Reposted from State of the Street with permission.
Cathy was introduced to us first, on Coronation Street. She was brought in as a recent widow, shy, not very confident and having had her world tossed upside down by the loss of her husband of many years (wasn't it 30 or more?). She probably had the hoarding habit before her Alan died but his death brought it out in full force.
It wasn't all just junk either, it sounded as if she had been on a spending spree, particularly in second hand shops, picking up old items that might be useful someday. She was living amidst clutter that rose so high in some parts of her house that she had to climb up to look out the window and, likely do to this over spending, the bailiffs were at the door.
Roy Cropper lent his support and their friendship and his encouragement seem to have settled her down. She's enjoying life again and looking to her future with a glimmer of hope. Tyrone, Fiz and Chesney packed up her living room but presumably the rest of the house was still aclutter when she moved back in. The hoarding hasn't been mentioned and neither have the bailiffs,
something that I guess the storyliners have hoped we've forgotten. I
expect now that she's moved home, she's making an effort to clear out
Enter her 28 year old nephew, Alex who showed up at the cafe one day. How he knew that she was living there, we were never told but presumably she did mention it to Alex's mother, her sister, Nessa. But Alex didn't tell his mother where he'd gone. He might be 28 but he's also got Down's Syndrome and once we met his mother, it became clear that she's got a tendency to be overprotective of him, something he seems to be chafing against. There may be a point, though, because he doesn't seem to understand how worried his mother would get when he takes off without notice. In my books, if you're living with someone, you let them know if you won't be coming back overnight or if you'll be later than expected.
Now we meet Nessa and we can see that the two sisters are very different from each other. Where Cathy is quiet, artistic, sympathetic and kind, Nessa is jolly, outgoing, selfish and vibrant. Cathy was married for 30+ years, but Nessa, a live wire, was divorced and is being portrayed as a man-eater. She's certainly enforcing that with her single minded persuit of recent widower, Ken Barlow. That in itself will tell you that she's not thinking of anyone but herself. This isn't a friendship blossoming like Audrey's feelings, this is a woman determined to latch on to a single man, never mind that he's still in heavy grief over his late wife. She's acting a bit like a preying mantis, and Cathy, who values her new friend Ken, is embarassed.
Aside from her unwise quest, I do like Nessa. I like the actor and the character's personality that they've created. I also like the sibling dynamic between Cathy and Nessa, the bickering and the exasperation each seems to carry for the other. Siblings are often very different from each other and quite often there is one that dominates and one that feels pushed to the corner, overwhelmed and jealous of the force of the personality of the one that's always the center of attention. As children, that's difficult at times.
It's also not unusual for that jealousy to hang on into adulthood. It may temper down a lot as the siblings mature and live their own lives but there's always that little fleck of it in the background that rears its ugly head now and then. Cathy was probably always envious of Nessa's ease in social situations and jealous that she always had lots of boyfriends and friends where she herself probably only had a couple of close mates. Perhaps Alan was her first and only love. She wouldn't regret that at all, looking back but as a teenager, while she may have been happy to spend Saturday night in with a good book, may still have been a bit green with her sister rushing around getting ready to go out on yet another date, wishing it were easier for her to talk to boys and have them like her as much.
And maybe we'll also find out that Nessa was jealous of Cathy and her long time stable marriage with a man that loved her very much. Maybe each of them regarded things in the other that they wished were part of their own personality or lives. Nessa loves her son but Cathy never was tied down to the responsibility of a child nor had to bring up a child with disabilities. Cathy would have loved to have a child dearly under any circumstances although if Nessa has always been as flighty as she seems, I think probably Cathy was a second mother to Alex.
I will be interested to see if more of the sister dynamic is explored at all, even if just in dialogue during an argument or conversation one of them has with someone else, that will reveal more insight to each woman. I am not sure I'd like to see Ken and Nessa go the distance only because Nessa isn't really that sympathetic by running after Ken. He's a lonely, grieving man and wouldn't have looked twice at her as other than a new friend but she's determined to draw him in and I can't help thinking it will end in tears.
Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)
Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.
Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter @CoroStreetBlog
Download our free App | Visit Corrie.net
All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License
Our Top 10 Blog Posts in last 7 days (automatically updated)
Ooh! Well, this week's Inside Soap magazine has a good spoiler about Phelan and Vinny. Next week in Coronation Street, Vinny is goin...
Reposted from State of the Street with permission I initially thought this storyline with Caz and Maria was good. It kept my interest a...
Confused by Ken's family tree? Be confused no more, Corrie fans. Here's our family tree and explanations as to whom Adam Barlow and...
It's that time of year when the Coronation Street spoilers in the run-up to Christmas can be released a little earlier than normal. Usua...
The Mirror reports today that police were called to a Coronation Street leaving party after a fight broke out. This is news indeed and you...
Some rather apocalyptic scenes from Weatherfield today as the Manchester Evening News releases photos of the old Coronation Street set off...
There's a story in today's Sun that's done the rounds on social media and other tabloids too, saying that Eileen Derbyshire wo...
