A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Agony aunt Claire Rayner dies at 79

Claire Rayner has died at the age of 79 which as it happens was the same age my mother died. In my mind she came across as familiar to me as she was the spitting image of one of my father's cousins. Not only in size but her voice was very similar. However, her public persona was nothing like that of Cousin Margaret.

I well remember, in the days of TVam, Claire Rayner sitting on the sofa waiting for her turn to talk. It was in the days when Aids was a novel topic with various pundits taking sides and telling us of dire consequences if behaviour didn't change. Then Claire was asked about the subject of safe sex. It caused her to propel herself up from a rather comfy position to sit with one bottom cheek on the sofa. As she moved she said, "Listen, a lot of silly stuff is said about condoms!" and proceeded to pull one out of her hands, as if my magic, and begin demonstrating how to use the thing safely. Much to the consternation of the team that day, it seemed. I thought "Hold on a minute, I'm having my breakfast" and pondered whether I was more surpriseded by the talk of condoms at that hour or the sight of Claire sitting ungainly and precariously on the edge of a cheap TVam sofa, sideways to the camera. If the message merited a direct approach, nothing sat in her way - literally!

She was, she claimed, an ardent atheist. She did a lot of good and no doubt her rather interesting life, dealing with the subtleties and senses of the human condition, shaped her thoughts and beliefs. She's either now in sublime oblivion or tackling some kind of Elysian shock therapy. She told her relatives she wanted her last words to be, "Tell David Cameron that if he screws up my beloved NHS I'll come back and bloody haunt him." So maybe the latter is her preferred option.


Post a Comment