The Lady in the Van


The Lady in the Van

The true story of Miss Shepherd, an eccentric woman of uncertain origins, who 'temporarily' parked her broken-down van in writer Alan Bennett's London driveway for 15 years.


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Transcript


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This programme contains some strong language

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BIRDS SINGING

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VEHICLE APPROACHING

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MAN SCREAMS TYRES SCREECHING

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VEHICLE CRASHES WOMAN GASPS

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THUDDING

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POLICE BELL RINGING

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BREATH TREMBLING

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GASPING

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SHE PLAYS: Piano Concerto No 1 by Chopin

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ORCHESTRA PLAYING

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TYPEWRITER CLACKING

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-OLDER MAN'S VOICE:

-"The smell is sweet, with urine only a minor component,

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"the prevalent odour suggesting the inside of someone's ear.

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"Dank clothes are there, too.

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"Wet wool and onions, which she eats raw.

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"Plus, what for me has always been the essence of poverty,

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"damp newspaper.

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"Miss Shepherd's multi-flavoured aroma

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"is masked by a liberal application of various talcum powders,

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"with Yardley's Lavender always a favourite.

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"And currently it is this genteel fragrance

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"that dominates the second subject, as it were,

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"in her odoriferous concerto.

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"But as she goes, the original theme returns,

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"her own primary odour now triumphantly restated

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"and left hanging in the house long after she has departed."

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Tell her.

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-FLIES BUZZING

-Miss Shepherd?

-Hmm?

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In future, I would prefer if you didn't use my lavatory.

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There are lavatories at the bottom of the high street. Use those.

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They smell. And I'm by nature a very clean person.

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I have a testimonial for a clean room, awarded me some years ago.

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And, do you know, my aunt, herself spotless,

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said I was the cleanest of all my mother's children,

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particularly in the unseen places.

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HE SIGHS

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"The writer is double.

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"There is the self who does the writing,

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"and there is the self who does the living.

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"And they talk. They argue.

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"Writing is talking to oneself.

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"And I've been doing it all my life,

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"and long before I first saw this house, five years ago.

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-15?

-Number ten fetched 17.

-Oh.

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Come on. I thought you had a play on in the West End.

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These houses have got so much potential,

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once you get rid of the junk.

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There you have it. Gloucester Crescent.

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Good street. On the up and up.

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Big motor, have you? Loads of room.

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Watch out...

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-Just be a few minutes.

-All right, governor.

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REVS ENGINE

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ENGINE FAILS

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BELLS RING

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-You're not St John, are you?

-St John who?

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St John, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

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No. The name's Bennett.

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Oh, well, if you're not Saint John... I need a push for the van.

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It's conked out.

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The battery, possibly. I put some water in. Hasn't done the trick.

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Well, was it distilled water?

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It was holy water, so it doesn't matter if it's distilled or not.

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'Course, the oil is another possibility.

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That's not holy, too?

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Holy oil? Well, in a van, it would be far too expensive.

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Now, I want pushing around the corner.

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So... BENNETT SIGHS

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BENNETT GRUNTING

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Are you wanting to go far?

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Possibly. I'm in two minds.

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I'm turning left!

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BENNETT EXCLAIMS MISS SHEPHERD GASPS

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SHE GASPS

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Oh, is that it?

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I need...I need the other end.

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Well, that's half a mile away.

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I'm in dire need of assistance.

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I'm a sick woman.

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Dying, possibly.

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I'm just looking for a last resting place,

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somewhere to lay my head.

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HE SIGHS

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Do you know of anyone? Hmm?

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Bye-bye, madam. Mind how you go.

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"A proper writer might welcome such an encounter

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"as constituting experience.

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"Me, I have to wait and mull it over."

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She saw you coming.

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She's old.

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You wouldn't get Harold Pinter pushing a van down the street.

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No, unlike me. But then I'm too busy not writing plays

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and leading my mad, vigorous creative life.

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Yeah, you live it, I write it.

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-Welcome.

-Hello.

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-All moved in?

-Hello. Yes.

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-Was the move good?

-Yes, thank you.

-Well done.

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It's a pretty house.

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Not as big as ours, of course, but then you're unattached.

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No, it's attached to the house behind.

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Oh! I mean you. You're single.

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Oh.

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Sickert once lived in the street, apparently.

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Dickens' abandoned wife.

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Now it's the usual North London medley.

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Advertising, journalism, TV.

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People like you, writers, artists.

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Anything in the pipeline?

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Well, I have got a play on in the West End.

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Of course you have, yeah.

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Dare one ask?

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Uh, 13 five.

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-Oh, my God.

-Yes, I know.

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We're twice as big. So what does that make ours worth?

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Mind you, our new neighbour won't help the prices.

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Yes, we've met.

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Last year she was in Gloucester Avenue. Now it's our turn.

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She seems to have settled at 66.

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-Will they mind?

-I hope not.

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We like to think we're a community.

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Well, it's nice to talk to you.

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So, what play has he got on?

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We saw it. That domestic thing.

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-Gone.

-Mmm.

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-That's litter, Mummy.

-Those are her things.

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We thought you might like some pears.

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-They're from our garden in Suffolk.

-Pears repeat on me.

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Ah.

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RECORDERS PLAYING IN HOUSE

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Were you planning on staying long?

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Not with that din going on.

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-GILES SIGHS

-I know what you're thinking.

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Still, it's nice to feel we're doing our bit for the homeless.

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I'd like to keep it like this. Simple.

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-Monastic.

-Quite.

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-This is my bedroom.

-Nice.

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So, do you like being in the play?

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Love it. Love it.

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So English. Just what people want.

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Bed looks comfortable.

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Well, maybe you could come round

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and give me a hand with the decorating.

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Sure. My girlfriend's a dab hand at the painting.

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Oh, hello, darling. You look a character.

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Well, yes. This is Camden Town.

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Oh, yes! I'm here most days.

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I teach. And the pavement is my blackboard.

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Now, I also sell pencils.

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Yeah, a gentleman came by the other day.

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He said the pencil he bought from me

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was the best pencil on the market at the present time.

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You're against the Common Market, I see.

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Me? Who said it was me?

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-Oh, you're not the writer?

-Not necessarily.

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But I'll go so far as to say this.

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They're anonymous.

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And they're a shilling!

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You've only given me sixpence.

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Well, it says there, "St Francis hurled money from him".

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Well, yes, but he was a saint.

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He could afford to.

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Sodding beggars!

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I'm not a beggar!

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I'm self-employed, and this gentleman is my neighbour.

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Oh! On the move again? You didn't stay long.

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No. Because it was nonstop music.

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Lucy's doing her O-levels.

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It's the noise levels I'm worried about.

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Wave, darling.

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-Bye, darling.

-Don't stay up too late. Bye, darling.

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Sorry about all this. Glyndebourne.

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-Cosi.

-Oh, lucky you. Have fun.

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Oh, Look out. Madam's on the move.

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So, whose turn will it be now?

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-Slow down.

-I don't want to miss the curtain.

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-Mrs Vaughan Williams?

-No. The Birts.

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No!

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62.

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No. Who?

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No! No!

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-No, darling, that's us!

-Stop the cab!

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Sorry! Sorry!

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Sorry!

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Sorry, you can't park here.

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No, I've had guidance. This is where it should go.

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-Guidance? Who from?

-The Virgin Mary. I spoke to her yesterday.

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She was outside the Post Office in Parkway.

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What does she know about parking?

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Rufus, tell her we're going to Glyndebourne!

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I need a ruler.

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I must measure the distance between the tyres and the kerb.

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See, one and a half inches is the ideal gap.

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I came across that in a Catholic motoring magazine,

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under "Tips on Christian Parking".

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This isn't Christian parking. It's a fucking liberty.

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Rufus.

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-You try to be nice, and where does it get you?

-Darling!

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Well, you didn't stay long outside 66.

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Not with that din.

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They're not musical, are they?

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-Who?

-You know, 61.

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Uh, no. They go to the opera. Are you all right?

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What with all this to-do,

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I think I'm about to be taken short.

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Can I use your lavatory?

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No! The flush is on the blink.

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I don't mind.

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Where is it?!

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SHOUTING: Where is it?!

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TOILET FLUSHES

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Thank you!

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SHEEP BLEAT IN THE DISTANCE

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-ON PHONE:

-I've got a meeting at the BBC.

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What about?

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It's just something I'm writing.

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I thought you were coming up.

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In a week or two.

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I'm on my own.

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I know you're on your own.

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We're all on our own.

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Well, can I come down there for a bit? Is it a big house?

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Not really. You wouldn't like it. It's too many stairs.

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They have these chairlift things now.

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Are you still there?

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Yes.

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Oh!

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The foot fella came today.

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-Who?

-The foot fella!

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Do you mean the chiropodist?

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-You've written that down.

-I haven't.

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Hey, I've given you some script.

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I'm just raw material.

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-No, you're not.

-Hmm.

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Mam.

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-Are you all right?

-Oh!

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Yeah. It's the van.

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-It gets very close.

-I imagine.

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You're tall.

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My husband was tall. I'm Mrs Vaughan Williams.

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I won't shake hands. Gardening.

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What, the composer? Greensleeves?

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Among other things.

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Why? Are you musical? I don't even know your name.

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It's...it's Miss Shepherd.

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But I wouldn't want it bandied about.

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I'm in an incognito position, possibly.

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Safe with me.

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Shepherd. Drove ambulances in the war, apparently.

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-Well, where did she spring from?

-And a nun once.

-A nun?

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In the convent up the street.

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Still, everybody's got something to hide.

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My brother-in-law's a policeman.

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That's Camden! People wash up here. Like me.

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-Oh!

-Oh!

-She'd be a good subject.

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What for?

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You! One of your little plays.

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Remember, I planted the seed!

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No. No.

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I'm writing about Mam half the time as it is. One old lady's enough.

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I live, you write. That's how it works.

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-Yeah, except you don't much.

-Don't what?

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Live. Put yourself into what you write.

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How? We're both so fucking tame.

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Miss Shepherd? I'm Lois. The social worker.

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I don't want a social worker.

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I'm about to listen to the repeat of Any Answers?

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I brought you some clothes. You wrote asking for a coat.

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Not during Any Answers? I'm a busy woman.

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I only asked for one coat.

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I brought three, in case you fancied a change.

