KUA Characters

By Judith Carole. 2004.

Click on each name bellow to discover KUA characters.

 

 

Hyacinth

Daddy

Elizabeth and Emmet

Onslow and Daisy

Richard

Bruce and Violet

Sheridan and Tarquin

Rose

Neighbors, Other Characters, Etc.

Quotes

Philosophy

 

 

 

 

 

Hyacinth

 

At first glance, Hyacinth Bucket may seem unique, but it seems everyone knows a Hyacinth.   The older I get, I seem to develop more and more Hyacinthean characteristics.   I do not know if they come with age or exposure to Keeping Up Appearances.   I don’t think that’s an issue I really want to explore!

     Hyacinth is an interesting character, though, and the one who has been the most fully developed.   Richard, of course, runs a close second in the development department.

   So, what do we know about Hyacinth?   She is definitely a social climber who would prefer that those who know her socially not know that she didn’t originally come from the candlelight supper set.   She certainly wouldn’t want it to be known that she grew up in council housing similar to where her sister Daisy lives now.   But she did, as evidenced in Richard’s statement that Daddy is happy where he is because that is where he’s always lived.

     To further the illusion that Hyacinth belongs with the upper crust of society, she frequents stately homes such as Carldon Hall and the Chesford Grange Golfing Hotel.   Incidentally, Carldon Hall is open Weekdays and Bank Holidays from 18th May to 14th September 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.    It costs 50p to park in the car park.   If you choose to visit, to be truly like Hyacinth, be sure and loiter in the immediate vicinity of the family quarters so you can make eye contact with Her Ladyship.

     At the Chesford Grange Golfing Hotel, The Bucket’s stayed in room 212. Unfortunately, Rose was in room 210 when Richard and Hyacinth were there.   I’m sure that tended to ruin the ambiance of the place for Hyacinth---and she had even brought a Dame Barbara Cartland novel with her.

     Hyacinth likes to be prepared.   When Sheridan arranged for her and Richard to go yachting on a friend’s yacht, Hyacinth called the meteorological office for a shipping forecast.   The yacht, the Contessa I, was moored at Benson Pleasure Cruises on the Thames near Oxford.   The yacht was moored at berth 29 beside the Benson Admiral 2.

   On the subject of nautical adventures, Hyacinth and Richard once cruised on the Queen Elizabeth 2.   Running true to form, Hyacinth packed her complete set of matching executive luggage with genuine leather embellishments and initials.   She also told Sheridan that, should they be shipwrecked, she would be wearing her hat with an antique diamonte cluster.   Surprisingly, Hyacinth also packed a jogging suit and a Minnesota Vikings cap.   It was on this trip that Hyacinth, using a map from a different part of the country in which they were driving, managed to get them lost and stuck in a muddy field.   As she is being spatter with mud, we hear something that we never hear again in the entire series.   Hyacinth called Richard “Richard Bucket [Buck-et].”   Because they were running so late, Hyacinth and Richard had to fly to Copenhagen from Southampton.   They flew on KLM Cityhopper and sat in row 2 seats B and C, overlooking the starboard engine.   This would have been Hyacinth’s dream cruise had it not been for Daisy and Onslow also being aboard.

     Furthering her upwardly mobile pursuits, Hyacinth and Richard attend the Lord Mayor’s Fancy Dress Ball.   Last year, Hyacinth went to the Lord Mayor’s Fancy Dress Ball as Cleopatra.   Richard went as Mark Antony.   One year, Hyacinth went as Robin Hood, Richard went as Friar Tuck, and Sheridan broke out in spots, in only the nicest places, of course, when he couldn’t go as Maid Marion.   This year, Hyacinth wanted to go as Marie Antoinette, but the costume shop was out of Marie Antoinette Costumes, so she had to go as Queen Bodicea.    There were at least three other women there as Queen Bodicea.   Richard dressed as a cave man.

     Hyacinth’s certainly has her own personal “style.”   She has insisted she wants her daily two pints of milk to come from a very photogenic herd of cows she saw grazing on the Earl of Crawford’s estate.   She uses two different stationeries: her personal embossed writing paper that is saffron in color and has matching envelopes and the one that is pale mauve and lavender scented.   That doesn’t count, of course, the invitations she uses for her candlelight suppers.

     How many times have we heard, “The BOUQUET Residence, the lady of the House speaking?”   Hyacinth doesn’t just answer the phone.   She has made a number of interesting calls that we have been privileged to listen in on.   We have already mentioned her calling for the shipping forecast when they went yachting.    She phoned the local newspaper about her cruise on the QE2.   Because of that trip, she also called the post office to have their mail forwarded.   Come to think of it, she phoned the post office more than once about having her mail forwarded.   She called the Department of Refuse Services because their lorries take a shortcut down Blossom Avenue.   She called the Prime Minister’s office to get advanced information on the Honour’s List to see if Richard is getting anything because he is retiring.   Later she phoned the Lord Chamberlain’s office to find out what happened to Richard’s invitation to the Royal Garden Party and to find out what color the queen was wearing so they wouldn’t clash.

     Hyacinth always deals with the better merchants in town.   She bought Onslow’s cuff links at Tristain Jewelers.   When searching for their country cottage, Hyacinth and Richard went to Lovietts Independent Estate Agents.   Incidentally, one of the cottages they looked at was Honeysuckle Cottage, before Hyacinth decided on Marston Hall, which dates from 1577, for their country quarters.   A bit of trivia: Sir Edward, one of Hyacinth and Richard’s neighbors at Marston Hall, has gout.

     Hyacinth’s church means a lot to her.   Often, she is busy doing church work and frequently brings Elizabeth and Richard along with her.   Hyacinth and Elizabeth are sometimes seen church cleaning with the Ladies Guild.   One particular church cleaning day, Rose decided she wanted to become a missionary, so she came to help clean the church with Hyacinth and Elizabeth.   She’s dressed in a maid’s outfit.  

     Ninety-eight percent of the congregation of Hyacinth’s church are ladies. This is one statistic that does not please the vicar’s wife.   Some of the ladies in the Ladies Circle at St. Mark’s Anglican Church are Mrs. Watson,  Margery East and Phyllis Dobson.

     In the course of her church work, Hyacinth had met Daisy’s vicar’s wife at an interchurch bring and buy.   Hyacinth’s white elephants cornered the market.  

     Hyacinth also see the church as an important way to meet new and influential people.   She met Mrs. Fortescue (the old lady whose sister married a baronet) in church.   Mrs. Fortescue once injured Richard with her walking stick in church.   Mrs. Fortescue’s late husband was extremely fortunate in business.   It was also at a church function that Hyacinth met Mrs. Drummond from the Grange.

     Other ways Hyacinth has contributed to the church was when she ran the white elephant stall at the special bring-and-buy sale in aid of the Bell Fund.   And, of course, we must not forget that Hyacinth played the fairy queen in the church pantomime.

     Hyacinth frequently contributes to the betterment of her neighbors in town, besides those who attend her church.   For instance, she often goes to the Manor House Function Rooms in Moreton Road to see to the arrangements when the Ladies’ Luncheon Club has special speakers. This is another way for Hyacinth to meet people of substance.   It was through the Ladies’ Luncheon Club that she met Mrs. Millburn whose husband owns Frosticles.   Hyacinth described her to Richard as “that thrusting creature on the Ladies’ Luncheon Committee.   She was a Hackett from Wilton Street.” 

     One acquaintance Hyacinth spends a lot of time trying to impress is Mrs. Councilor Nugent.   She has invited this esteemed lady to her home on at least one occasion and Hyacinth and Elizabeth have served at the Charity Shop with her.

     Speaking of Hyacinth’s house, she considers it a beacon of culture in the area.   It is located at 117 Blossom Avenue.

     As we enter the house, we see that the flooring in the hallway of is lacquered wood block.   In 1968, Richard left a mark on the wood block.

     To our right, is the door to the lounge. The Bucket’s have a House Beautiful look-alike lounge.   Hyacinth’s Queen Anne corner cabinet is an exact replica of one in Sandringham House as is her three-piece suite.   Hyacinth’s three-piece suite, incidentally, came from Shaw’s.   Their delivery van displays the Royal warrant on both sides.

     The dining room is where Hyacinth does most of her entertaining, including her famous candlelight suppers.   In this room, there is a portrait of Winston Churchill over the mantle and a photograph of Sheridan on the mantel.   Hyacinth has Sights of Georgian London tablemats and a grade one Axminster carpet in her dining room.   I suspect that the dining room is also where Hyacinth keeps her extensive collection of cookbooks and books on proper entertaining.   Some of these books are: The Complete Guide to Civility and Tolerance, Writing Letters for All Occasions, How to Win at Housework, Soft Furnishings, The Daily Mail Book of Household Hints and Tips by Barty Phillips, Flower Arranging by Rona Coleman, Always in Style, Color Me Beautiful by Carol Jackson, and How to Become Absurdly Well Informed about the Famous and Infamous by E. O. Parrott, Getting It Right: A Survival Guide to Modern Manners, Herbs for Health and Flavor, Entertaining, and Calling Cards.   Hyacinth also has a cookbook called Sophie Grigson’s Ingredients Book.   Perhaps this is where she got the recipes for her Gentleman’s Relish and the parsnip and rhubarb biscuits she gave Emmet, not to mention her Prune Surprise.   She has an extensive repertoire of tidbits for the executive palate. And, of course, in the opening sequence, Hyacinth is consulting a book called Modern Etiquette by Moira Brenmer before she invites Major and Mrs. Wilton-Smythe to one of her Candlelight Suppers.   Hyacinth’s address on the invitation, by the way, is Waney Elm, Blossom Avenue, Fulham.

