Friday, 6 January 2012


Spot the difference ...


I couldn't resist being first in line to see Meryl Streep as Maggie and, true to form, she was magnificent. (Only saw her a few days ago in Mamma Mia on television ... what a difference!) But, somewhat to my surprise, I did feel slightly uncomfortable watching this portrayal of Lady Thatcher in lonely, doddery old age, still chatting to her husband who has been dead for several years. 'An imagined version of how she might be. Probably not accurate,' Meryl Streep agreed in an interview on Woman's Hour. It's not presented with any lack of compassion ... if anything, it humanises the Lady ... but she is still alive, and I shouldn't think there's more than a dozen or so people in the world who have any true idea of what she is really like today. Anyway, who says it's a sign of dementia to carry on a running conversation with one's dear departed ... that's something we all do in our heads, surely? Maybe it's because today is my birthday but the film did make me think about passing time. Mrs Thatcher became PM in the year that I graduated, when it seemed so completely astonishing that a woman could run the country and so the events of the film were the backdrop to the start of my adult life. I went on strike during the winter of our discontent of 1979, thrilled to bits to have six weeks off work (the novelty had worn off fast) and not giving a hoot about whether my overflowing dustbins would ever get emptied ... By the summer of 1982, by then in a proper job, I was memorably on board a destroyer as it sailed into Portsmouth harbour on its return from the Falklands. It really doesn't seem that long ago. In fact, I emerged from the movie wondering how on earth Mrs Thatcher and I both got to be so bloody old ...

13 comments:

Sue said...

Well, was there any? Don't leave us in suspense, was it really good or disappointing? Do tell.

mary said...

Sue, I suppose Meryl looks like Mrs T might have looked after a very successful facelift!
Definitely worth seeing, despite a few reservations.

Darlene said...

Happy birthday, Mary! And you have a long way to go before I would even begin to consider you anything close to old.

The Iron Lady opens here in a couple of weeks...can't wait!

Lucille said...

Happy Birthday Mary - but please - never mind Mrs T, I must know more about the destroyer. I spent a lot of time on strike too. It was like a game I'm ashamed to say.

Sue said...

That'll teach me to jump in with a comment before you'd finished writing the post. I too would love to hear more about the destroyer and happy birthday!

Cornflower said...

Belated birthday wishes! And yes, the destroyer?

Toffeeapple said...

Birthday Greetings Mary! I'm certain that you are not as old as I, since I graduated in the 60s. I have mixed feelings about the film as Baroness Thatcher is still alive.
Do tell about the destroyer, please?

A Trifle Rushed said...

Happy Birthday, hope you had a great day yesterday. The film does sound interesting, but I'm not 100% sure about it as Mrs Thatcher is ill. And like everyone else I'm intrigued about the destroyer. I was at university in '82, so was probably in the bar while you were on the ship!

Mystica said...

Birthday greetings and I think lots of us talk to people who have gone ahead of us.

StuckInABook said...

When Mrs. Thatcher became Prime Minister a woman had been running the country for nearly three decades ;)

(from a staunch royalist...)

StuckInABook said...

oh, and Happy Birthday!

mary said...

I hate to destroy any glamorous image you hold of me yomping into Port Stanley waving a Union Jack. What actually happened was that a party of us went out from Portsmouth on a launch, boarded the ship a couple of miles out at sea - and that's how I came to sail back from war with flags flying and bands playing. A complete gate-crasher!
Honesty compels me to admit that I was too gormless to have given any thought as to how one boarded a battleship in a pair of high-heeled shoes. (In case any reader is equally gormless it involves a steep ladder up the side.) I tipped on to the deck in an undignified knicker-flashing heap and can only say that HM's Navy behaved like officers and gentlemen as they hoisted me to my feet. Of course, I was more decorative in those days and they had been short of female company for many months ...

mary said...

PS Thanks to everyone for your kind birthday greetings ... and Darlene, thank you for your lovely sparkly Christmas card.