Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Pride and Prejudice

We are very much socially improving! We are to begin a marathon session of the BBC's 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice!

I confess. I do not know whether I am looking forward to it or not.

I become emotionally affected by romance plots which is awkward for all concerned. I must discreetly put my fingers over my eyes at the kiss.

But it is a necessary Austen to know, by any means, is it not? And I have young ladies to consider. One day I will set them free in the world of English-shires culture, bound for middle-class dinner parties, and I would hate for them to miss out on what constitutes canon England.

Anyway, now I have writ it on our scholarly kitchen timetable. It is there as P&P so I cannot get out of it. Although by referring to it as Postage and Packing I am making a good start. I could tell the children that it means we all stand in the Post Office queue today and tomorrow waiting to be served.

But worse than my feeble deception would be that we have agreed to go round to someone else's house to watch it, and I cannot betray them now. They might hurt me if I go all Little Weed at the last moment and claim we have to stand in the PO queue.

The reason, by the way, that we have to see it at their house is simple. Their TV is miles better than ours.


Like a cinema screen with lights and sound and popcorn.


Sorry. I forgot to push back the rood screen which hides the tellybox bought in 1895 and is in the corner where it is handy to shove all the junk including, on occasions, one of a selection of non-working vacuum cleaners.

There! It is like watching a video at the local museum.

But P&P! You know the one, yes? With Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. He of the duck-pond shirt and she of the sidelong simper. I bet you saw it the first time round.

We are breaking the six-hour P&P down into two screenings, today and tomorrow, which means I shift our Film Family Fun Night because otherwise Coriolanus will be slap bang in the middle of Episodes 3 and 4. Then Shark, Squirrel and Tiger will misremember the plot of P&P and, at some future dinner party engagement - because let's face it, that's all I'm doing this for - they will ask awkward questions about what happened to the Roman general who comes in half-way through, slaughters everyone then Darcy throws himself in a lake and isn't that an odd book to write?

Now I have written all of the above, I think I am quite looking forward to the opportunity to improve our sense and sensibilities of English culture in the country shires. It is 30 years since I read the book and, like most other middle-aged women of middle-England, I could grab a discreet eyeful of a bloke in a wet shirt holding a riding crop in a provocative way and I shall not complain, not at 3 in the afternoon, that much is certain.

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