I believe I do have a timeline of events that you might find revelatory.
Vanessa is competing on a TV quiz show.
She gets into an argument with the host over the answer to the question:
In the famous book, which traveller went around the world in 80 days?
She contests that her answer (Michael Palin) was correct and that, in fact, the answer they were looking for (Phileas Fogg) was incorrect. She argues this both on the grounds that Phileas Fogg was fictional, and that he actually took 81 days to go around the world in the novel.
Ultimately, the quiz runners choose to agree with Vanessa.
Once the characters start speaking again, she leaves Walter to watch it alone.
Upon returning to her parked car, Vanessa is confronted by an angry woman. The woman says that her garage has been blocked by Vanessa’s car.
Vanessa accepts her mistake and sincerely apologises, but the woman continues to rant at her.
Vanessa tries to give the woman a life lesson. She tells her that reacting in this way only serves to let the other person off the hook. Rather than feeling bad, Vanessa now just wants to laugh.
She also gets a small plastic cowboy from the cracker, which she gives to her grandson, Benji. Benji is warned not to snatch by his mother, Hilla, who reminds him that “Level 3” behaviour is expected.
Deborah chooses to pull her cracker with her grandfather, Walter. Vanessa indicates to Walter that his cracker is on his side plate. Deborah wins, but questions if she has to rip up her hat. She asks if that tradition comes from them being a bit Jewish.
Hilla tells her that lighting the candles is because they are a bit Jewish, but that the hat ripping comes from the Wilkinson side. It transpires that the tradition dates back at least as far as Uncle Newt’s childhood.
Vanessa insists that Walter offers Jerry some fatherly words of wisdom. Walter tells Jerry an old trick of his – when you are feeling sad, saying “half a glass” to yourself will set your face in a natural smile.
They debate whether or not to wash beforehand, knowing that they haven’t washed for some time. Vanessa claims that it has got to the stage that she can pick out Queenie’s “note” from the other end of the boat.
Queenie asks what sort of note she means, but Vanessa points out that no possible answer to the question would not cause offence. Queenie suggests that “violets” would be an acceptable answer and Vanessa scoffs at her friend’s optimism.
They resolve to wash.
While the doctor is checking her for fluid on the lungs, Vanessa advises him on improvements to his diagnostic technique.
The doctor refuses to give Vanessa the results of the examination, since they must come from the Ministry. To bypass this, Vanessa immediately requests a second examination as a private patient.
Vanessa is speaking to members of her new sewing circle. They offer her their condolences on the death of her mother.
It transpires that there is some confusion in the group about the identity of Vanessa’s mother.
Vanessa tells them that her mother was Susanna Noone, who had died three years previous from a long illness.
Vanessa explains that Aunt Gally, as she calls her, was her mother’s companion. She tells them that, although Gally was like a second mother to her, they were not related.
The group are surprised to learn this, given Vanessa’s resemblance to Gally.
On a train journey to Lyon, Vanessa points out another traveller. She presents a number of theories about him based on what she has observed in his appearance and behaviour.
They exchange some ideas about the man, until Walter proposes a wager – whoever can tell the other most about the man after three minutes will win a piece of crystalised ginger.
After Vanessa accepts, Walter simply walks over to the man and introduces himself. He invites the man back to their table and relays what he has learned about him to Vanessa. He then eats the ginger.
Gally sings the part of “the fellow on the cello”, while Susanna sings as “Susanna on piano” (pronounced “pian-ah”). The two characters are in love with each other, but both are under the impression that the other does not love them.
Vanessa is acting as stage manager for them.
She tells them that the act do not have tab music and that Miss Midnight (Gally’s stage name) would walk off stage if tab music was played.
They protest and ask to speak to Vanessa’s mother, but Susanna shouts from the wings that they are just to deal with Vanessa.
Vanessa approaches him and asks that he tell her a story. Uncle Newt replies that he does not know any stories. Vanessa is incredulous, believing that all uncles should know stories. Uncle Newt reminds her that he is not truly an uncle, but just poses as one to get free pipe racks at Christmas.
Instead, Vanessa tells Newt the story of Cinderella. He repeatedly interrupts to question elements of the story, such as the priorities of the Fairy Godmother and the practicality of glass slippers.
When Vanessa has finished, she repeats her insistence that Uncle Newt should learn some stories. He agrees to attend to the matter.