappear over time. There would be references to books on pottery that she bought, or we'd see a creation she made for her family or for others, such as Ken's peanut bowls made up in a 7 and a 2 to celebrate his birthday!

One last, more touching scene that comes to mind was when Deirdre visited Mike Baldwin when he had Alzheimer's Disease. She was gutted when he didn't really recognise her but when they danced, he looked at her and said something like "I know you, don't I?". It broke her heart and mine. And Mike's last words were of Deirdre, as he died in Ken's arms a few weeks later on a rainy street corner.

It always made me think that Deirdre was the true love of Mike's life, though he did love Alma dearly. Deirdre was one of the few people, man or woman, that Mike respected and he did anything for her that she needed.

I would like to see Ken go out into the back yard one night and think, just for a fleeting moment, that he could smell a waft of cigarette smoke. Deirdre spent a lot of time smoking out the back, staring up at the stars and working out what to do next when things went wrong. I'm sure her spirit won't wander far.

Written by Tvor - twitter @tvordlj

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