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Where am I supposed to put three coats?

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Green is not my colour.

0:16:560:16:58

Have you got a stick?

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The Council have that in hand. It's been precepted for.

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Will it be long enough?

0:17:040:17:06

Yes. It's one of our special sticks.

0:17:060:17:08

I don't want a special stick.

0:17:080:17:11

I want an ordinary stick, only longer. Shut the door.

0:17:110:17:14

If I should want to get in touch with you, whom should I call?

0:17:140:17:18

Well, you can try Mr Bennett at 23.

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Only don't take any notice of what he says. He's a communist, possibly.

0:17:200:17:24

Well, have you tried the people opposite? They're nearer.

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Well, they said they don't relate to her.

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You were the one she related to.

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Is that what they said? "Related to"?

0:17:340:17:37

No, that's me.

0:17:370:17:39

They said you were her pal.

0:17:390:17:40

-She was your girlfriend.

-Oh, Jesus.

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Does she use your lavatory?

0:17:470:17:49

Well, only in an emergency.

0:17:490:17:51

That might give her squatter's rights.

0:17:510:17:53

We'd be much happier if she moved on.

0:17:540:17:57

"We"?

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Camden.

0:17:580:18:00

All right, I've got everything.

0:18:000:18:02

The sherbet lemons, Cup-a-Soup, the miniature whisky.

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Mmm.

0:18:050:18:06

That's medicinal.

0:18:060:18:08

Well, she seemed very understanding, the social worker.

0:18:120:18:15

Mmm-hmm. Not understanding enough.

0:18:150:18:18

I mean, I ask for a wheelchair, and what does she get me?

0:18:180:18:22

A walking stick.

0:18:220:18:24

And she says I don't get an allowance unless I get an address?

0:18:240:18:27

Look, "The Van, Gloucester Crescent". Isn't that an address?

0:18:270:18:30

No! It needs to be a house.

0:18:300:18:33

A residence.

0:18:340:18:36

Anyway, I might be going away soon, possibly.

0:18:380:18:42

Oh, how long for?

0:18:420:18:44

Broadstairs, possibly.

0:18:440:18:46

Why Broadstairs? Have you family there?

0:18:460:18:49

No. No!

0:18:490:18:51

Have you got any family?

0:18:510:18:53

I just need the air.

0:18:530:18:56

I saw a snake this morning. It was coming up Parkway.

0:18:560:19:00

A long grey snake.

0:19:000:19:02

-It was a boa constrictor, possibly.

-Uh, no.

0:19:020:19:05

It looked poisonous.

0:19:050:19:06

It was keeping close to the wall,

0:19:060:19:09

and I have a feeling it was headed for the van.

0:19:090:19:12

No, Miss Shepherd...

0:19:120:19:13

I thought I'd better warn you, just to be on the safe side.

0:19:130:19:16

I've had some close shaves with snakes.

0:19:160:19:19

Listen to me, Miss Shepherd,

0:19:190:19:20

there are no boa constrictors in Camden Town.

0:19:200:19:23

What, are you calling me a liar?

0:19:230:19:24

I know a boa constrictor when I see one!

0:19:240:19:27

You all right, my love? Looking especially lovely today, sweetheart.

0:19:270:19:32

Don't "sweetheart" me.

0:19:320:19:34

I'm a sick woman! Dying, possibly.

0:19:340:19:38

Well, chin up, love, we all gotta go sometime.

0:19:380:19:41

Smells like you already have.

0:19:420:19:44

"I do not believe in the snake,

0:19:460:19:48

"still less that it was en route for the van."

0:19:480:19:50

CHILDREN SHOUTING

0:19:500:19:51

"Only next day, I find there has been a break-in

0:19:510:19:54

"at the local pet shop.

0:19:540:19:56

"So, there may have been a snake on the run."

0:19:560:19:58

Good God.

0:19:580:19:59

"So, of course, I feel guilty."

0:19:590:20:01

Giles! Giles! Giles!

0:20:010:20:04

"A real writer would have asked her

0:20:040:20:06

"about her close shaves with snakes,

0:20:060:20:09

"only she seems to have cleared off."

0:20:090:20:11

-Quick as you can, love.

-I'm getting off.

0:20:110:20:14

You don't rush me! Don't rush me.

0:20:140:20:16

Nightie?

0:20:320:20:34

This is not a nightdress!

0:20:340:20:36

This style can't have got to Broadstairs yet.

0:20:380:20:41

And I know the law. You can't be arrested for wearing a nightie.

0:20:410:20:45

What're you doing in Broadstairs?

0:20:450:20:47

I am minding my own business!

0:20:470:20:49

DOORBELL RINGING

0:20:590:21:01

Alan! Come out here!

0:21:230:21:25

What for?

0:21:250:21:27

There's some massive birds on the wall.

0:21:270:21:30

There never are. There's nothing on the wall.

0:21:300:21:32

You're imagining things.

0:21:320:21:34

There are.

0:21:340:21:36

"And there were, lined up on the garden wall,

0:21:360:21:39

"four peacocks from the Hall.

0:21:390:21:42

"So, boa constrictors in the street, peacocks on the wall.

0:21:420:21:45

"It seems that both at the northern and southern gates of my life

0:21:450:21:49

"stands a deluded woman."

0:21:490:21:51

-Except you just said they aren't.

-Aren't what?

0:21:510:21:54

-Deluded.

-Well, not in this particular instance.

0:21:540:21:56

And they're not the same, Alan. Mam and Miss Shepherd.

0:21:560:21:58

No, Alan, they are not. But they are both old ladies.

0:21:580:22:02

That appears to be my niche, apparently.

0:22:020:22:04

Whereas my contemporaries lovingly chronicle

0:22:040:22:06

their first tentative investigations of the opposite sex,

0:22:060:22:09

or their adventures in the world of journalism,

0:22:090:22:13

I'm stuck with old ladies.

0:22:130:22:15

-HE SIGHS

-All right. I'm keeping a sodding notebook.

0:22:150:22:18

But only on the off chance.

0:22:180:22:19

She's not a project. She's not in the pipeline.

0:22:190:22:21

I don't want to write about her. She's...

0:22:210:22:25

She's just something that's happening.

0:22:250:22:27

So, what do you want to write about?

0:22:270:22:29

I want to write about spies.

0:22:290:22:31

-Spies?

-There you are, you see?

0:22:310:22:33

You think that's barmy. Spies, Russia.

0:22:330:22:35

I can't always be writing about the North.

0:22:350:22:38

"I was born and brought up in Leeds, where my father was a butcher.

0:22:380:22:41

"And as a boy, I would often go out on the bike with the orders."

0:22:410:22:44

DOOR CLOSES

0:22:440:22:45

It's not Proust. It's not even JB Priestley.

0:22:450:22:48

"The houses in the Crescent were built as villas

0:22:530:22:56

"for the Victorian middle class.

0:22:560:22:58

"And their basements are now being enlarged by couples

0:22:580:23:01

"who are liberal in outlook,

0:23:010:23:03

"but not easy with their new-found prosperity."

0:23:030:23:06

-MISS SHEPHERD GRUNTS

-"Guilt, in a word.

0:23:060:23:08

"Which means that in varying degrees,

0:23:100:23:12

"they tolerate Miss Shepherd,

0:23:120:23:15

"their consciences absolved by her presence."

0:23:150:23:18

RUFUS GRUNTS

0:23:180:23:19

-ALL:

-Merry Christmas!

0:23:290:23:31

MISS SHEPHERD MUMBLES

0:23:310:23:33

Shut the door!

0:23:360:23:38

Shut the door. I'm a busy woman. I'm a busy woman.

0:23:380:23:40

Creme brulee.

0:23:490:23:50

What was your first play about?

0:23:580:24:00

Public school.

0:24:000:24:01

Which, more accurately, is what you Americans call private school.

0:24:010:24:06

But you didn't go to public school.

0:24:060:24:08

No. But I read about it.

0:24:080:24:10

And what was your next play about?

0:24:130:24:16

Sex.

0:24:160:24:17

I read about that, too.

0:24:170:24:19

Very good.

0:24:240:24:25

Stop it! Stop it! Just...

0:24:270:24:30

Get away from us! It's her!

0:24:300:24:32

Do you have a problem?

0:24:330:24:34

-They were making the noise!

-They're children!

0:24:340:24:37

I am a sick woman!

0:24:370:24:39

You certainly are!

0:24:390:24:40

-HORN HONKING

-Oi, get off the road!

0:24:400:24:42

Go ahead! Road hog.

0:24:420:24:44

Mr Bennett.

0:24:470:24:49

I've worked out a way of getting on the wireless.

0:24:490:24:52

What?

0:24:520:24:53

I want to do one of those phone-in programmes.

0:24:530:24:56

Something someone like you could get put on in a jiffy.

0:24:560:25:00

You see, I could be called

0:25:000:25:03

the "Lady Behind the Curtain",

0:25:030:25:06

or "A Woman of Britain", you see.

0:25:060:25:08

You could take a nom de plume view of it.

0:25:080:25:12

And I see the curtain as being here.

0:25:120:25:16

You see, some greeny material would do.

0:25:160:25:20

I thought this was a phone-in.

0:25:200:25:22

Yeah, well?

0:25:220:25:24

Well, it's the radio. There's no need for a curtain at all.

0:25:240:25:28

Yes, we can iron out these hiccups when the time comes, you see.

0:25:280:25:31

And when I come in, I can catch up with some civilisation.

0:25:310:25:35

"Civilisation"? What, you mean the television?

0:25:350:25:37

Yeah, you know, wildlife. Famines, you know.

0:25:370:25:40

Sheepdog trials, possibly. I mean, I do watch.

0:25:400:25:42

I watch in Currys' window, but it's not ideal.

0:25:420:25:47

Oh.

0:25:470:25:48

Je crois que vous passez les vacances en France.

0:25:490:25:51

Yes. Uh, oui.

0:25:520:25:54

J'ai etudie en France, il y a trente-cinq ans.

0:25:540:25:57

Avant la guerre?

0:26:000:26:01

What guerre?

0:26:010:26:04

La Guerre Mondiale numero deux?

0:26:040:26:06

Oui.

0:26:060:26:07

La deuxieme guerre mondiale.

0:26:070:26:10

Qu'est-ce que vous etudie?

