If I were ever to appear on Mastermind, like Mr Johnson from the Rainey Endowed who reached the final answering on various obscure French writers, I would choose as my specialism.... 'Coronation Street', 1970- present. I was the group expert last week when my daughter and I went to Manchester to do the tour of the set at the old Granada Studios, as I knew the answers to the guide's questions on details like the names of Gail's former husbands.
This is not to say I am a huge fan of the original 'soap' - when I'm on my own I don't usually bother to watch. It's just that I always seem to be around when it's on the TV: my grandmother watched it; my dad did in later years and mum when she sat down. My husband's family watched it - his mother was a huge fan. And most weekday evenings when it's on, Kate and her dad watch it together while I potter about. It's one of the few things they do together. The soap is pure escapism and bears no reflection to any kind of working class reality. But she has grown up watching it and sometimes it has been the catalyst for discussions about issues that perhaps would not have arisen naturally.
When the tour was advertised after the show recently, Kate said she wanted to go. I am forever dragging her round gardens etc. so I agreed to her choice of outing this time and we joined other fans for the tour on Thursday. This set was used until December - now the show has a new home at Media City in Salford. Backstage on the set was far from glamorous - we had a peek in dressing rooms, the wardrobe and saw the sets for some of the family homes and the Rovers Return. It was all much smaller than we'd thought. Then we went outside to see 'the street' itself. Good fun and out tour guide was very entertaining.
Then at the weekend my husband and I caught the train to London to go the Kate Bush concert at the Hammersmith Apollo. He's a huge fan - has all the albums and his screen saver on his tablet is a photo of her. That's why he was prepared to fork out a huge amount for the tickets. She hasn't toured since 1979 so they were much sought after. I'm not so keen on some of the music but I loved this show - it was more of a theatrical experience than a concert with film and puppetry and acting. There is a kind of narrative which links some of the songs and this was developed further. I liked the 'Hounds of Love' sequence which shows a woman -a mother whose family are waiting at home - who had fallen from a ship and floats about, hoping to be rescued. Some of the imagery was quite disturbing - she transforms herself into a bird at the end of Aerial.
These outings mark the end of our long summer holiday. Now I must move. Because today I have to go to work.