Tag Archives: TV

Holiday Day 3

The holiday progresses and the title becomes ever more ironic as I fail to notice I am on holiday.

Today I rise just before the alarm, spend some time sitting on the bed staring into space (it was not a restful night) and scurry about getting ready for taking Julia to work. She has made breakfast and I eat whilst watching Shappi Khorsandi on the news. She has now added neurodiversity to her portfolio of subjects.

By coincidence, I was reading about adult ADHD a few days ago. It seems to be the latest fashionable condition. I have most of the symptoms, but seem to have missed out on the hyperactivity. I also, as you may recall, have most of the symptoms of Long Covid. And autism. I also have trouble with numbers when they are in long lists or balance sheets. They waver about and I find myself looking into a void of untrustworthy, moving numbers. I could probably make a case for having some sort of condition there. It’s not Dyscalculia because I can cope with calculations, I just panic when faced with balance sheets and other lists of numbers, including things like lists of key dates for coins. This is a disadvantage when you work in a coin shop.

I also, to be honest, exhibit many signs of cyberchondria.

Drawing back to boring reality for a moment, I was going to tell you that I took Julia to work, rediscovered my ability to navigate round Nottingham (which I lost during lockdown) and arrived back home at 8.58. Loss of navigational skills is, by the way, an early sign of dementia.

I then sat down at the computer, read and answered comments and at 9.15 started to write. BY 9.42 I was well underway with a massive digression about mental health (I’d meant this to be a blow by blow account of my morning) when there was a knock on the door. It was my delivery from yesterday.

My conclusion, when considering the subject of mental health conditions is that we all have plenty of symptoms but we don’t need to get a diagnosis unless we want to write a book about it and drum up some sales.

It’s 9.58 now and I have blogged, digressed and opened a parcel to find it contains the correct order. That will do for now, as I have a list of things to do and am about to do more of them.

To select photographs I searched for “tree” and picked a couple out.

Drowned Tree at Clumber Park

Coronation Tradition

My grandfather built his own TV for the coronation, a story which I have told before, and they all sat round with neighbours to watch the seven inch screen. It was therefore, with a fine sense of tradition that I sat down and watched the Coronation on TV. Not quite all of it. I missed a bit at the beginning. And a bit while I made brunch. After that I watched more, napped for a little, made afternoon tea (including Coronation Chicken sandwiches), was shouted at for snoring and eventually saw the Royal Family on the balcony. I didn’t actually want to watch the ceremony, I just like the medals and uniforms. I like to say that as the shop’s medal expert I need to keep up with these things, but really I’m just a small boy trapped in a crumbling body.

This is good tradition.

My father, who was still the Royal Navy in 1953, stationed at Chatham, lined the Coronation route. It rained and he got wet. I briefly thought of him, but confess that I felt no need to follow in his footsteps. I’m sure King Charles will do fine without the presence of a wet Wilson by the side of the road.

All in all it’s a day to relish tradition. Everyone is keen to tell us how out of date and second class we are as a nation, but for just one day it would have been nice to sit back, be traditional, ignore the bits I didn’t like and relax. However, I wasn’t allowed to, as a lot of the comments from one of the BBC team, a history expert, hinged on how times were changing, always tinged with reproach. This is how life is these days, no matter what you do, somebody always wants to criticise.

I don’t have a picture suitable for a coronation, but let’s face it, nothing says celebration like a nice piece of cake. I used Battenberg in the top picture because it has a link to Royalty.

Sticky Toffee Cake

A Sucessful Day of Procrastination

I have all the copies I think I need (though the solicitor will doubtless disagree) for Number One Son, and have successfully not filled in any forms today. I know this isn’t really the attitude, but I’ve always taken the attitude that in these things it is easier to reduce the target rather than work harder. It’s n attitude that hasn’t always won favour with other people, but it works for me.

My excuse is that I had a disturbed night’s sleep and rose early to write poetry so had no time for forms and such stuff. In fact I rose at 7.30, worked till 9.30 (a variety of time-wasting exercises) and made breakfast when Julia came down.

At that point we watched TV, did the washing, had afternoon tea and, in my case, napped. We watched The Hippopotamus, which was adequately funny and had enough mystery in it to keep me involved. It’s originally a novel by Stephen Fry and is a sort of cross between Withnail & I and Gosford Park.