0:26:100:26:12

I was studying incognito a Paris.

0:26:140:26:18

But what, what were you studying?

0:26:180:26:20

Music.

0:26:230:26:25

The pianoforte, possibly.

0:26:260:26:28

Have you got an old pan scrub? I'm thinking of painting the van.

0:26:280:26:33

You know, one of those little mop things they use to wash dishes with would do.

0:26:330:26:38

-Well, how about a brush?

-I've got a brush!

0:26:380:26:40

It's just for the first coat.

0:26:400:26:43

"OK, she's been a nun.

0:26:430:26:45

"Only now it turns out she's been a musician besides,

0:26:450:26:48

"and seemingly with fluent French.

0:26:480:26:51

"She's certainly no painter,

0:26:510:26:53

"because today, rain notwithstanding,

0:26:530:26:56

"she moves slowly around her mobile home,

0:26:560:26:58

"thoughtfully touching up the rust patches

0:26:580:27:00

"with Crushed Mimosa, always a favourite shade."

0:27:000:27:04

Morning.

0:27:040:27:05

She's using the wrong paint. Cars have special paint.

0:27:070:27:10

Not this one. It's Catholic paint.

0:27:100:27:13

-And she smells.

-That's because she's poor.

0:27:130:27:16

You'd smell if we were poor. Oh. Morning, Ursula.

0:27:160:27:20

-Oh. Hello, love.

-Hello, darling.

0:27:200:27:23

Oh!

0:27:230:27:24

Telling me about paint.

0:27:240:27:26

I was in infant school. I won a prize for painting!

0:27:260:27:30

-But it's all lumps. You have to mix it.

-I have.

0:27:300:27:32

I have mixed it. Only I got some Madeira cake in it.

0:27:320:27:36

"Cake or no cake,

0:27:360:27:38

"all Miss Shepherd's vehicles ended up looking as if they'd been given

0:27:380:27:41

"a coat of badly made custard, or plastered with scrambled eggs."

0:27:410:27:44

Divine!

0:27:440:27:46

"Still, there were few occasions

0:27:460:27:48

"on which one saw her genuinely happy,

0:27:480:27:50

"and one of these was when she was putting paint on."

0:27:500:27:53

Jackson Pollock himself could not have done it better.

0:27:530:27:57

Even with a pan scrub.

0:27:570:27:59

What're you doing? Get off my van!

0:28:060:28:09

-Yellow lines.

-Sorry?

0:28:090:28:12

Parking restrictions.

0:28:120:28:14

-Oh, what a bore.

-She'll be illegally parked.

0:28:140:28:17

She'll have to move.

0:28:170:28:19

GASPS

0:28:200:28:21

Look! Look!

0:28:240:28:26

It's a removal order.

0:28:260:28:27

I know it's a removal order.

0:28:270:28:29

Well, it means you'll have to drive on somewhere else.

0:28:290:28:31

But I'm disabled!

0:28:310:28:33

I don't always use a walking stick.

0:28:330:28:35

That pulls the wool over people's eyes.

0:28:350:28:37

But I am a bona fide resident of Camden!

0:28:370:28:40

And I had rheumatic fever as a child, and mumps.

0:28:400:28:43

I still think you'll have to move on. Go somewhere else.

0:28:430:28:46

Well, it won't move. There's not enough juice.

0:28:460:28:49

-Well, I'll get you some up the road.

-I don't like their petrol!

0:28:490:28:52

I don't know. It could be, it could go.

0:28:520:28:54

It just might need a bit of coaxing.

0:28:540:28:56

What I'm...

0:28:560:28:58

What I'm worried about particularly are the wheels.

0:28:580:29:03

They're under divine protection.

0:29:030:29:06

If I do get this other vehicle, I'd like the wheels transferred.

0:29:060:29:09

-What other vehicle?

-They may be miraculous, the tyres.

0:29:090:29:13

They've only had to be pumped up once since 1964.

0:29:130:29:16

-What other vehicle?

-They only cost me a fiver.

0:29:160:29:18

Miss Shepherd, you said about another vehicle?

0:29:180:29:21

Hmm? Yeah, a van.

0:29:210:29:23

Another van?

0:29:230:29:25

Mmm.

0:29:250:29:27

Well, a newer model.

0:29:270:29:30

A titled Catholic lady says she may get me one,

0:29:300:29:33

as an act of charity.

0:29:330:29:35

It's Lady Wiggin.

0:29:350:29:37

HE SIGHS Only she'd prefer to remain anonymous.

0:29:370:29:40

Yeah, I bet she would. So, why don't you park it outside her house?

0:29:400:29:44

-It's out of the question.

-There's plenty of room.

0:29:440:29:47

-I have neighbours!

-So have I.

0:29:470:29:49

So, should I not buy her another van?

0:29:490:29:53

-Please your fucking self.

-What?!

0:29:530:29:56

Mr Bennett, I've worked it out.

0:29:560:29:58

Mr Bennett.

0:30:000:30:01

The ideal solution would be off-street parking.

0:30:030:30:08

You know, a driveway, possibly.

0:30:090:30:12

So, what are you going to do?

0:30:140:30:16

Well, I...

0:30:160:30:17

Play it by ear.

0:30:190:30:21

Oh...

0:30:260:30:27

Lady?

0:30:400:30:41

Are you there?

0:30:420:30:44

Is this a bad moment?

0:30:460:30:48

Have you got something for me?

0:30:490:30:52

-CLANK

-Ow!

0:30:520:30:53

You bad bitch!

0:30:530:30:56

You dirty, lying bitch!

0:30:560:30:57

Can I help you?

0:30:590:31:01

Good evening to you, sir!

0:31:030:31:05

I'm finding myself in the vicinity.

0:31:050:31:07

I'm taking the opportunity to pay my compliments to Margaret.

0:31:070:31:11

-Margaret?

-An old friend from way back.

0:31:110:31:14

You mean Miss Shepherd?

0:31:140:31:16

Shepherd, is it? Very good.

0:31:160:31:18

-Well, she'll be asleep.

-Of course.

0:31:180:31:21

I'll bid you a goodnight, sir.

0:31:210:31:23

I'll call again when my schedule permits.

0:31:230:31:26

Thank you.

0:31:470:31:49

SNORING

0:31:570:31:59

ENGINE REVVING

0:32:010:32:03

MAN SCREAMS

0:32:030:32:04

CLATTERING

0:32:040:32:06

Are you in there? Rise and shine!

0:32:070:32:09

-Get out, you old witch!

-What a smelly bitch!

0:32:090:32:12

Come on, darling! Come on!

0:32:140:32:16

WHOOPING

0:32:200:32:22

-Excuse me. Excuse me, lads.

-Who the fuck are you?

0:32:220:32:25

Never mind who I am. I've got your number!

0:32:250:32:28

Just clear off! I live here, and I've got your number!

0:32:280:32:30

An old lady lives in there. Just sod off!

0:32:300:32:33

-Miss Shepherd?

-KNOCKS ON DOOR

0:32:350:32:37

Miss Shepherd?

0:32:390:32:41

KNOCKS ON DOOR

0:32:410:32:44

Miss Shepherd, are you all right?

0:32:440:32:46

Yes. Yes, yes. I think so.

0:32:460:32:49

What was it about? It wasn't the police, was it?

0:32:490:32:54

No. They were louts, but if you choose to live like this,

0:32:540:32:58

it's what you must expect.

0:32:580:32:59

I didn't choose. I was chosen.

0:33:010:33:06

Well, that settles it.

0:33:090:33:11

Do you think?

0:33:110:33:13

I can't always be looking out for her. I'm not her keeper.

0:33:130:33:16

I mean, what happens to work?

0:33:160:33:18

-I think she should either go or...

-Or what?

0:33:200:33:23

Or bring the van into the drive, where we can forget about her.

0:33:260:33:30

Actually, that's why some men marry.

0:33:310:33:33

So they don't have to think any more about their wives.

0:33:330:33:36

-That's not bad.

-Yes, except it's Proust.

0:33:360:33:38

Oh, yes.

0:33:380:33:40

And it'll only be for a few months, until she decides where she's going.

0:33:400:33:43

It'll be easier, but it's not kindness.

0:33:450:33:48

No.

0:33:480:33:49

"Good nature, or what is often considered as such,

0:33:490:33:53

"is the most selfish of all virtues.

0:33:530:33:55

"It is nine times out of ten mere indolence of disposition."

0:33:550:33:59

That's not you?

0:33:590:34:01

Hazlitt. And it's will. Pure will.

0:34:010:34:03

She's known what she's wanted all along.

0:34:030:34:07

SHE CRIES SOFTLY

0:34:110:34:13

ENGINE REVVING MAN SCREAMS

0:34:150:34:17

The soul in question did confess, though in guarded terms

0:34:340:34:40

in Rome, in Holy Year,

0:34:400:34:43

though I'm not sure the priest understood English.

0:34:430:34:46

Do I look like a joy rider?

0:34:470:34:50

My child,

0:34:520:34:54

you have already been given absolution for this particular sin.

0:34:540:34:58

I have given you it myself on several occasions.

0:34:590:35:04

Have faith. Absolution is not like a bus pass.

0:35:040:35:08

It does not run out.

0:35:080:35:11

-HE EXHALES

-Christ.

0:35:220:35:24

There's air freshener behind the Virgin.

0:35:240:35:28

I thought we'd finally got rid of her.

0:35:340:35:38

He's a saint.

0:35:380:35:40

-Ralph was the same.

-Yes.

-Some people are just kind.

0:35:400:35:43

-Kind?

-This is London, Ursula. Nobody's kind.

0:35:430:35:47

Yeah, that's true.

0:35:470:35:49

And now the old cow's got a foot in the door. He's a fool.

0:35:490:35:54

-Who else would do it?

-Yes.

0:35:540:35:56

We might. It's just the girls.

0:35:560:36:00

-Pauline.

-I'm just an unemployed actor, and I don't know the lady,

0:36:000:36:03

but can I ask something?

0:36:030:36:05

-What makes her Alan's problem?

-Quite.

0:36:050:36:08

Darling, she's a human being.

0:36:080:36:12

Only just.

0:36:120:36:14

Changing the subject.

0:36:140:36:16

When are we going to find Alan a girl?

0:36:160:36:18

SIGHS

0:36:180:36:19

Oh! Josephine's pregnant again.

