Well, wouldya just look at that! Already it’s been five days since my last blog post – and how did that happen? I’ll tell you how: I had a post brewing on the TV series ‘Father Brown’ and it’s just not ready to spread its wings and fly away yet, so it’s incubating in the drafts folder; and in the meantime I haven’t thought of another. So since it’s Sunday and since I have a heavy head-cold and won’t be going to Quaker meeting lest I should inadvertently kill off half the Friends there by giving them my germs (they do tend towards the frail and elderly) I shall stay in the warm with you, my dear bloglets, and ruminate on Stuff.
If I ruled the world, there would be Nobel Prizes for nurses and Golden Globes for carers. I say this not as a carer but an observer of my partner’s daily care of his father. I would be a terrible carer, not only because I have zero patience with running about after someone else’s needs, but because as Alan Bennett comments in ‘The Lady in the Van,’ caring is about shit; and whereas that’s fine with your baby because you know they’ll grow out of it and because they make up for it in cuteness; with an elderly adult – well, you know where I’m going with that. So carers deserve the top awards in society because they are doing our dirty work – and yet they get just about the shittiest deal going (pun intended).
And probably the shittiest of them all is to be a young carer, such as featured in the film we watched last night on BBC 3. This channel is no longer on yer-actual box, but on what the iplayer coyly calls the ‘interweb’. Its brief is to produce programmes for young people, so expect the oddball, the quirky, the outlandish and sometimes the downright offensive. ‘Unconditional’ ticked three out of those four boxes, omitting to be offensive but managing instead to be completely compelling and disturbing. Two young carers look after a severely disabled mother in Newcastle: like most carers they are stuck with little money and few prospects. Into this world comes Liam, a loan-shark who is obviously a total creep but whom the youngsters find fascinating and exciting. The girl approaches him for a loan which she hopes will change her life – and thinks she might get a date out of it as well – but he prefers hanging out with her brother. It soon turns out he has a very specific agenda in mind…
I won’t put spoilers here but I do recommend watching if you have the i-player: