Strikingly, Karen, who is very overweight, has long acrylic nails, immaculately painted with a different shade of polish on each finger. Her hair is freshly braided and her manicured hands glitter with enormous rings.
Melvyn, too, faces a whole new world when he is forced to live under 1949 rules. A former railway engineer whose wife died five years ago, Melvyn loses his home, a spick-and-span little bungalow.
He can’t run it on a 1940s pension — £38.48 a week if adjusted to today’s prices, compared to the £134.27 a week he gets now.
He loses his dignity, too, momentarily, as he is packed off to a state-funded old people’s home. But although he’s tearful, he accedes to the demands of the system, and leaves his home behind.
But when he gets there, he cheers up considerably and professes that there are advantages to being institutionalised because here he has cooked meals laid on, company and even entertainment.
How unlike the fate of many elderly people today, who are effectively left to struggle alone.