     Moving on to the kitchen, we find that there is a handmade Burmese rug under the table.  Elizabeth has spill coffee on it on occasion.   This is the kitchen where Hyacinth prepares her candle light suppers.   According to Hyacinth’s social calendar, the menu at candlelight suppers usually consist of a soup, a fish course, a piece of well cooked meat, a thoroughly tossed side-salad, a dessert-course with not less than three choices between something fruity, something frozen, and something crunchy, followed by four varieties of English cheese, and coffee with after-dinner mint.   Hyacinth doesn’t use her very expensive Royal Doulton china with hand painted periwinkles (It costs 40.00 each and is irreplaceable.), because it’s not her best china.   It’s her everyday best.   For her candlelight uppers, she uses her Royal Worcester double glazed Avignon china.   Pieces of this set can be seen in the closing credits.   She possibly also uses her silver that is Grade One Electro-plated and once belonged to Grandmama.

     Breakfast is also prepared and served to Richard in this kitchen.   Here Hyacinth uses Earl Grey tea.   Breakfast often consists of Grape Nuts cereal, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, or an exclusive European high-fiber breakfast cereal, endorsed by the Dutch Royal Family, instead of his usual corn flakes---there is a crest on the packet.   Hyacinth uses Del Monte orange juice.   Hyacinth takes her coffee with milk and no sugar, milk which comes from the Dale Farm Dairy, incidentally.

     Somewhere in the Bucket house, Hyacinth has a painting of a basket of flowers painted by Miss Patience Fullerton.

     The front and back gardens seem to be Richard’s domain, whether he really wants to claim them or not.   Some of the flowers he has grown there are roses, tulips, and polyanthas in her front garden.   The tulips in the back garden are Darwins, Sheridan’s favorite.   He talks to them for hours.

 

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Daddy

 

     Unlike Sheridan, Daddy is occasionally seen, but seldom is heard.   Like Sheridan, though, Daddy appears to be a very unique individual.   His different family members perceive him in such different ways that it is difficult to get to know the real Daddy.

     There are some of the facts about Daddy that we do have.   For instance, we have seen Daddy in the hospital.   In the first episode of the series, Daddy chased the milk woman on his bicycle in the nude by the canal.   Because of injuries sustained during this escapade---injuries that appalled Hyacinth and almost cancelled one of her Candlelight Suppers, by the way--- he ended up in the hospital.   Mr. Oxley was in the ward with Daddy, on that occasion, wearing a hat in bed.   Our Hyacinth questioned whether her Daddy should be in a ward with someone who wears a hat in bed.

     Daddy does like the ladies.   Besides the milk woman incident, Daddy has run off with a gypsy woman.   He has climbed down the drainpipe at Onslow’s dressed as Captain Midnight, Sword of Justice.   (He was going to rescue “her at the post office from a fate worse than death at the hands of totally hairless green people, fresh from outer space and desperate for a white woman.”) He sneaked out and found a woman on several occasions.    Each time his intensions see to be honorable if misplaced.   On woman was found in Daddy’s room claiming she was his fiancée and she had witnesses that he promised her marriage.   She has a son, forty-five, named Mr. Duxbury.

     There have been other fiancées in Daddy’s life.   One was a woman who was found in his room after he thought his bedroom was haunted and Hyacinth’s vicar was called in to exorcise the room.   In another episode, a Mrs. Braddock claimed that Daddy promised to marry her.   Then there is the episode where Hyacinth and Richard go to the registry office to stop a marriage, only to find out that the prospective bride did not show up.   Hyacinth mistook the registrar for the bride-to-be and let her feels be known.

     Other, less honorably intended encounters with women have happened to Daddy.   He chased a lady traffic warden three-quarters of a mile through the park.   He keeps catching Mrs. Ferguson when she is hanging out her laundry.   Mrs. Eggcustard, an occasional overnight guest, leaves toffee papers in Daddy’s bed.   When Daddy got bored, he would go looking for Mrs. Pendlebury.   She has moved to Chesterfield.   Daddy’s hobby circle, which meets at 24A Market Street, is for the purpose of watching strip-tease artists.

     The War left a big impression on Daddy.   According to Richard, Daddy was a driver during the War, but Hyacinth says that he did some things that were rather hush-hush.   We do not know if what Hyacinth says is completely true or is part of the background she is trying to foster for herself.   At any rate, we do know that Daddy, in his off moments, does return mentally to his war days.   Daddy has been known to run off, leaving a notes saying things like: “Condition red.   Enemy aircraft approaching.   Don’t get up.   I’ll handle it.   Have you seen my ration book?   Dad.”   Daddy once took Mrs. Bandlebury prisoner because he thought she was a “Jerry.”   He kept her in a trench he had dug in the front garden.

     Daddy was found claiming to be on sentry duty in front of the town hall.   He wouldn’t let the mayor’s secretary into the building.   Richard had to go to the town jail and get him released.   When Richard brought Daddy back to Onslow’s, Daddy stole the rotor arm out of Richard’s car---a trick he learned during the war.

     Daddy can sometimes be found on the roof fire watching.   He thinks there’s a raid on.

He has a rifle and bayonet and calls the house a restricted area.   He thinks Onslow is a German paratrooper.   Once, Daddy shot 15 people with the yard brush.

     Daddy served under Col. Dorleish in the war.   Col. Dorleish has been dead for 30 years.   He finished up as a brigadier general.   Daddy still has imaginary conversations with Col. Dorleish.

     Daddy has had many interests over the years of his long life, besides women, of course.   He was in the both the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts.   He was once secretary of his firm’s sport and social club.   He was a very good slow bowler in his day.    According to Hyacinth, Daddy was a power in painting by numbers circles.   Currently, Daddy plays with trains and makes frequent visits to the Senior Citizens’ Club.

     Keeping fit is also important to Daddy.   One way he keeps in peak condition is by doing yoga.   He was pronounced “too hot to handle” by the Over-Sixties.   In the last episode of the series, Daddy is taking dancing lessons from a Mr. Crabtree.   They danced to “No Other Love Have I” and “Hernando’s Hideaway.”   Daddy is planning a trip to Spain.   The keep fit regime must be working.

     Sadly, Daddy’s mind is not what it used to be, though.   He needs to be constantly watched.   Besides his chasing women and reliving the war, he has disappeared from Daisy’s for many other reasons.   Once, Daddy sneaked out and spent £235 in the toy department of Debenham’s Department Store.   Another time, Daddy took off in Hyacinth and Richard’s car.   Then there was the time, around Christmas one year, when Daddy disappeared.   He left a note saying, “Gone scouting.   Need new whistle.”   He showed up at the church hall almost naked and kissing everyone under the mistletoe.

     Even with close watching, Daddy managed to disappear completely for several days.   While he was gone, he rented his bed out to Mr. Mawsby.   The day Mr. Mawsby moved out, Daddy showed up again, riding on a skateboard.

     One would think that with Daddy getting into so much mischief, Onslow, Daisy and Rose would never be able to leave the house.   Fortunately, they have two neighbors who are very good.   One is Mrs. Midgely, who looks after Daddy when they are away.   There is also Mrs. Zoë Zbygn is a Polish lady who sometimes looks after Daddy.   The family calls her “Mrs. Thing.”   It is good to have these women as backup, because Daddy can be very trying.   Daddy even once caught himself on fire while smoking.

     Why doesn’t Hyacinth keep Daddy?   She has quite a few reasons (some would say excuses).   Among them are:

 

Hyacinth would have Daddy at her house if he didn’t make those noises.

Hyacinth would have Daddy at her house if it weren’t for the dribbling.

Hyacinth would have Daddy at her house if he weren’t so rough with Sheridan’s toys.

Hyacinth would have Daddy at her house, but he’s unreliable in the bathroom.

Hyacinth would have Daddy at her house if he didn’t bring Sheridan out in a rash.

Hyacinth would have Daddy at her house, but he drops food everywhere.

Hyacinth would have Daddy at her house if only his dentures weren’t so noisy.

Hyacinth wishes she could have Daddy at her house, but he does so monopolize the bathroom.

 

     Would Keeping Up Appearances be the same if Daddy, like Sheridan, were not seen?   I don’t think so.   Daddy adds a truly unique comedy element.

 

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Elizabeth and Emmet

 

     Elizabeth Hawksworth Warden lives next door to Hyacinth and Richard Bucket.   She is arguably the closest friend that Hyacinth has.   The two of them are practically inseparable.   But that is partly because Hyacinth insists and partly because Elizabeth has trouble saying no to Hyacinth.

     Elizabeth’s family, as far as we know, consists of a husband who is unnamed and works overseas.    We aren’t exactly sure where, but then, neither is Hyacinth.   She has said that he works in the Far East and in Saudi Arabia.   At any rate, we never see him.   Come to think of it, he isn’t mentioned a lot either.

     Another member of Elizabeth’s family that we never meet and is never mentioned is daughter Gail.   She is, according to Hyacinth, living quite openly with her boyfriend Harold.   Hyacinth also insinuates that Gail’s mental prowess is not quite equal to that of Sheridan’s, but, after all, she is Sheridan’s mother!

     Then there is Emmet, Elizabeth’s recently divorced brother.   More about him later.

     Elizabeth tends to be very civic minded and works on various charitable projects.   She has served at the Charity Shop with Mrs. Councilor Nugent and Hyacinth.   Elizabeth is a member of the Ladies’ Luncheon Club and she has collected for “Save the Children.”

She has even run the jewelry stall next to the fire extinguisher at a Bring-and-Buy at her church.   This activity guaranteed that she would have to encounter Hyacinth.

     Other things that occupy Elizabeth’s time, when she is not having coffee or Candlelight Supper at Hyacinth’s, are reading (She reads The Flower Digest and Classic CD magazine.) and gardening.

     Additional trivia about Elizabeth is that she drives a Mini Metro, registration number F434 RLA, and that she used to be a Girl Guide.

    Now, as promised, a bit more about Elizabeth’s brother Emmet.   We didn’t meet him until the first episode of the second series.   Hyacinth had not net him before then, either, and that first meeting was the cause of many laughs.   She was shocked to see a man, clad only in a towel, at Elizabeth’s front door!

     Emmet’s full name is Emmet Hawksworth.   He is a classically trained musician and teaches music and produces and directs the Amateur Operatic Society programs.   Hyacinth, ever the performer, was thrilled when she found out about his musical background.   Like his sister, Emmet puts his talent to work in the community.   He and Elizabeth went to the church hall to present a musical program for the old people of the church.   Of course, when she found out about the program, Hyacinth went along to lend her voice to the proceedings.