0:36:210:36:23

Oh, no! Actually, I'm just trying to think who Josephine is.

0:36:230:36:26

-The hamster.

-Jesus.

-Here we are.

-Ah!

0:36:260:36:30

We were just saying how grateful she'll be.

0:36:300:36:34

-ALL:

-Yes.

0:36:340:36:35

Put the van in your drive?

0:36:370:36:40

That never occurred to me.

0:36:400:36:43

I don't know. I don't know. It might not be convenient.

0:36:430:36:46

No, I've thought it over. Believe me, Miss Shepherd, it's all right.

0:36:460:36:49

Just till you sort yourself out.

0:36:490:36:52

Well, not convenient for you! Convenient for me.

0:36:520:36:56

You're not doing me a favour, you know. I have got other fish to fry.

0:36:560:36:59

A man on the pavement told me

0:36:590:37:02

if I went south of the river, I'd be welcomed with open arms.

0:37:020:37:06

"I was about to do her a good turn, but, as ever,

0:37:100:37:14

"it was not without thoughts of strangulation.

0:37:140:37:18

"She would come into the garden, yes,

0:37:190:37:22

"but only as a favour to me."

0:37:220:37:25

That's it.

0:37:450:37:46

Have you put on the handbrake?

0:38:070:38:09

I am about to do so.

0:38:090:38:11

"Whereupon she applies the handbrake with such determination

0:38:120:38:16

"that, like Excalibur, it can never afterwards be released."

0:38:160:38:20

Are you all right?

0:38:200:38:21

"Now she is on the premises,

0:38:220:38:24

"I sometimes get a glimpse of Miss Shepherd praying,

0:38:240:38:28

"and it is seldom a tranquil or a meditative process..."

0:38:280:38:31

I hunger and thirst for the fulfilment...

0:38:310:38:34

"..the fervour of her intercessions rocking her to and fro."

0:38:340:38:37

..in possible light received.

0:38:370:38:39

"What is it she's wanting forgiveness for?"

0:38:390:38:42

MUTTERING

0:38:420:38:43

"I used to pray myself when I was young, but never like this.

0:38:430:38:48

"I'd never done anything, but what has she done?"

0:38:490:38:54

Who's the old bat?

0:38:540:38:56

Oh, she's, uh, a friend.

0:38:560:38:58

A friend?

0:38:590:39:01

Well, someone I know.

0:39:010:39:03

Weird.

0:39:040:39:06

Yeah, maybe.

0:39:060:39:08

Actually, I think I better be off.

0:39:090:39:10

You don't want to stay for coffee or anything?

0:39:100:39:14

No.

0:39:140:39:15

Bye.

0:39:190:39:20

Mr Bennett?

0:39:310:39:33

That young man,

0:39:340:39:36

-did he have an earring?

-He did.

0:39:360:39:38

You want to be careful.

0:39:400:39:42

She'll be wanting to move in next.

0:39:460:39:48

"Said my mother, who's been in London on a state visit."

0:39:480:39:52

Why didn't you tell me she was in the drive?

0:39:520:39:54

I forgot.

0:39:540:39:56

I got a whiff of her when I first came. Whew.

0:39:560:39:59

Right nasty bad dishcloth smell.

0:39:590:40:02

Well, she's in the garden.

0:40:030:40:05

Next, it'll be the house.

0:40:050:40:07

What'll folks think?

0:40:070:40:09

This is London. Nobody thinks anything.

0:40:090:40:12

It's with her being a nun, not having got off.

0:40:120:40:16

They get thwarted.

0:40:160:40:17

An educated woman, and living like that.

0:40:210:40:26

Mind you, you're going down the same road.

0:40:260:40:29

Me?

0:40:290:40:30

No cloth on the table.

0:40:300:40:32

No holder for the toilet roll.

0:40:320:40:35

Given time, I could have this place spotless.

0:40:350:40:38

You've got a home.

0:40:380:40:39

You won't want to live here.

0:40:420:40:45

Where does she go to the lav?

0:40:480:40:50

Well, it's something to do with plastic bags.

0:40:500:40:53

What sort of plastic bags?

0:40:530:40:55

Stout ones, I hope.

0:40:550:40:57

-You've not met her. Do you want to?

-Oh, no.

0:40:570:41:01

No. With her being educated,

0:41:010:41:04

-I wouldn't know what to say.

-Oh.

0:41:040:41:06

-Oh, give us a kiss!

-Oh.

0:41:140:41:17

-When will you be coming up next?

-Soon.

0:41:170:41:20

The thing is...

0:41:200:41:22

..I keep seeing a car in the car park.

0:41:230:41:26

That's slightly to be expected, isn't it?

0:41:260:41:28

At night. Watching.

0:41:280:41:31

You taking your tablets?

0:41:310:41:34

When I remember.

0:41:340:41:35

She should be in a home.

0:41:390:41:42

-Where does she go to the lav?

-I told you.

0:41:420:41:44

Looked after.

0:41:440:41:46

A place where they'd wash her and make her presentable.

0:41:460:41:50

I'm surprised they let her roam the streets.

0:41:500:41:52

"It's like a fairy story, a parable..."

0:41:540:41:57

Good morning.

0:41:570:41:58

"..in which the guilty is gulled into devising a sentence

0:41:580:42:01

-"for someone innocent..."

-Hello.

0:42:010:42:03

"..only to find it is their own doom they have pronounced."

0:42:030:42:06

King's Cross, please.

0:42:060:42:07

"Because my mother is much closer to being put in a home..."

0:42:070:42:09

-Got your purse?

-Yes.

0:42:090:42:11

"..than Miss Shepherd."

0:42:110:42:13

I do miss your dad.

0:42:140:42:16

Give me a kiss.

0:42:160:42:18

I asked our Gordon,

0:42:200:42:22

when he was a pilot, did he go behind the clouds?

0:42:220:42:26

-Did he?

-I can't remember.

0:42:260:42:28

He's a love, though. I know that.

0:42:300:42:34

-Bye, Mam.

-Bye.

0:42:340:42:37

Good afternoon. Does Jesus Christ dwell in this house?

0:43:180:43:22

No. Try the van.

0:43:220:43:24

Thanks.

0:43:560:43:57

NEWS PROGRAMME PLAYING ON TV

0:43:570:43:59

Clear off!

0:44:010:44:03

Mr Bennett?

0:44:090:44:10

These men who come late at night,

0:44:120:44:14

I know what they are.

0:44:150:44:17

Oh, Jesus.

0:44:170:44:19

They're communists. Else why would they come at night?

0:44:190:44:22

-WOMAN ON RADIO:

-We constantly come back to the same point.

0:44:240:44:27

Argentina was the invader.

0:44:270:44:30

I like the new vehicle!

0:44:300:44:32

Not a mark on it.

0:44:350:44:37

Not a bloody scratch!

0:44:410:44:42

THUMPING SHE GASPS

0:44:420:44:44

What's your name now, Margaret?

0:44:470:44:49

My name's Mary! Go away!

0:44:490:44:51

Mary, is it now? Mary what?

0:44:510:44:54

Mary what?

0:44:550:44:57

THUMPING CONTINUES

0:44:570:44:58

-I'll call the police!

-Call the police?

0:44:580:45:01

I don't think you will, you two-faced pisshole.

0:45:010:45:05

Cos calling the police is just what you didn't do.

0:45:050:45:08

Apropos of which, I think another contribution is due.

0:45:080:45:11

Can I help you? What's all this din?

0:45:110:45:13

No din, sir.

0:45:140:45:16

Margaret and I were just taking a stroll down memory lane.

0:45:160:45:19

No. Don't "Margaret" me. That name is buried to sin.

0:45:190:45:24

You came before.

0:45:240:45:25

Of course, this isn't THE van, is it?

0:45:260:45:29

She had another one.

0:45:290:45:31

Kind of you.

0:45:310:45:32

A homeless woman.

0:45:330:45:34

A thankless soul.

0:45:360:45:38

And not over-salubrious.

0:45:380:45:40

Goodbye, Margaret.

0:45:400:45:42

I thought you said your name was Mary.

0:45:450:45:47

-It is.

-So why does he call you Margaret?

0:45:470:45:49

He's taken too much to drink on an empty stomach, possibly.

0:45:500:45:55

It is your name? Mary Shepherd?

0:45:550:45:57

Subject to the Roman Catholic Church in her rights to amendment.

0:45:580:46:02

"It's obviously not her name.

0:46:080:46:10

"But although years have passed

0:46:100:46:12

"since she drove her van into the garden,

0:46:120:46:14

"I'm still too polite to ask who she is,

0:46:140:46:17

"let alone what this fellow wants

0:46:170:46:18

"who materializes at regular intervals

0:46:180:46:21

"and comes braying on the side of the van.

0:46:210:46:24

"Music has something to do with it.

0:46:250:46:28

"But is it just the noise, or music itself?"

0:46:280:46:32

ORCHESTRAL MUSIC PLAYING LOUDLY

0:46:320:46:34

I can hear the music.

0:46:430:46:46

I can hear it!

0:46:460:46:47

Why must you play that?

0:46:510:46:53

I can hear it!

0:46:530:46:56

How can you dislike music? You used to play the piano.

0:46:560:46:59

How do you know that?

0:46:590:47:00

You told me.

0:47:000:47:02

I didn't say I didn't like it. I don't want to hear it, that's all!

0:47:020:47:06

Should she speak now?

0:47:110:47:13

Should she explain?

0:47:130:47:15

Well, she never lets on. Never explains.

0:47:150:47:20

Well, maybe she should.

0:47:200:47:22

Well, I...

0:47:350:47:37

..I was once left alone in a room in the convent.

0:47:380:47:43

They didn't leave novices alone normally.

0:47:440:47:47

And there was a piano there.

0:47:490:47:51

I tried it, and it was open.

0:47:530:47:56

It needed tuning.

0:48:000:48:02

Some of the notes were dead.

0:48:030:48:05

But it sounded more beautiful to me

0:48:080:48:10

than any of the pianos I'd ever played.

0:48:100:48:13

And then...

0:48:310:48:32

..suddenly, the mistress of the novices came in.

0:48:340:48:37

Crept in, possibly, cos I didn't hear her. She said...

0:48:380:48:42

It's God's will.

