Readers' letters - December 14
Christmas '“ it's just a chore
An interesting festive statistic I came across yesterday was that 15 per cent of people now see Christmas as nothing but a tiresome chore that has to be endured.
I have felt like that for years, but when I have ever dared mention this, highlighting the nauseating levels of advertising encouraging families to spend beyond their means, I am always shot down in flames and branded a Scrooge.
But now it appears that my anti-Christmas beliefs are gaining traction, with millions of people feeling the same way.
Think of the poor mums who are often left entirely with the responsibility of buying presents for the toy-crazed kids and feeding the hoards of family members arriving, no doubt some who will be unpleasant and ungrateful, and will outstay their welcome.
And I won’t even mention the overindulgence in food and wine, and the huge spike in domestic-related violence the police have to deal with around these “happy holidays”.
Society appears to be gripped by a desperate need to have a great time over this period (which now starts in early November) and the message coming from everywhere is that the way to do that is spend money.
My final thoughts centre around the religious aspect of Christmas, which is becoming even more meaningless than ever, not least because the majority of people living in this once-Christian country now holds no religious belief at all.
I am glad to know I’m not alone in thinking Christmas is a boring chore with little or no redeeming qualities.!
A chilling portrayal of Christie
What a fine and suitably chilling portrayal of the Christie murders we are seeing on BBC1 television (Rillington Place).
10 Rillington Place, the film made back in 1971, utilised the original self-same street in West London before it was demolished.
Richard Attenborough played Christie and John Hurt played Timothy Evans, the hapless innocent who hung for Christie’s vile notorious crimes.
The original film is very sinister and creepy, yet never over-dramatised, made all the more so because of the complete absence of any background music.
As a result, you are drawn into the film from the word go.
I thought that Samantha Morton, playing Ethel (Christie’s wife), and Tim Roth, playing the villain himself, were both excellent in the new drama.
Christie was brilliantly portrayed as a man who could be utterly creepy yet also possessed a strange charm over his victims.
The sets too – the interior of the house, and garden – were accurately and atmospherically achieved.
A ubiquitous sound throughout the 20th Century in British life, up until the late 1960s, was the background whistle of a steam train.
In this latest TV drama, set in the late 40s and 50s, we hear the very different mournful cry of an American steam engine.
Anyone over the age of 55 will have memories of what a British steam train sounded like.
Apart from this quibble, full marks to the BBC for a very engaging drama.