     Emmet is good at gardening (the man his wife ran off with was not.), but he gets little time to enjoy Elizabeth’s garden.   Every time he is out in the garden, Hyacinth uses the opportunity to sing at him.   She is of the firm opinion that his running away from her shows that he has deep feelings for her, but is very shy.   She is right, in a way.   Emmet does have deep feelings for her---just not the ones she imagines.

     Although he is not as clumsy around Hyacinth as Elizabeth is, Emmet has had his faux pas moments.   There was one time when it was his turn to spill coffee all over Hyacinth’s table.   As he and Elizabeth left, she pointed out to him that Hyacinth had finally gotten to him and that he would never be able to eat or drink anything in her house again.

     Another oops we hear about (but, unfortunately not see) is when Emmet left a mark on Hyacinth’s wood block flooring.   He wears shoes with crepe soles.

     Emmet reads Music magazine and both he and Elizabeth read The Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.

 

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Onslow and Daisy

 

     I’m sure when Hyacinth asked the question “How can you love an Onslow?” she felt that summed Onslow up nicely, but did she?   Let’s look at Onslow.

     Onslow at first appears to be the average bone-idle slob, but underneath that rotund, work-shy exterior, lurks a talented intellectual. He has been known to lament wasting all the educational opportunities he and Daisy missed when they were in the woods as adolescents.    He philosophizes about a universe full of black holes.   He blames egg roll and dumpling flavored crisps for the bad dreams about black holes that started him thinking about them, but still...

     Onslow has thought deep thoughts about such weighty issues as tidying up: “Given the transience of life, biology’s awesome potential for instability, and the possible meaninglessness of the entire universe, I wouldn’t think it was worth the bother.”

     As for the really esoteric questions, Onslow can hold his own with the best.   As an example, Onslow once mused, “The molecular biologists will tell you that 98% of our genes are identical to those of monkeys.   Less than 2% are specifically human.   So why do I wake up craving for a fag and not a banana?”   That is truly an unanswerable question!

      Can Onslow be accused of being lazy?   Probably.   He never gets up before dinnertime.   The chimney once blew down at Onslow’s and Daisy’s and he slept right through it.   Their phone has been cut off because they couldn’t pay the bill.   When he is awake, he can usually be found in front of his color television set, drinking a beer or tea from his green beaker with “The Sporting Life” written on it, and wearing either his vest or his Green Bay Packers shirt.

     Onslow does not consider himself lazy, though, but rather he feels he should be classified as bone-idle.   He feels his talents are more intellectual.   Unlike Daisy, his taste in reading material is certainly varied.   He has been spotted reading Life Among the Primitives, The Principles of Condensed Matter Physics, Today, The Financial Times, and The Racing Post.   He often has some comment to make about each of these.   He was particularly interested in the manhood tests talked about in Life Among the Primitives.

     Bone-idleness is something Onslow takes very seriously.   “It’s not a handicap,” he claims.   “It’s a philosophical position.   I’m making a statement.”   Yet slight depression over his condition does occur occasionally.   Onslow has been known to muse about “how some days you are just washed over by this cosmic emptiness and lack of meaning.”   One good thing that Daisy finds in Onslow’s bone-idleness is she feels he is too bone-idle to be unfaithful to her.

     Television is very important to Onslow.   He has a satellite dish that he has asked Richard to watch out for when Richard has had to climb a ladder outside Onslow’s home.   He turns on the television by hitting it.   After he has hit it, he watches a variety of shows, including Open University and Neighbours.   Among his other favorites are horse racing and auto racing.   Incidentally, he places his bets on those at H. Wooton Bookmakers Ltd.

     Police dramas, spy movies, and war movies seem to be among his particular favorites.   He watches the same ones over and over again.   Of course, for sheer repetitive viewing, the movie where the man in the black cape and white mask is chasing the girl in white through the forest is his all-time favorite.   He did miss an opportunity to see it on the big screen when he and Daisy won a trip on the QE2 by entering a newspaper contest.   They went to the Captain’s cocktail party instead.

     Only one time is Onslow seen watching a western.

     Onslow seemed to have an interesting social life before he and Daisy married. He used to go out with Bernadette, from Coleman Street, before he met Daisy.   Daisy calls her “that horrible thing.”   She says she looked more like a “Saint Bernadette.”   She was tall.   This was pointed out when Daisy once told Hyacinth that Onslow was so afraid of heights that he would not even date tall women.   Onslow used the fact that Bernadette was tall to refute this statement.

     Onslow also used to date a woman named Melanie.   But while he was seeing Bernadette and Melanie he and Daisy were having long good-byes in the bus shelter on Garibaldi Street.   These must have been very long good-byes, because Daisy and Onslow had to move the marriage forward because Stephanie was on the way. Stephanie is their only child and she has a daughter named Kylie.   Daisy’s family was not pleased when she married Onslow.   Hyacinth warned her against it. Daisy’s mother saw Onslow for the first time and thought someone had abandoned an old van.   But, it is good about tracking Daddy down, Onslow did take Richard to a pub to play pool to teach him the joys of irresponsibility, and he does show an artistic flare occasionally.   After all Onslow set up a Christmas scene in the junk car in their front garden.

          Onslow currently drives a multicolored Ford Cortina, registration number VSD 3895.   Its most notable features are its tendency to backfire and its stickers.  The sticker on Onslow’s driver’s side back glass reads: I hate slow cars in the fast lane. Onslow used to have a Hillman that he says used as much fuel as the QE2.

     We were given some clues as to Onslow’s likes and dislikes during the series.   For instance, we know for sure that his favorite flavor of crisps is smoky bacon.   He was shown eating Walker’s Crisps.   Presumably they were smoky bacon flavored.   He has also been shown drinking Stone’s beer and smoking Viceroy cigarettes.   Daisy and Onslow eat Mars Bars cold.   We see the odd empty Jack Daniels whiskey bottle on the sideboard next to Onslow’s chair, so, presumably, he likes that brand of whiskey.   Knowing Onslow, though, his favorite brands of anything are whatever he can get.   When Daisy’s toyboy offered him a Marlboro cigarette, he certainly did not turn it down.

    We are told little about Onslow’s family.   He mentioned once that his father has been dead for 12 years.   He does the occasional favor for his cousin Ralphie.   His mother once won a set of sherry glasses at bingo.   This is all the mention that is made of his family in the whole series.

     Hyacinth seems to be the person who undervalues Onslow the most.   She gets very annoyed when Onslow calls Richard “Dickie.”   Richard does not seem to mind overly much and, as he has explained, there is not much he can do to stop him, anyway.   Hyacinth is still angry because Onslow broke one of her cups and saucers one Christmas.

     If Onslow is the intellectual member of the family, Daisy is the more sensual and romantic one.   She is constantly trying to convince Onslow to make love with her.   This once caused his to make the comment that when he promised to love honor and obey her, he didn’t mean every Tuesday.   This frustration may or may not be the cause of Daisy’s fascination with romance books, including Lord Tancred Desires.   She has stated that she reads them because they are her “last foothold in romance.   I get very little practice.   At least I can keep abreast with theory.”

     Onslow and Daisy have an unusual love life.   As stated before, they got married earlier than they had planned because Stephanie was on the way.   Even with this turn of events, the marriage almost ended on their wedding night when Onslow found out that Daisy was a Liverpool football team supporter.    It seems Daisy and her sisters had an Uncle Derrick who used to take her to the Liverpool matches.   He seems to have gotten over his shock and dismay because they have been married for over thirty years.

     Speaking of their honeymoon, Daisy has many fond memories, including what she had for breakfast the morning after their wedding night.   It was bacon, eggs, sausage, and fried bread.   Onslow remembers that he took Daisy to an Italian restaurant on their honeymoon.   He was embarrassed when Daisy got spaghetti stuck in her earring and has not taken her out to eat since.

     Another glitch in their love life was when Daisy once asked Onslow if he would have married again if she had died in childbirth.   They had been making love when she asked.   It put a damper on things.

     Before she was married, Daisy also had an active social life.   She used to date a man who lived on Arnold Street.   She would also make love in the bus stop on the bottom end of Milton Street with one of Onslow’s friends, before they were married.  This would only happen on Fridays.   One wonders where Onslow was on these Fridays.   She also had wonderful hours in back of the bakery with someone besides Onslow, when she and Onslow were engaged.

     Daisy is not one of the world’s best housekeepers.   Her library books are usually under the settee.   When Hyacinth threatens to visit, she usually shoves things under and behind the cushions of the furniture in the living room.   In fact, she once found her girdle behind the cushion of Onslow’s chair.   Her kitchen is grimy and she rinses her dishes rather than wash them.   Hyacinth once saw Daisy clean her shoes with a tea towel and then proceed to use the same towel to dry her teacups.

 

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Richard

 

     What can one say about Richard?   He is married to Hyacinth and for this many people pity him.   But should he be pitied?   No matter what else one can say, Richard seems to have been successful, both in his professional and personal lives.

     Let’s look at his professional life first.   Before being forced into an early retirement, Richard was the deputy in the office of Finance and General Purposes, a large local authority.   Richard seemed to be well respected there, even though Hyacinth did frequently interrupt his workday with telephone calls about family or social emergencies.   He was certainly financially successful enough to afford a nice house in an exclusive postal code.   He was also fortunate enough to be able to afford a nice car.   Richard and Hyacinth drive a well maintained, highly polished sky blue Rover automobile, with four full sized doors, semi-automatic sunroof, passenger’s side vanity mirror, fully functional seatbelts, and a five-speed manually synchronized gearbox.   The number is D541 EXL or, occasionally D541 EFL, depending on the episode.   Besides that, Richard has both a cash card and a credit card, something that Hyacinth considers to be a sign of affluence.   He was able to afford Sheridan going to university (well, the local poly anyway).

     As a deputy in the Finance and General Purposes Department, Richard often attended prominent social functions, accompanied by Hyacinth, of course.   Hyacinth, I’m sure, was delighted with this aspect of her husband’s career.   One of the highlights of this social activity was the Lord Mayor’s Fancy Dress Ball.   Hyacinth did not believe that Richard’s retirement would bring an end to their attendance at this event.   Fortunately, Richard was able to get invitations after he retired.