0:48:420:48:43

That was what God wanted. And that I'd been told before.

0:48:430:48:47

And don't argue.

0:48:470:48:49

I said,

0:48:490:48:51

couldn't I just play some hymns for us to sing to?

0:48:510:48:55

And she said that was arguing.

0:48:550:48:59

And I'd never make a nun if I argued.

0:49:000:49:03

"So, with painful symmetry,

0:49:120:49:14

"my mother ends up in a home in Weston-Super-Mare,

0:49:140:49:18

"while her derelict counterpart resides in my garden.

0:49:180:49:22

"Putting my mother in a home, I see as some sort of failure.

0:49:230:49:28

"And giving the other a home, that's a failure, too."

0:49:280:49:33

ENGINE SPUTTERING

0:49:330:49:35

Oh, Jesus.

0:49:390:49:41

She's got herself a three-wheeler.

0:49:410:49:44

Where will you park it?

0:49:470:49:48

In the residents' parking.

0:49:480:49:50

-You haven't got a permit.

-Yeah, I have. Yes, I got one yesterday.

0:49:500:49:53

Well, you never told me.

0:49:530:49:54

Well, you'd only have raised objections if I had.

0:49:540:49:56

Have you insured it?

0:49:560:49:58

I don't need insuring. It's like the van, I'm insured in heaven.

0:49:580:50:01

So, who pays if you have an accident, the Pope?

0:50:010:50:03

-I shan't have an accident.

-Well, what if you run into something?

0:50:030:50:06

I shan't run into anything. I'm an experienced driver.

0:50:060:50:09

I drove ambulances in the blackout.

0:50:090:50:10

Well, what if someone runs into you?

0:50:100:50:13

Miss Shepherd, what if someone runs into you?

0:50:130:50:16

You have no business saying that.

0:50:160:50:18

Why do you say that? No-one is going to run into me!

0:50:180:50:20

-Where's the key?

-What key?

-The car key. I put it down.

0:50:210:50:24

-Well, I haven't got it.

-You have. You've taken it.

-I have not.

0:50:240:50:26

You're lying! You don't want me to have the car, so you've taken

0:50:260:50:29

-the key.

-Don't shout!

-I have to shout because of your ignorance.

0:50:290:50:32

People coming and going all hours of the day and night.

0:50:320:50:34

I'd be better off in a ditch! Give me the key!

0:50:340:50:37

I haven't got your sodding key! What's that around your neck?

0:50:370:50:40

This is the key. The sodding key!

0:50:400:50:42

Having fun?

0:50:420:50:43

Shouldn't you say sorry?

0:50:470:50:49

I've no time for sorry.

0:50:490:50:51

Sorry is for God.

0:50:510:50:52

"This was the only time I ever touched her,

0:50:540:50:57

"and not because she was calling me a liar,

0:50:570:51:00

"but because she seemed mad.

0:51:000:51:02

"It was my mother."

0:51:020:51:04

It's always Mam you compare her with. They are not the same.

0:51:090:51:12

I don't like them even sharing the same sentence.

0:51:120:51:15

"These days, it's almost as if we're married.

0:51:170:51:20

"'How's your old lady?' They say.

0:51:200:51:23

"Which is what people call a wife. Your old lady."

0:51:230:51:27

How's your old lady?

0:51:270:51:29

Well, she's still there. I'm still here.

0:51:290:51:32

Your mother died, didn't she?

0:51:320:51:34

No, she's still here, too.

0:51:340:51:36

She's in a home.

0:51:360:51:39

Except she's not all there. She's not anywhere.

0:51:390:51:43

Shouldn't we make that plain in the play?

0:51:430:51:45

No.

0:51:450:51:47

It's classified information.

0:51:470:51:49

"Years ago, Mam wanted Miss Shepherd put in a home.

0:51:490:51:52

"But she's still on the loose.

0:51:530:51:55

"Of course, whether she's all there or not is anyone's guess."

0:51:550:51:58

Mr Bennett!

0:51:580:51:59

Mr Ben- you know, I don't like the three-wheeler

0:52:000:52:04

standing in the street.

0:52:040:52:06

You see, if you pushed the van in front of your window,

0:52:060:52:09

I could get the Reliant in there on the drive.

0:52:090:52:12

There's tonnes of room.

0:52:120:52:13

So, I have the van and the Reliant.

0:52:130:52:16

Yeah, I've had guidance that's where it should be.

0:52:160:52:19

You know, in terms of vandals.

0:52:190:52:22

Guidance from whom?

0:52:220:52:24

I'm not at liberty to speak.

0:52:240:52:27

I think I may contact my new social worker.

0:52:270:52:30

What for? You always say you don't want the social worker.

0:52:300:52:32

I've had guidance she might help.

0:52:320:52:35

I don't want a used car lot.

0:52:350:52:37

-Mary says...

-Mary who?

0:52:370:52:39

Mary. Your Lady In The Van.

0:52:400:52:43

Didn't you know her name was Mary?

0:52:440:52:47

Well, I suppose I did. I always call her Miss Shepherd.

0:52:470:52:49

We all have names.

0:52:490:52:51

Perhaps if you called her by her name and she called you by yours.

0:52:510:52:55

Alan, Mary. You never know, it might be easier to talk things through.

0:52:550:52:58

Through? There is no through.

0:52:580:53:00

How do you talk things through with someone

0:53:000:53:02

who has conversations with the Virgin Mary?

0:53:020:53:04

You talk things through with Isaiah Berlin, maybe,

0:53:040:53:07

who, in comparison with Miss Shepherd, is a man of few words.

0:53:070:53:09

You do not talk things through with her because you don't get through.

0:53:090:53:13

Alan, I'm getting a bit of hostility here.

0:53:130:53:16

I realise for you this may be a steep learning curve.

0:53:160:53:19

No. It is not a steep learning curve.

0:53:190:53:22

I've never been on a so-called learning curve.

0:53:220:53:25

I'm about as likely to be found on a learning curve

0:53:250:53:27

as I am on the ski slopes at Zermatt.

0:53:270:53:31

And besides, her name isn't Mary.

0:53:310:53:34

-Oh?

-Some people seem to think it's Margaret.

0:53:360:53:39

You know, it isn't even Shepherd.

0:53:390:53:41

Well, I have her down as Mary.

0:53:420:53:45

Yes, and you presumably have her down as a rational human being.

0:53:450:53:49

-FLIES BUZZING

-Ugh.

0:54:040:54:06

Ugh.

0:54:210:54:23

-Hello!

-Mummy!

0:54:290:54:32

CROWD APPLAUDING

0:55:070:55:09

PIANO PLAYING

0:55:160:55:18

Back in half an hour.

0:56:340:56:36

-HE SIGHS

-Hello, Margaret.

0:56:490:56:51

'Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

0:57:060:57:08

'Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.'

0:57:080:57:12

HORN HONKING

0:57:150:57:16

What are you doing there? Come on!

0:57:160:57:19

What's happened to Stirling Moss?

0:57:190:57:21

Haven't seen her at the wheel recently.

0:57:210:57:23

Taking a well-earned break, I imagine. The Dordogne, possibly.

0:57:230:57:27

-Really?

-Pauline.

0:57:270:57:29

Her car's back.

0:57:300:57:32

But I haven't seen her around for a bit. I wonder if she's all right.

0:57:320:57:36

Am I right in thinking that large and many-contoured stain

0:57:360:57:39

at the back of her frock denotes incontinence?

0:57:390:57:42

I don't think it's a fashion statement.

0:57:420:57:45

Oh, darling.

0:57:450:57:46

What you must be hoping is that one of these days she'll just slip away.

0:57:470:57:52

Don't you believe it. That's what happens in plays.

0:57:520:57:54

In life, going downhill is an uphill job.

0:57:540:57:57

How's your mother?

0:57:590:58:00

Oh, same. Sits. Smiles. Sleeps.

0:58:000:58:04

Aww.

0:58:070:58:08

Are you all right?

0:58:090:58:11

Me? Yes, why? I'm just going to the theatre.

0:58:120:58:15

-Not upset about your play?

-No.

0:58:150:58:18

I read a good review the other day.

0:58:180:58:21

-I was told they were all good.

-Oh, they are, I'm sure.

0:58:210:58:23

We enjoyed it.

0:58:230:58:24

Though I hadn't realised it was just going to be you and nobody else.

0:58:240:58:28

Well, yes. It's a monologue.

0:58:280:58:30

Yes, I suppose.

0:58:300:58:32

I'm just amazed how you remember it all.

0:58:320:58:34

The review I read was particularly perceptive about you.

0:58:340:58:37

Really? Saying what?

0:58:370:58:39

Um, that you couldn't make your mind up.

0:58:390:58:41

-About what?

-Anything, really.

0:58:410:58:44

It meant in a good way!

0:58:440:58:46

Thanks.

0:58:460:58:48

Actually, I couldn't make it out at all. What was it about?

0:58:500:58:54

Him, as usual. Not coming clean.

0:58:540:58:56

-What about?

-What do you think?

-Oh.

0:58:560:59:00

AUDIENCE LAUGHING

0:59:000:59:02

And when I came down again,

0:59:020:59:04

she's still sat there, hat and coat on.

0:59:040:59:07

She said, "Graham, my one aim in life is for you to be happy."

0:59:070:59:12

And execute 45.

0:59:120:59:14

"If I thought that by dying it would make you happy, I would."

0:59:140:59:17

-Go.

-I said, "Mam",

0:59:170:59:19

"your dying wouldn't make me happy. In fact, the reverse.

0:59:190:59:22

"It would make me unhappy. Anyway, Mam, you're not going to die."

0:59:220:59:26

She said, "No, I'm not going to die.

0:59:260:59:30

"I'm going to get married.

0:59:300:59:32

-AUDIENCE LAUGHING

-"The honeymoon is in Tenerife.

0:59:320:59:35

"Have one of your tablets."

0:59:350:59:37

AUDIENCE APPLAUDING

0:59:370:59:39

"So, for the umpteenth time, I biked back from the theatre,

0:59:470:59:51

"where I'd been talking about my mother.

0:59:510:59:53

"Well, at least I know where my mother is."

0:59:540:59:57

Miss Shepherd. KNOCKS ON WINDOW

1:00:021:00:05

Miss Shepherd?

1:00:091:00:10

I don't like it.

