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Bless This House (1971-76)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

'The Day of Rest', originally transmitted on ITV on 23 March 1976
Written by Dave Freeman, Directed by William G. Stewart

One Sunday morning, Sid Abbott complains to his wife Jean that there is no plug in the bathroom sink and an enormous ball of barbed wire on the landing. He goes to remonstrate with Mike, who is working on an abstract sculpture made from an old bicycle frame, scrap iron, a wheel and the missing bathroom plug.

In the kitchen, Jean and Sally discuss the new neighbours, Tom and Norma, who have just moved in next door. Tom calls to ask where the water turns on; Sid goes to show him while Jean and Sally ponder the mess left in the living room by Sid's "boozy friends" the night before. Before they have a chance to clear up, Sid returns and says that he has invited Tom and Norma in for a cup of coffee. Jean instructs Sid to tidy the living room. He brushes dirt under the rugs, hides crockery behind the seat cushions, and tips cigarette ends into a teapot.

The neighbours arrive; Mike shows them into the living room to wait. From the kitchen, Jean overhears their disgust when they discover Sid's half-hearted attempts at tidying. Sally enters and offers them a cup of tea, but when they see the cigarette butts in the teapot they hurriedly excuse themselves and leave.

Later that day, while Sid and Jean discuss the neighbours, Jean becomes so annoyed at the drilling noises coming from next door that she bangs on the wall with a shoe.

Norma calls to apologise and is shown into the living room by Sally, but Jean is reluctant to face her and asks Sid to go instead. In the meantime, Mike has interested Norma in seeing his sculpture. She gets her blouse caught on the barbed wire, and is forced to remove it. Mike attempts to hide Norma in the kitchen but Sid enters and finds her in her bra, and assumes that this is the result of a seduction attempt by Mike. Mike tries to explain that she "got hooked" on the sculpture, but Sid misinterprets this to mean that it had a hypnotic sexual effect upon her.

Jean enters and accuses Sid of having an affair, at which point Tom also arrives. Still believing his understanding of the events to be the correct one, Sid takes Tom to one side and explains sympathetically that his wife is "a bit kinky about bicycle frames".