     As I said before, Richard was forced into early retirement.   We were never told exactly why this came about.   Richard, certainly, was not in favor of the idea.   In fact, on his last day of work, he was seen practically begging to keep his job.   Some fans seem to feel that Hyacinth and her telephone calls might have had some bearing on the decision.

     After retirement, life changed drastically for Richard.   For a while he was at loose ends, even though Hyacinth planned many cultural activities for him.   Finally, Hyacinth decided he needed a hobby.   As a retirement gift, the Council gave Richard a video camera, which he never used.   She suggested that he use the camera to begin amateur filmmaking.   She was thrilled that he would probably become very famous that way.   He started videotaping people from phone booths until Emmet spotted him and suggested he film in the park.   According to Emmet, there are more places to hide in the park.   Richard was arrested shortly after that for lurking in the park.

     Richard seems to have had a successful personal life, as well.   Hyacinth feels that her purpose in life, besides bringing culture into the Avenue, is to make life run smoothly for Richard.   Apparently, he believes that she has, to a certain extent, since they have been married well over thirty years.     He has complained occasionally that she does not listen to him, but, as he has also, he has “learned to appreciate that over the years.”   He has also, on occasion noted that it is easier to be lost than to be disobedient [to Hyacinth].   Richard has compared his life with Hyacinth to being in the army.   “You just follow orders.   Every move is worked out for you and your meals appear on time,” he told the Vicar.  “Hyacinth runs a clean establishment but I wouldn’t call it friendly,” is the way he explained his life to Onslow, his brother-in-law.   “I can’t say I’ve ever thought of her in terms of fun,” Richard told Dorian.  

     Richard does seem to miss the romantic side of marriage, though.   One could see he was slightly hurt when Hyacinth let him know most emphatically that she did not find him to be growing more attractive as the years went by.   Richard feels Hyacinth lost interest in him once she had Sheridan.

     Hyacinth has been a prime mover in Richard’s life.   At Hyacinth’s insistence, Richard phoned and left a message on the Chinese ambassador’s answering machine, complaining about all the calls they get that should go to the Green Lotus Chinese restaurant.   To Richard’s surprise, the Chinese ambassador phoned back.   She tried to get Richard to apply for an executive position at Frosticles Frozen Food Company, which is only a few miles from the Bucket’s house.   One time she tried to make Richard president of the Archery Club.   It would have worked if he hadn’t shot Mrs. Lazenby.   When Richard had athletes’ foot.   Hyacinth convinced him to pretend it was gout, because gout is acceptable in the very highest circles.   One thing she has never been able to get him to do is fold his pajamas.

     All this help from Hyacinth does get trying, at times. Richard often sneaks away. Richard goes to the bathroom to hide.   He spends a lot of time there.  He says it is more of a library than a bathroom.   He has the only fully tiled library in town.   Richard occasionally dreams of sailing around the world single-handed.   He is also considering riding a bike from Lands End to John O’Groat alone.

     Richard does have a variety of amusements to occupy his time.   He is often seen reading.   Among the reading material he has been seen with are The Times and The Observer.   One time when he was reading The Times the headline read, “Call for Check on A-level Standards.”   He has also read Can You Afford to Retire? and The Business News as well as a book by Barbara Vine. Richard once wanted to join the history book club.   Hyacinth fully supported him in this.

     Richard also has a playful side. Hyacinth once found Richard playing with a Frisbee.   She was appalled.   Richard can play the piano, too.  

     He does get the opportunity to get out without Hyacinth.   These outings are usually to the local pub with Emmet or Onslow.   He drinks either beer or gin and tonic.

     Richard has raised his voice to Hyacinth only once.   They had stopped at a telephone booth to call Emmet, when a man got into the booth ahead of Hyacinth.   Of course, Hyacinth took umbrage at this behavior, rather loudly, I might add.   Hyacinth was speechless when Richard told her to stop beating on the telephone booth and get back into the car.  

     Should Richard be pitied?   I do not think he thinks he should.   Isn’t that what really counts.

 

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Bruce and Violet

 

     Many things could be said about Violet and Bruce.   Hyacinth is glad her sister married Bruce, because, in Hyacinth’s terms, Bruce is very successful.   In other words, he has the money to provide Violet with the things Hyacinth feels are the necessities of life.

      Bruce has provided Violet with a big house with a swimming pool, sauna, and room for a pony called The Paddocks.   She has satellite dish and stone lions in her front yard.   Her doorbell plays Camptown Ladies.  She also has a burglar alarm and an ornamental pool, a Jacuzzi, and a musical bidet that plays classical music. Violet has the most superior glassware.   Some of it most tastefully engraved with a list of injured jockeys.

     The registration number of Violet’s Mercedes is H559 URP.   Hyacinth likes to see it parked outside her house, because looks good there.   She does prefer that Richard not park their Rover next to Violet’s Mercedes.   She feels the Rover does not look as good parked to Violet’s car as it does when it is not parked next to her car. Violet once scratched the Mercedes.   Hyacinth was not amused.

     Besides The Paddocks, Violet has a luxury country cottage has a patio and built in barbecue.   It is double-glazed and has a fully fireproofed thatched roof.   The nearest neighbors are Bunty and Dorian from the Manor House.   Violet is a skinny thing, according to Bunty’s husband Dorian.  Bunty says that Bruce is a “quaint as a four pound note.”   We will talk more about that later.

     Living with Bruce has afforded Violet with various travel opportunities.   First, Violet and Bruce have a villa in Abitha where they seem to spend a considerable amount of time. Their villa in Abitha has gold taps.   They were supposed to go to Abitha for Christmas one year.   Bruce played Cinderella in an amateur production instead.   He refused to take off his costume.

     Violet and Bruce went on holiday to Tenerife.   Hyacinth is still waiting for a post card.

     Because of their social standing, Violet once had tea with the wife of the Postmaster General.   She still has the plastic spoon.   Bruce once saw the Queen (through binoculars) picking at a prawn cocktail at Hampton Park Racetrack.   Bruce is a Rotarian.

     Of course, Violet has a cash card.   Hyacinth feels this reflects on her sister’s, and, consequently her, standing in the community.

     In spite of the financial and social perks, and the possibility that she loved him once, Violet does have problems dealing with Bruce.   At various times, Bruce has bought a whip and wanted Violet to wear a leather outfit. He wanted he and Violet to dress up as Robin Hood and Maid Marian.   Bruce wanted to be Maid Marian. Bruce wanted Violet to call him Brenda.   He also wants to borrow a girdle from Hyacinth. He has been known on occasion to want to go to a dance in Violet’s evening gown.   Bruce took up Latin-American Ballroom Dancing.   Violet wore the tight trousers and Bruce wore the sequins. Bruce once got a large tear in his flamenco frock.  This made him cry.   Bruce also considered taking up synchronized swimming.   He wanted to borrow a floral bikini from Hyacinth.   He also wants to know if she will go with him to a fitting for one.

     At one time, Hyacinth was glad to hear that Bruce had taken up kerbcrawling.   Of course, she had no idea what that meant and assumed that it meant he drove very slowly.   Richard assured her that he was driving very slowly indeed.

     Bruce takes tablets.   Since Richard asked if he was still taking them after Hyacinth described some of Bruce’s latest foibles to him, I assume that his behavior is part of the reason he takes these tablets.

     Bruce is opening new offices and Violet thinks he will probably be made president of his local association.   Violet also thinks Bruce is having an affair with his secretary.   He’s been dressing up as a jockey and riding about town on a stuffed horse named Thunderbolt.   Sometimes, Violet thinks Bruce prefers horses and jockeys to her.   Violet is getting fed up with Bruce’s company.   Hyacinth’s solution is that Violet should entertain more.   They have come close to separating several times, but Hyacinth manages to keep them together every time.

     In the last special episode of the series, we learned that Bruce and Violet have children, but we are never told how many.

 

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Sheridan and Tarquin

 

     Sheridan is a mysterious character. Named after writer and politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan, he is in some ways an enigma.   We never actually see him.   At least we never see his face as an adult.   Hyacinth has a picture of him on her desk that we can see in the opening credits.   There is also a picture of him on her nightstand that we catch a glimpse of occasionally.   Then there is the one time we see the back of his head as he rides away to the Poly after a visit home.

     Yet, even though we have never had a clear look at him, we still can say we know a lot about Sheridan.   Perhaps we know more about him than his mother does, even though Hyacinth would never admit this.   She feels they have a psychic bond.

     Sheridan grew up in the rarefied atmosphere of his social climbing mother.   Apparently his father, Richard, had little influence on him in his formative years.   The reason for this is unknown, but it could be that Hyacinth sheltered Sheridan from his father.   Or it could be that Sheridan learned, early on, his mother was the easier touch.   A third possibility might be that Richard came to resent his only son.   After all, Richard has complained that Hyacinth lost interest in him once she had Sheridan.

     At any rate, Sheridan had a unique childhood.   It was fastidiously neat, probably due to Hyacinth’s influence.   When other boys would come home from school looking as though they had barely survived an explosion, Sheridan would always have his tie on straight and the cleanest pair of knees in the civilized world.

     Like many boys, Sheridan went into the Scouting program. Sheridan was in the Cub Scouts and they met for two hours on Wednesday evenings.   Sheridan went on to becoming a Boy Scout.   During this time, he made his Mummy a lovely fire in the garden.   Single-handedly and with one match he completely destroyed the potting shed.   Sheridan’s scoutmaster also said he had never known anyone to apply more grit and determination to the acquisition of his cook’s badge.

     The Bucket’s traveled some as Sheridan was growing up.   Hyacinth loves to share the pictures of these trips.   For instance, she has pictures of Sheridan in his little sailor suit at Sheringham and dawdling on a donkey at Dorleish.   She also has pictures of the time in 1979 when Sheridan went shrimping with Richard. Sheridan was awarded a cup for doing the “whipped doggie paddle” while the Bucket’s were holidaying on the Cornish Riviera.   He also got a certificate for collecting seashells.   He still remembers all the Latin names.

