One of my guilty passions is – Coronation Street. I was brought up on Corrie, and the opening soundtrack to each episode evokes such a sense of pleasure, I fear that I have turned into one of Pavlov’s dogs.
OK, as it’s a soap, I have to admit that it can be a bit far-fetched – I mean, just how unlucky can some characters be? But it also brings some massive issues into the forefront of people’s minds – ie how men can be the victims of domestic abuse (Tyrone), euthanasia (Hayley), depression (Steve), alcoholism (probably several characters here – I mean, how can you drink in the pub at lunchtime and then go back to the factory and sew knickers or mend cars in Kevin’s garage?) and one of the current storylines of an adult being abused by her teenage step-son. As the mother on one teenage son and one soon to be teenage son, this is particularly scary.
But sometimes the smaller stories can also resonate. The developing relationship between Roy and Cathy is one that springs to mind. Both of them have recently lost their spouses and both are trying to move on with their lives but are struggling in different ways. They have feelings for each other but both feel guilty about still being alive when their partners can’t be with them anymore.
Cathy is a hoarder, her house has become her own death-trap and Roy has been trying to persuade her to clear the clutter. Cathy has admitted that the amount of possessions she has are diminishing her, but they also provide her with a comfort blanket.
In response to her admission, Roy replied with something that I found particularly profound. He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that he liked to anchor his life in predictability but that the one predictable thing in life is that it has to change. As I heard him say these words I felt something really connect. My husband tells me that “it’s not real you know”, but hey, I write fiction and good fiction is about making a connection.
Perhaps it’s because my own life is about to go through a period of change that this touched a nerve, who knows? But one thing it did for me was to encourage me to embrace that change.
My children are growing up and need me less (unless they want a lift or money) and although a period in my life has passed, I’m looking for the positives.
Perhaps that has been behind my current need to declutter. Now, I’m nowhere near the hoarder that Cathy is, but I’m ashamed to say that I have found a stack of magazines which are older than my marriage and therefore older than my teenage son, need I say more? However, I haven’t been able to throw them out without reading them once more, after all, something in them might be a trigger for a new story.
So, I’m slowly working my way through them and yes, I have to admit, there are things in there that have triggered some writing ideas. And now that I have harvested them, I simply must recycle!!!