Ooh! Today I got my hands on the first of the two festive double issues of Inside Soap magazine . And what a joy it is, there are Chri...
Here are some preview pics from Coronation Street to be shown on Wednesday 23 November 2016 Is this the moment that Peter Andre mak...
Rob Mallard has been cast as Daniel, Ken’s son by Denise Osbourne, who we last saw nine years ago when Ken went to stay with the pair. ...
Click on a name to find out more about your Corrie favourites!
aidan connor alan halsall alex bain alison king alison sinclair all about soap awards amy barlow amy kelly andrea beckett andrew paul andy carver andy whyment anna windass anne kirkbride antony cotton audrey roberts awards barbara knox barlows battleaxes becky mcdonald behind the scenes ben price ben tagoe bet gilroy bet lynch beth tinker bethany platt betty driver betty turpin betty williams betty's hotpot bev callard bev unwin beverley callard bill roache bill tarmey billy mayhew billy the vicar blanche hunt brooke vincent bruno langley Callum Logan can i visit the coronation street set Canada canadian coronation street fans cardy o'donnell carla barlow carla connor carmel morgan catherine tyldesley cathy matthews celebrities on coronation street characters joining coronation street characters leaving coronation street charlie condou cherylee houston chesney brown chris fewtrell chris gascoyne claire king classic corrie clothes worn on coronation street colson smith competition conversation street coronation street art coronation street fan events coronation street fan of the week coronation street fans coronation street funerals coronation street history coronation street in canada coronation street look-a-like coronation street map coronation street men coronation street merchandise coronation street news coronation street spoilers Coronation Street The Tour coronation street weekly update coronation street weekly updates coronation street writers craig charles damon rochefort daran little david neilson david platt debbie oates debbie rush deirdre barlow deirdre hunt deirdre Langton deirdre perm deirdre rachid Dennis Tanner dev alahan eileen derbyshire eileen grimshaw ellie-louise leach elsie tanner emily bishop emily nugent ena sharples exclusive interview famous people who have been in corrie fat brenda faye windass fiz brown fiz stape flaming nora florizel street flying ducks gail hillman Gail McIntyre gail platt gail potter gail rodwell gail tilsley gary windass gary's army diaries gay and lesbians gay men in coronation street gay men in soaps gay women in soaps granada manchester coronation street set granada studios gurn of the week helen worth hilda ogden hilda ogden's curlers Hope Stape hot pot how to contact coronation street inside soap magazine izzy armstrong jack and vera duckworth jack p shepherd jane danson jane danson's husband jason grimshaw jennie mcalpine jigsaw jimmi harkishin job vacancies at coronation street julie carp julie goodyear julie hesmondhalgh julie jones julie walters kabin karen mcdonald kate ford katherine kelly kathy jones katie mcglynn Katy Cavanagh ken barlow kevin webster kim crowther kirk sutherland kylie platt kylie turner kym marsh kym ryder leanne barlow leanne battersby leanne tilsley leanne's real mother les dennis lisa george liz mcdonald lloyd mullaney maggie jones malcolm hebden maria connor maria gordon maria sutherland mark llewellin maxine's bench michael le vell michelle connor mikey north mikey north miley windass minnie caldwell Morrissey mothers on the cobbles new set newton and ridley nick tilsley nick's bistro nigel pivaro no.1 Coronation Street no.11 coronation street no.13 coronation street no.3 coronation street no.5 coronation street no.6 coronation street no.7 coronation street no.9 coronation street norris cole norris cole's brother nuttalls brewery odd side of the street official coronation street website oldham coliseum on location outside broadcast paddy mcguinness pat phoenix patti claire patti clare paula lane peter barlow peter gunn pets on coronation street phil collinson Philip Lowrie pickled jo pictures of the coronation street set pigeons pillars of the community platt family props qasim akhtar returning characters rita fairclough rita littlewood rita sullivan road to coronation street rovers bosses rovers fire rovers return rovers return barmaids rovers return fire rovers return landlady roy and hayley roy cropper roys rolls ryan thomas sally webster sally and tim sally dynevor sally webster sally whittaker sam aston samia smith sarah platt schmeichel sean tully simon barlow simon crowther simon gregson sinead tinker sophie webster state of the street steve mcdonald storyline speculation storylines streetcars stuart blackburn stuffed marrow sue cleaver sue johnston sue nicholls sylvia cropper sylvia goodwin terence maynard terry duckworth the corrie years the kabin the road to coronation street through the years tina mcintyre todd grimshaw tony warren Tony Warren inspiration tours of coronation street tracy barlow trafford set tram crash tricia hopkins tyrone dobbs underworld underworld sign unofficial book vera duckworth victoria court fire walking tours weatherfield weatherfield arms weatherfield council weatherfield county weatherfield county football club weatherfield fire station weatherfield gazette weatherfield haulage Weatherfield Open Days weatherfield style weatherfield wayfarer wedding wedding dress weddings weekly awards weekly update where have you seen william roache William Roache Interview window cleaners writers for soaps