     Hyacinth has encouraged Sheridan’s artistic side.   At age 14, Sheridan got a music diploma.   The Bucket’s lived in a different, smaller house then. Sheridan has a fine italic hand.  He won an award for penmanship.   Sheridan played a daffodil in his first school play and came in first in his dance class.   He is also reputedly very talented with a small horsehair brush.

     It seems that Sheridan did not have a completely trouble free childhood, despite Hyacinth.   He had some sort of injury that caused him to have to wear a knee bandage, but people laugh at him.   Hyacinth never laughed at him.   She thought he looked like Mummy’s brave, little soldier---well, perhaps not soldier.   More like Mummy’s brave little poet or interior designer.   He also had measles at age nine.

     When Sheridan grew up, Hyacinth wanted him to be a quantity surveyor.   Instead, he dropped maths and took up needlework.   In fact he is majoring in tapestry design and advanced needlework.

     Sheridan sees his parents as a source of money, if in no other way.   We have seen Hyacinth on the phone with Sheridan on numerous occasions, usually asking for money.   The totals that we know of so far are: 190 (no reason given); 50 for curtain material for Tarquin’s flat; and 400 because he wants to go on a walking holiday in Iceland with Tarquin so they can write poetry together.   Sheridan has also asked for money for The Sword of the People and promised to pay it back when he has robbed his first bank.    Sheridan has a lilac colored car, but he wanted money for a respray on that, too. Sheridan always wants an increase in his allowance, especially after Richard became a “film maker.”

     Besides being involved in The Sword of the People, Sheridan has become involved in other causes that might be suspect, except, of course, in Hyacinth’s mind.   Sheridan is interested in the Workers Revolutionary Vanguard.   Hyacinth feels he should be more interested in the Executives Revolutionary Vanguard.    One year Sheridan and Tarquin spent Christmas helping rebuild Romania.   This is the first Christmas Hyacinth and Richard ever spent without Sheridan.

     A word about Tarquin is necessary.   He and Sheridan met at the Poly and sees to have become fast friends.   Tarquin seems to be as unique as Sheridan is.   He has won prizes for his embroidery.   Tarquin only wears pure silk pajamas; therefore, Sheridan wants pure silk pajamas.   At least that is what he told Hyacinth he wanted the money for.   And, much to Hyacinth’s delight, Sheridan and Tarquin aren’t interested in girls.   She has spent much time dwelling on the possibilities that statement carries with it.

     As a final word on Sheridan, I would like to add that the tulips in Hyacinth’s back garden are Darwins, Sheridan’s favorite.   He talks to them for hours.   And that about sums Sheridan up completely.

 

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Rose


     What can we say about Rose?   She is beautiful.   She has a perfect figure and wears clothes that emphasize that fact.   She is caring, perhaps too much so at times.   She gets along very well with men.   Surprisingly she usually gets along well with their wives, as well!   Rose has said that she has had some of her “best moments being cheap and common.”   But is she really “cheap and common?”   Opinions differ.
     One thing is for certain; Rose has known many men.   How many?   We do not know for sure. Several factors have to be taken into consideration.    First, we only see her during roughly a five-year period.   We definitely know of only three men in her life before we meet her.   They are her husband, the fiancé in the green suit, and Mr. Crabtree.    Mr. Crabtree is who she had the breakdown over.   After the breakdown, Rose swore she would never see Mr. Crabtree again.   For a while she cut it back ruthlessly to every other Tuesday.   We know she was married at least once before because Rose has said she sometimes wonders if she should get married again, but it puts such a dampener on her love life.
     We found out about the fiancé when Rose and Daisy are looking at pictures of all Rose’s engagement parties---boxes and boxes of pictures of Rose’s engagement parties!

     Rose had a breakdown over Mr. Crabtree.   This happened before the first episode of the series.
     After the first episode, it’s still difficult to decide how many men Rose knows.   We obviously see only bits and pieces of her life and she would not tell everything that is going on.   Besides, she and her family occasionally talk about her boyfriends without actually saying their names. So, do we just count the boyfriends we have names for and assume that descriptions of men that are not named are descriptions of men we have names for?   Or do we count the men with descriptions but no names separate?   We’ll try it both ways and the reader can choose which figure they prefer.
     Rose’s boyfriends for whom we have names  are: Boris, Mr. Blenkinsop, Mr. Bartholmew, Reg, Edgar, Mr. Finchley, Dennis, Mr. Helliwell, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Hepplewhite, Mr. Marinopolous, Mr. Sudbury, Mr. Murchison, C. P. Benedict, Mr. Merriwether, Derrick, Roger, Mr. Ripley, Charlie, Mr. Moody, and Mr. Bickerstaff.   This list could be twenty men or twelve men; depending on if we assume that the men whose first name only is listed is also listed by their last name.   Of the men listed by their last name, we only know the first name of two men, Mr. Ted Butterfield and C. P. Benedict.
     Before we move on to the nameless men, let’s see what we know about those that are named.
     One of Rose’s boyfriends is Boris.   We do not know much about him except he seems to be fairly popular with Rose.   He is mentioned in at least three episodes and is shown in at least once, when he and Mr. Helliwell were fighting over Rose in front of Hyacinth’s house.   Rose has been known to lovingly call him a swine, though.   Boris didn’t know that Rose was also seeing Mr. Crabtree.   He also didn’t know about Mr. Hepplewhite.

     Rose’s boyfriend Mr. Bartholomew is single, never been married.   He is a very quiet, shy, respectable person. She bumped into him when she was coming out of an “awful low boozer.”  

     Reg and Dennis appear in the episode where Kylie, daughter of Stephanie and granddaughter of Onslow and Daisy, was christened.   They were fighting over who was taking Rose to the christening.   Dennis, by the way, is a Pisces.
     Edgar promised Rose undying love in the bus shelter.    He also promised Rose he would be faithful, but she caught him sneaking back to his wife.   Rose has also been known to call Edgar a swine as she does Boris.  

     Rose felt betrayed and abandoned by Mr. Helliwell when she found him wrapped snuggly around Mrs. Bailey.   Rose loves Mr. Helliwell totally every Wednesday.   Mr. Helliwell always wears beautiful trousers.   As a token of his genuine affection, he bought Rose a set of naughty underwear.    Mr. Helliwell never takes a liberty without removing his hat.  
     When Rose was seeing Mr. Ted Butterfield, Hyacinth suspected that he was a member of the Butterfields who are the Quality Car people.   It turned out not to be so.   The only other thing we know about Mr. Butterfield is that he has hairy toes.
     Rose threatened suicide over Mr. Hepplewhite, whom she saw once a week on Wednesdays, and wanted to be buried in their mother’s wedding dress.   It is interesting that Wednesday is also Mr. Helliwell’s day!   Mr. Hepplewhite went back to his wife.   Rose feels that he is shallow.
     Rose’s boyfriend is Mr. Marinopolous in the episode about Onslow’s birthday party.   He has a limousine because he is a funeral director.   Hyacinth, of course, assumes he has a limousine because he is a rich, Greek oil tycoon.
     In the episode where Richard, Elizabeth, and Hyacinth all dress up as Father Christmas, Rose’s boyfriend is Mr. Sudbury.   He is tall, elegant, and a very good dancer.   He and Rose danced in the street in front of her house to “On the Street Where You Live.”
     Rose’s boyfriend Mr. Merriwether is the kitchen salesman in the Angel Gabriel Blue episode.   Trevor Banister, Mr. Lucas on Are You Being Served?, played him.
     Rose’s boyfriend Derrick never went out in a car without something to put between a person and the damp grass.   Derrick has a lazy eye.   She was happiest with Derrick until tragedy struck---his wife found out.
     Rose’s boyfriend Roger has a large dog named Olive.   Rose led Roger to believe that she lived with Hyacinth and Richard instead of Onslow and Daisy.   When he came to see her there, he left his dog, which Hyacinth calls half a camel, in front of Hyacinth’s house.   Roger called Hyacinth Rose’s mother.
     Charlie, the police inspector, was one of Rose’s old boyfriends.

     Mr. Murchison was a boyfriend of Rose’s who was completely without scruples, in her opinion.   He gave her his wife’s jewelry and then took it back when they broke up.

     When Rose dates Mr. Ripley, she has to be in early.   His wife insists.

     Speaking of wives, Mr. Moody’s wife confronted Rose as she was on her way to help Hyacinth with the pageant.   According to Mrs. Moody, her husband and Rose meet at two o’clock in the morning.   Rose denies this.

     Mr. Blenkinsop and Rose spent one Christmas together on the floor of her wardrobe.   She never knew anyone to get so wound up on British sherry.

     Mr. Finchley has a blue van with a loud speaker and does not seem to mind helping to look for Daddy.

     We know nothing about Rose’s boyfriend Mr. Bickerstaff.
     Of the boyfriends for whom we have a description but no name there is Rose’s boyfriend the fitness fanatic.   There is Rose’s boyfriend who was so bowlegged that he tried to cross his leg and missed.   One of Rose’s boyfriends collects model airplanes.   Rose is in room 210 of the Chesford Grange Golfing Hotel with someone when Richard and Hyacinth are there to play golf with the Major.

     Rose was engaged to a Polish person.   His nickname was Cuddly Chops and she couldn’t pronounce his last name.   The family called him Mr. Whatsit.   He returned to Poland to a “red-headed person.”

     Lastly, there is the boyfriend that Rose met in the pub.   He is a born again Christian and has Rose pondering the questions of life after death and how well one should love one’s neighbor.
     That brings the count to twenty-seven, twenty-two, nineteen, or fourteen men, depending on what method you choose to classify them and not counting all the men in the boxes and boxes of pictures from her engagement parties.   Before you think that Rose cannot do without men, do not forget that there were a couple of occasions when she decided to give them up completely. One time Rose decided she wanted to become a nun.   Another time she thought she wanted to become a missionary, so she came to help clean the church with Hyacinth and Elizabeth.   She dressed in a very skimpy maid’s costume.
     By the last episode of the series, according to Daisy, Rose has finished with the men in Spain and moved on to those in Central Europe.