After that I made  a simple meal of pizza, using ready made bases, and that was really the end of the day. I have done a bit on WP and |Julia made the sandwiches for tomorrow. I didn’t ask what she filled them with and look forward to a surprise tomorrow.. We ended up watching a programme about celebrities in he dark and had hot chocolate.

As usual, I say “celebrities” but I don’t have a clue who three of them are.This could be due to  my lack of celebrity knowledge, or it could be down to them not really being celebrities. The best one in there is Chris McCausland, not only is his career buoyant, but he’s blind, so he’s at home in the dark. I like him I find him funny and I find it poignant that he’s looking after the others. But I don’t think tht even he will persuade me to watch any more of the programme.

And that was my Sunday.

Thought for the Day

I just looked up “Thought for the Day”, because I am, I confess, running dry. Not only am I having difficulty writing, I’m having difficulty finding an idea to write about. It was a disaster.

There are sites that offer you thoughts (though “thought” may be exaggerating the level of the material offered) – “be the rainbow to someone’s cloud” sticks in my mind. Apart from the false emotion it invokes, I’m not sure that clouds and rainbows are linked.

Then there is the discussion of Thought for the Day. I always used to listen to it in the morning, but gradually drifted out of the habit. I can’t tell you the last time I listened to it, and was surprised it was still on. I suppose this shows some sort of coarsening of my spiritual life.

We had a good result at work today. Someone in Malaysia, who obtained a  refund from us for two parcels which disappeared into the system after the Royal Mail cyber attack, got his parcels. He had them eight days ago, to be precise. Somehow, in all the excitement, he forgot to tell us and arrange payment.

Fortunately, I remembered to make one of my regular checks on missing parcels,  and we were able to remind him. We’ve had no word from him yet, but eBay, when informed, repaid us. There’s still time for them to change it (nothing is ever as simple as it seems with eBay) but it looks like we have solved that one.

They don’t all work out that well, but it’s nice to win one for a change.

The strange thing about this evening, is that I arrived home full of energy and enthusiasm for work. I really did. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. I’m going to have to work on keeping the enthusiasm going – part of it, I’m afraid, consists of not sitting in front of a TV quiz show as soon as I get home.

I tell myself that it sharpens my mind, but I’m afraid it also switches me off. After reading this article, I’m going to rethink my evening  activity. I say “activity” – this probably gives a wrong idea of the average evening, where my movement is often confined to walking to the kettle and several hours a night feature me falling asleep around 11.00 when I really should be going to bed.

Framework Knitters Museum – Manager’s Bedroom

The pictures? I looked up “sleep” and got the cat. Then I looked up “bed”. One reedbed, several “raised beds” and this . . .

There were no entries for “TV”, which is a start.


Clearing up the Confusion

I seem to have caused some confusion in my last post when referring to TV licensing. Sorry about this, here is the full story.

We have two sorts of Tv in the UK, the BBC and commercial TV. The BBC is mostly free from adverts, though they do till have adverts for their own services, and sometimes, about License Fee Evasion. It funds itself by the tax which we still call the “license fee” despite it now being legally a tax. The rest of them (and they are mostly a woeful bunch of purveyors of old American TV and  “reality” TV) finance themselves by selling advertising. This is often lengthy and dull.

So, when we were struck by lightning about 35 years ago, I was on my way back from work in the middle of teh worst rainstorm I have ever experienced in this country. I only kept driving because I was on a motorway and it is (a) illegal and (b) dangerous to stop on a motorway.

Julia, meanwhile, was at home. Advice is to shut off the TV during thunderstorms, but she doesn’t like thunder so she turned the TV up to drown out the sound of thunder. This was not one of her best ideas.

The resulting lightning strike on the TV aerial damaged the aerial and sent a bolt of electricity through the TV plug which reduced the ceramic fuse to powder and scored the brass terminals in the plug. It also blew part of the back of the TV apart and covered the interior with soot. Finally, it sent a ball of lightning across the room. Julia watched it move across the room, gradually getting smaller. This was a little upsetting for her and she was sill shaken when I arrived home.

