I was rewatching Lark Rise, and every time it irks me how Robert Timmins gets nasty, usually to Emma, about his 'proid' and get all full of himself. Robert Timmins can be nice to his family sometimes, but at other times, he drives me insane. And thus a parody was born. Disclaimer: I don't own Lark Rise, I love Brendon Coyle as an actor, but I don't agree with Robert Timmins' treatment of women, or arrogance.
'Eat your supper.'
Robert Timmins's head snapped up from the table, his eyes widening and his lips pursing in disbelief. He shook his head, his jowl wobbling.
'Woman, you dare tell me what to do in my own home?'
Emma looked affronted. 'I just said—'
She didn't get further than that. Robert banged his hands down on the table. 'Can't a man eat his meal in peace without bein' nagged?' His bulldog face was shaking uncontrollably now, and Emma sensed this was one of those moments the children shouldn't have to witness.
'Edmund, Frank, leave the room.'
'Oh, so now you're tellin' them how to live their lives as well? It doesn't do wonders for the pride, you know, humiliatin' a man like that— makin' him look a fool—'
'They're not men, Robert! They're just children—'
'My children, woman! My sons! And they're growin' up to think that it's acceptable to be pushed around that way by mere women! And what about me? Bein' told to eat my supper as if I were a babe! My pride can't take much more o' this, I'm tellin' ye!'
'Oh, your pride,' Emma snapped, well and truly fed up with her husband's attitude. 'That's what it always comes down to, isn't it? It don't matter that I'm tryin' to keep our family afloat—'
'I am the one who keeps this family afloat! It is my joy in my craft that puts bread on the table…'
'You mean your pride in your craft! Sometimes, Robert, I feel that your pride is your mistress! That she is my rival! I can never do nowt right in our house, 'cause I'm always second to that pride of yours! Your pride is more your wife than I!'
'Maybe it's so,' Robert growled. 'At least my pride has respect for me.'
'Well, then, p'raps you'd rather have supper with your pride than me! I'm sure it'll make better dinner company.' And with that, Emma slammed down her fork and rose from the table, stalking off towards the door.
'But I'll tell you, Robert,' she said, pausing in the doorway, 'your pride won't ever tell you she loves you, nor raise your children for you, nor keep your home! Your pride won't keep you warm, nor make you feel wanted, nor cared for, and one day, Robert, you'll realise you're all alone, just you and your over-inflated sense of self-importance— no friends, no family, nothin'!'
'Well, at least my pride won't nag me! Get out o' my sight, woman! Take your cruel words and go elsewhere!'
Emma slammed the door as she left, and Robert sat back in his chair, exhaling sharply. At last, it was just how he'd always wanted— no interruptions, no defiance, just him and his pride. He pushed his plate away, suddenly no longer interested in his supper. His pride wouldn't make him eat it. Instead, he reached for a flagon of ale, taking a sip. His pride wouldn't mind him having a man's pint at the end of the day, to celebrate how well he had done in his craft. His pride revelled in him, in the fact that he was a man, in the fact that he was the father—no, the master—of all Lark Rise.
And so Robert Timmins sat there on that cold and frosty evening, while Emma and her children went to Queenie's to avoid his arrogance, sitting in front of the fire, alone with his pride, sipping his ale and celebrating how marvellous it was to be him— to be the Great Robert Timmins— and not to be pestered by mere chattels. Now this was the life a man was born to.