     Rose once said she was thinking of writing her memoirs. We can only hope!

 

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Neighbors, Other Characters, Etc.

 

     Hyacinth and Richard Bucket have many neighbors and acquaintances.   Hyacinth, especially, likes to keep in social contact with most of them.   Many have been invited to partake of her famous (or should that infamous?) Candlelight Suppers that we have discussed in a previous chapter.   It was an invitation in the opening sequence to one of these Suppers that introduced us to one of Hyacinth’s most important social contacts: Major and Mrs. Wilton-Smythe.    We never get to meet Mrs. Wilton-Smythe.   The closest we have ever come is when she and the Major invited the Buckets to a golfing weekend at the Chesford Grange Golfing Hotel.   Unfortunately for us, Mrs. Wilton-Smythe was unable to attend.   The Major, on the other hand, we have seen a few times.   Peter Cellier, a marvelous character actor who has appeared in numerous British comedies, plays him.  

     We have been able to find out many things about the Major over the run of the series.   First, he has quite a thing for Hyacinth.   Every opportunity he gets, he has his hands on her.   In the first episode of the series, when Daddy had his accident while chasing the milk woman along the canal, the Major invited Hyacinth to visit his greenhouse to choose flowers for her Candlelight Supper.   While at the greenhouse, the Major chased poor Hyacinth around.   As a consequence, she didn’t get any flowers, but she did determine that if the Major were not a major, say a sergeant, he would never be invited to one of her Candlelight Suppers.

     In the previously mentioned golfing episode, we learn a few more about the Major.  When he sets things up so Richard is golfing with Porky Hooton so he can spend time with Hyacinth, we learn that he drives a Bentley with the registration number B675 EWP.   We also learn that the Major once had a thing for the Governor’s wife.   The Major calls Hyacinth a minx and says she is attractive in a weird sort of way.   He also calls her a little flower.

     Two other bits of trivia we have found out about the Major over the years.   One is that his phone number is 3549 and that he reads Horse and Hound magazine.

     When Hyacinth found out that Rose’s boyfriend, a wealthy Greek named Mr. Marinopolous, was driving them to Onslow’s birthday party, she felt she must have a cocktail party before Mr. Marinopolous picked them up.   Of course, the Major and his wife were invited.   It was during this episode, we found out that the Major’s phone number is 3549 and that he reads Horse and Hound magazine.   We also find out that he thinks Hyacinth is a “fine filly on the flat.”

     Another neighbor whom we learn a lot about but see only once, and that during the episode where Hyacinth and Richard drive Mrs. Fortescue, is Sonia Barker-Finch, of the pseudo-hyphenated Barker-Finches.   She was a Barker.   Her husband was a Finch.   Now they are the Barker-Finches.   We first learn about Mrs. Barker-Finch in the episode where Hyacinth and Richard are getting a new three-piece suite, which is an exact replica of one at Sandringham.    Because Mrs. Barker-Finch boasted about her holiday abroad while Hyacinth was singing selections from Song of Norway at one of pianoforte recitals, Hyacinth is determined that she will see the delivery van with the Royal Warrant on the side.   To this end, Hyacinth plans to call Sonia Barker-Finch and lay the phone down, leaving Mrs. Barker-Finch with nothing better to do but look out the window and see the van.   That is how we found out that the Barker-Finch’s phone number is 34197.

     When Hyacinth and Richard went yachting, Hyacinth told Richard to drive slowly past number 23.   It seems Mrs. Barker-Finch puts her nose in the air every time she is going golfing.   Hyacinth wanted to make sure she knew the Buckets were going yachting.   To drive the point home, Hyacinth had Richard stop in front of the Barker-Finch house, while she got out, in full nautical dress, of course, and waved good-bye to Elizabeth.   Hyacinth has also asked Richard to drive slowly past the house so Mrs. Barker-Finch can see her hat on at least one occasion.

     The Barker-Finches were burgled twice in a three-month period.   Both times the VCR was stolen.   Soon after that, Richard gave Hyacinth an alarm for their anniversary.   Hyacinth suggested that she would tell Mrs. Barker-Finch that the next time she was burgled, she should call Hyacinth and she would set off their alarm.   Apparently, the neighborhood has some problem with burglaries, because the Wilkinson’s were also burgled.

     Sonia Barker-Finch had another opportunity to get to Hyacinth when she invited the Douglas Chater to her barbecue and didn’t invite the Buckets. The Douglas Chater is a building material supplier to executive homebuilders. This caused Hyacinth to throw her Indoor Outdoor Luxury Barbecue.   I’ll talk more about that later.

      Living in a residential area in a highly sought after postal code, the Buckets have many other acquaintances among their neighbors.   Delia Wheelwright lives in a mock Tudor, two-story, semi-detached on the corner of Oakdale.   She has a games room above the garage of her house in Oakdale Avenue.   She and her husband took a month-long holiday in the Caribbean.   Mrs. Willis lives on Elm Street and knows her.   That is why when Hyacinth picked up brochures on The QEII and the Orient Express she after she threw them out the window as she and Richard drove past Mrs. Willis.   She wanted to make sure that Mrs. Willis would tell Delia Wheelwright that she, too, was planning a fabulous holiday.

     On the left of the Bucket house, the side other than the one where Elizabeth and Emmet live, are the Riddleys.    Hyacinth has commented that he has a wife that must be difficult to be married to.   The only time Hyacinth has ever heard Mrs. Riddley speak to her husband, it was to give an order.   Richard understood what the man was going through.

     Mr. Penworthy is one of the Bucket’s neighbors.    So are the Wilkinsons, who were burgled.   The Winslows came to one of Hyacinth’s Candlelight Suppers, but never gave them an invitation in return.  

     Mrs. Donaghue, who has just moved into Number 10, on the next road, used to be a Proctor of Proctor’s Pickles.   Her father is highly placed in condiment circles.   Hyacinth and Richard walked past her house 23 times one afternoon, so Hyacinth could casually strike up an acquaintance.

     Mr. and Mrs. Hislop at number 43 have been to a Royal Garden Party.   He has a C registration.  They have a corgi.

     The Caradines are neighbors of the Buckets.   She used to be a “Barter’s Biscuits.”   They drive a Saab, numbered M945 KWK.   They also have a ski rack on top of their car.  

     The two Misses Pilsworths live near the Buckets.   Their father was Colonel Pilsworth from a very old family.   The elder Miss Pilsworth is allergic to naked flame, which is why they decline invitations to Hyacinth’s Candlelight Suppers.   They refer to Hyacinth as “the Candlelight Queen.”

     Two of Hyacinth’s neighbors are Margery East and Phyllis Dobson.   We have seen them walking past her house.   One of Hyacinth’s neighbors, on the opposite side of Elizabeth and Emmet, is Mr. Riddley.

     The Thorncliffes have a little place in the country.   Sir Edward, one of Hyacinth and Richard’s neighbors at Marston Hall, has gout.

      A very memorable character that is an acquaintance of Hyacinth is Mrs. Councilor Nugent.   Hyacinth and Elizabeth served at the Charity Shop with Mrs. Councilor Nugent.   She is an interesting personality.   A seemingly gruff and very judgmental individual, who’s stated goal is to stamp out frivolous things, she has been known to let her hair down.   In the episode where Richard takes up photography as a new hobby (as decreed by Hyacinth), Mrs. Councilor Nugent really seems to enjoy dressing in a rather risqué costume!   She also attends such high profile local events as a preview of a private art exhibition with cheese and wine.   The Mayor opened the event.

     Hyacinth has been known to mention her connections with the aristocracy.   She once met Lady Carlton at a garden party and they saw each other again at a dinner after the gala performance of Swan Lake.   She is sure to mention that Sir Edward is one of her neighbors in the country.

     Hyacinth and Richard meet others through their church, St. Marks.   Hyacinth met Mrs. Fortescue (the old lady whose sister married a baronet) in church.   Mrs. Fortescue once injured Richard with her walking stick in church.   Mrs. Fortescue’s late husband was extremely fortunate in business.   It was also through the church that Hyacinth and Richard met Mrs. Lomax, who, though carsick all the way to the seaside, managed to eat 3 ice cream sundaes and most of a candyfloss.   Also on that trip, they met Mr. Farini, who took quite a shine to our Hyacinth.   When Richard won a prize at the shooting gallery, Hyacinth insisted that he allow Mr. Farini to choose.   Mr. Farini chose handcuffs and cuffed himself to Hyacinth.   Others, which are mentioned in regard to the church, are Mrs. Gilbey, Mrs. Duffield, and Mrs. Partridge.

     Hyacinth is very active in The Ladies’ Circle at St. Marks, which buys all the tea for the Vicarage at a discount.   One of the ladies in the Ladies Circle is named Mrs. Watson.   Other members are Miss Wilson, Miss Barber, Mrs. Dawson, Mrs. Andrews, Mrs. Warden (who, of course, is Hyacinth’s neighbor Elizabeth), Miss Harvey, and Mrs. Barrett.   Mrs. Drummond from the Grange was supposed to run the bookstall at the bring-and-buy-sale when Richard “fixed” the electrics.

     Through the church, Hyacinth has gotten to know the Vicar and his wife.   He is a young man, but seems to have had many interesting experiences.   For instance, he was once the chaplain of a prison and he did a little dancing on stage when he was at university.   He has also been known to attend previews of private art exhibitions with cheese and wine.   His name is Michael.

     Mrs. Lennox is another of Hyacinth’s acquaintances from the church.   Her husband is something big in the building industry and she lives in a large house.   Hyacinth once tried to recruit her to help with the Charles I pageant.

     When Hyacinth tried to make Richard president of the archery club, it didn’t work because he shot Mrs. Lazenby.

     Richard occasionally runs into Ed, a friend from his club.   He has also been known to run into David, a neighbor.