1:00:151:00:18

-So look in.

-No!

1:00:181:00:20

-Are you scared?

-No!

1:00:201:00:22

Not of the body. Scared this may be the end of the story,

1:00:221:00:25

and now I'm going to have to write it.

1:00:251:00:27

Still, now she's gone,

1:00:291:00:30

I can make it up.

1:00:301:00:32

Narrative freedom. Whoopee.

1:00:321:00:35

Miss Shepherd.

1:00:381:00:40

-Miss Shepherd?

-Go on.

1:00:421:00:44

What are you doing looking at my things?!

1:00:521:00:54

I thought you might be ill, or dead.

1:00:541:00:56

-Dead? Me?

-I was concerned!

1:00:561:00:59

You were nosy!

1:00:591:01:00

-I hadn't seen you. I'm sorry.

-I'm not dead!

1:01:001:01:02

-You'll know when I'm dead.

-I'm sorry.

1:01:021:01:05

Dead? Me? I shan't die in a hurry, I can tell you.

1:01:051:01:08

Dead?!

1:01:081:01:10

DOOR CLOSES

1:01:101:01:11

Don't make me laugh.

1:01:111:01:13

SCOFFS

1:01:141:01:15

"She didn't die then, and nor did my mother.

1:01:151:01:19

"But as the years passed, both of them were beginning to fade."

1:01:191:01:23

As you can appreciate, it's difficult to take a history.

1:01:231:01:26

But I'm right in thinking she hasn't been a smoker?

1:01:261:01:28

-No.

-Not been a smoker, doesn't drink.

1:01:281:01:31

All things considered, a very healthy woman.

1:01:321:01:35

You think?

1:01:351:01:37

This is a woman who's broken her hip.

1:01:461:01:49

And of course, in someone younger and in better circumstances,

1:01:491:01:52

we'd give them antibiotics.

1:01:521:01:54

But at your mother's age, and in her state of mind,

1:01:541:01:59

one wonders if this is altogether kind.

1:01:591:02:02

And if you don't give her antibiotics, what will happen?

1:02:031:02:06

She may recover.

1:02:061:02:08

Or not.

1:02:081:02:10

She could just slip away.

1:02:101:02:12

You mustn't reproach yourself.

1:02:141:02:16

You've done...more than can be expected.

1:02:171:02:21

Thank you.

1:02:281:02:30

Oh.

1:02:301:02:32

Mr Bennett.

1:02:321:02:34

-Where have you been?

-Seeing my mother.

-Oh. How is she?

1:02:341:02:38

The same. She doesn't remember me now.

1:02:391:02:41

Well, I'm not surprised. She doesn't see you very often.

1:02:411:02:44

Will you write about me?

1:02:441:02:46

I don't know.

1:02:481:02:49

She never said this.

1:02:491:02:51

So?

1:02:511:02:52

MISS SHEPHERD CHUCKLES Oh, I've heard you.

1:02:521:02:54

On the wireless.

1:02:541:02:56

Does she know that?

1:02:561:02:57

Well, how can she? She doesn't know who she is.

1:02:571:03:00

Yeah, that's what you think. Using your mother.

1:03:001:03:04

You should be ashamed of yourself.

1:03:041:03:07

She didn't SAY this.

1:03:071:03:09

No. But why shouldn't she?

1:03:091:03:12

You write about her all the time, one way or another.

1:03:121:03:16

You use your mother.

1:03:161:03:18

That's what writers do.

1:03:181:03:20

Me next, I suppose.

1:03:201:03:23

Anyway, now you're here, I need some shopping done.

1:03:231:03:28

You ought to go yourself. You should try and walk more.

1:03:281:03:31

-I do walk.

-I never see you.

1:03:311:03:32

Well, that's cos you're not around in the middle of the night.

1:03:321:03:35

I want some batteries.

1:03:351:03:37

And some sherbet lemons.

1:03:371:03:38

-Mr Bennett?

-Yes?

1:03:381:03:41

Would you like to push me up the street?

1:03:421:03:46

Not particularly, no.

1:03:471:03:49

This'll do. Turn me round. Turn me round!

1:04:061:04:09

All right.

1:04:091:04:11

MISS SHEPHERD CHUCKLES

1:04:111:04:12

Whee!

1:04:131:04:15

LAUGHS

1:04:151:04:17

Careful!

1:04:211:04:23

MISS SHEPHERD COUGHS

1:04:231:04:25

MISS SHEPHERD COUGHS

1:04:341:04:35

CONTINUES COUGHING

1:04:371:04:39

Are you all right?

1:04:391:04:41

Yes, I...think so.

1:04:411:04:45

-Would you like me to make you a cup of coffee?

-No.

1:04:451:04:47

No, I don't want you to go to all that trouble.

1:04:471:04:50

I'll just have half a cup.

1:04:501:04:52

Oh!

1:04:571:05:00

I have to go to Mass.

1:05:001:05:01

-Well, you're not fit.

-Here. It's an anniversary

1:05:011:05:05

and a day of obligation.

1:05:051:05:06

Oh? Who for? A saint?

1:05:061:05:08

No. A young man.

1:05:081:05:11

Oh? Someone you loved?

1:05:111:05:12

No! Certainly not. Just someone I...

1:05:121:05:14

Someone who died.

1:05:161:05:18

He'd be in his 50s now.

1:05:181:05:21

-Was he a Catholic?

-Possibly, possibly.

1:05:211:05:24

Only he's in purgatory. He needs my prayers.

1:05:241:05:26

-What was his name?

-Oh, I never bother with names.

1:05:261:05:30

The body of Christ.

1:05:321:05:34

The body of Christ.

1:05:401:05:41

Yes?

1:05:441:05:45

I live down the street.

1:05:451:05:47

I've seen you.

1:05:471:05:49

It's you that has the van.

1:05:531:05:54

Yes.

1:05:541:05:56

Difficult woman.

1:05:561:05:58

A Catholic.

1:05:581:05:59

One of the sisters remembers her.

1:06:001:06:02

I've been told she was very argumentative.

1:06:041:06:06

Is that why she was made to leave?

1:06:061:06:08

Disputatious, she was.

1:06:081:06:11

I've had her pointed out to me on that account,

1:06:111:06:13

hankering after the piano. She always thought she was right.

1:06:131:06:16

She wasn't right. God is right. End of story.

1:06:161:06:18

Anyway, what do you want to know for?

1:06:181:06:21

-She's ill.

-Who?

1:06:211:06:23

The woman?

1:06:231:06:24

I wondered if there was a nun available who could talk to her,

1:06:241:06:26

-do her some shopping.

-We don't have shopping nuns.

1:06:261:06:30

It's a strict order.

1:06:301:06:32

I've seen them shopping.

1:06:321:06:33

I saw one yesterday in Marks & Spencer. She was buying meringues.

1:06:331:06:36

The Bishop may have been coming.

1:06:371:06:39

What, does he like meringues?

1:06:391:06:41

Who are you, coming round,

1:06:411:06:43

asking if the Bishop likes meringues?

1:06:431:06:45

Are you a communist?

1:06:451:06:47

She's ill, she's a Catholic, and I think she might be dying.

1:06:471:06:51

Well, they can pray for her, only you'll have to fill in a form.

1:06:511:06:53

She'll probably pull her socks up once your back is turned.

1:06:531:06:56

That's been my experience where invalids are concerned.

1:06:561:06:59

This way out!

1:07:011:07:02

I don't want you bumping into the sisters.

1:07:031:07:05

Oh!

1:07:131:07:14

Another parcel on the path.

1:07:271:07:29

If... WHEN I write about all this,

1:07:291:07:33

people will say there's too much about shit.

1:07:331:07:36

"But there was a lot about shit. Shit was in the forefront.

1:07:371:07:41

"Caring, which is not a word I like,

1:07:411:07:44

"caring is about shit."

1:07:441:07:46

INDISTINCT CONVERSATION

1:07:481:07:51

-MISS BRISCOE:

-I've talked to Mary.

-BENNETT:

-Or Margaret.

1:08:031:08:05

Or Margaret. Miss Shepherd, anyway.

1:08:051:08:08

She tells me you don't encourage her

1:08:081:08:10

to get out and lead a more purposeful life,

1:08:101:08:12

and put obstacles in her way.

1:08:121:08:13

I don't encourage her to think she can become prime minister.

1:08:131:08:16

I do encourage her to try and get to the supermarket.

1:08:161:08:18

-Yes. A carer will often feel that...

-Excuse me, may I stop you?

1:08:181:08:23

Do not call me the carer. I am not the carer.

1:08:231:08:26

I hate caring. I hate the thought. I hate the word.

1:08:261:08:29

I do not care, and I do not care for.

1:08:291:08:31

I am here, she is there. There is no caring.

1:08:311:08:34

Alan, I'm sensing hostility again.

1:08:341:08:39

You see, I'm wondering, whether having cared for Mary,

1:08:401:08:44

as it were, single-handed for all these years,

1:08:441:08:47

you don't understandably resent it when the professionals lend a hand.

1:08:471:08:50

No, though I resent it when the professionals

1:08:501:08:52

turn up every three months or so and try to tell me what this woman,

1:08:521:08:56

whom I have coped with on a daily basis for the past 15 years,

1:08:561:08:58

is like.

1:08:581:09:00

What is she like?

1:09:001:09:02

Mary, as you call her,

1:09:021:09:04

is a bigoted, blinkered, cantankerous, devious,

1:09:041:09:07

unforgiving, self-serving, rank, rude, car-mad cow.

1:09:071:09:12

Which is to say nothing of her flying faeces

1:09:121:09:14

and her ability to extrude from her withered buttocks

1:09:141:09:17

turds of such force that they land a yard from the back of the van

1:09:171:09:20

and their presumed point of exit.

1:09:201:09:22

Though, of course, you didn't say any of that.

1:09:231:09:26

People will think it's because you're too nice.

1:09:301:09:33

It's actually because you're too timid.

1:09:331:09:35

Yes. Though this being England, timid is good, too.

1:09:351:09:38

Well, this has been very helpful.

1:09:401:09:43

I'll see about getting her a doctor.

1:09:431:09:45

Is it a man doctor?

1:09:471:09:49

Yes.

1:09:491:09:51

I...

1:09:511:09:53

-I don't want a man doctor. Don't they have a woman?