We decided to throw the TV away and do without it, which we did for a couple of years. In this time we got regular letters from the BBC about our lack of license. I wrote and explained that we didn’t need one as we had no TV. They wrote again, three months later. I repeated my reply and advised them I didn’t want more letters as they were useless, time-wasting junk mail. They replied that they would keep reminding me as they often found that people forgot to get a license when they eventually bought a new TV.

So, I relied that if they wanted to waste time, energy and license payers money on junk mail they were welcome, but that I would like a list of the employees in their office so that I could write them pointless letters demanding details of the furniture they had in their houses. In those days I could be quite bolshie.

They wrote to thank me for my letter and said that they wouldn’t write again, but would appreciate it if I remembered to get a license when I eventually got a new TV. When we got one a year or so later, we did get a license.

I see from Wikipedia that you can’t stop them sending letters because they aren’t adverts, but you can, as someone did, send them a bill for £40 as a fee for opening, processing, reading and filing the letter. The BBC, of course, refused to pay, so he took them to small claims court and won, getting his £40 and costs.

Interesting . . .


Featured image is Robin Hood, a notable defender of the peasantry. Or a fictional character.

Robin - singing

15 Minutes

The title is the time I have allotted myself to write this post. I have been using my time to sit with Julia in the evenings rather than sit in the dining room typing. It seems a slightly better use of my time at the moment. After 33 years of marriage you start to think (I do anyway) about the barren wasteland that would stretch out in front of you if you didn’t have a wife. So, as I’d like to stay married I am being a caring and solicitous husband. It will pass, but until it does I am finding it difficult to fit blogging in. Sorry about that, I will answer all comments by tonight.

I watched a programme about Victoria Wood last night. I’ve seen it before, but it was better than most things that were on, and it finished at the same time as Forged in Fire began.

In the old days we had two Channels. They were in black and white and apart from Watch with Mother at lunch time the only daytime Tv was school programmes. Somehow it seems, looking back, to have been far more enjoyable and better quality than the multitude of stations and repeats and “reality TV” we have today. Personally, I’d be happy to spend much of the evening with it witched off but Julia puts it on for background noise and we never seem to switch off. Some of my best days recently were the ones in out early married days when the aerial was struck by lightning and the TV blew up. We did without one for 18 months (endured a number of letters from the Licensing Agency about not having a TV) and only got one for the start of Julia’s maternity leave.

I’ll leave it there as my time is up and the shop beckons.


Day 156

I’ve just put the pizzas in the oven. Nothing special, just two veggie pizzas on ready-made bases. We will have leftover supermarket coleslaw (Julia insists on buying it rather than making it) and a basic green salad with it. Very basic. The urge to cook has deserted me today.

This might have something to do with me being force to watch the Jubilee Parade today. Well, not exactly forced, but  after preparing lunch and flopping in front of the TV I was unable to resist.

We had soldiers and military bands, followed by members of the Commonwealth, and then the flood gates opened and the detritus flowed.

I have no objection to community groups in costumes, or with massive puppets, as they have all joined together and done a tremendous amount of work to get there. Some of the work was impressive, some less so. Some of it was relevant to the Jubilee, some, quite honestly wasn’t. To the best of my knowledge Brazil hasn’t joined the Commonwealth yet, so I was perplexed by the Brazilian theme of many of the dancers. It was, let’s face it, a case of having some carnival costumes and a desire to use them. Even that was better than what came next . . .

I do have an objection to the same tired mob of B List Celebrities being trotted out and throwing themselves in front of TV cameras with false grins. There were several bus loads of them on the parade – one bus for every decade. I know it’s a fine line between a national treasure and a washed up has-been (or even a washed up never-was) but I could have done without most of them.

And that was how my Jubilee Bank Holiday ended. Four days of relaxing, ending with me in my normal Sunday night mood – back to work tomorrow in an imperfect world after an overdose of poor quality TV. I really need to alter my habits or one day my head is going to explode in mid-tirade.


Day 65

Target: 250 words

Subject: General twaddle

Objective: Get it done then get on with cooking

Menu: Sausages, cauliflower cheese, onion sauce, potato wedges

Confession: The carbs thing was going well until I got to the end

Got up, pottered round, ate a bacon sandwich provided by Julia, wasted time on computer, watched Sense and Sensibility on TV, lunch (vegetable soup, incorporating the remains of last night’s vegetable stew), wrote by hand (carefully – I want to be able to read it later), two episodes of Criminal Minds on Prime, cruised eBay and am now writing today’s blog post whilst working on tonight’s menu.

