So there we were yesterday when a couple from near Lowestoft walked in and bought some items. 65 years married, he said but she corrected him – it was 60 years – you were chasing me for 5 years. He said it took him that long deciding.
My colleague pointed out you just don’t see that today. Then we got onto other things liked pressure-cooked meals as we grew up, full-fat ice-cream and no corners cut. I mentioned butter on the tatties and she said they didn’t have it during the war years when she was growing up.
I wondered how far austerity contributed to couples staying together. No, it was different then – there was still a moral code, it was just done for a couple to stay together – perhaps people were less selfish, less into their own perceived needs then.
Another lady had come in, one of the regulars, and I said to my colleague that she was very much like the type of women in my growing up years – you saw them around – tended to wear navy blue and had that well-groomed fairish hair, carried themselves as ladies. I mentioned that navy blue was always the colour of choice in, say, overcoats and that’s possibly why I wear a lot of it – growing up in that social grouping.
Didn’t know this lady from Eve of course but an immediate chord was struck. My colleague knew her though – she ran the soup cafe [is that what they call it?] at the cathedral. My colleague is not exactly a church person, more a parishioner really, in the old sense.
I said that I was never “church” but I basically believed, as most people did in those days.
She said, “There are far more Christians outside the Church than inside. There are some truly horrible people in the Church, I’ve met them.”
I’m sure she wasn’t referring to the lady we were speaking of as she was nice but I knew what she meant. Somehow, I think she was expecting me to argue but how could I?
My definition of church is a loosely defined worldwide collection of people who could be called Christian but her definition was the Anglican Church “thing” – the vestry, the dining room, the Dean, the whole scene, to which Cherie might have been referring some time back but in a positive way.
Thinking about it all, that whole scene – you see it in Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Miss Marple quite often – it was a Britain or England which did exist, right up to the 70s too, before it fell away under the Themist assault on culture:
And if you look at the Miss Marple theme clip at the beginning of her episodes [Joan Hickson], you see those sour, prune-faced women who were the great hypocrites of the age, not to mention the men of course and their secret sexuality.
In America, it was probably Harper Valley PTA.
And who was it first said: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?”
Filed under: Society & human issues