-Sorry.

1:09:531:09:59

Miss Shepherd, I only want to take your pulse.

1:09:591:10:02

-Which hand? Do you have a preference?

-No.

1:10:021:10:06

Ah.

1:10:091:10:10

It's normally cleaner than that.

1:10:111:10:13

Miss Shepherd, I'd like to take you into hospital for a day or so,

1:10:161:10:19

just to run some tests.

1:10:191:10:21

No, I've always had great faith in onions.

1:10:211:10:23

Yes.

1:10:231:10:25

But onions can only take you so far, medically speaking.

1:10:251:10:29

She won't go to hospital.

1:10:331:10:35

-MISS BRISCOE:

-'How do you know?'

-Ask her.

1:10:351:10:38

'Would she go to the day centre? She could be looked at there.

1:10:381:10:41

'And she could stay for a few days.'

1:10:411:10:43

She won't go to the day centre.

1:10:431:10:45

'Are you sure?'

1:10:451:10:47

Have you asked her?

1:10:471:10:49

She will not go to the day centre. I know.

1:10:491:10:52

MISS SHEPHERD: Of course I'll go.

1:10:521:10:54

They won't make me stay in?

1:10:551:10:57

No, they're going to give you a bath and put you in some clean clothes

1:10:571:11:00

-and do some tests.

-Will they leave me to it?

1:11:001:11:03

-Where?

-In the bath.

1:11:031:11:05

I know how to bath myself. I've won awards for that.

1:11:051:11:09

Yes, I remember.

1:11:091:11:11

-Mr Bennett.

-Yes?

1:11:111:11:12

It won't look as if I'm being taken away, will it?

1:11:121:11:16

Taken away where?

1:11:161:11:17

Where they take people because...they're not right.

1:11:171:11:22

Do they do that still?

1:11:221:11:23

Well, sometimes, but you need a lot of signatures.

1:11:231:11:25

But they pretend things to get you there, sometimes.

1:11:251:11:28

That's the danger with next of kin. It's one of their tricks.

1:11:281:11:32

They might be pretending it's a day centre.

1:11:341:11:36

-No!

-Well, I...

1:11:361:11:38

I've been had like that once before.

1:11:381:11:40

Alan.

1:11:401:11:41

Miss Shepherd.

1:11:451:11:47

Now, I'm a bit behindhand with things,

1:11:471:11:50

so there may be a bit of a...

1:11:501:11:51

-Put your arm around my neck.

-Oh!

1:11:511:11:54

There we go.

1:11:551:11:57

I've not gone in for this kind of thing much.

1:11:571:12:00

"I note how, with none of my own distaste,

1:12:001:12:03

"the ambulance driver does not hesitate to touch Miss Shepherd

1:12:031:12:07

"and even puts his arm around her as he lowers her into the chair."

1:12:071:12:10

There we are.

1:12:121:12:13

"I note, too, his careful rearrangement

1:12:131:12:16

"of her greasy clothing -

1:12:161:12:18

"pulling the skirt down over her knees

1:12:181:12:20

"in the interest of modesty."

1:12:201:12:23

I'm coming back, you know.

1:12:261:12:28

This isn't a toe-in-the-water job.

1:12:281:12:30

Is there anything you'd like us to take and have us wash?

1:12:301:12:33

Well, why? Most of my things are clean.

1:12:331:12:37

Not ill, your friend?

1:12:371:12:39

-No.

-Not going?

1:12:391:12:41

-Only to the day centre, apparently.

-Oh.

1:12:411:12:44

The children always ask after her.

1:12:441:12:46

They used to be so frightened of her when they were young.

1:12:461:12:50

One's in Washington now. The World Bank.

1:12:501:12:53

How long has it been? Ten years?

1:12:531:12:57

-More like 15.

-A lifetime.

1:12:571:12:59

Mr Bennett. Mr Bennett.

1:12:591:13:01

That social worker wanted to know my next of kin.

1:13:041:13:08

I don't want my next of kin broadcast,

1:13:081:13:11

so I said I didn't have any.

1:13:111:13:12

Only, they're in this envelope.

1:13:121:13:14

And you keep it under your hat.

1:13:151:13:17

Do you know, I was an ambulance driver myself once.

1:13:171:13:22

During the war.

1:13:221:13:24

I knew Kensington in the blackout.

1:13:241:13:27

-Oh, really?

-Mmm.

1:13:271:13:29

"The chair goes up on a lift.

1:13:331:13:35

"And in this small ascension,

1:13:351:13:37

"when she slowly rises above the level of the garden wall,

1:13:371:13:41

"there is a vagabond nobility about her.

1:13:411:13:44

"A derelict Nobel Prize winner, she looks,

1:13:441:13:48

"her grimy face set in a kind of resigned satisfaction."

1:13:481:13:52

Could we do that again? I'd like another go.

1:13:521:13:56

When you come back.

1:13:561:13:58

Ooh.

1:13:581:13:59

Here we go.

1:14:241:14:26

You smell lovely.

1:14:361:14:38

-You OK?

-Yes.

-Good.

1:14:381:14:41

There. Your MOT.

1:14:461:14:49

There you go.

1:14:581:15:00

Hello, Margaret.

1:15:031:15:06

14 years? You must be a saint.

1:15:261:15:31

She's a difficult woman, my sister.

1:15:311:15:33

Edith won't have her in the house.

1:15:331:15:35

I used to help her out when I could.

1:15:351:15:38

It's what Mother would have wanted.

1:15:381:15:40

I'm not a saint - just lazy.

1:15:401:15:43

-I know she was an ambulance driver.

-Yes.

1:15:431:15:45

And she was a nun. Twice over.

1:15:451:15:47

-Till they got rid of her.

-HE CHUCKLES

1:15:471:15:50

Tipped her over the edge.

1:15:501:15:52

She spent some time in an asylum.

1:15:541:15:56

Banstead.

1:15:571:15:59

Which was my fault.

1:16:011:16:02

No.

1:16:021:16:04

Mind you, she's a difficult woman.

1:16:041:16:05

Such a bully.

1:16:051:16:07

Did she bully you? She bullies me.

1:16:071:16:10

Well, I had her put away.

1:16:101:16:12

Incarcerated.

1:16:121:16:14

"Sectioned" is what you'd call it today.

1:16:151:16:18

-Mind you, she got away from them, too.

-Oh!

1:16:181:16:20

-Gave them the slip, ended up in the van.

-Oh...

1:16:201:16:24

Does she still play?

1:16:241:16:26

Piano?

1:16:261:16:27

No.

1:16:271:16:30

Oh.

1:16:301:16:31

That is sad.

1:16:321:16:33

Have you heard of Cortot?

1:16:351:16:37

Alfred Cortot, the virtuoso pianist?

1:16:371:16:40

Yes.

1:16:421:16:43

Margaret was his pupil.

1:16:431:16:46

Yeah, she had to go over to Paris for lessons.

1:16:461:16:50

It wasn't easy in those days.

1:16:501:16:52

And practice. Oh, my word, she used to practise all day long.

1:16:521:16:56

Well, the nuns put a stop to that.

1:16:561:16:59

Test of obedience.

1:16:591:17:02

I was a vet in Africa, and when I came back, the music was out.

1:17:031:17:08

Finished.

1:17:081:17:09

Practising had become praying.

1:17:121:17:15

Hmm.

1:17:171:17:19

PIANO PLAYING

1:17:251:17:26

Played at the Proms once.

1:17:261:17:28

BREATH TREMBLES

1:18:451:18:47

SHE PLAYS HALTINGLY

1:19:291:19:32

SHE PLAYS INCREASINGLY SMOOTHLY: Piano Concerto No 1 by Chopin

1:19:401:19:43

SHE RESTARTS THE PIECE

1:19:561:19:58

SHE STOPS

1:20:031:20:05

SHE PLAYS FLUIDLY

1:20:171:20:20

SHE CONTINUES PLAYING

1:21:451:21:48

Miss Shepherd?

1:21:501:21:52

KNOCKING ON WINDOW

1:21:571:21:59

Miss Shepherd?

1:21:591:22:01

VAN DOOR OPENS

1:22:011:22:03

I just tried to visit you.

1:22:081:22:10

I wasn't stopping there.

1:22:141:22:16

A woman said my face rang a bell. Was I ever in Banstead?

1:22:161:22:21

And she would not stop.

1:22:211:22:23

They gave me some mince and she said,

1:22:231:22:26

"You'll find the mince here

1:22:261:22:27

"a step up from the mince in Banstead."

1:22:271:22:29

I don't know about the...

1:22:291:22:31

The mince in Banstead, or anywhere else, for that matter.

1:22:311:22:35

That's where they put people when they're not right.

1:22:351:22:38

Well, you look nice and clean.

1:22:381:22:40

Yeah, well, that'll be the bath.

1:22:401:22:43

They let me do it myself.

1:22:431:22:45

The nurse came and gave me some finishing touches.

1:22:451:22:49

She said I'd come up a treat.

1:22:491:22:51

I bought you these.

1:22:541:22:56

Flowers?

1:22:561:22:58

What do I want with flowers?

1:22:581:23:01

They... They only die.

1:23:011:23:03

I've got enough on my plate without flowers.

1:23:031:23:07

Well, you won't often have been given flowers.

1:23:081:23:10

Who says?

1:23:121:23:14

I've had bigger flowers than these.

1:23:171:23:21

And with ribbons on.

1:23:211:23:24

These don't compare.

1:23:241:23:26

Music.

1:23:301:23:31

How...?

1:23:351:23:37

How are people supposed to avoid it?

1:23:371:23:40

You see, I had it at my fingertips.

1:23:421:23:46

I had it in my bones.

1:23:471:23:50

I could play in the dark.

1:23:531:23:55

Had to, sometimes.

1:23:571:23:58

And the keys were...

1:24:001:24:01

..like rooms.

1:24:031:24:05

C major and D minor.

1:24:061:24:11

Dark rooms and light rooms.

1:24:111:24:15

It's like a mansion to me, music.

1:24:171:24:22

Only it worried me

1:24:251:24:27

that playing came easier than praying.

1:24:271:24:32

And I...

1:24:321:24:34

I said this, which may have been an error.

1:24:341:24:37

Said it to whom?

1:24:401:24:41

My confessor.

1:24:451:24:46

He said...