The objective is to keep it easy (one roasting tray) and use leftover cauliflower. I was going to use it for soup but we still have plenty of veg soup after liquidising the stew and after that we have  a bag of peas for pea soup.

Menu planning has been something that has suffered recently. I can’t blame it on long covid, or even old age, I’m just fed up with menu planning, having fallen into the trap of ordering much the same food each week and cooking the same things. I happen to like vegetable stew with dumplings, so that’s OK. I also like vegetable stew without dumplings. And I like it liquidised and served as soup. That’s three meals taken care of. Something with roast veg. Pizza (or quesadillas). That’s two or three more. Corned beef hash. That’s nearly an entire week and I haven’t had to think. I really should do better. We have pasta, we have prawns, we have other veg.

Watch this space. I’m going to set myself a target of cooking something new every week. This week it’s pea soup, so that’s easy enough. Next week, who knows?

I’m also going to start eating salad for lunch. maybe just one day a week, but it’s a start. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Or, more appropriate in my case – a supertanker takes 20 minutes to come  to a halt.

Time passing . . .

Boxing Day

Christmas day passed quickly. It’s now the early hours of Boxing Day. Several meals, presents, chocolates, Bailey’s, Strictly, Love Actually and several naps filled the day in a most satisfactory manner. We also had phone calls from the kids and I spoke to my sister so all the family stuff is done too. I am, as I have said before, a man of simple needs and it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

The Ancient Santa card is on the left, the other is only about 25 years old.

On the writing front, I allowed another deadline to slip by without submitting anything and reminded myself that there are two more to look at before the end of the month, which isn’t far away. I’ll get round to doing something in the next few days I suppose, but if I decide to sit with Julia and watch TV instead, it won’t be  a tragedy. I quite like sitting and watching TV  with Julia.

Boxing Day sees my favourite meal of the holidays – turkey sandwiches with cranberry jelly and stuffing. I usually add mayonnaise to, but I’m planning on heating  some part-baked baguettes for tomorrow and I’m not convinced that hot bread and mayonnaise will go together that well. The day after Boxing Day usually features turkey sandwiches too, but they aren’t such a novelty by then.

Santa and Snowman figures

The pictures show our Christmas decorations by candle light. The Santa card is 33 years old. Julia always brings him out for Christmas and I have gradually phased out buying other cards, so it proved a wise investment. The Santa and Snowman figures are part of Christmas tradition too. I tried several different settings to allow for the colour temperature and managed to produce a number of odd effects. None of them quite captured the magic of candle light.

That’s about it. Another ordinary day in a dull life.


Shopping and The Saint

We’ve just been to pick up the shopping order from TESCO. There were a couple of things that weren’t available and one substitution.

This was bagged rocket (or arugula if you speak American). Yes, I shouldn’t be buying it, for a number of reasons, including expense and ecology, but I try to eat a variety of things and at least you can taste rocket. Well, not this week, because they substituted it fro lamb’s lettuce. They could have substituted organic rocket (though it may have made their price guarantee squeak a little), or watercress (another salad you can taste) or even the “peppery” salad, but no, they substituted it with the lamb’s lettuce. It will do, but it doesn’t look like the obvious substitution to me.

They don’t leave it to the discretion of the packers to do the substitution, they use an algorithm. Heaven help us if the robots ever take over – I cannot even begin to imagine what life will look like once we fall int6om the hands of the algorithm-wielding little metal menaces. That’s another good argument for not living to be a thousand.

The strange thing is that when I check rocket on the website, it is available, and lamb’s lettuce isn’t. Probably because they’ve been fobbing all the rocket customers off with lamb’s lettuce.

Easy answer is to give salad a miss until we can start growing our own again.

I watched The Saint at lunchtime. At the age of 8 I thought this was the best TV show ever made. Today, 55 years later, the tale of a mad scientists breeding giant ants in a Welsh cave system, though dated and not great literature, didn’t impress me quite so much. However, to be fair, it was far from the worst thing I’ve seen on TV recently.

The clock picture is to mark the occasion of me getting round to altering the clock in the car, after the clocks went back at the weekend. I kept meaning to do it but never got round to it. The story of my life.