     Hyacinth is also involved with the Ladies Luncheon Committee that meets at the Manor House meeting rooms in Moreton Road.   This is how she met the Commodore. He had sailed single-handed around the Horn and was the featured speaker at the Ladies Luncheon.  The Commodore lives in Rugby.   There was some confusion when Hyacinth and Richard met the train from Rugby.   The Commodore had spent the night before in Cheltenham.   The Commodore likes the ladies, especially Hyacinth.   He says that Hyacinth is a “fine looking frigate to come along side . . . a well-built, solid-looking craft.”   The trainmaster’s name, by the way, is Winston T. Victer.

     The Buckets have also met people because of Richard’s job, or Hyacinth’s attempts to find him one after he was forced to retire.   The head of the department of Finance and General Purposes is Reggie Thorgunby.   Richard was his deputy.   Hyacinth called his wife, Fiona, to invite them over during the holidays.   Hyacinth invited Mrs. Henderson, of the Hendersons, the frozen food people, to tea in the hopes of finding Richard a job.   Mr. Millburn owns Frosticles.   Hyacinth described his wife as “that thrusting creature on the Ladies’ Luncheon Committee.   She was a Hackett from Wilton Street.  Hyacinth insists on she and Richard going golfing to meet Mr. Millburn and thereby secure Richard a job at Frosticles.   Mr. Millburn offered Hyacinth a job at Frosticles, instead.

     When it comes to entertaining, Hyacinth cannot be bested, as she is well aware.   Sonia Barker-Finch tried with her barbecue featuring the Douglas Chater.   Hyacinth countered with an Indoor Outdoor Luxury Barbecue with Finger Buffet.   This is where she met C. P. Benedict, the garden king, who has been on television.   Richard knows him slightly. C. P. is someone Richard meets occasionally when C. P. is walking his dog.   C. P. Benedict owns the Charlecote Garden Centre, where Hyacinth and Richard go to get plants for their outdoor-indoor luxury barbecue with finger buffet. From this episode, the only trivia we learn about C. P. Benedict is that his car’s number is K75 CAC.   And, of course, the big shocker, especially for Hyacinth: he is also a “friend” of Rose’s.

     And then there is Lydia Hawkesworth.   We do not know how Hyacinth met Lydia.   We do know there is animosity between Hyacinth and Lydia.   It all started when Lydia was quite objectionable at one of Hyacinth’s Candlelight Suppers.   She had the impudence to say in a loud voice, “I think kiwi fruit are so lower middle class, don’t you?”   Apparently, Hyacinth was serving kiwi fruit at the time.   All Lydia could talk about the whole evening was their holiday in Corfu.   Hyacinth led her to believe they had been to South Africa.   Then Lydia really did it!   At the annual craft fair, both Lydia and Hyacinth entered the freestyle floral decoration for a table centerpiece.   Lydia won, leaving Hyacinth with a second place ribbon and a chip on her shoulder.

     The Cooper-Bassetts (Mrs. Cooper-Bassett’s first name is Helen) are acquaintances of the Buckets that we have no background on.   We aren’t sure how or when the two couples met, but when Hyacinth sees them at the Pleasure Beach and calls to them, they obviously ignore her.   From this we can assume that they know her well, since people who know her generally try to shy away from her.   What we do know about them is that they do like Richard and that they met on the Ghost Train at the Pleasure Beach.   They came back there for their anniversary.

     Among the others Hyacinth has met are the postman, the missionary, the milkman, the paperboy, the meter reader, the television repairman, and the alarm salesman.    The postman’s name is Michael and he has seven children.   He is also afraid of Hyacinth, as evidenced by his twitch when she is around.   The missionary came to visit Hyacinth one day and tried to sell her some religious literature.   She assured him that hers is a Christian house.   She also remarked that he should be wearing something more Christian in the way of socks.   They had bold horizontal stripes.   The milkman, who is also afraid of Hyacinth, works for Dale Farm dairy.   The paperboy runs every time he sees Hyacinth ever since she insisted he wash his ears.   She had caught him poking them.   The meter reader has a funny mustache and he knows to remove his shoes before entering the house.   The electric reading when we met him was 8321.   Hyacinth, of course, double-checked.   Hyacinth called the television repairman to install a device that bleeps all the bad words.   The alarm salesman works for Excel Alarm System and came to inspect the house when Richard bought Hyacinth the alarm for their anniversary.   His car’s registration number is M516 SHO, by the way.

     Of course, this chapter would not be complete without some mention of Onslow and Daisy’s neighbors and others we have met, or heard of, there.   Mrs. Midgely is a neighbor of Daisy’s who looks after Daddy when they are away. Daddy keeps catching Mrs. Ferguson when she is hanging out her laundry. Mrs. Zoë Zbygn is the Polish lady who sometimes looks after Daddy.   The family calls her “Mrs. Thing.”    She is one of the few neighbors of Onslow and Daisy that we have seen.   She came with them to Violet and Bruce’s country cottage when Daisy, Onslow, Rose and Daddy came for a barbecue.   That is also when Hyacinth and Richard met Bunty, who lives in the manor house near Violet and Bruce’s country cottage. Bunty’s dog is named Zoë.    Violet is a skinny thing, according to Bunty’s husband Dorian.  

     Daddy once took Mrs. Bandlebury prisoner because he thought she was a “Jerry.” When Daddy gets bored, he goes looking for Mrs. Pendlebury.    She has moved to Chesterfield.   Some of Daisy and Onslow’s other neighbors are: Bert and Martha, Charlie (who works down the drains and in the sandwich shop part-time), Beryl and Billy, and Ethel (she was Miss Southport 1938.)

     The gypsy woman came by, one day, selling ribbons and lucky charms.   Onslow gave her a hard time, but Daisy, who feels it’s bad luck not to buy something from a gypsy, surely did.   Rose, who was contemplating suicide at the time, asked if she had love potions or open razors.   Daddy ran off with her.

     We met Mr. Duxbury when Daddy promised to marry Mr. Duxbury’s mother.   The first time we actually see him is when he and his friend are unloading presumably stolen Ferguson televisions when Hyacinth goes to speak to him.

     Mr. Patterson, whom Daisy calls a dirty old man, used to be dead keen on her.

     Mrs. Acaster leaves toffee papers in Daddy’s bed.

     Mr. Mawsby rented Daddy’s room from him.   No one knows where Daddy went.   He just came rolling up on a skateboard as Mr. Mawsby was leaving.

     Another neighbor we only hear about is Mrs. Clayton.   She is a divorcee whom Hyacinth calls “a rather common person.”   She works in the canteen at the old people’s center.   Daddy has a “thing” for her.

     Hyacinth and Richard are so socially active that I’m sure there are many, many more acquaintances that we have never seen nor heard about.   Perhaps someday . . .

 

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Quotes

 

     Writers, particularly in television, often use one character to give us clues about what the other characters are like.   Many times this also gives us a further insight into what the character that is talking is also like.   Being up to and beyond British standards, this holds true for the characters in Keeping Up Appearances.   What do the characters say about themselves and each other?

 

     All the characters have strong opinions about Hyacinth.   When Daisy tells Rose that Hyacinth is coming over, Rose quips, “That’s all we need.   A royal visit.” Rose also feels “Our Hyacinth’s not very big on small.”   Daisy says, “She’s great at solutions, is our Hyacinth.”   As for Onslow, he has some very interesting opinions on Hyacinth: “Somehow the thought of your Hyacinth exerts a braking force.”   Onslow also says about Hyacinth: “She leaves a lot of happiness behind her.   It’s such a relief when she’s gone.”   And, of course, most stinging of all is “Your Hyacinth’s far too posh to have decent sauce.”   Onslow calls Hyacinth “the Queen Mother.”

     Richard, Hyacinth’s husband, has commented, “She’s not listening.   How does she manage to never listen?   I wish I could get the hang of it.” and “She rarely listens to anything I say.   I’ve learned to appreciate that over the years.”   He has also, on occasion noted that it is easier to be lost than to be disobedient [to Hyacinth].   When talking about life with Hyacinth, Richard has said, “It’s like the army.   You just follow orders.   Every move is worked out for you and your meals appear on time.”   “Hyacinth runs a clean establishment but I wouldn’t call it friendly,” he has stated.   “I can’t say I’ve ever thought of her in terms of fun,” Richard told Dorian.   One wonders how they have stayed together all these years!

     By far, Emmet Hawksworth has the strongest opinion of Hyacinth of anyone on the show.   He has quipped, “Being talked to by Hyacinth is almost as bad as being sung at.”   He has complained that “You can divorce wives, whereas there is no cure whatsoever for a singing neighbor.”   About Hyacinth’s singing, he has said, “That voice goes straight through me.   She could remove people’s socks with that voice.”   Of course, Hyacinth is constantly singing at him because she wants him to cast her in some of his amateur operatics.   He has called her “a demented cuckoo clock” and said she was “only human . . . well, only just.”   He most accurately described her when he said, “She can’t bear anyone getting more attention than she does.”   “She’s the kind of person it is easy to get a thing about,” he once told Elizabeth.   “She’s a groan a minute,” he added.   Emmet has called Hyacinth “the Creature from the Black Lagoon” and said that “Frankenstein created a monster and it sings.”   The meanest thing Emmet ever said about Hyacinth was “All she needs is a Cruft’s first prize rosette, and she could go [to the Lord Mayor’s Fancy Dress Ball] as Supreme Lady Champion.   And you know what they call those.”   For those who do not know, Cruft’s is a dog show.

     Elizabeth Warden, Emmet’s sister, also has had her problems with Hyacinth.   “She never listens,” she has commented, “It’s like talking to brick.  The words just bounce off.”   When asked why she does so much volunteer work with Hyacinth, Elizabeth answered, “With Hyacinth one is conscripted.”   How does Elizabeth deal with Hyacinth day in and day out?   Here is what she has to say: “The trick with Hyacinth is to just let things roll over you.   I think that’s how Richard survives.”   Elizabeth also admired Richard and Hyacinth’s marriage once, saying,   “They are a very close couple.”   Emmet replied, “Of course they’re close.   She has him on a lead.”   Elizabeth will admit, “Some of us think her husband’s the hero.”   Has Elizabeth anything really nice to say about Hyacinth?   “She knows her manners.”