1:24:481:24:50

that was another vent the devil could creep through.

1:24:501:24:54

So he outlawed the piano.

1:24:561:24:59

Put paid to music generally.

1:24:591:25:01

Said...dividends would accrue

1:25:021:25:05

in terms of growth of the spirit.

1:25:051:25:10

Which they did...

1:25:121:25:14

They did.

1:25:161:25:17

How's your mother?

1:25:271:25:29

Oh. The same.

1:25:301:25:32

Still in the coma?

1:25:321:25:34

No.

1:25:341:25:36

She's just getting a bit of shut-eye.

1:25:371:25:39

People do.

1:25:391:25:40

-Well, goodnight.

-Mr Bennett?

1:25:431:25:46

Would you hold my hand?

1:25:501:25:52

It's clean.

1:25:541:25:55

"So much of what this woman's life had been,

1:26:261:26:30

"I found out only after her death.

1:26:301:26:33

"So, to tell her story, I have occasionally had to invent,

1:26:331:26:36

"though much of it one could not make up.

1:26:361:26:39

"And I do not make it up when

1:26:391:26:42

"I say that it was on the morning after this talk,

1:26:421:26:45

"when she lay in the van with her hair washed,

1:26:451:26:47

"that on that same morning

1:26:471:26:49

-"comes the social worker into the garden..."

-Mary!

1:26:491:26:51

"..bearing clean clothes, linen and ointment

1:26:511:26:54

-"and knocks on the door of the van."

-Mary?

1:26:541:26:57

"It is a van no longer.

1:27:311:27:33

"It is a sepulchre."

1:27:331:27:35

Can I use your phone?

1:27:381:27:39

Yes. Yes, of course.

1:27:391:27:41

"Even now, I do not venture into this evil-smelling tomb.

1:27:511:27:55

"But I feel cheated that the discovery of the body

1:27:551:27:59

"has not actually been mine

1:27:591:28:01

"and that having observed so much for so long,

1:28:011:28:04

"I am not the first to witness her death.

1:28:041:28:07

"Now, in quick succession,

1:28:081:28:10

"come the doctor, the priest, and men from the undertaker's,

1:28:101:28:14

"all of whom do what no-one else has done for 20 years.

1:28:141:28:19

"Namely, without pause and seemingly without distaste,

1:28:191:28:25

"step inside the van."

1:28:251:28:27

Lord grant her everlasting rest

1:28:291:28:33

and let perpetual light shine upon her.

1:28:331:28:37

Present her to God the Most High.

1:28:371:28:40

She's gone, then, the lady.

1:28:471:28:49

He'll know. She'll have told him.

1:28:511:28:54

Only they got to keep mum, vicars.

1:28:551:28:57

No helping the police with their enquiries.

1:28:571:29:00

Did you know she was on the run?

1:29:021:29:03

Miss Shepherd?!

1:29:031:29:05

Miss Whatever-you-call-her, yeah.

1:29:051:29:07

Stationary at a junction,

1:29:071:29:10

a young lad on a motorbike comes round a corner too fast...

1:29:101:29:13

CRASH

1:29:131:29:14

..and smashes into her vehicle.

1:29:141:29:16

Not her fault.

1:29:161:29:18

Only here's a dead boy on the road who she thinks she's killed.

1:29:181:29:22

Does she call the police? Flag down a fellow motorist?

1:29:231:29:26

Oh, no. She clears off pronto,

1:29:261:29:28

thereby putting herself on the wrong side of the law.

1:29:281:29:32

So you blackmailed her.

1:29:321:29:34

I'm a policeman, Mr Bennett.

1:29:341:29:36

Retired, of course. We don't do things like that.

1:29:371:29:40

Well, it's a cut above her previous vehicle.

1:29:501:29:52

"All those years, stood on my doorstep,

1:29:541:29:57

"she was outside the law.

1:29:571:29:59

'A life - this is what I keep thinking -

1:30:011:30:04

"a life beside which mine is just dull.

1:30:041:30:08

"Left to my own thoughts at the graveside,

1:30:171:30:20

"one of the undertaker's men takes the eye.

1:30:201:30:23

"Not an occupation one drifts into, I imagine, undertaking."

1:30:231:30:27

Mr Bennett. Excuse me.

1:30:271:30:30

I'm supposed to be the centrepiece here.

1:30:301:30:33

"But I'm forgetting that the dead know everything."

1:30:331:30:36

You should be fighting back the tears,

1:30:361:30:39

not eyeing up the talent.

1:30:391:30:41

Well, it's a thought. She's dead now.

1:30:431:30:45

I can do what I want with her.

1:30:451:30:46

Yes, you can. I'm dead. Feel free!

1:30:461:30:49

Oh, hello.

1:30:491:30:51

There are two of you now. Is that because you're in two minds?

1:30:511:30:55

-Yes.

-No!

1:30:551:30:56

Where are you going, Miss Shepherd?

1:30:561:30:58

I was wondering, would either of you object

1:30:581:31:01

if the van became a place of pilgrimage?

1:31:011:31:03

-No.

-I'm getting rid of the van. The van is going.

1:31:031:31:06

Healing could take place, and any proceeds could go towards the nuns.

1:31:061:31:10

The nuns? What did the nuns ever do for you?

1:31:101:31:11

Well, not much, but when the donations start rolling in

1:31:111:31:14

they'll realise what a catch I would have been.

1:31:141:31:17

It was the same with St Bernadette.

1:31:171:31:19

They didn't realise with her until it was too late.

1:31:191:31:22

This way!

1:31:241:31:25

There's someone I want you to meet.

1:31:251:31:27

That's something you could do.

1:31:281:31:30

This thing you're trying to write, well, you could pump it up a bit.

1:31:301:31:35

If it were on the lines of The Song of Bernadette,

1:31:351:31:38

it would make you a packet.

1:31:381:31:40

I mean, why? Why do you just let me die?

1:31:401:31:43

I'd like to go up into heaven.

1:31:431:31:46

An ascension, possibly.

1:31:461:31:49

A transfiguration.

1:31:491:31:51

-That's not really my kind of thing.

-Oh, there you are.

1:31:511:31:55

-This is my new friend.

-Hello.

-Hello.

1:31:551:31:58

It's the young man who crashed into the van.

1:31:581:32:00

Hi.

1:32:001:32:01

I thought it was me that killed him.

1:32:011:32:03

Turns out it was his own fault!

1:32:031:32:05

So, one way and another, we've got heaps to talk about.

1:32:051:32:09

BELL TOLLS Goodbye.

1:32:091:32:11

-Mr Bennett?

-Yes?

1:32:121:32:15

I came into your drive for three months...

1:32:151:32:18

SHE CHUCKLES

1:32:181:32:19

..and I stayed for 15 years!

1:32:191:32:23

-Mr Bennett? BOTH:

-Yes?

1:32:231:32:26

-Do you know what that is? BOTH:

-No.

1:32:261:32:29

It's the last laugh!

1:32:291:32:32

SHE CACKLES

1:32:321:32:34

Well, she wanted an ascension.

1:32:381:32:41

Let's answer her prayers.

1:32:431:32:45

Stand by, Miss Mary Teresa Shepherd,

1:32:471:32:50

late of 23 Gloucester Crescent.

1:32:501:32:53

Up you go!

1:32:561:32:58

"Starting out as someone incidental to my life,

1:33:121:33:15

"she remained on the edge of it so long,

1:33:151:33:18

"she became not incidental to it at all.

1:33:181:33:22

"As home-bound sons and daughters looking after their parents

1:33:221:33:26

"think of it as just marking time before their lives start,

1:33:261:33:30

"so, like them, I learned there is no such thing as marking time,

1:33:301:33:36

"and that time marks you.

1:33:361:33:39

"In accommodating her and accommodating to her,

1:33:391:33:44

"I find 20 years of my life has gone.

1:33:441:33:48

"This broken-down old woman, her delusions,

1:33:501:33:53

"and the slow abridgment of her life,

1:33:531:33:56

"with all its vehicular permutations,

1:33:561:33:59

"these have been given to me to record

1:33:591:34:03

"as others record journeys across Afghanistan, or Patagonia,

1:34:031:34:08

"or the thighs of a dozen women."

1:34:081:34:10

You wanted me to make things happen.

1:34:111:34:13

And I never have much, but...

1:34:141:34:17

it doesn't matter.

1:34:171:34:19

Because what I've learned,

1:34:191:34:21

and maybe she taught me,

1:34:211:34:24

is that you don't put yourself into what you write.

1:34:241:34:27

You find yourself there.

1:34:281:34:30

I never wanted to write about her.

1:34:301:34:32

If there'd been a bit more in your life, I wouldn't have had to.

1:34:321:34:35

DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES

1:34:351:34:37

Maybe I will now.

1:34:371:34:39

What?

1:34:391:34:41

Have a bit more in my life.

1:34:421:34:43

I might even start living.

1:34:431:34:45

Good day?

1:34:451:34:47

Not bad. You?

1:34:471:34:48

Oh, these came.

1:34:491:34:51

Hmm. Very good.

1:34:521:34:54

-Coming down?

-All right.

1:34:541:34:56

That's the end of the story.

1:34:581:34:59

It might make a play.

1:35:001:35:02

What do you think?

1:35:021:35:04

Now I'm here, I think you should stop talking to yourself.

1:35:041:35:08

Hi.

1:35:231:35:24

Hi, Alan.

1:35:241:35:26

-DIRECTOR:

-OK, nice and quiet, please. Here we go.

1:35:261:35:29

And let's turn over.

1:35:291:35:30

-B.

-Mark it.

1:35:301:35:33

OK, take 14.

1:35:331:35:34

-DIRECTOR:

-And action!

1:35:361:35:39

Gloucester Crescent has had many notable residents,

1:35:391:35:43

but none odder or more remarkable than Miss Mary Shepherd,

1:35:431:35:48

to whom we dedicate this blue plaque today.

1:35:481:35:51

APPLAUSE

1:35:561:35:58

SHE PLAYS PIANO

1:36:101:36:13

ORCHESTRA ACCOMPANY HER

1:36:201:36:22

The true story of Miss Shepherd, an eccentric woman of uncertain origins, who 'temporarily' parked her broken-down van in writer Alan Bennett's London driveway... and proceeded to live there for the next 15 years.