For those who can’t recall the series it went out in the mid-seventies and depicts Tom and Barbara turning their house into a smallholding to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. Next door are their posh and successful neighbours Margo and Jerry.
I was seventeen when I first watched these programmes and it is interesting that I have just been writing a new book and a chapter on habits being driven by associations.
I remember being torn between wanting the lifestyle of Tom when I grew up, or that of rich and successful Jerry. I think Jerry came out on top.
What shocked me last night was just how much alcohol played a part in those programmes and I don't remember being shocked back then, it was all taken for granted I suppose.
First of all, we see Tom and Jerry sitting in Jerry’s office at 9.00 a.m. having a cup of tea. The first thing Jerry does is take out a bottle of Gordon’s Gin and top both cups up. Both men act as if this is normal and even the canned audience don’t react.
Then in Jerry’s house, he pours himself and Margo a huge gin each (huge). We don’t know what time it is but Margo does say ‘isn’t it a bit early for gin Jerry?’ to which he pours hers into his glass and drinks it (neat).
Later they are on their posh patio and Jerry is always seen standing next to a hostess trolley brimming with bottles of booze and constantly helping himself to a drink or pouring something for other guests. Drink is also used throughout as a lure. ‘If you come to my house I will open this bottle of old malt’ etc.
Watching this as a teenager and aspiring to the lifestyle of Jerry it is hardly any wonder that I associated success with booze. I don’t remember being shocked at the time! It just shows how my attitude has changed now the blinkers are off.
I also remember at the time wishing I had Jerry’s car – a yellow Volvo estate. Watching it last night it looked more like the Trotter’s three-wheel van than anything I would possibly want now!
Great Fun and well worth watching – especially for the naff seventies hairstyles, outfits and furniture.