     Among the other characters, the Vicar says, “Mrs. Bucket has an extremely powerful voice.”   He runs, though, every time he sees her.   The major calls Hyacinth a minx, says she is attractive in a weird sort of way, and that she could “drive a man mad looking so attractive so early in the day.”   He also calls her his little flower. The Commodore calls Hyacinth  “a fine-looking frigate to come along side . . . a well-built solid-looking craft.”   Dorian refers to Hyacinth as “a sturdy creature” and says she’s “a damn fine filly on the flat.”

     How does Hyacinth feel about herself?   Obviously, she has a rather high opinion of herself.   Hyacinth says she could never strike up a conversation with anyone who reads the tabloids.    Yet she claims, “I haven’t a snobbish bone in my body.   I cannot abide people who run around making a meal out of their social triumphs.”   Fortunately for the people of her town, Hyacinth is, in her opinion, “not the sort of person who goes fishing for invitations.”   What does she think of her style?   “It’s not my style to be dictatorial.   I’m a great believer in understatement . . . You know me.   I’m never one to go on at length.”   As for duty . . . well, “I know my duty.   I trust I shall always be a caring daughter.”   Hyacinth says she is “not the sort of person who brags about her social connections”, yet brags about having met Lady Carlton and is thrilled that Sir Edward is her neighbor at their country flat.   Hyacinth seems to sum herself up nicely when she says, “If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s snobbery and oneupsmanship---people who try to pretend they’re superior.   Makes it so much harder for those of us who really are.”

     Richard evokes different feelings from the different characters than Hyacinth does.   Hyacinth does not respect him enough to allow him to think for himself.   When Richard decides to park in the turning area, near Onslow’s house, rather than blocking the road, Hyacinth tells him she doesn’t like him to make unilateral decisions.   She does describe him as being invaluable in a crisis, though, and also claimed “He is so thoughtful, bless his heart.   A little bossy now and again, but so thoughtful.”

     The Vicar “feels a massive Christian sympathy for him.”   Onslow says, “How can you not like Richard?   You just feel so sorry for him---The Man in the Iron Mask.”   As for Elizabeth, she knows “Richard has a very patient and kindly nature.   Also I think he lives in a quiet little world of his own.”   He has called him “very well trained” and “rather a dear, really.”

     Hyacinth is the only one who has made any really disparaging comments about the way Onslow, Daisy, Rose and Daddy live.   She has said that it is so thoughtless for Daisy and Onslow to look as poor as they do.   She has also claimed that Daisy and Onslow practically live in Beirut.   Hyacinth asked, “How can a place look like this forty years after the blitz?” and said, “It’s the dustbin men I feel sorry for.   I mean, how can they distinguish between what they’re supposed to take and what’s supposed to stay?”

     On the subject of Onslow himself, Hyacinth muses, “How can you love an Onslow?   He sings on coach trips.”   Richard says, “Sometimes you have to admire Onslow’s relaxed outlook on life.”   Daisy, Onslow’s wife calls him “a big idle slob” and claims that “If it wasn’t for [his] handicap [bone idleness], [he’d] have gone far.”   She also compliments him, though, by saying, “You get a warm cozy feeling being married to an intellectual.   If you weren’t born idle, I bet you really could have made something out of yourself.”   According to Daisy, “He’s always had this massive appeal for women.   He exudes raw sensual magnetism.   That could have been him with Vivian Leigh in Streetcar Named Desire.”   But on the other hand she’s sure “he’s not built for poetry.”   Daisy sums up her feelings about Onslow when she says, “When I married him, I thought he was just a sex symbol.”   Onslow describes himself as “work-shy, bone idle, and out of condition.”   He also laments: “I’m just a plaything in the hands of you females.   I’m not just a toy, Dais.   You’ve got to stop thinking of me as a just a sexual object.   I’m not just here for your amusement.”

     Richard describes Daisy, Onslow, and Violet as: “Daisy’s cheerful.   Onslow’s cheerful. Violet’s always moaning . . . I like your Daisy.   She’s a very generous, warm soul.   I like Rose, come to think of it.   She’s another gentle soul, really.   She’s just a bit mixed up.”

     Rose is another character that the other characters react to with strong and often mixed emotions.   As stated before, Richard likes Rose and says, “She’s another gentle soul, really.   She’s just a bit mixed up.”   Elizabeth says Rose “has eyelashes longer than her skirts.” Emmet calls her “The one with the friendly legs.”   Onslow explained once “your Rose has had more engagement parties than I’ve had bags of crisps.”   Hyacinth feels that “Rose doesn’t lead the kind of life you can play though a loud speaker.”   As for Rose’s famous (infamous?) gentlemen friends?   Richard says, “They’re not usually wealthy.   They’re usually---well, the word ‘desperate’ springs to mind.”   Onslow would add, “They don’t last long with your Rose.”

     Last, but not least is Daddy.   Hyacinth, who can come up with many excuses for not having Daddy live with her and Richard, claims “He was a wonderful man in his prime.   Covered himself with glory in the War, but in the most gentlemanly fashion.   Taught me all I know about bottled preserves.   Dear Daddy, he ran an exemplary family.”   She also swears she “knew he was a born philatelist.”   Richard, when Daddy decided to join the French Foreign Legion admitted: “He usually comes home, wearing a mysterious smile.   I admire him.   He makes up his mind and off he goes.   I wish I had his nerve.”

     Onslow and Daisy, on the other hand, do live with Daddy.   Onslow has called him “daft as a brush.”   Onslow has told Daisy, “Your father would look balmy in anything.   Your father has a natural gift for balmy.”   He will agree, though, that “even talking rubbish, he makes more sense than your Hyacinth.”   Daisy thinks Daddy “is in a world of his own.”   She lamented once that “It’s sad when you think that he used to be able to spell words like ‘lascivious’.”   To that, Onslow replied, “Blokes on his income couldn’t afford to know words like ‘lascivious’.”

 

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Philosophy

 

     There are times when our beloved characters have waxed philosophical, especially our Onslow.   Here are a few examples of the deep thoughts that came from the Keeping Up Appearances characters.   Notice that Onslow, who is well known for his intellectual musings, is beaten out by Hyacinth for sheer volume.

 

Hyacinth talks about getting ahead in the business world: “A bow tie makes you stand out more . . . They always promote people who look as if they have something to carry [in their briefcases] . . . A bow tie makes one look more aggressively managerial.”

 

Hyacinth on the influence of television: “I warned [Elizabeth] about watching Channel 4.   She’ll come to no good identifying with the continental classes.”

 

Hyacinth on the duties of friendship: “Elizabeth is my friend.   I can’t stand idly by when she’s sinking into moral turpitude.” 

 

Hyacinth on appearances: “I think chatting in the street is very common, don’t you?”

 

Hyacinth on wives: “How fortunate you are, Richard, to have a wife of impeccable moral rectitude.”

 

Hyacinth on intimacy, while stuck face to face with Richard in their compact kitchenette with high quality laminated units: “I don’t think I like this level of intimacy, dear.   I don’t think it’s natural at our age.   Would you please remove yourself from my person?”

 

Hyacinth on marriage: “As we all know, the secret of marriage is give and take, kindness, understanding, tolerance . . .”

 

Hyacinth on marriage: “You cannot idly abandon marriage, Violet.   Some things go too deep to be destroyed, dear.   We all need things to cling to.   Don’t do anything hasty or in anger, dear.   Think of the loneliness, Violet.   You can’t walk out on anything as solid, sober, and respectable as your own Mercedes.”

 

Hyacinth on Christianity: “The best kind of Christian is one who does humble things---the sort of thing I shall be doing when I’m cleaning the church with the Ladies’ Guild.”

 

Hyacinth on life after death: “Of course I believe in life after death.   Richard and I will be an entity for eternity.

 

Onslow and his feelings about tidying up: “Given the transience of life, biology’s awesome potential for instability, and the possible meaninglessness of the entire universe, I wouldn’t think it was worth the bother.”

 

In a similar vein, Onslow has been known to muse about “how some days you are just washed over by this cosmic emptiness and lack of meaning.”

 

Onslow also asks the question about how “the molecular biologists will tell you that 98% of our genes are identical to those of monkeys.   Less than 2% are specifically human.   So why do I wake up craving for a fag and not a banana?”

 

Onslow talks about bone idleness: “[Bone idleness is] not a handicap.   It’s a philosophical position.   I’m making a statement.”

 

Onslow on the economy: “I like to keep an eye on the economy.   A bloke in my position has to wonder how long the country can afford him.   If we don’t get the economy right, people like me are going to be in trouble.   It’s the duty of all us to be concerned about the shrinking pound.”

 

Onslow on fashion: “I’m more your casual dresser.   Maximum chic for me is your laid-back, slobby look.”

 

Mrs. Councilor Nugent (famous for her dedication to social service and her work on the committee to save whales---or was it England) talks about relationships: “You have to try and bring a little happiness to people’s lives.   Not too much, mind you, else they start taking things for granted.   Never know when to stop.   Next thing you know, they’re behaving in a disgusting manner, enjoying excessive romantic behavior . . . there’s more to life than being all dolled up for the opposite sex.”

 

Daisy on romance: “A woman likes to be wooed.   She should live in a atmosphere that crackles with sexual tension.”

 

Daisy on reading romance novels: “It’s my last foothold in romance.   I get very little practice.   At least I can keep abreast with theory.”

 

Elizabeth explaining to Emmet about Hyacinth’s Candlelight Suppers: “There comes to us all in this area, not only the certainty of death and taxes, but, periodically, one of Hyacinth’s Candlelight Suppers.   You’ll have to grin and bear it.   A couple of hours and it’s all over.   And there will be other people there, equally stunned.”

 

Emmet on the future of Mankind: “If Richard can put up with Hyacinth, it means that Man is indestructible.   There are no limits to his powers of endurance.”

 

Emmet on coping: “I’ve found that what you have to do is bring a sense of play into your life---mischief---a little irresponsibility.   Sometimes it works wonders just to be playful, just for the hell of it.”

 

The Vicar on his job: “You know, my job is not without its satisfactions.   People come in dismay and despair and sometimes you can help.”

 

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