Which of our two new DVDs did I fancy watching, Mr B enquired solicitously. Obviously, by handing me the choice, it would be All My Fault should the film I opted for be what I think is known in the film world as a Rotten
Tomato. I may be doing my Other Half a disservice but I don't think so.
The choice (just so that you can decide which you would have preferred - I like a little audience participation on the Daily Blog) was
between "Suffragette" starring Carey Mulligan or "45 Years" with Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay in the lead roles. Not an easy decision.
Eventually, after due consideration and squinting at the small
print on the back of both DVDs, I opted for "45 Years." It seemed appropriate, as it concerns a couple about to celebrate 45 years of marriage with a big party. How would it compare, I mused, with our Golden Wedding celebrations last year?
One important distinction between Tom and Charlotte's celebration and ours was that a Secret From The Past was about to blow apart the carefully constructed fabric of their life together. This didn't happen to us, or, if it
did, Mr B forgot to tell me.
Twenty minutes into the film we agreed that there wasn't a great deal of, well, action. I mean, a film doesn't have to have that much action to please us - it doesn't have to go
as far as Daniel Craig jumping about on the top of an express train, trying not to get shot. But, really, the most exciting piece of action in "45 Years" was when Charlotte pulled down the loft ladder and clambered up into the attic.
Considering they were organising a big celebration, where were all the last minute phone calls, the occasionally fraught discussions about timing? Perhaps we were missing the point - all the reviews I read later raved about the "shattering,
shivery marital drama" and the "sensitive and devastating portrait about a long, happy marriage in sudden crisis."
But, you see, these two simply didn't interact like a long, happily married couple. They didn't
finish each other's sentences, they didn't look at each other and smile (or grimace) when a friend or acquaintance made a remark they had heard a hundred times before. There was no sense of history between them.
I will give you an example: you should never play Taboo with the Eldest of the Darling Daughters and her fella. They give each other clues like "It's your unfavourite breakfast" or "It's that place we'll never go again!" Nobody stands a chance against
them. We have stopped allowing them to be on the same team. Long, happily married couples have their own secret language - not one they have studied, all verbs, nouns and adjectives, but one developed over the years through loving experience.
In case you are wondering why the Daily Blog has inexplicably turned its hand to film reviews, I must explain. Over this last week it has been "back to normal" for many of our social activities following the Christmas and New
Year break. As we reconvene, there's one question everyone wants to ask me: how is Mr B? Everyone loves him and everyone, it seems, has noticed that he no longer accompanies me to choir, to cribbage, on Questers trips, to monthly meetings of the U3A. They
have become accustomed to seeing us as a couple at these meetings, he heading off to the kitchen to source coffee and biscuits, me saving our chairs and prodding him awake when he drops off during the more boring moments.
When I explain how difficult life is for him these days, how hard it is to get out and about and to keep his spirits up, everyone is sad to hear it. They ask me to give him their love and best wishes then invariably add: "It must be so hard for you,
Well, sometimes it is - hospital and doctor's appointments are a regular nightmare and I am constantly worried about him if I'm away from home for a whole, or even half a day, though Mr B avers, stoutly,
that he likes me going out, doing my own thing, enjoying myself. I'm not sure if it's the peace and quiet he craves or the fact that I come back armed with all the gossip. As regular readers know, I can spin a story out of the most unpromising material.
Mostly, however, I just love taking care of him. I take enormous pleasure if, by lucky chance, I manage to anticipate his random requests. I'm immensely proud of myself when I think up a new way of coping with the latest
challenge. I enjoy so much our sessions when I read aloud to him - we are reading Harry Redknapp's latest book at the moment. He laughs his head off every time I - who rarely swear - have to read aloud a particularly juicy piece of verbiage.
Caring for someone you have loved for years brings its own rewards and, believe me, they are without number. There's a new closeness, there's still fun and laughter and easy companionship.
Every act of care is A Kind of Loving.
They made a film about that, too, didn't they?